Here is some basic stuff about how to write an essay.
If you follow these tips, I promise you, you won’t be staring at an empty computer screen or an empty white paper.
The most important thing that you need before you can write is the subject.
But even more important is to know what you’re going to write about this subject. The more interesting your viewpoint or idea is, the better your essay will be.
So, how many points you get doesn’t only depend on how good your English is.
First of all you need a good idea. Take the time to find a good idea, because after you’ve written your essay, it’s very hard to change your idea. Whereas it’s easy to change your idea before you’ve even put your pen on paper.
This “good idea” or “interesting viewpoint” is also called thesis in academic essays. Every essay has to have one. Without a thesis your essay will talk about all kinds of things and will go from here to there and everywhere. There will be no structure, and it will be awful to read, and you will score few points. Whereas if your essay has a thesis, and it is organized well (which we will learn in other articles), it will be a pleasure to read, and you’ll get a high mark (grade).
Now let’s have a look at examples of subjects (or topics) and possible theses.
i. Let’s say you want to write about space travel.
You can write about what space travel is, and how much it costs, and all the details, but that’s boring. Besides, everybody does that, and it will score you few points.
It’s more interesting when you have a viewpoint. For this we need a thesis.
Here are some examples. In a moment we will talk about how you can choose which thesis is best for you.
Examples of theses with space travel as the subject:
A Sending people into space is expensive and impractical.
B People will never be able to live permanently on another planet.
C The large amounts of money that are required for space travel are better spent on developing agriculture in poor regions in the world.
As I’ve said, the above are just examples. I’m sure you can think of many more.
Which of these theses is better (for you)?
You can judge whether a thesis is good for you when:
1 You will be able to find enough arguments that prove your thesis.
2 You will find enough material to be able to write about your arguments in an entertaining and convincing way.
Writing about something you don’t know much about is never a good idea. If you do have to write about a subject that you’re weak in, for instance for your academic work, make sure you learn about your subject by doing sufficient research.
We’ll talk about proving your thesis some other time.
ii. Another example of a topic and some possible theses:
A If you start saving money when you leave school, you can retire as a millionaire.
B Saving money will make your life boring.
C The best way to save money is to make money.
To practice, try to find theses for one or some of the following topics. You’re welcome to send them to me by email, and I’ll give you feedback.
Finding new friends
I hope these subjects give you some great ideas.
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