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6 Step Process for Essay Writing

You can love or strongly dislike writing essays, but one thing is for sure – you can’t avoid them. For instance, writing essays is a constant aspect of every student’s life.

Plus, if you decide to work as a writer chances are high that you will still have to compose custom essays. Some people write essays and publish them on their websites or blogs to showcase their vast talent and expertise to potential clients. Therefore, essays are highly important. I know how difficult it is to start composing essays mostly because you are afraid of missing the point. To write high-quality essays, you have to understand the overall writing process. For that purpose, I’m going to show you how to write your essay in six easy steps.

Step 1: Determine the genre

The first and the most important aspect of essay writing process is determining the genre. This will help you set the tone and stay on the right track. Inability to determine the genre would jeopardize your entire work before you even start writing it. In most cases, professor or client provides genre of the essay i.e. they tell you what they want to see in your work. But, in cases when you don’t get more info, you have to determine the genre based on title you read. There are four main types of essay such as: expository, persuasive, analytical, and argumentative essay.

After you successfully determine the genre, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Analyze the topic

Now that you know the essay genre, it’s time to analyze the specific topic you have to write about. You have to spend some extra time on this step. Why? It’s because analyzing the topic is essential for the rest of your essay. Spending more time on this step will, actually, help you finish faster. This step helps you avoid those awkward “what to write now” moments that usually happen.

Look carefully at title of the essay and try to understand what it “speaks to you”. Essay titles are usually in form of questions that you have to answer throughout your work. Regardless of the form of the title, it always contains the following aspects:

  • Topic words or what the essay is about

  • Direction words or what to do with the topic

  • Focus words or limiting your topic to specific area.

Example: Elaborate two main political causes that contribute to world food crisis which is most prevalent in Africa? Illustrate how the crisis could affect future relations between different countries.

In this case topic is world food crisis, direction words are elaborate and illustrate, while focus words are Africa and future relations between countries.


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Step 3: Create a plan

At this point, you know the genre and topic of your essay and now it’s time to create a plan. This step is important because it automatically navigates your work and makes the following step easier. Having a plan lets you know what exactly you need to research. Let’s take the title written above as the example. It’s not enough to research world food crisis, but data about Africa and political relations too.

Essay plan should be based on the title i.e. question from the title. You can write your plan in MS Word or you can do it on a blank piece of paper. Ideally, you should divide the paper into different sections, for example:

  • Explore first political cause of world food crisis

  • Explore second political cause of world food crisis

  • Explore how and why Africa is most affected by the two causes

  • Discuss future relations between different countries regarding world food crisis.

As you can see, based on the title of the essay, I have created a plan that will help me research and write my paper. You can easily compare plan to the navigation system in your car; it makes sure you’re going in the right direction.

Step 4: Research

Now that you created a plan, you have to research. Use your plan to find specific information in search engine. Instead of Wikipedia or personal blogs, you should opt for books, journals, or other reliable sources of information. Save or bookmark everything you find (and don’t forget to include references when you’re done with essay).

When you find everything you have listed into your plan, you should look for quotes of famous historical figures to use them as support to the argument you’ll develop in your essay. Naturally, these quotes don’t have to be about world food crisis per se as long as they prove your point e.g. something about the way politics affects different aspects of life.

Step 5: Start Writing

You have already noticed that the writing step is at the bottom of the process. Although it might seem a bit weird to you, trust me, this is going to make your life easier. By the time you reach this step, you will already have absolutely everything you need for your essay. And now, the only thing that is left to do is to start writing.

There are many different ways to write a high-quality essay, but below you can see a few steps you should take during writing process:

  • Start writing without worrying about the word count, grammar, spelling, or anything else. Just write down all ideas and thoughts you have using research results, quotes or even statistics (depending on the subject) as your tools.

  • Read what you wrote

  • Divide sections (introduction, the body, conclusion)

  • Delete words, phrases or sentences that seem irrelevant or repetitive

  • Change the sentence structure to make sure your ideas are clear and easy to understand

  • Work on expression and clarity

  • Check grammar, spelling

  • Add references

  • Check word count, if you didn’t reach word count, then read again and see what aspect of your essay requires more work to be done.


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Step 6: Edit and submit

At this point, your essay is done. However, before you compose that email and attach essay, you should reread it to make sure there are no typos or other errors that could jeopardize the quality of your work.

Don’t edit your work immediately after you write it because during this stage, you see your work as it should be, not as it is. If you finish your essay in morning or at noon, you can start editing it before bedtime or you can just wait for the next day.

When editing, you should look for:

  • Typos, grammar and spelling mistakes

  • Formatting; line spacing, page breaks, font consistency, headings and footers, footnotes

  • References.

When you are 100% sure your work is error-free you can send it to your client or professor.


Writing essays isn’t as difficult as it seems when you follow the simple steps I included into this article. To make sure you develop discussion and argument or point out the certain problem that topic requires, it’s necessary to successfully determine the genre, analyze the given topic, create a plan and research. Then, you just have to combine everything you have found into an essay that represents your understanding of the subject and showcases your talent for writing as well as enviable vocabulary skills. Good luck and always remember to edit your essay!

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