How to write an essay

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Wait! Don’t rush to say you know how to write an essay. Writing an essay for international English exams is not just a easy nut to crack. There is many a thing one needs to set right before being confident about writing an essay. This article will discuss such points.

female student writing concentrated

Step 1: Plan the conclusion first.

Haven’t you noticed the civil engineers working on the plan first before even deciding on the budget or starting the construction work. Have you ever decided your travel plan after travelling half the way from home? Don’t you plan the destination even before you lodge a train or a bus. This is the same mannerism you will have while writing an essay. You are supposed to plan the conclusion first. Planning your conclusion ahead of writing will help you decide on what to write and what to avoid in the body paragraphs and introduction paragraph. A good conclusion should be well balanced with all the task (usually the second part of the main question) the candidate is asked to address. Failure to address some parts of the task in the conclusion can fetch you less marks. Keep the conclusion short and sweet in just 2 to 3 sentences not exceeding 30 words.

You may have to read and comprehend all sections of the question thoroughly to understand what is expected in your response to the question. Test takers from non-English speaking countries should cut the question into chunks to understand it better.

Read, Read and Re-read all the sections of the question to understand and confirm that you have not left out anything important, even if you think you understood the question in the first reading itself. International English Test’s questions are tricky and there are elements you may miss out.

Step 2: Plan your body paragraph in accordance with the conclusion.

If you have a definite conclusion, that you have already planned, now you know what to write and how much to write. But, usually reading the question at this stage is worth it. Even if you have decided on the conclusion, it is good to read the question again to understand all areas that demand your attention. An expert trainer can teach you how many paragraphs you should write for each specific type of task. For example, If your essay task is like ‘discuss both these views and give your opinion’ you should write not more than 5 paragraphs and not less than 5 paragraphs. For questions that ask you to write only the advantages and disadvantages, you should not write a conclusion paragraph. I think you understood why. If not read this paragraph again.

Step 3: Plan your introduction now.

Make sure you have all the three components in your introduction. ‘Definition of the keyword, only if the keyword is less commonly used in your country’, ‘Today’s trend in the area of discussion.’, ‘Thesis (the purposes of all body paragraphs put in one sentence) for the topic.’ You can skip writing a definition for very common topics but, you cannot avoid the other two elements in the introduction for any reason.

Step 4: Write your essay.

Keep you plan near your table. Ensure you write only what you have planned and decided to write. don’t include new and interrupting ideas, as they may not fit the overall plan. Stick to the plan. Check the plan before writing every paragraph. Take the reader for a smooth ride throughout your essay.

Step 5: Proof read your essay.

Read it several times. Check if you have written according to your plan. The first time you read it, check all the punctuations. The next time you read it, check for spelling errors. The next time you read it, find syntax errors in grammar. The next time you read it, check uncommon or inappropriate words or phrases. The next time you read it, check the ideas and examples. The next time you read it, ensure that each line conveys the appropriate meaning even in the first reading attempt itself. The next time you read it, check the purpose of each paragraph. Initially you may have to read it several times. As days go by, you become expert and you can check all these areas in the first attempt itself.

Step 6: Get it corrected from an expert. 

Now you can submit it for correction. Usually a trainer with more than 5 years of experience in handling IELTS or any International English exams will be able to guide you with the right methods. Be careful in choosing your trainer.


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