Steps of Writing Essay or How to Write an Essay

The word Essay is derived from the French word assay which means ‘trial of a subject or attempt towards it.’ Montaigne, a sixteenth-century French writer, was the first to write essays. He called his writings ‘Essays’ because Montaigne thought that he was trying or attempting a new genre of literature. Being inspired by him an English diplomat and scholar of the sixteenth century named Francis Bacon wrote essays first in English. Hench this new branch of literature has been being attempting by writers throughout the world in almost every written language. To speak in brief, an Essay is a prose composition wherein the writer expresses his point of view on a topic. Thus an Essay expresses the mind and ideas of the writer. Nowadays Essay is the most widely written and read branch of literature.

English Essays may broadly be divided into two classes as Expository Essays and Personal Essays.

The Expository Essays are those essays which are written from the historical, biographical, philosophical, scientific or critical point of view. The objective of such essays is to give information or instruction. The essays of Mathew Arnold, Spencer, Macaulay, Carlyle belong to this type.

Personal Essays are those essays which are written on any subject from the personal point of view and exhibit the personality of the writer. Whatever may be the topic, Personal Essays always reflect the opinions, whims and fancies of the essayist. The objective of such essays is not to instruct but to please. These essays are colored by the writer’s imagination. This type of essays is described often as Lyric in Prose. The essays of Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, De Quincy belong to this category.

On the basis of the treatment of the subject matter, essays again may be classified into three classes, as- Descriptive Essays, Narrative Essays and Reflective Essays.

Generally, the essays written on known things, animals, natural phenomena as- flood, cyclones, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. are Descriptive Essays.

Narrative Essays are those essays which are written on some events- historical, accidental or imaginary such as-Sepoy Mutiny, Railway collision, a kind of journey etc.

Reflective Essays are the essays which reflect the writer’s reflections or thoughts on any subject which are generally of an abstract nature. Punctuality, perseverance, discipline etc. fall under this class of essays.

Nowadays essay is the most popular form of literature. In school and college, this genre of literature is prescribed in the curriculum. The main Objectives of the Students’ Essays are as follows:

The practice of writing essays increases the curiosity of learning more information.

It enhances the linguistic power of the students.

It develops the reflective as well as the reasoning power of the students. 

There is Three Steps of Writing an Essay, such as-

Reading for Data Collection: In this step, the students should read journals, magazines and related books for collecting data of his topic. They should not read mechanically rather they should try to enter into the main spirit of the contents of the book they read. This would increase their vocabulary and power of understanding. While reading the book they should mark the passage which strikes them and go through them a second time.

Thinking: In this step, the students must learn to think for themselves. Everything which is read should not be granted. Therefore the students should think and judge for them and accept only which are considered to be correct and logical to their topics.

Writing: After reading and thinking, the students should step ahead for the third and final step. But before going to write they should make an outline of the essays they want to attempt. It would help the students to arrange their thoughts and give clarity to what they say.

 An essay may usually be divided into three parts as- Introduction, Body (Description) and Conclusion.

Introduction to an essay should be brief and attractive. In Introduction the writer should give a brief allusion of what he is going to describe below. Every word written in the Introduction must have a bearing upon the main theme. Introduction to an essay should be written in one brief passage. 

The Body is the main part of an essay. In this part, the writer should give a detailed description or elaboration of what he has hinted or written in the introduction. The Body of an essay may be divided into three or more points according to need. The points should be dealt with in a separate paragraph. In this part, the main theme of the essay must be developed and elaborated logically.

The conclusion is the third and final part of an essay. In this part, the essay writer should draw an effective ending from the main body of the essay. It bears the thoughts and opinion of the writer on the subject.  The Conclusion should be as effective as an effective beginning. But the Conclusion should never be impertinent to the topic; rather it should be as natural as possible. However, nothing else is possible a brief summary of the previous statements may be given.

There are some Qualities of Good Essays, as-

(i) The simplicity of Language: The language of an essay should be simple and comprehensive; because the essays are generally informative. The use of the bombastic word, long sentence and much use of figures of speech may cause difficulty in understanding the main spirit. 

(ii) Unity of Thought: A good essay must have Unity of Thought and matter. It means that an essay must deal with only one subject (one topic). Everything which is not connected with it must be left out. 

(iii) Logicality: In an essay, the idea should develop logically and naturally. The important points should be given more space than the less important one.

After writing an essay the writer should revise the essay bearing the following points in mind-

He should be sure that there is no grammatical mistake in the essay. If there is he should correct them. 

Except for autobiographical essays, the writer should avoid the use of such personal pronouns like- ‘I’, ‘We’ etc.

If any quotation is used in the essay he should ensure that the quotation is an exact word by word. If not so he should avoid such quotation. 0 0 0

(From School Essays by Menonim Menonimus)




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