For the first time you face the problem of writing an essay at school. Since that moment you have probably read a dozen guidelines titled something like “How do you write an essay.” We promise that our article has some aces up its sleeve. We’ve decided to make reading of these instructions more exciting and pleasant. The text represents an extended metaphor. The main point is to compare the process of writing an essay with building a fortress. We hope this method will be as educational as entertaining.
The First Steps
Originally, every building is just an idea in someone’s brain. An architect is in no hurry to lay the corner stone. The first step is a drawing or a model. There is no difference if we talk about an essay. Structure your thoughts and transform them into a visual form. You may draw a diagram, a table, or sketch a plan.
Dig deep: you have to free some space for your foundation. Explanation: think over your essay properly; try to take into account all possible viewpoints and factors; don’t leave even an inch of your field of study unknown.
If you want your fortress to withstand the wars and the natural disasters, it should be built of the best materials. The pharaohs of Egypt sent their ships over the sea to get cedar of Lebanon for their palaces. You don’t have to cross the sea to find some reliable materials for your essay. Even going to the library is not necessary anymore: everything is online nowadays.
Introduction, Arguments, & Conclusion
What should a knight errant or a foreign merchant see first when they approach your castle? Sure, there will be beautiful and majestic gates. No images of skull and crossbones! You have to decorate them with:
- bright standards (interesting facts)
- shiny shields (rhetorical questions)
- carving (unusual speech pattern)
An introduction is the gate of your letter fortress. You should make it as catchy as possible, because a reader won’t waste his or her time on some boring material.
If your walls are not strong enough they won’t stand an attack of giants or a gazillion of orcs. The same applies to your essay. When your arguments are poor, they fall under the first stroke of critical reasoning. Please, don’t pick your statements out of your nose. We believe that you are clever enough to provide your fortress with strong walls of argumentation without cheating.
You want your castle to look graceful and fancy. You add towers, arcs, and columns into your architectural ensemble. In the context of writing you use subpoints. They make your essay more complex and solid, and explain and specify the general points.
First, you’ve imagined that you have built a castle. Now, please, forget for an instant about the Middle Ages and think about cake. Rather quick turn, huh? It is just for a couple of minutes, because we have to talk about the conclusion. The conclusion is a cherry on top of your cake! That’s all. You may turn back to your building process. Just kidding. Of course, you should read about some strategies of writing a good conclusion first:
- Return to your theme
Create a clear connection between conclusion and introduction. The reader should feel the completeness and wholeness of your masterpiece.
- Old wine is the best
Don’t mention a new idea or opinion in your conclusion: it’s too late. If you think you’ll surprise the reader by this unpredictable move, you are wrong. Maybe, it will irritate him or her a bit and nothing more.
- Further development
Drop a delicate hint about the future of the idea or problem that you’ve written about. Maybe, the reader will be able to use your essay as a starting point for his or her own work or as a source of information.
- The last chance
If you didn’t manage to integrate all data you’d found on your topic, don’t do that at the last minute. The reader doesn’t want to discover something new, just give him or her a good ending.
- Don’t expatiate!
Your conclusion has to be short and clear. It is not another paragraph of the main body.
- Use the “So What?” move
Remind the reader why it was so important to read your essay. He or she shouldn’t have the feeling that they’ve just wasted their precious time on pulp fiction.
We have talked about all components of an essay. However, we haven’t mentioned yet an invisible power which combines them into a single whole. Imagine a castle without stairs and corridors: it looks ridiculous. Connection is crucial for the narrative logic. Don’t switch from one to other without reason and smooth transition.
Like any other architect, you want your castle to look nice. It is not a top priority but who wants to live in a gloomy, depressing atmosphere (let’s forget about dragons and serial killers). Add a splash of color! You need ornaments, paintings, multicolored carpets, and so on. We mean that your essay should be daintily decorated with figures of speech, smart quotations, and appropriate vocabulary. You don’t want to sound like an amateur, right?
One more really important thing for a comfortable castle is a reasonable disposition of rooms. The bedroom should be near the bathroom, the kitchen near the dining room, and so on. The paragraphs of your essay also should be placed in the right order. Leave the beginning and the ending of the main body for the most compelling arguments. After changing the order of paragraphs always reread your writing to see whether it still makes sense.
Avoid plagiarism. Here we don’t have any metaphors because it is too serious. And it’s too difficult to draw a parallel between a medieval castle and plagiarism. Copying or borrowing someone else’s ideas without proper citation threatens dire consequences for a writer. You can get an “F” for your work or be expelled from your university depending on circumstances.
Have a rest. Seriously, you’ve worked so hard to produce this outstanding writing. Drink a cup of hot chocolate, listen to classical music, or take a nap. You need a clear mind to work a bit more.
Reread your essay. And again. And the next day. It is so unfair when you chose an awesome topic, produce a high-quality text, and then fail to notice some grammar mistakes. They may negatively affect your mark and put you out of humor. Moreover, you have to understand what aftertaste your essay leaves. If something is wrong, you still have a chance to make things right.
They say two heads are better than one. Don’t neglect an opportunity to get feedback: show your essay to your colleagues, mates, and friends. A fresh eye won’t hurt anyway.
After breaking through such laborious work you may just sit on your golden throne and proudly look on your court. And wait for an excellent mark.
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