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Advanced steps of writing a college essay

Brainstorming the topics

Brainstorming, concept maps, and mind maps are words used interchangeably. These are quick and simple method of generating and concentrating on ideas and reading connections between concepts. Brainstorming encourages creativity and help you generate as many ideas as possible. These ideas can be used to solve specific problems, answering questions, raising interests, introducing new subjects, and surveying attitudes and knowledge.

Most of the brainstorming steps to writing an essay for college start by introducing the problems, topic, or the question both in writing and orally. You can invite participants to respond to these questions with a many suggestions or idea as possible. These responses should be short. In a group, you need to encourage every member to participate. You need to explain to the group members that unless the brainstorming session is over, on one can comment or respond to the suggestions or ideas given. Record the responses on the paper. Most important, you need to be creative and offer the most interesting and useful aspects of the sections. One of the steps to writing a college essay can be to prioritize, and analyze ideas to generate discussions or as part of the problem solving section.

Associative brainstorming could help you climb out of a given rut through word associations that help you think outside the box. In this process, you will use one word that summarizes or closely relate to the topic you are generation idea for. Come up with all the bad ideas at first. Break and build your ideas. In the brainstorming steps to writing a college essay, you need to create a mood board. You can use visual-spatial arrangements; combine color and imagery that help create surface feelings and emotions that spark new ideas. The mood would help improve recall of information and make conventional learning methods.

After you have written all ideas, you can start discussing about them, eliminating those that seem unnecessary and keeping those that need further discussion. You can rank your ideas from the best to the words to help you choose the best one and eliminate the others.

Coming up with a title

The title of your essay is the first thing your readers see. However, this is the last thing that you need to create. You might not know what the essay will be talking about until you are done writing it. Essays must be drafted and revised before a title is created. This means that creating a title at the beginning of your writing process might not be effective because the title might not reflect what you write about at the end of the essay. In case you had created a title before writing the essay, revise it after you have completed writing the paper. The best way of creating a title is identifying the themes in the essay. List two or three items you have written in your essay. Analyze your thesis statement, check your topic sentences, and consider asking a friend to help you come up with a good title. You must determine the target audience. This will help you create a title that the audience can relate to as they read the essay.    

To make an effective title, you need to determine the function of the title. A title should not mislead the reader. In establishing the title purpose, you will also determine if the title is descriptive, declarative, or interrogative. You need to avoid titles that are long.To make an effective title, you can brainstorm, or Google it. You must maximize your choices, and do not forget to make it from your point of view. A good title must have precise nouns and active verbs. Although some people believe that a good title has three words, most marketable titles consist of verbs and nouns.   You can construct two meanings, which you need to consider before reading and after reading your paper. A good title should not sabotage your plot. The title must match the content of the paper.  

Creating an outline

Essay outlines offer guidance and structure for writers as they start the process of drafting. An outline briefly summarizes the intended content of the essay and organizes the content in a coherent and sensible manner. Knowing how to make an outline is a crucial skill for the students and in some cases the instructors need learners to turn in their outlines before they write their papers. Before you start creating an outline, you need to read the assignment requirements carefully. You need to underline and highlight the important terms and phrases given in the instructions. Ensure that you fully understand what the instructor is talking about before writing an outline. Ask for clarification when things seem confusing or vague.    

Develop a topic that will help you make an outline. List all the ideas that comes into your mind both bad and good. You need to practice free writing as you write nonstop for five to ten minutes. You can also cluster down your points into a piece of paper. You need to identify the purpose of your writing. Understand if the essay purpose is to persuade, enlighten, entertain, or something else. Know your audience. Identify your expectations and needs of the audience before you start making an outline. The thesis will be the most important guide while making your outline.  

For a well-organized essay, choose a standard alphanumeric structure that you can easily recognize. An alphanumeric structure is important as it is easily recognized and the subdivision identified in capitalized letters, Romans numerals, lowercase letters, and Arabic numerals. You can select a decimal outline structure that would make it easy to make a demonstration of the parts of the essay that are not related. As you write the outline, you can use brief phrase or full sentences in the outline. You can use a parallel structure for the outline parts. You also need to coordinate titles within sections, and subordinate subsections.

The format of an essay

The five-paragraph essay format is mainly used for high school papers. This format forms the foundation of the other essay formats. The five –paragraph essay consist of the introduction, body paragraph 1, body paragraph 2, body paragraph 3, and the conclusion. The number of body paragraphs depends on the length of essay. For longer essays, the body paragraphs will be more than three.  

 

The general format of the essay also depends on the referencing style recommended by the instructor. These reference styles are MLA, APA, or Harvard among others. The font of the paper should be 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. The essay should be double-spaced unless stated otherwise in the essay instructions. The paper should have proper headings. The first page of the paper should contain your name, student ID, and the title of the paper. The paper should have margins, for APA and MLA one-inch margin is required at the top, bottom, left, and right. The page numbers should also be clear in your paper. The paper should be well indented. Each paragraph should be indented. The title of the essay should be centered and visible. The text should be left aligned.   

   

In APA, the line spacing, font, and margins are similar to those in MLA. However, in APA a reference page is needed rather than a works cited page. You need to use parenthetical citations within the body. For APA in-text citations are written as (author, year) in MLA, they are written as (author page). In most cases, MLA is used for course in humanities while APA is mainly used on social sciences. Other referencing styles such as Chicago are used to note the source origin. This format uses endnotes and footnotes that are placed at the end of each page. The bibliography in this style is similar to that in MLA.  

The introduction of an essay

  The introduction acts as map of the essay. This section of the essay outlines the main points and arguments of the essay. Effective introductions start with an orientation that takes the form of a general statement that grabs the attention of the reader. This statement shows the specific topic and ideas that relate to issue of the discipline field. The introduction contains background information that help the reader understand facts and statistics regarding the topic. The last [part of the introduction is the thesis statement. The thesis introduces the subject matter, making a concise essay response. The thesis statement presents the outline of the argument given in the essay. You might find useful ways to introduce the essay.    

 The hook, which is the first statement of the introduction, should help the reader decide if they will read your essay or not. The hook can be a fact, a quote, or a rhetorical question depending on how you decide to introduce the introduction. Following the thesis, you need to have a mini outline that provides a preview example that supports the thesis. Not only does the reader understand what is expected of the essay by reading the introduction, he or she know if the essay is captivating to read word for word. For some readers, the introduction makes them discard the essay while others skim through the essay to obtain the main ideas. For other readers, the introduction, conclusion, and they already know if the essay is worth to read or not.   

The background information should help the reader know what the thesis will be. The thesis statement is the last sentence of the introduction. This part of the essay help the reader understand what they should expect from the essay. It provides a clearer understanding of what the essay will be about. The last sentence offers the benefit of moving the reader from the introduction to the body paragraphs.

The body of an essay

The middle part of the essay is the body. It is one of the steps to writing a college essay that is most important. The body paragraphs offer the main points of the essay. The purpose of this part of the essay is to spell in details that support the essay. The first body paragraph should use the most significant examples or strongest arguments, which are obvious at the beginning. The first sentence of the paragraph is the topic sentence of the body paragraphs and directly relate to the details of mini outline provided in the introductory paragraph. The body paragraphs should consist of transitions words that are aligned closely to make the essay perfect.

Transitions phrases are crucial in showing the reader where one section starts and the other one ends. These phrases are important as they are written with equivalent of the spoken cues that are utilized in formal speeches that shows the end of one set of thoughts and the start of another. These words lead the reader from one body paragraph to another.

The body paragraphs should contain the support, main points, and transitions. The main point is given by the topic sentence that describes the paragraph focus. The support offer evidence, explanations, and examples that reinforce the main points of the essay. The transitions offer connections between the paragraph, thesis statement, and nearby paragraphs. All paragraphs should be focused and should only discuss one point at a time. The point needs to be connected using the overall essay focus. The primary points of the essay are known as the controlling thoughts. Each paragraph should have a different idea that control each discussion point and play an important role in overall focus on the essay. Body paragraphs starts with a summary and a controlling idea. The topic sentence summarizes the paragraphs in a similar manner as the thesis statement that summarizes the entire essay.

The essay paragraphs

The essay paragraphs refer to a group of related statements about a specific idea or topic that directly relate to the thesis. They are crucial steps to writing a college essay. Since the essay is composed of multiple paragraphs, organizing and writing good paragraphs is one of the most essential aspects of developing a well-developed and organized essay. Essay paragraphs refer to all paragraphs in the essay except the conclusion and the introduction. The majority of the essay consists of several body paragraphs. These paragraphs present the main points of the essay. For longer essays, the number of body paragraphs depends on the number of independent thoughts or ideas that you will have.

Since the essay paragraphs present important information and facts from the essay, having well written body paragraphs is among crucial steps to writing a college essay. The essay paragraphs start with a clear topic sentence. The main idea is then supported using specific evidence from scholarly sources. The sources provide supporting details using examples and facts. The essay paragraphs must have cohesion and unity. The transitions between paragraphs and sentences are also important. The concluding sentence is also important as it provide details back in the main points and creates paragraphs that are close.

Each essay paragraph must have several sentences. A paragraph should contain five to seven sentences that support the thesis statement. Since these paragraphs depend on the length of the essay, it is important to have evidence and explanations that are crucial to the topic. The essay paragraphs must present unique ideas. No two conflicting ideas should appear in the essay. You also need to consider that each essay paragraph should have a specific length.

The introduction paragraph should have a hook, background information, and thesis statement. The body paragraphs should contain a topic sentence, supporting examples or ideas, and explanation of the way these examples support the thesis. The concluding paragraph should have a concluding transition with a restatement of the thesis, reverse hook, and concluding transition.

The conclusion of an essay   Conclusions are the most difficult section of an essay. Most writers feel that they have nothing left to say after the exhaust the points they need to write in the essay. A writer has to keep in mind that the conclusion is what the reader recalls best. The conclusion is the best part of the essay and should stress the significance of the thesis statement, provide the essay with a sense of completeness, and offer a final impression to the audience.     The conclusion should tell the reader why the paper is crucial. This shows the usefulness and meaningfulness of the paper. Do not repeat the thesis statement and main point. You should not repeat things but synthesize what you have read. You should show how the main points support and relate to the examples in the paper. You should offer the reader something to think about. If the introduction was general and you made it specific, make the conclusion move from general to specific. You should also create a new meaning. You should offer new information that has new meanings. You should demonstrate your ideas and the way they work together to make a new picture. You should summarize the paper in parts. In the conclusion, you can echo the introduction by restating the thesis statement. You can also challenge the reader that helps them redirect the information of the essay and apply main points in their lives. You should also look into the future. Looking into the future is important in emphasizing the significance of the paper of the reader or redirecting the thought process of the reader. You can also pose questions to the reader to gain a new perspective of the topic. This brings the main ideas together, creating a new meaning. As you write the steps to writing a college essay that is the conclusion, do not fail to be concise. You should reveal negative outcomes and issues.

Sample of a complete essay: APA sample essay

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