Steps to Writing an Essay: A Guide to Writing Outstanding Essays

Steps to Writing an Essay: A Guide to Writing Outstanding Essays

When it comes to essay-writing, many students may feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to start. However, with the right steps and guidance, writing an outstanding essay can be a manageable and even enjoyable task. In this guide, we will walk you through the process from pre-writing to proofreading, giving you the tools and confidence you need to succeed.

The first step in writing any essay is understanding the theme or topic you are writing about. This will help you determine what keywords and ideas to include in your essay. Once you have a clear understanding of the theme, you can move on to pre-writing, which involves brainstorming and organizing your thoughts. Make sure to take note of any examples or arguments that come to mind, as they will be valuable when drafting your essay.

The next step is to write a strong and clear thesis statement. Your thesis statement should summarize the main point or argument of your essay in one or two sentences. This statement will serve as the foundation for your essay and will help you stay focused throughout the writing process. Once you have a solid thesis statement, you can start drafting the body paragraphs of your essay.

In the body paragraphs, you will present your arguments or points and provide evidence or examples to support them. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph and transitional words that help connect and move the reader from one idea to the next. Remember to use credible and appropriate sources to back up your claims.

Once you have a complete draft of your essay, it’s time to move on to the revising and editing stage. During this stage, you should read through your essay carefully, looking for any grammatical errors, inconsistencies, or areas that need improvement. You should also check that your essay flows smoothly and that your arguments are clear and well-supported.

Proofreading is another important step in the essay-writing process. Even if your essay is well-written and well-argued, any typos or errors can take away from its overall impact. Take the time to carefully proofread your essay, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes. It is also helpful to have someone else read your essay, as they may catch mistakes that you have missed.

The Importance of Writing an Initial Draft

When writing an essay, it is crucial to choose a topic that interests you and that you are knowledgeable about. If you are not passionate or familiar with the topic, it will be difficult to produce a flawless and engaging essay.

Once you have chosen a topic, the next step is to brainstorm and gather all the relevant information and resources you will need. This includes researching credible and reliable sources to support your argumentative points.

During the initial draft, it’s important to make sure that your ideas flow smoothly and are well-organized. You must include transitional statements that guide the reader from one paragraph to the next, making the essay easier to follow.

While writing the initial draft, it is common to leave spelling and grammar mistakes. However, this doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Otherwise, the final essay will appear unprofessional and poorly written. Therefore, proofreading is crucial.

Proofreading is essential for ensuring the clarity, coherence, and readability of your essay. It helps to identify any flaws or inconsistencies in your argument, and gives you the opportunity to make any necessary revisions and improvements.

When proofreading, it is helpful to read your essay aloud to yourself or to have someone else read it. This will make it clearer if there are any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. Reading the essay aloud also allows you to see if your ideas are effectively communicated and if there is any information missing.

In summary, writing an initial draft is a key part of the essay writing process. It allows you to organize your thoughts, summarize your ideas, and create a clear and well-structured essay. By following these steps and utilizing the many tricks and techniques given by professionals, you will be able to write outstanding papers.

Understanding the Purpose of an Initial Draft

The Purpose of an Initial Draft

The initial draft serves as the foundation for your essay. It helps you organize your thoughts, structure your arguments, and brainstorm all the ideas you want to include. It is essentially a rough version of your essay, which allows you to work out the kinks and refine your writing before the final submission.

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When you start drafting, there are a few key points you should keep in mind:

1. Brainstorm your ideas

Write down all the main points and arguments you want to include in your essay. This will help you form a solid thesis statement and ensure that your essay stays on topic.

2. Consider the requirements and topic

3. Create an introductory paragraph

The introductory paragraph is the first thing your reader will see, so it’s essential to make it engaging and flawless. It should introduce the topic and provide some background information while also stating your thesis statement.

4. Structure your paragraphs

Outline the main points you want to cover in each paragraph and ensure that they flow logically. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

5. Leave room for improvement

Your initial draft doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s okay if your sentences are not polished, your grammar and spelling may have errors, or your arguments are not fully developed. The important thing is that you have something written down that you can work on and refine in the next drafts.

Remember: professionals still go through multiple drafts before they produce an outstanding piece of work. So, if your initial draft doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t worry! It’s part of the process.

Benefits of Writing an Initial Draft

1. Helps to Understand the Topic

When you start writing an initial draft, it allows you to delve deeper into the topic and gain a better understanding of its various aspects. This process allows you to identify any gaps in your knowledge and helps you to better formulate your thoughts and arguments.

2. Brainstorming and Shaping the Essay

Writing an initial draft gives you the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and organize your thoughts. By jotting down your ideas in a rough format, you can start shaping your essay and determining the most appropriate structure for your arguments and evidence.

3. Guides Your Research

The initial draft serves as a guide for your research. It helps you identify areas where additional research is required to support your arguments and strengthen your essay. By having a clear idea of what information you need, you can conduct more targeted and efficient research.

4. Summarizes Your Thoughts and Evidence

Writing an initial draft allows you to summarize your main ideas and supporting evidence in one place. This makes it easier for you to see if you have enough evidence to support your arguments and if they are logically and cohesively presented.

5. Opens Up Opportunities for Editing

By writing an initial draft, you create a foundation for the editing process. This is where you can identify and correct any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or awkward sentences. It also allows you to refine your thesis statement and adjust your introductory and concluding paragraphs to make them more compelling.

Although writing an initial draft may seem like an additional step that takes time, it shouldn’t be skipped. It is an essential part of the writing process that helps you to produce outstanding essays that are well-structured, coherent, and supported by strong evidence. It is a helpful guide that can assist both experienced writers and those who are new to essay writing in fulfilling the requirements and achieving the desired outcomes in their papers.

Therefore, if you want to make sure that your essay doesn’t suck and is flawless in both content and presentation, writing an initial draft is a useful technique to employ. Even professional writers often use this approach as it helps them to stay organized and focused while crafting their essays.

Finally, keep in mind that writing an initial draft is only the beginning. There are many resources and guides available that can help you further refine and polish your essay. By using these resources and seeking feedback from others, you can improve your writing skills and produce outstanding essays that get the attention they deserve.

Steps to Writing an Initial Draft

1. Prewriting: Before you start drafting, it’s crucial to engage in prewriting activities. This involves brainstorming ideas, researching the topic, and organizing your thoughts. Prewriting helps you clarify your main argument or thesis statement and provides a foundation for the rest of your essay.

3. Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs make up the main part of your essay and should support your thesis statement with evidence, examples, and analysis. Each paragraph should focus on a particular point or idea, presented in a clear and structured manner. Make sure to use strong topic sentences and provide adequate support for each point.

5. Editing and Proofreading: The final step in drafting your essay is editing and proofreading. This stage ensures that your essay is free of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and typos. It also allows you to improve the clarity and coherence of your writing. Take the time to read your essay carefully, and consider seeking feedback from others to identify any areas that may need improvement.

Remember, the initial draft is just the first iteration of your essay. It is inevitable that there will be flaws and room for improvement. Professionals and seasoned writers understand that writing is a process that involves several stages, from planning and drafting to editing and proofreading. By following these steps and incorporating the tips mentioned above, you can move closer to writing a flawless and outstanding essay.

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Brainstorming and Outlining

1. Brainstorming:

Begin by gathering all your thoughts and ideas about the topic. Jot down any relevant points that come to mind. Remember, during this stage, there are no right or wrong answers. Let your thoughts flow freely.

Example: If your essay topic is about the benefits of exercise, you might brainstorm points like improved physical health, mental well-being, increased longevity, and stress reduction.

2. Outlining:


A. Briefly introduce the topic and grab the reader’s attention.

B. State your thesis statement that outlines your main argument.

II. Body Paragraphs (three or more)

A. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that states the main point.

B. Follow with supporting evidence and examples to bolster your argument.

C. Include transitional phrases to ensure a smooth flow between paragraphs.

A. Summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs.

B. Restate your thesis statement.

C. End with a concluding statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Once you have your outline in place, it’s time to start writing the first draft. But don’t worry about making it flawless just yet. The drafting stage is all about getting your ideas out of your head and onto paper. You can always go back and make edits later.

In the next section, we will discuss the process of drafting and revising your essay and provide some tips and tricks to ensure a polished final product.

Conducting Research and Gathering Information

Before you start gathering information, it is important to clearly understand the topic you will be writing about. Take time to read and comprehend the essay prompt or question. This will help you identify the main focus and purpose of your essay.


Proper preparation is key to effective research. Begin by creating a simple outline or plan to guide your research process. Determine what kind of information you need and where to find it. This will help you save time and effort during your research.

During the research stage, it is essential to find credible and reliable sources that will provide you with accurate and relevant information for your essay. Look for articles, books, academic journals, and reputable websites that are related to your topic.

Finding Ideas and Shaping Your Essay

While conducting research, you will inevitably come across various ideas and arguments related to your topic. Take note of these ideas and summarize them in your own words. This will help you understand the different viewpoints and arguments about your topic.

Use a separate document or note cards to jot down important information, quotes, and examples that you will use in your essay. This will make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and refer back to the information later on.

As you gather information, think about how it relates to your thesis statement or the main argument of your essay. Consider whether the information supports or refutes your thesis. This will help you evaluate the credibility and validity of your sources.

Reading and Sample Papers

Reading sample papers and essays can be helpful in understanding how to structure and write your own essay. Analyze the writing style, organization, and use of evidence in these samples. This can give you ideas and tricks that professionals use to write outstanding essays.

While reading, pay attention to how the paragraphs flow and connect with each other. Notice how the author transitions between ideas and supports their arguments with evidence. This will help you create a well-structured and logical essay.

Remember, it is important to read critically and analyze the samples. Determine what works and what doesn’t work in the papers and apply those lessons to your own writing.

Editing and Finalizing Your Essay

Once you have completed your research, it’s time to move on to the next stages of essay writing: drafting, editing, and finalizing. Start by creating a draft of your essay, using the information you have gathered and the outline you have prepared.

During the editing process, focus on improving the clarity and coherence of your essay. Check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Ensure that the sentences and paragraphs are well-structured and easy to read.

Remember, conducting thorough research and gathering relevant information is essential for writing an outstanding essay. Take the time to find credible sources, shape your ideas, and create a well-structured essay that will fulfill the needs of your assignment.


What is the purpose of an essay?

The purpose of an essay is to present a well-structured argument or analysis on a particular topic. It allows the writer to convey their thoughts, opinions, and ideas in a logical and coherent manner.

How should I choose a topic for my essay?

When choosing a topic for your essay, it’s important to consider your interests, as well as the requirements of the assignment. You should select a topic that you are knowledgeable about and passionate about, as this will make the writing process much easier and more enjoyable.

What are the key steps in writing an essay?

The key steps in writing an essay include: selecting a topic, conducting research, creating an outline, writing a thesis statement, writing the body paragraphs, and concluding the essay. It’s also important to edit and revise your essay for clarity and grammar.

How can I make my essay more interesting?

To make your essay more interesting, you can incorporate storytelling techniques, use descriptive language, include relevant examples and evidence, and present counterarguments. It’s also important to vary your sentence structure and use transitions to create a smooth flow.

What is the recommended essay structure?

The recommended essay structure includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background information and a thesis statement, while the body paragraphs should present the main arguments and supporting evidence. The conclusion should summarize the key points and restate the thesis in a different way.

What is an essay?

An essay is a piece of writing that presents and supports an argument or analysis of a specific topic.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.