Category: Essay writing tips

Essay Writing Package Overview


Step 1: Brainstorm
Students are provided with the task and asked to create a web or list to start the essay writing process.

Step 2: Compose a Thesis Statement
Students are provided instruction on how to complete a three-pronged thesis statement for their essay topic.

Step 3: Outline Your Essay
Students are provided with a graphic organizer to help them organize their thoughts for their essay.


Step 4: Write Body Paragraphs
Workspace and detailed instructions are provided in this step.

Step 5: Write Introduction
Workspace and detailed instructions are provided in this step.

Step 6: Write Conclusion
Workspace and detailed instructions are provided in this step.


Step 7: Revising
Detailed instructions and checklists with guiding questions are provided to help students revise
their essays.


Step 8: Editing
Detailed instructions and checklists with guiding questions are provided to help students revise
their essays.

Peer Review

Step 9: Peer Review
Detailed instructions, checklists, and a comment/feedback form are provided to help students
work together to revise and edit each others’ essays.


Step 10: Evaluate
Instructions are provided to get students to reflect on their work.


Step 11: Publish
Instructions are provided to get students to make a final copy of their work.


A detailed rubric is provided to help teachers assess their students’ work.

Categories: Essay writing tips

A Step-By-Step Guide that Outlines the Essay Writing Process for Students and Teachers

Essay Topic:

Write an essay that proves what kind of character traits the protagonist in your book possesses. Use the characterization notes you went through. Follow the writing process.

Web Instructions:

1. Begin your diagram with a circle in the middle of the page.
2. Inside the circle, write your topic. What type of character is the protagonist of your story?
3. From your circle, draw four or five lines out into the page. Be sure to spread them out.
4. Draw a circle at the end of each line. In the circle, put different adjectives or character traits your character could possess.
5. At the end of each of these lines, draw 5 more circles.
6. In each circle, write examples that prove the character possesses that trait.
o If you are trying to persuade, you want to write your best arguments.
o If you are trying to explain a process, you want to write the steps that should be followed.
o If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided.

Additional Concepts to Consider Teaching in Greater Depth:

   Thesis Statements
Information is provided in the booklet but you may choose to provide more information on thesis statements, provide more practice, or go over them in more detail.
   Transition Words and Phrases
You may choose to go into greater depth with transition words and phrases to give students a greater understanding of this piece of writing.
   MLA Format
Basic information is provided in the booklet but you may choose to provide more detailed information like how to cite properly or how to format your paper correctly.

You may choose to use the OWL Purdue Online Learning Lab for help. You can find the MLA
Formatting and Style Guide at

Categories: Essay writing tips

How to write an analytical essay

Begin with an introduction in which you present the text that you are going to analyze and its overall theme. A simple way is to name its author and title and then add a thematic statement such as this, “Miguel Syjuco’s short story ’Be Here Now’ from 2010 is about a photo journalist who is trying to find his feet in a relationship after having been abroad”.

And why not pose an interesting question that relates to the text? Then you may give a more focused thesis statement, which is a couple of sentences that describe your particular take on the text, explaining in what direction your will essay go. End your introduction by presenting your essay further, i.e. by naming the specific focal points that you are going to investigate.

The Three-Part Essay

A standard essay consists of three constituent parts—the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The Introductory Paragraph

Our thesis sentence—the essay’s primary claim—should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Since we already have our thesis sentence—it was created when we created our outline—we can simply place it at the end of the introductory paragraph.

While constructing our introductory paragraph, we might want to use one of the following approaches: background knowledge; a rhetorical question; a quotation; a topic of current interest; a contradictory, shocking, controversial, or minority opinion.

Categories: Essay writing tips

How to Write an Essay

Your first step: Your first step is to create your thesis sentence. Choosing first the topic, then the stance to take on that topic might be the most important step in the essay. Turning a poor thesis into a good essay is a difficult task.

Avoid the stale, worn-out topics like gun control and abortion; also avoid vague, wishy-washy topics like “music” or “what a real friend is.”

Once a suitable topic is chosen, avoid taking the obvious stance on that topic. Arguing that the elderly should have access to food is a waste of time and effort. Of course the elderly should have access to food. Everyone already agrees with that proposition.

Instead, choose a minority opinion—go against the grain. We want fresh insights, new angles on old problems. An essay about how we should go to school so we can get a better job is tame and obvious. Think beyond the obvious. Is making money really the only reason to go to school? Is the kind of intelligence valued in school the same as the intelligence valued in work? Why do we want to make money anyway? How did this economic system come about? Is this really the best of all possible worlds? And so on. This is the kind of critical thinking writers should engage in before selecting a topic and creating a thesis sentence. Good thesis sentences cover new ground; bad thesis sentences cover the same ground that thousands of others have already covered.

Prewriting: There are many forms of prewriting; ultimately, an outline serves as the best platform from which to create an essay. As a bare minimum (a “barebones outline”), the writer should have a major point (the thesis) and three sub-points—the support. A barebones outline might look like this:

We should focus on obtaining what is necessary for life. (thesis)

  • food
  • shelter
  • warmth

This minimal structure can serve as the jumping off point for an essay. Or, if further security is desired, the barebones outline can be made fuller:

  • The one-word items can be turned into complete sentences.
    • A third level can be added. If we think of the thesis as level 1 and the three sub-points as level 2, then the next level of the outline would be level 3. Some details about food—examples of food or explanation of why food is so important—would become the third level of the outline. The same is true of details about shelter and warmth.

Once a satisfactory outline has been created, two steps still remain.

The first is to check for overlap. Our three points must be distinct from one another. In fact, our sample above is guilty of overlap. Since the terms “shelter” and “warmth” are not entirely distinct, we would probably want to revise—a better third term would improve our outline.

The second step is to arrange our three points in some logical order. The most common order in which to place our points is weakest to strongest. Such an order takes advantage of the psychology of argument, giving our readers the impression that our essay is gaining in strength as it unfolds. So if we were to arrange our three sub-points, we would probably reverse the current order: warmth (weakest), shelter, and food (strongest). (Due to the fact that we usually think of our strongest points first, it is often the case that we need to discuss our points in the reverse order that we thought of them.)

Not till we’ve take all these steps are we ready to begin writing.

Categories: Essay writing tips