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How to Write Any Essay: The Spartan System

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❶A well-edited paper can often make the difference between a "C" or "B" paper and an "A" paper.

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For example, if your assignment is "Write about something that interests you", you will not want to make the topic of your essay "Sports," especially for a short two-page essay.

Choose a very specific topic, such as "Tailgating in the American South. Make sure that you understand the assigned topic. For example, if you are writing an essay for an English literature class about the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, make sure that you have thoroughly read the book. Think about what you know about the topic.

If you need to do any additional research, this is the time. It's unlikely that you will need further research for a two-page paper, but if you aren't sure about the requirements, ask your teacher.

If you have notes that you have made while researching the topic, make sure they are organized. Put them in an order that makes sense to you so that you can easily find information. If you are planning to use some online resources, try to have the webpages already pulled up, so that you don't have to break your concentration by searching for the information you need.

This is a great time to make sure that you also have the instructions for your essay. Did your teacher or professor or boss give you instructions? They did that for a reason. Make sure to follow them. Are you thinking that maybe you need to take your dog for a quick walk? Go ahead and do that. If something is on your mind other than your paper, try to take care of it quickly if you can. Otherwise, concentrate and focus on your paper. The rest of your life will still be there when you get done.

And that time will come much more quickly if you are organized and focused. Brainstorm your thesis statement. There are several methods to help you formulate your thesis. One of these techniques is called questioning. To use this approach, think about what your or your reader might like to know about your topic.

This can be as simple as starting with basic questions such as who, what, why, etc. For example, if you're supposed to write a two-page essay about something that interests you, think about who your audience is and how much explaining you'll have to do , what is the most relevant information, and why your topic is interesting to you. Branching is another technique you can use while creating your thesis. Try to imagine your topic as a tree.

Write your basic idea in the middle of your paper, and then "branch" out from there, adding ideas and thoughts to your central topic. Another approach to try is brainstorming. To do this, write down anything and everything you know or need to know about your topic. Don't edit yourself, just get some thoughts down on paper. Once you can see your ideas, they will start to take shape. It's often helpful to do this before you try to write a formal outline, as you'll have a better idea of what you want to cover.

Write your thesis statement. The thesis is the most important part of your essay because it tells your reader exactly what you are arguing. In other words, it clearly and concisely explains the points that you are making in your essay. If you do not have a strong thesis, your essay will be vague and overly general.

A strong thesis illustrates that you are going to use specific examples to help illustrate your points. For a two-page essay, keep your thesis specific and narrow. It will leave your reader wondering what argument you are making in your essay.

An example of a strong thesis for the same topic might be, "College athletes should be paid a salary for playing their sport. It's also limited enough that you can adequately discuss it in a two-page paper. Put your thoughts on paper. Once you have the thesis, which will be the "center of gravity" that guides the rest of your paper, you can put the rest of your ideas down.

Creating a detailed and thorough outline can make the rest of the writing process much faster and easier. An outline is a great way to get your ideas down on paper without having to worry that your writing is perfect. Just make sure that you don't get too hung up on this stage -- your essay will develop and evolve as you write it, and that's okay. You don't necessarily need to do a formal outline to start with. Brainstorming or making a list-type outline, where you list out ideas that are related to your topic without putting them in a specific order, can help you know what you want to write about.

Once you have listed the ideas that support your thesis, you'll have a better sense of how to organize them. Thesis statements will often signal the specific examples you will use in your essay, such as this thesis: However, this type of thesis is often appropriate for very short writing assignments such as a two-page essay.

If you're not sure what your teacher's preferences are, ask before you begin writing. It's helpful to list specific examples in your outline, so that you know what evidence you have for each point. This can also be helpful to show you whether you have gaps or imbalances in your approach. For example, do you have just one example for one point, but three for another point? It would be better to use roughly the same number of examples per point, or even see if the less-supported point could be incorporated elsewhere.

Cite your sources in your outline. This will save you time during the writing process. Make sure you know which style of citations is required. One type of citation is known as parenthetical documentation. For this method, you provide information about the source within the text of your essay. An example of this would be, "Brown argues that Einstein's theory of relativity is the most important scholarly achievement of the twentieth century There are different ways to cite various sources, so make sure you know how to properly credit all of the sources you plan to use.

While less common in brief essays, some teachers and bosses prefer them. Footnotes and endnotes include more thorough information about the source used. Often, when they replace parenthetical documentation, a Works Cited page is not required.

Write your body paragraphs. Now that you are extremely well organized, you're ready to write! This part should go quite quickly if you've made a thorough outline. An essay typically has at least 3 body paragraphs. These should each relate directly to your thesis. Their purpose is to support your argument.

This sentence makes it clear to your reader what each paragraph is about. For example, if you were writing an essay about the labor force during World War II, you might say, "Women were an important part of the workforce in World War II because they learned new jobs that were previously reserved only for men. For instance, if you were writing an essay about the labor force during World War II, you might say, "Many women became welders during World War II, which illustrates that gender roles in the workplace were changing.

Write your introduction and conclusion last. These are often the most difficult and time consuming parts of writing an essay.

An introduction should be a road map for the rest of your paper, and it should also make your reader want to continue reading your paper. Your conclusion "wraps up" the essay, reminding your readers of your argument and its importance. It's often helpful to wait until you've drafted the body of your essay to write the introduction and conclusion, because you'll have a much clearer sense of your full argument and its significance. Statements that begin like "Throughout history" or "In modern society" are "fluff" statements and don't provide any real context for your argument.

A good way to think of your introduction is as an inverted pyramid. Start with the broad statement that sets the scene, and then narrow down until you reach your thesis. Include your thesis statement at the end of the conclusion. Spend some time on your first sentence.

It should be interesting and grab the attention of your reader. Try starting with a fascinating example or an exciting quotation. Use your conclusion to tie together the strands of your argument. In some cases, such as persuasive essays , it's appropriate to include a call to action.

You can also return to an anecdote or theme you brought up in the introduction to give your paper great symmetry. Use clear and concise language. Don't try to sound "fancy". A thesis is an argument about the topic backed up by three arguments. Usually, teachers want you to put the arguments in the actual thesis.

This makes it easier to organize the paper and for the reader to follow it. Write the body paragraphs. Each paragraph should cover one of the topics from the thesis, along with several pieces of evidence. Evidence can be a quote or piece of information from a book or a personal observation synthesizing several facts. Generally, you should have at least one quote in each body paragraph.

The introduction should lead catch the reader's attention and prepare him or her for the introduction. For example, if your essay is about a particular character in the book, you can begin by discussing something unique or unusual about him or her that ties into your thesis. The conclusion should briefly restate the main points of the essay in a different way than did the thesis.

It should then do something to leave an impression on your readers. If this is a book report, you could end with a powerful quotation relating to your thesis, or an observation about the book as a whole. Generally, a five-paragraph essay should be about three pages, but it might be a bit more or less. If your teacher is a stickler for length requirements, you may have to extend your paper slightly or cut it down a bit.

One way to do this is by lengthening or shortening your quotes. You may also be able to change the length of your introduction or conclusion. Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets.

He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan. How to Write a Defense Paper.


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While short in length, a one-page essay can be challenging. The tricky thing about writing it is that the essay must have all the major structural components such as the introduction and conclusion.

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Three pages is about the standard length for middle school essays and shorter high school reports. Three pages provides authors enough space to construct and develop their arguments and write a short introduction and conclusion. Don't worry too much about the length while you are writing it. Follow the assignment and. Jun 26,  · How to Write a Two Page Essay Quickly. Writing a two page essay can be a daunting task. After all, writing takes specific skills and a lot of practice. If you are well-organized and have a specific plan, it can be done both successfully 68%(50).