Barbara P.
Barbara P.

The Ultimate Guide: How to Write an Essay Like a Pro in 7 Steps

23 min read

Published on: Jun 21, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 12, 2023

How To Write an Essay

Do you dread essay assignments? Are you unsure how to structure your writing, or how to make your arguments compelling?

Writing essays can be a daunting task, especially if you're not sure where to begin. The pressure to produce high-quality work can be overwhelming, and it's easy to feel discouraged.

But fear not! 

This step-by-step guide will help you sharpen your essay-writing skills. Learn everything you need to know, from brainstorming to editing. 

So let's get started and learn all about essay writing! 

Step 1- Choose the Type of Essay

Choosing the type of essay is an essential first step in the essay-writing process. The type of essay you choose will determine the structure, style, and tone of your writing.

There are several types of essays, each with its own unique purpose and characteristics. Here are some of the most common types of essays:

  • Narrative Essay: This type of essay tells a story, often from the writer's point of view. It usually has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and is written in a personal and engaging tone.
  • Descriptive Essay: This type of essay uses sensory details to describe a person, place, or thing. The goal is to create a vivid image in the reader's mind.
  • Expository Essay: This type of essay explains or describes a topic in a clear and logical way. It can be argumentative or informative, but the main focus is on presenting information in a well-organized and concise manner.
  • Persuasive Essay: This type of essay aims to convince the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint or take a specific action. It often uses emotional appeals and persuasive language to make a compelling argument.
  • Compare and Contrast Essay: This type of essay compares and contrasts two or more subjects, highlighting their similarities and differences.

By understanding the different types of essays, you can choose the one that best fits your purpose and audience. This will help you craft a more effective and engaging essay.

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Step 2-  Understanding the Essay Prompt

Understanding the essay prompt is crucial for writing a successful essay. It helps you focus on the main topic and identify the key points that you need to address. 

Here are some tips on how to analyze the essay prompt, identify key terms and concepts, and brainstorm ideas.

Analyzing The Essay Prompt

The first step in understanding the essay prompt is to read it carefully. Look for clues about the purpose of the essay, the audience, and the main topic. 

Pay attention to the wording of the prompt and any specific instructions or requirements.

Check out this video to learn more!

Identifying Key Terms and Concepts

Once you've read the prompt, identify the key terms and concepts. These are the words or phrases that define the topic and provide direction for your essay. 

Highlight or underline them so you can refer back to them later.

Brainstorming Ideas

After you've analyzed the prompt and identified the key terms and concepts, it's time to brainstorm ideas. Start by jotting down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems irrelevant at first. Consider different angles and perspectives on the topic.

Organize your ideas into categories or groups. This will help you see patterns and connections that you might not have noticed otherwise. Use these categories as a basis for your essay outline.

Remember to stay focused on the main topic and use your ideas to create a clear and compelling argument.

Step 3 - Researching the Topic

Researching the topic is an important step in the essay-writing process. It provides you with all the necessary information to support your argument. 

Here are some key steps in conducting effective research:

Conducting Research

Start by identifying relevant sources, such as books, scholarly articles, and reputable websites. Use keywords related to your topic to find sources that are relevant to your argument. 

Take note of the author, date of publication, and publisher, as these can help you evaluate the credibility of the source.

Evaluating Sources

It's important to evaluate the sources you find to ensure that they are reliable and accurate. Look for sources that are peer-reviewed, well-respected, and written by experts in the field. 

Check for any biases or conflicts of interest that may affect the information presented in the source.

Taking Notes

As you conduct research, take detailed notes on the information you find. Use a system that works for you, such as bullet points or summaries. 

Be sure to include the source information for each note, so you can properly cite it later.

Remember to keep track of your sources and take detailed notes, so you can properly cite them and avoid plagiarism.

Step 4 - Make an Outline 

An outline provides a roadmap for your essay, allowing you to organize your thoughts and ideas into a logical structure. 

Here's how to create an effective outline:

  • Identify your main points: Start by identifying the main points you want to make in your essay. These should be based on the research you conducted and the argument you want to make.
  • Organize your main points: Once you have identified your main points, organize them into a logical order. This can be chronological, spatial, or based on importance.
  • Add supporting details: Under each main point, add supporting details that provide evidence and examples to support your argument. These can include quotes from your sources, statistics, or personal anecdotes.
  • Review and revise: Once you have created your outline, review it to ensure that it flows logically. Make any necessary revisions to strengthen your outline and ensure that your essay will be well-structured and easy to follow.

Wondering how to write an essay format? Here is a sample outline for an essay! 

I. Introduction

A. Hook: Start with an attention-grabbing statement, question, or anecdote
B. Background information on the topic
C. Thesis statement: Clearly state the main argument or point of your essay

II. Main Point 1

A. Topic sentence: Introduce the first main point that supports your thesis
B. Supporting evidence: Provide evidence, examples, or data to support your main point
C. Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your main point

III. Main Point 2

A. Topic sentence: Introduce the second main point that supports your thesis
B. Supporting evidence: Provide evidence, examples, or data to support your main point
C. Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your main point

IV. Main Point 3

A. Topic sentence: Introduce the third main point that supports your thesis
B. Supporting evidence: Provide evidence, examples, or data to support your main point
C. Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your main point

V. Counterarguments

A. Acknowledge and address potential counterarguments to your thesis
B. Refute counterarguments with evidence or reasoning

VI. Conclusion

A. Restate the thesis and summarize the main points
B. Implications: Explain the broader implications of your argument
C. Call to action: Encourage readers to take action or think differently about the topic.

By following these steps, you can create an effective essay outline that will help you write a strong and coherent essay.

Step 5 - Writing the Essay 

Once you have a clear outline for your essay, it's time to start writing. These steps include the introduction body and conclusion. 

Let's look at the whole writing process here!  


The introduction is the first part of your essay, and it should be attention-grabbing to draw in the reader.

It should provide background information on your topic and end with a thesis statement. Let's have a look at the components of a good essay introduction.   

  • Hook: Start your introduction with a hook, which could be a surprising fact, a quote, or a personal anecdote.

For example, "Did you know that every year, Americans throw away enough paper to fill a football stadium?"

  • Background information: Provide some context and background information on your topic. 

For example, if your essay is about paper waste, you could talk about the history of paper or the environmental impact of paper production.

  • Thesis statement: End your introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that presents your main argument or point. 

For example, "By reducing paper waste through recycling and digital alternatives, we can make a positive impact on the environment and save natural resources for future generations."

Writing an essay

Body Paragraphs

The body of your essay should provide evidence and analysis to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea or point that supports your argument.

  • Topic sentences: Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that clearly presents the main idea or point of that paragraph. 

For example, "Recycling paper is one of the most effective ways to reduce paper waste and protect the environment."

  • Supporting details and evidence: Provide evidence and examples to support your topic sentence. 

For example, you could cite statistics on the benefits of recycling paper or provide examples of successful paper recycling programs.

  • Transitions: Use transitional words and phrases to connect your paragraphs and make your writing flow smoothly. 

For example, "In addition to recycling paper, using digital alternatives like e-books and online documents can also help reduce paper waste and protect the environment."


The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay. It should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement in a different way.

  • Restating the thesis: Start by restating your thesis statement in different words. 

For example, "In conclusion, reducing paper waste through recycling and digital alternatives can make a positive impact on the environment and help preserve natural resources."

  • Summarizing the main points: Briefly summarize the main points, focusing on the most important evidence and analysis. 

For example, "We've seen how recycling paper, using digital alternatives, and reducing paper consumption can all contribute to a more sustainable future."

  • Final thoughts: End your essay with a final thought or call to action. 

For example, "By taking small steps to reduce our paper waste, we can all play a part in protecting the environment and leaving a better world for future generations."

Concluding an essay effectively can make a great impact on your essay. Always summarize our main points so that the reader gets a whole idea of the essay in the conclusion. 

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Step 6 - Editing and Revising the Essay

Review and revise your first draft of the essay thoroughly. This ensures that it is well-structured, coherent, and error-free.

Here are some steps you can take to edit and revise your essay:

Reviewing the Essay for Structure and Coherence

Start by reading your essay and ensuring that it has a clear and logical structure. 

Your introduction should introduce your topic and give some background information.In your body paragraphs, provide evidence to support your thesis statement. 

Finally, your conclusion should summarize your main points and provide some final thoughts.

Checking For Grammar and Spelling Errors

Once you've reviewed the structure and coherence of your essay, it's time to check it for grammar and spelling errors. You can use grammar checkers and spell-checking tools to help you identify and correct any mistakes in your essay.

Seeking Feedback and Making Revisions

Getting feedback from others can be incredibly helpful when it comes to revising your essay. Share your essay with a friend, classmate, or teacher, and ask for their honest feedback. 

Take note of any suggestions they offer and use them to make revisions to your essay.

As you revise your essay, pay attention to the clarity and conciseness of your writing. Make sure that your sentences are well-constructed and that your ideas are expressed clearly and concisely.

Finally, proofread your essay once more before submitting it to ensure that it is error-free and polished.

Revising your essay and checking for mistakes is a crucial step in ensuring that your essay turns out perfect! Always take out ample time to complete these steps. 

Step 7 - Formatting and Citations

Proper formatting and citation are crucial when it comes to academic writing. In this section, we'll discuss the essential aspects of formatting and citing your essay.

Formatting the Essay

Formatting your essay requires attention to detail. Set the margins, spacing, font, and other elements. This will make your paper visually appealing and easier to read. 

The formatting requirements can vary depending on your instructor's preference or the citation style you're using. 

Some common formatting styles include:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • Chicago Manual of Style

Each formatting style has its unique requirements for formatting the title page, headers, margins, line spacing, and font size. 

Make sure you understand the specific requirements of the style you're using and follow them consistently throughout your essay.

Creating a Works Cited page

Citing sources in an essay is essential. Create a Works Cited page to list all sources used in your research.

Sources should be formatted according to the citation style you're using. Each entry should include the author's name, the title of the work, the publication date, and other relevant information.

Properly Citing Sources In The Text

In addition to creating a Works Cited page, you must properly cite sources within the text of your essay. 

Different citation styles have different requirements for in-text citations. But generally, you'll need to include the author's last name and the page number where the information can be found. 

For example: (Smith 42).

It's crucial to properly cite all the sources you use in your essay to avoid plagiarism. Make sure you understand the citation requirements of the style you're using and apply them consistently throughout your essay.

Good Essay Topics For Students 

If you're a student struggling to come up with a topic for your essay, here are 20 ideas to consider:

  • The Impact of social media on Society
  • Climate change and its effects on the environment
  • The importance of mental health awareness
  • The Role of Technology in Education
  • The effects of video games on young people
  • Gun controller laws and their effectiveness
  • The benefits and drawbacks of online shopping
  • The importance of exercise and physical activity
  • The impact of music on mood and behavior
  • The benefits and drawbacks of living in a city versus living in the countryside
  • The Effects of Poverty on Children and Families
  • The Impact of Tourism on Local Communities
  • The importance of financial literacy for young people
  • The benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling
  • The role of artificial intelligence in our daily lives
  • The effects of overpopulation on the planet
  • The impact of plastic pollution on the environment
  • The benefits and drawbacks of globalization
  • The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the high school
  • The impact of social inequality on society

Selecting the right topic before writing the essay is a crucial step. Always take out time to properly research your essay topic before starting your next essay. 

How To Write An Essay Example 

Here are some examples of perfectly written essays:

Social media has become an integral part of modern life. From staying in touch with friends and family to sharing news and opinions, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have changed the way we interact with each other and with the world at large. However, social media is not without its drawbacks and controversies. In this essay, we will explore the positive and negative effects of social media and its impact on society.

The widespread use of social media has transformed how we communicate and connect with others. Social media has enabled people to stay in touch with friends and family, connect with like-minded individuals, and even start businesses.

Social media has had a significant impact on society. On the one hand, it has revolutionized the way we communicate and connects with each other. People can now share their opinions, ideas, and experiences with a global audience in real time. Social media platforms have also facilitated the rise of social movements and activism, with hashtags such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter raising awareness of important social issues.

However, social media is not without its problems. One of the biggest concerns is the spread of misinformation and fake news. With so many people sharing content on social media, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. This has led to the spread of conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and propaganda, which can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole.

Despite these challenges, social media remains an important tool for communication and connection. It can be used to spread positive messages and connect people with similar interests and causes. Social media has also enabled the rise of online communities and support groups, which can be a valuable resource for people who may not have access to these resources in their physical communities.


In conclusion, social media has transformed how we communicate and connect with each other. While it has its challenges and controversies, it remains a powerful tool for spreading information, promoting social change, and connecting people across the globe. As social media continues to evolve and shape our society, it is important to be aware of its potential impact on our mental health, relationships, and access to information. By using social media responsibly and critically, we can harness its power for positive change and personal growth.

It's always a good idea to read essay examples before writing your essay. This can help you understand the requirements and inspire you too!

Checklist For The Essay

After completing all the above steps, ask yourself the following questions! 

  • Did I choose a clear and appropriate topic for my essay?
  • Have I conducted enough research and gathered relevant information?
  • Have I created an outline for my essay to ensure a well-organized structure?
  • Did I write a clear and attention-grabbing introduction with a thesis statement?
  • Have I included topic sentences for each body paragraph and provided sufficient supporting evidence?
  • Did I use transitional words and phrases to ensure coherence and flow between paragraphs?
  • Did I conclude my essay effectively by summarizing the main points and restating the thesis statement?
  • Did I proofread my essay for grammatical and spelling errors?
  • Did I cite all sources used in the appropriate citation style?
  • Have I followed all instructions and requirements provided by my teacher or professor?

Going through an essay checklist will help you ensure that you have covered all the necessary aspects of writing a successful essay.

Tips and Tricks for Essay Writing

Writing a successful essay can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can make the process easier and more enjoyable. 

In this section, we'll share some tips and tricks for writing an excellent essay.

Brainstorm and Outline

Students need to understand the importance of outlining their essays. Take some time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline for your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that you include all the necessary information in your essay.

Expert Tip

When it comes to mastering essay writing, don't overlook the power of outlining. It's the key to organizing your thoughts, structuring your ideas, and ensuring a coherent flow. Discover why outlining is crucial in our blog post: 'The Importance of Outlining Your Essays.' Enhance your skills and write impactful essays with our expert insights!

Use Active Voice

Writing in an active voice makes your essay more engaging and easier to follow. Instead of saying "The book was read by me," say "I read the book."

Vary Sentence Structure

Using different sentence structures can make your essay more interesting to read. Try using short, punchy sentences followed by longer, more complex ones.

Use Descriptive Language

Adding descriptive language can make your essay more vivid and engaging. Instead of saying "The flower was red," say "The vibrant red petals of the flower stood out against the green leaves."

Use Transitions

Transitions help to connect ideas and make your essay flow smoothly. Use words and phrases like "however," "in addition," and "therefore" to signal shifts in your argument.

Be Specific

Specificity adds credibility to your essay. Instead of saying "many people," say "according to a recent study, 75% of participants reported..."

By following these tips and tricks, you'll be on your way to writing an excellent essay.

Congratulations, you now have all the tools and tricks to write an impressive essay that will leave your readers in awe! But if you find yourself struggling with the writing process, is here to help.

Our team of expert writers has years of experience in crafting top-notch essays that meet all your requirements. From formatting to citation styles, we've got you covered.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact our expert essay writing service today and get ready to submit the best essay of your academic career!

Barbara P.


Barbara P. (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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