How to write an essay: 10 steps for a Nigerian writer

You do not have to be a genius to write a good essay. Just follow the steps below and get the job done.

What is essay?

Writing a paper is an occasion to speak out your mind. An essay is a short piece of text, which states your opinion and provides valid arguments to support it. It is significant to know how to write an essay. Fitting style and structure would allow you to reach your goal: get your idea across and prove your point of view.

how to write essay

So, basically an essay is a short write up that covers the subject and other opinions on it, but it focuses and highlights YOUR idea and point of view. A good and brief essay may consist of 5 major parts. You can further break them down in smaller sections. The big 5 are:

  • Intro
    State the problem or idea you are going to cover and explain why it is so vital.How to write an essay
  • Arguments for the idea
    State the arguments of other people, who upkeep this idea.
  • Arguments against the idea
    State the arguments of rivals.
  • Your point of view
    It’s the crunch, where you lay out your belief and back it up with the prove.
  • Conclusion

Write a quick summary of the crunch.

Types of essays

There are several potential approaches to creating a paper and structuring it out. If you want to know how to write essay, pick your style first:

  • Narrative;How to write
  • Argumentative;
  • Comparison;
  • Process;
  • Causes and Effects;
  • Definition.

10 steps on how to write a good essay

  1. Pick the topic
    Idea and motive: An essay has to be focused on some idea or problem. You clearly state this idea in the first section – in the into part of the essay. Explain why this idea is vital and why it should be discussed. You can also briefly state how you stumbled on it or where you got this idea from.

    How do you pick an essay topic? It can originate from your interests or passions. Or  you may get it from your school tutor. Just remember that essay has to be short. Do not even try to cover a huge topic in one small essay. Get to the core; single out just one key aspect and cover it in your essay.

    Write an appealing title for your paper. Titles are important. The title should be appropriate to the contents of essay and it should be interesting and appealing. It should make your readers want to go on reading. It’s like an appetizer. Use your topic keywords in the tittle. You can make it quite provocative to evoke interest in people. For instance: do you agree that invention of toilet is the one that changed our world the most? See how it works?

    write an essay
  2. Choose the type of essay
    Now, the type of essay determines its flow. For example, you write an essay on a Zoo. Does this form of animal environment has right to exists? You may well choose the comparative style for this essay and match a zoo against natural wild life or against a safari park. If you do not believe that zoos are such a good idea, this type of essay would help you to highlight its shortcomings by comparing them with other alternatives.

    Now, how to write a narrative essay? You pick a topic. Let’s say you wish to explain why zoos are good. You sort of roll out a story through your essay. You start with a quick flash of background. You go back to those times, when first zoos were established.

    Then you may lead a distant dialogue with those, who hate zoos and think them unacceptable. You produce your arguments, such as zoos allow preserving rare animals, etc. And you apex the essay leading people up to a certain conclusion.
  3. Get your facts in place
    Now, a good essay cannot be written out of the blue. You need to carry out a study. You should put together a record of books or other sources of evidence. Study them, get your facts in place. Analyze the information. Try to stay as unbiased as you can. Sometimes the studies can lead you in an unexpected direction.

    You see, facts are tricky. You can easily manipulate them, if you get too consumed with your theory. This has happened many a time even with the greatest scientists. Here is a good example to clarify the idea: for many centuries scientists actively opposed the idea of diseases being caused by bacteria.

    They believed all sickness was cause by some mysterious miasma (evaporation). And only in the 17th century after the microscope invention they could see their mistake. So, when you do the study, keep your mind open to new ideas even if they challenge the old ones.
  4. Write down your sources
    Keep track of all your information sources. How to write a good essay? By supporting your conclusions and arguments with similar ideas of other credible people. Ecclesiast says there is nothing new under the sun. Even a novice idea could be grounded on and supported by someone else’s discoveries or books.

    Present your references properly in the essay and pay credit people, who inspired you or who opposed your opinion. As it was mentioned above, these first four steps pertain to the first 3 units of the essay.
  5. Lay out your argumentsessay for Nigerian writer
    This is the 4th essay section. It’s your crunch. Here is where you lay out your opinion and point of view. A good idea is to do the research first, then write the crunch and only then go backwards and write objections, contradicting opinions and facts.

    All in all this section, which includes (arguments, exploring, challenges and evidence) should be the longest one in the essay. Certainly, if you wish to know how to write an argumentative essay, you need to find lots of arguments to support your idea and lay them out.
  6. Explore
    Now, once you get all the facts, you need to sort them out. First, get rid of those you are NOT going to use in the essay. In learning how to write an essay this could be of great use to you. You narrow down your scope of information and focus on the key facts.

    While exploring the topic, you may find some key personalities or events connected to it. You may use them in your essay in the place of a quotation. The rule here is to keep it short. Do not go into too much detail.
  7. Challenge
    There are many contradictory topics, where large groups of people disagree about things. These represent the challenges. State some of them (the ones most tightly related to your essay subject). Describe them not going onto much detail and move on to the…

    essay 10 steps for writer
  8. Evidence
    You need valid evidence to prove your judgment on the subject. It could be a historical one or a scientific one. You could also use philosophical or Biblical evidence to back you up. Make sure to provide all the references and sources to make it more credible.
  9. Explain
    Use a quotation. Pick just one and the best one you have. Do not fall into a temptation to use all the good quotes you know on the subject. Use the quotation properly. Here is what it means: first set up the scene for a quotation. Tell people why this quote is the most fitting for your essay and your point of view.
    Then write down the quotation and make sure to credit it to the right source (sometimes people make mistakes and put wrong names with quotes). Finally, explain the quotation. Some quotes can be multi-faceted. They are so rich in meaning. Focus. Do not get distracted. You need only the meaning that supports your idea. So, uncover and highlight it.
  10. Make implementations and summaries
    This could be the shortest section of your essay. Highlight the main thoughts of the crunch. Briefly summarize your 4th section of the essay. Do not attempt to go over the entire essay in your summaries section. Keep it short and to the point.

    READ ALSO: How to write an application letter in Nigeria - 5 easy steps.

General essay recommendations
essay steps for a Nigerian writer

The best advice on how to write an essay is to keep it short. You can bring it all down to 1-2 pages of text. Try to structure your text well and avoid using long-long and thick paragraphs of text. It would make your essay more comprehensible. These steps would help you to use your time efficiently and produce a great essay. 


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Answered 2 years ago.
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