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How to Write the Perfect Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students

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  • June 2, 2022

step by step on how to make an essay

  • What is an essay? 

What makes a good essay?

Typical essay structure, 7 steps to writing a good essay, a step-by-step guide to writing a good essay.

Whether you are gearing up for your GCSE coursework submissions or looking to brush up on your A-level writing skills, we have the perfect essay-writing guide for you. 💯

Staring at a blank page before writing an essay can feel a little daunting . Where do you start? What should your introduction say? And how should you structure your arguments? They are all fair questions and we have the answers! Take the stress out of essay writing with this step-by-step guide – you’ll be typing away in no time. 👩‍💻

student-writing

What is an essay?

Generally speaking, an essay designates a literary work in which the author defends a point of view or a personal conviction, using logical arguments and literary devices in order to inform and convince the reader.

So – although essays can be broadly split into four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive – an essay can simply be described as a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. 🤔

The purpose of an essay is to present a coherent argument in response to a stimulus or question and to persuade the reader that your position is credible, believable and reasonable. 👌

So, a ‘good’ essay relies on a confident writing style – it’s clear, well-substantiated, focussed, explanatory and descriptive . The structure follows a logical progression and above all, the body of the essay clearly correlates to the tile – answering the question where one has been posed. 

But, how do you go about making sure that you tick all these boxes and keep within a specified word count? Read on for the answer as well as an example essay structure to follow and a handy step-by-step guide to writing the perfect essay – hooray. 🙌

Sometimes, it is helpful to think about your essay like it is a well-balanced argument or a speech – it needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question in a coherent manner. ⚖️

Of course, essays can vary significantly in length but besides that, they all follow a fairly strict pattern or structure made up of three sections. Lean into this predictability because it will keep you on track and help you make your point clearly. Let’s take a look at the typical essay structure:  

#1 Introduction

Start your introduction with the central claim of your essay. Let the reader know exactly what you intend to say with this essay. Communicate what you’re going to argue, and in what order. The final part of your introduction should also say what conclusions you’re going to draw – it sounds counter-intuitive but it’s not – more on that below. 1️⃣

Make your point, evidence it and explain it. This part of the essay – generally made up of three or more paragraphs depending on the length of your essay – is where you present your argument. The first sentence of each paragraph – much like an introduction to an essay – should summarise what your paragraph intends to explain in more detail. 2️⃣

#3 Conclusion

This is where you affirm your argument – remind the reader what you just proved in your essay and how you did it. This section will sound quite similar to your introduction but – having written the essay – you’ll be summarising rather than setting out your stall. 3️⃣

No essay is the same but your approach to writing them can be. As well as some best practice tips, we have gathered our favourite advice from expert essay-writers and compiled the following 7-step guide to writing a good essay every time. 👍

#1 Make sure you understand the question

#2 complete background reading.

#3 Make a detailed plan 

#4 Write your opening sentences 

#5 flesh out your essay in a rough draft, #6 evidence your opinion, #7 final proofread and edit.

Now that you have familiarised yourself with the 7 steps standing between you and the perfect essay, let’s take a closer look at each of those stages so that you can get on with crafting your written arguments with confidence . 

This is the most crucial stage in essay writing – r ead the essay prompt carefully and understand the question. Highlight the keywords – like ‘compare,’ ‘contrast’ ‘discuss,’ ‘explain’ or ‘evaluate’ – and let it sink in before your mind starts racing . There is nothing worse than writing 500 words before realising you have entirely missed the brief . 🧐

Unless you are writing under exam conditions , you will most likely have been working towards this essay for some time, by doing thorough background reading. Re-read relevant chapters and sections, highlight pertinent material and maybe even stray outside the designated reading list, this shows genuine interest and extended knowledge. 📚

#3 Make a detailed plan

Following the handy structure we shared with you above, now is the time to create the ‘skeleton structure’ or essay plan. Working from your essay title, plot out what you want your paragraphs to cover and how that information is going to flow. You don’t need to start writing any full sentences yet but it might be useful to think about the various quotes you plan to use to substantiate each section. 📝

Having mapped out the overall trajectory of your essay, you can start to drill down into the detail. First, write the opening sentence for each of the paragraphs in the body section of your essay. Remember – each paragraph is like a mini-essay – the opening sentence should summarise what the paragraph will then go on to explain in more detail. 🖊️

Next, it's time to write the bulk of your words and flesh out your arguments. Follow the ‘point, evidence, explain’ method. The opening sentences – already written – should introduce your ‘points’, so now you need to ‘evidence’ them with corroborating research and ‘explain’ how the evidence you’ve presented proves the point you’re trying to make. ✍️

With a rough draft in front of you, you can take a moment to read what you have written so far. Are there any sections that require further substantiation? Have you managed to include the most relevant material you originally highlighted in your background reading? Now is the time to make sure you have evidenced all your opinions and claims with the strongest quotes, citations and material. 📗

This is your final chance to re-read your essay and go over it with a fine-toothed comb before pressing ‘submit’. We highly recommend leaving a day or two between finishing your essay and the final proofread if possible – you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes, allowing you to return with a fresh pair of eyes and a more discerning judgment. 🤓

If you are looking for advice and support with your own essay-writing adventures, why not t ry a free trial lesson with GoStudent? Our tutors are experts at boosting academic success and having fun along the way. Get in touch and see how it can work for you today. 🎒

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The Five Steps of Writing an Essay

Mastering these steps will make your words more compelling

  • Tips For Adult Students
  • Getting Your Ged

step by step on how to make an essay

  • B.A., English, St. Olaf College

Knowing how to write an essay is a skill that you can use throughout your life. The ability to organize ideas that you use in constructing an essay will help you write business letters, company memos, and marketing materials for your clubs and organizations.

Anything you write will benefit from learning these simple parts of an essay:

  • Purpose and Thesis

Introduction

Body of information.

Here are five steps to make it happen:

Purpose/Main Idea

Echo / Cultura / Getty Images

Before you can start writing, you must have an idea to write about. If you haven't been assigned a topic, it's easier than you might think to come up with one of your own.

Your best essays will be about things that light your fire. What do you feel passionate about? What topics do you find yourself arguing for or against? Choose the side of the topic you are "for" rather than "against" and your essay will be stronger.

Do you love gardening? Sports? Photography? Volunteering? Are you an advocate for children? Domestic peace? The hungry or homeless? These are clues to your best essays.

Put your idea into a single sentence. This is your thesis statement , your main idea.

STOCK4B-RF / Getty Images

Choose a title for your essay that expresses your primary idea. The strongest titles will include a verb. Take a look at any newspaper and you'll see that every title has a verb.

Your title should make someone want to read what you have to say. Make it provocative.

Here are a few ideas:

  • America Needs Better Health Care Now
  • The Use of the Mentor Archetype in _____
  • Who Is the She-Conomy?
  • Why DJ Is the Queen of Pedicures
  • Melanoma: Is It or Isn't It?
  • How to Achieve Natural Balance in Your Garden
  • Expect to Be Changed by Reading _____

Some people will tell you to wait until you have finished writing to choose a title. Other people find that writing a title helps them stay focused. You can always review your title when you've finished the essay to ensure that it's as effective as it can be.

Hero-Images / Getty Images

Your introduction is one short paragraph, just a sentence or two, that states your thesis (your main idea) and introduces your reader to your topic. After your title, this is your next best chance to hook your reader. Here are some examples:

  • Women are the chief buyers in 80 percent of America's households. If you're not marketing to them, you should be.
  • Take another look at that spot on your arm. Is the shape irregular? Is it multicolored? You could have melanoma. Know the signs.
  • Those tiny wasps flying around the blossoms in your garden can't sting you. Their stingers have evolved into egg-laying devices. The wasps, busying finding a place to lay their eggs, are participating in the balance of nature.

Vincent Hazat / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

The body of your essay is where you develop your story or argument. Once you have finished your research and produced several pages of notes, go through them with a highlighter and mark the most important ideas, the key points.

Choose the top three ideas and write each one at the top of a clean page. Now go through your notes again and pull out supporting ideas for each key point. You don't need a lot, just two or three for each one.

Write a paragraph about each of these key points, using the information you've pulled from your notes. If you don't have enough for one, you might need a stronger key point. Do more research  to support your point of view. It's always better to have too many sources than too few.

 Anna Bryukhanova/E Plus / Getty Images

You've almost finished. The last paragraph of your essay is your conclusion. It, too, can be short, and it must tie back to your introduction.

In your introduction, you stated the reason for your paper. In your conclusion, you should summarize how your key points support your thesis. Here's an example:

  • By observing the balance of nature in her gardens, listening to lectures, and reading everything she can get her hands on about insects and native plants, Lucinda has grown passionate about natural balance. "It's easy to get passionate if you just take time to look," she says.

If you're still worried about your essay after trying on your own, consider hiring an essay editing service. Reputable services will edit your work, not rewrite it. Choose carefully. One service to consider is Essay Edge .

Good luck! The next essay will be easier.

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How to Write an Essay

Last Updated: February 1, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 7,915,913 times.

An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes. Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the details of the assignment so that you know how to approach the essay and what your focus should be. Once you've chosen a topic, do some research and narrow down the main argument(s) you'd like to make. From there, you'll need to write an outline and flesh out your essay, which should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. After your essay is drafted, spend some time revising it to ensure your writing is as strong as possible.

Understanding Your Assignment

Step 1 Read your assignment carefully.

  • The compare/contrast essay , which focuses on analyzing the similarities and differences between 2 things, such as ideas, people, events, places, or works of art.
  • The narrative essay , which tells a story.
  • The argumentative essay , in which the writer uses evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view.
  • The critical or analytical essay, which examines something (such as a text or work of art) in detail. This type of essay may attempt to answer specific questions about the subject or focus more generally on its meaning.
  • The informative essay , that educates the reader about a topic.

Step 2 Check for formatting and style requirements.

  • How long your essay should be
  • Which citation style to use
  • Formatting requirements, such as margin size , line spacing, and font size and type

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, Professor of English, tells us: "Most essays will contain an introduction, a body or discussion portion, and a conclusion. When assigned a college essay, make sure to check the specific structural conventions related to your essay genre , your field of study, and your professor's expectations."

Step 3 Narrow down your topic so your essay has a clear focus.

  • If you're doing a research-based essay , you might find some inspiration from reading through some of the major sources on the subject.
  • For a critical essay, you might choose to focus on a particular theme in the work you're discussing, or analyze the meaning of a specific passage.

Step 4 Ask for clarification if you don't understand the assignment.

  • If you're having trouble narrowing down your topic, your instructor might be able to provide guidance or inspiration.

Planning and Organizing Your Essay

Step 1 Find some reputable sources on your topic.

  • Academic books and journals tend to be good sources of information. In addition to print sources, you may be able to find reliable information in scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.
  • You can also look for primary source documents, such as letters, eyewitness accounts, and photographs.
  • Always evaluate your sources critically. Even research papers by reputable academics can contain hidden biases, outdated information, and simple errors or faulty logic.

Tip: In general, Wikipedia articles are not considered appropriate sources for academic writing. However, you may be able to find useful sources in the “References” section at the end of the article.

Step 2 Make notes...

  • You might find it helpful to write your notes down on individual note cards or enter them into a text document on your computer so you can easily copy, paste , and rearrange them however you like.
  • Try organizing your notes into different categories so you can identify specific ideas you'd like to focus on. For example, if you're analyzing a short story , you might put all your notes on a particular theme or character together.

Step 3 Choose a question to answer or an issue to address.

  • For example, if your essay is about the factors that led to the end of the Bronze Age in the ancient Middle East, you might focus on the question, “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?”

Step 4 Create a thesis...

  • One easy way to come up with a thesis statement is to briefly answer the main question you would like to address.
  • For example, if the question is “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?” then your thesis might be, “Natural disasters during the Late Bronze Age destabilized local economies across the region. This set in motion a series of mass migrations of different peoples, creating widespread conflict that contributed to the collapse of several major Bronze Age political centers.”

Step 5 Write an outline...

  • When you write the outline, think about how you would like to organize your essay. For example, you might start with your strongest arguments and then move to the weakest ones. Or, you could begin with a general overview of the source you're analyzing and then move on to addressing the major themes, tone, and style of the work.
  • Introduction
  • Point 1, with supporting examples
  • Point 2, with supporting examples
  • Point 3, with supporting examples
  • Major counter-argument(s) to your thesis
  • Your rebuttals to the counter-argument(s)

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Write an introduction...

  • For example, if you're writing a critical essay about a work of art, your introduction might start with some basic information about the work, such as who created it, when and where it was created, and a brief description of the work itself. From there, introduce the question(s) about the work you'd like to address and present your thesis.
  • A strong introduction should also contain a brief transitional sentence that creates a link to the first point or argument you would like to make. For example, if you're discussing the use of color in a work of art, lead-in by saying you'd like to start with an overview of symbolic color use in contemporary works by other artists.

Tip: Some writers find it helpful to write the introduction after they've written the rest of the essay. Once you've written out your main points, it's easier to summarize the gist of your essay in a few introductory sentences.

Step 2 Present your argument(s) in detail.

  • For example, your topic sentence might be something like, “Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are among the many literary influences apparent in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels.” You could then back this up by quoting a passage that contains a reference to Sherlock Holmes.
  • Try to show how the arguments in each paragraph link back to the main thesis of your essay.

Step 3 Use transition sentences between paragraphs.

  • When creating transitions, transitional phrases can be helpful. For example, use words and phrases such as “In addition,” “Therefore,” “Similarly,” “Subsequently,” or “As a result.”
  • For example, if you've just discussed the use of color to create contrast in a work of art, you might start the next paragraph with, “In addition to color, the artist also uses different line weights to distinguish between the more static and dynamic figures in the scene.”

Step 4 Address possible counterarguments.

  • For example, if you're arguing that a particular kind of shrimp decorates its shell with red algae to attract a mate, you'll need to address the counterargument that the shell decoration is a warning to predators. You might do this by presenting evidence that the red shrimp are, in fact, more likely to get eaten than shrimp with undecorated shells.

Step 5 Cite your sources...

  • The way you cite your sources will vary depending on the citation style you're using. Typically, you'll need to include the name of the author, the title and publication date of the source, and location information such as the page number on which the information appears.
  • In general, you don't need to cite common knowledge. For example, if you say, “A zebra is a type of mammal,” you probably won't need to cite a source.
  • If you've cited any sources in the essay, you'll need to include a list of works cited (or a bibliography ) at the end.

Step 6 Wrap up with...

  • Keep your conclusion brief. While the appropriate length will vary based on the length of the essay, it should typically be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
  • For example, if you're writing a 1,000-word essay, your conclusion should be about 4-5 sentences long. [16] X Research source

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Take a break...

  • If you don't have time to spend a couple of days away from your essay, at least take a few hours to relax or work on something else.

Step 2 Read over your draft to check for obvious problems.

  • Excessive wordiness
  • Points that aren't explained enough
  • Tangents or unnecessary information
  • Unclear transitions or illogical organization
  • Spelling , grammar , style, and formatting problems
  • Inappropriate language or tone (e.g., slang or informal language in an academic essay)

Step 3 Correct any major problems you find.

  • You might have to cut material from your essay in some places and add new material to others.
  • You might also end up reordering some of the content of the essay if you think that helps it flow better.

Step 4 Proofread your revised essay.

  • Read over each line slowly and carefully. It may be helpful to read each sentence out loud to yourself.

Tip: If possible, have someone else check your work. When you've been looking at your writing for too long, your brain begins to fill in what it expects to see rather than what's there, making it harder for you to spot mistakes.

step by step on how to make an essay

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

You Might Also Like

Plan an Essay Using a Mind Map

  • ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-types
  • ↑ https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills/resources/essay-writing/six-top-tips-for-writing-a-great-essay
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/tips-reading-assignment-prompt
  • ↑ https://library.unr.edu/help/quick-how-tos/writing/integrating-sources-into-your-paper
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/researching/notes-from-research/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-a-counter-argument.html
  • ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Intros-Conclusions.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/8-4-revising-and-editing/
  • ↑ https://writing.ku.edu/writing-process

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As you're taking notes, look for a central theme that you're interested in writing about to create your thesis statement. Then, organize your notes into an outline that supports and explains your thesis statement. Working from your outline, write an introduction and subsequent paragraphs to address each major point. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that briefly explains the main point of that paragraph. Finally, finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up the most important points. For tips from our English Professor co-author on helpful revision techniques, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write Your College Essay: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Getting ready to start your college essay? Your essay is very important to your application — especially if you’re applying to selective colleges.

Become a stronger writer by reviewing your peers’ essays and get your essay reviewed as well for free.

We have regular livestreams during which we walk you through how to write your college essay and review essays live.

College Essay Basics

Just getting started on college essays? This section will guide you through how you should think about your college essays before you start.

  • Why do essays matter in the college application process?
  • What is a college application theme and how do you come up with one?
  • How to format and structure your college essay

Before you move to the next section, make sure you understand:

How a college essay fits into your application

What a strong essay does for your chances

How to create an application theme

Learn the Types of College Essays

Next, let’s make sure you understand the different types of college essays. You’ll most likely be writing a Common App or Coalition App essay, and you can also be asked to write supplemental essays for each school. Each essay has a prompt asking a specific question. Each of these prompts falls into one of a few different types. Understanding the types will help you better answer the prompt and structure your essay.

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  • Extracurricular Essay Examples
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  • Diversity Essay Examples
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  • Why This College Essay Examples
  • How to Write The Overcoming Challenges Essay
  • Overcoming Challenges Essay Examples

Identify how each prompt fits into an essay type

What each type of essay is really asking of you

How to write each essay effectively

The Common App essay

Almost every student will write a Common App essay, which is why it’s important you get this right.

  • How to Write the Common App Essay
  • Successful Common App Essay Examples
  • 5 Awesome College Essay Topics + Sample Essays
  • 11 Cliché College Essay Topics + How to Fix Them

How to choose which Common App prompts to answer

How to write a successful Common App essay

What to avoid to stand out to admissions officers

Supplemental Essay Guides

Many schools, especially competitive ones, will ask you to write one or more supplemental essays. This allows a school to learn more about you and how you might fit into their culture.

These essays are extremely important in standing out. We’ve written guides for all the top schools. Follow the link below to find your school and read last year’s essay guides to give you a sense of the essay prompts. We’ll update these in August when schools release their prompts.

See last year’s supplemental essay guides to get a sense of the prompts for your schools.

Essay brainstorming and composition

Now that you’re starting to write your essay, let’s dive into the writing process. Below you’ll find our top articles on the craft of writing an amazing college essay.

  • Where to Begin? 3 Personal Essay Brainstorming Exercises
  • Creating the First Draft of Your College Application Essay
  • How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay
  • What If I Don’t Have Anything Interesting To Write About In My College Essay?
  • 8 Do’s and Don’t for Crafting Your College Essay
  • Stuck on Your College Essay? 8 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Understand how to write a great hook for your essay

Complete the first drafts of your essay

Editing and polishing your essay

Have a first draft ready? See our top editing tips below. Also, you may want to submit your essay to our free Essay Peer Review to get quick feedback and join a community of other students working on their essays.

  • 11 Tips for Proofreading and Editing Your College Essay
  • Getting Help with Your College Essay
  • 5 DIY Tips for Editing Your College Essay
  • How Long Should Your College Essay Be?
  • Essential Grammar Rules for Your College Apps
  • College Essay Checklist: Are You Ready to Submit?

Proofread and edited your essay.

Had someone else look through your essay — we recommend submitting it for a peer review.

Make sure your essay meets all requirements — consider signing up for a free account to view our per-prompt checklists to help you understand when you’re really ready to submit.

Advanced College Essay Techniques

Let’s take it one step further and see how we can make your college essay really stand out! We recommend reading through these posts when you have a draft to work with.

  • 10 Guidelines for Highly Readable College Essays
  • How to Use Literary Devices to Enhance Your Essay
  • How to Develop a Personalized Metaphor for Your College Applications

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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

How To Write An Essay # Beginner Tips And Tricks

Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.

When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay. 

No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.

Ink pen on paper before writing an essay

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Types of Essays

Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic. 

When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals. 

For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay. 

Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.

Descriptive Essay

This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event. 

Argumentative Essay

In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Expository Essay

Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.

The Main Stages of Essay Writing

When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case. 

There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.

So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:

Preparation

Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.

Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).

In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.  

The Five-Paragraph Essay

We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use. 

The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.

Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.

Introduction

As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more. 

Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. 

You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.

Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic. 

In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.

That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.

Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work. 

You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement. 

Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument. 

student writing an essay on his laptop

Photo by AMIT RANJAN on Unsplash

Steps to Writing an Essay

Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.

Understand Your Assignment

When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.

Research Your Topic

Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay. 

Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.

Start Brainstorming

After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:

  • Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
  • Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
  • Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
  • Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them

Create a Thesis

This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise. 

Write Your Outline

Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline. 

In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look. 

A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph. 

If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step… 

Write a First Draft

The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward. 

Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward. 

Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did. 

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete. 

However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.

After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc. 

Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style . 

Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in. 

A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.

Essay Writing Tips

With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
  • Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
  • Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
  • Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.

If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary. 

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step by step on how to make an essay

Essay Writing for Beginners: 6-Step Guide with Examples

If you need to write an essay, whether for a college course or to pass a writing test, this guide will take you through the process step-by-step.

Even if you have never written an essay before, this guide will make the process simple and easy to follow.

It is divided into two parts. 

First, I’ll show you the steps of writing an essay from scratch using a simple example. 

And in the second part, we’ll go through the process together and write a complete sample essay.

Let’s dive right in. 

Writing an essay is a 6-step process.  

Step 1. Decide on your main point and write it down

You could be in one of the following situations:

  • Your teacher or professor gave you a prompt, and you have to follow it
  • You are allowed to make up your own essay topic
  • You must pass a writing test and are practicing

Whatever the case, let’s assume that you have some kind of a topic or an idea for an essay. Many essay prompts ask you to decide for or against an idea. You must agree or disagree.

And in your first step, you need to simply make that decision – whether you agree or disagree – and just write it down as a simple sentence. 

step by step on how to make an essay

This is a very simple example, but it shows you what a thesis essentially looks like. It is also your main point.

Try not to make your thesis sentence too complicated. Keep it simple so that the point is perfectly clear to both you and the reader. 

In this case, our example thesis is:

And we’re ready for the next step.

Step 2. Come up with three supporting ideas

Whether you need to write 300 or 3,000 words, as a beginner you only need three supporting points to prove your main point.

This is why I teach the Power of Three. 

step by step on how to make an essay

So, why three? You see, you need to divide your topic into subtopics. If you don’t, the whole essay writing process will be harder than it has to be.

If you divide it into only two parts, that’s okay. But it doesn’t give you enough meat when you’ll be writing the body of the essay.

If you divide it into more than three, that is also a recipe for frustration. It’s just too many. 

Three is a very comfortable number for the brain to deal with. Trust me. I’ve taught many, many people. 

Let’s apply the Power of Three to our simple example. 

Why do I love apples? I love them for three reasons. Not one, not two, not seven. Just three reasons. 

I love apples because they are:

  • Nutritious 

In this step, your job is to make sure that these three reasons are really different from one another. In this case, they are. 

Here is a wrong way to do it:

In this case, apples being filling is too similar to being nutritious. This means that when you’re writing the body of the essay, you may run into writer’s block.

This happens because you realize that you’ve already said everything there is to say about the nutrition of apples, and now them being filling is too closely related. And you’re out of words to write. 

Don’t let that happen. Just keep your supporting points really distinct from one another. 

Step 3. Write out the complete thesis statement

Now you have everything you need to write a complete thesis statement. You have your main and supporting points. 

Take them and write them out as complete sentences in one paragraph. Let’s do it very simplistically, using our apples example:

Again, this is overly simple, and I don’t expect you to write such short sentences one after another this way. 

But it’s crystal clear. And the supporting points really sound like good evidence for the main point. 

In other words, this thesis statement works. 

Your Thesis Statement Is Also Your Outline

Students often ask how to write an essay outline. But once you have written your thesis statement the way I just showed you, you have yourself a nice outline. 

step by step on how to make an essay

In addition, you already have the first paragraph. It may not be complete. You may choose to add some words to it. You will also add an introduction in a later step.

But your first paragraph is, for the main, done. It exists, and it’s good to know that you just wrote a nice paragraph. 

We are ready for the next step. 

Step 4. Write the body of the essay

We already know that we have three sections in our little example. And you will also have three main sections if you apply the Power of Three to your essay.

Each of your sections will contain one or more paragraphs. 

But as a beginner, just stick to one paragraph per section. Each of your sections will be a paragraph, and you need to write only three paragraphs in the body of the essay.

Body Paragraph Structure

You must begin each of your body paragraphs with a lead sentence (also known as a topic sentence). And then your job is to fill the rest of the paragraph with evidence to support what you just stated in the lead sentence.

step by step on how to make an essay

You may have heard that in your essay you should proceed from more general to more specific ? That is exactly right.

The lead sentence (the first sentence in the paragraph) is the most general statement in that paragraph. 

For example, in our essay about apples, the second section is about how nutritious apples are. So, you would begin your paragraph with something like this:

This is the most general statement. And now, your job would be to unpack that, to write a little more specifically. 

As an explanation , you can write a sentence or two on what kinds of nutrients apples contain. 

And as examples , you can write about what some of these nutrients do in the body that makes them nutritious. 

Does this make sense? You are proceeding from general to specific. We’ll take a closer look at this process in the essay topic sample that is coming up. 

Once you’ve written the body paragraphs, you’re ready for the next step. 

Step 5. Write the introduction and the conclusion

Introductions.

The introduction is really just a sentence (two at most) that you add in the beginning of your first paragraph. 

Introductions are not necessary. Many instructors will expect that you write them while others won’t. You can go straight to the point by starting your first paragraph with the thesis. 

However, most instructors will expect an introduction, and you should know how to write one. 

To write an introduction, just zoom out a bit and write a more general and less relevant sentence. For example, we can start our essay about apples with this sentence:

And then we proceed straight to the thesis: “I love apples.” And so on…

Conclusions

In your conclusion you can do one of several things. But I recommend that, as a beginner, you stick to the time-proven restatement .

Basically, you simply repeat what you stated in your thesis statement, using different words.  

Yes, this is repetitious, but that is the nature of conclusions. Don’t worry. 

You can literally copy your thesis statement, paste it at the end of your essay, and make sure you change the wording so that it reads like a new paragraph.

For example, this is how we can write our conclusion about apples:

Yes, your conclusion can be just one sentence. But it can also contain many sentences. 

Step 6. Proofread

Our final step in writing an essay is to go back and proofread our draft.

We must look out for:

  • Any contradictions (to make sure we don’t contradict our own points)
  • Any irrelevant material (stuff that doesn’t belong in the essay at all)
  • Grammatical errors
  • Misspellings

One good, thorough round of proofreading can be enough to be ready to submit your essay for grading. 

You can use a variety of tools sto spell-check your essay. Google docs is one great tool for that. But many others, such as Grammarly, are available as well.

Guess what! Now you know how to write an essay, even if you’re a beginner. 

And now, let’s apply what we learned.

Let’s take a sample topic and follow the 6 steps to write a nice sample essay.

Let’s do this!

Sample Essay: “Parents are the best teachers.” 

This essay topic came from one of my readers. Let’s develop it into an essay by following the steps we just learned.

Step 1. Decide on the main point and write it

Let’s say that we are given a choice – whether we agree or disagree that parents are the best teachers.

All we have to do is take a stand. We have to simply decide – yes or no.

Let’s decide that parents are indeed the best teachers.

We simply state this as the main point:

Step 2. Think up three supporting ideas

Why could parents be the best teachers?

This will take some thinking. But that’s what we need to do.

Let’s use the Power of Three . And here is what we came up with:

  • They are the first teachers, and that’s very important.
  • They have the child’s best interests in mind.
  • They spend more time with their child than anyone else. 

We really want to make sure that these supporting points are different from one another. Are they?

If we read them over, we’ll see that each of them is indeed distinct. Great!

Step 3. Write out the thesis statement

We have our main point. We have our supporting points. And writing the full thesis statement is now easy.

Let’s do it:

We really just took the thesis and the supporting statements and wrote them all in a sequence as one paragraph. 

As a result, we now have a nice, clear opening paragraph.

We also now have our outline:

step by step on how to make an essay

We know exactly how many sections our essay will have.

We also know in which order we’ll be presenting our support. It’s all in the thesis statement, which is also our outline. 

Now our job is to write three good supporting paragraphs, one at a time.

Let’s start with the first body paragraph.

The first sentence is always the lead sentence – the most general sentence in a body paragraph. 

Writing the Lead Sentence

Let’s first copy and paste our first supporting point from our thesis statement:

I copied this because this is exactly what my paragraph is about. And this would be a perfect lead sentence if it were not repetitious. 

To make sure it’s not simply repetitious, we’ll tweak and expand it a little:

We made sure that the subject is clear – that it is not “ They ” but “ Parents .”

And we expanded the sentence by adding an explanation: “…because what is imprinted early stays with the child forever.”

You don’t have to necessarily add an explanation in the lead sentence like this. But this is an option that you have. 

All we really want to do in the lead sentence is just expand it slightly over the initial supporting point that it came from. 

Writing the Rest of the Paragraph

Let’s review our body paragraph structure:

step by step on how to make an essay

In our paragraph, we proceed from more general to more specific. Our lead sentence is the most general statement. 

The next most general part of the paragraph is where you explain your point. You can provide a scientific explanation with data and research. You can explain it logically, using your own rationale. 

But it is still a general part. Let’s write it.

Explanation

We are keeping it simple and not using any references to scientific studies. You can and should cite sources in your essay when necessary.

If you’re writing an essay in an exam or test, you won’t need any references. You can just make things up as you go along. And it works as long as your content is logical and supports the main point.

If you’re writing for a college course, you will likely need to cite sources, unless it’s English 101 where you write basic essays like this one. 

But now, we have three explanatory sentences in our paragraph. Our next step is to add at least one example. You can add more, but one should do it for a beginner. 

This example presents a phenomenon that is well known in psychology. It is an example because it describes one extreme kind of a phenomenon. It is also much more specific than our explanation. 

Note that we can add more words by talking about a specific wild child from history. But let’s stop here and look at our full paragraph:

step by step on how to make an essay

We have 113 words in this paragraph. And it’s a perfect body paragraph that supports the first part of our thesis statement.

Let’s write the next one. 

Again, let’s copy the second supporting point and then tweak and expand it.

This sentence already starts with the subject, which is “ parents .” Now, all we need to do is to expand it slightly:

We added a short phrase just to make the lead sentence a little longer and more detailed. Now it doesn’t read like plain repetition.

Let’s write the next most general part of this paragraph – the explanation:

These three sentences explain why it makes sense that parents would have the child’s best interests in mind. She is the most precious thing to them in the world. 

It’s time for an example. And I’ll use my personal experience:

It’s totally okay to use personal examples in an essay. You can use them even in advanced research papers. Your personal experience is valuable. Use it.

Let’s take a look at our second body paragraph in its entirety:

step by step on how to make an essay

This paragraph contains 98 words of evidence to support the second point. 

It’s time for the final body paragraph.

Again, you know what we’ll do. We’ll just copy our third supporting point and tweak and expand it a little:

Let’s make sure the reader knows what the real subject is in this sentence. And let’s also expand it just a bit:

Great! It’s time for the explanatory part:

Again, we won’t be citing any sources here and will keep it simple. This explanation works really well because it provides evidence for the third supporting point.

Let’s be even more specific and write at least one example.

Again, I’m using a personal example to show that whoever spends the most time with the child will have the most influence.

And let’s take a look at our third body paragraph as a whole:

step by step on how to make an essay

We have here 116 words of great, general-to-specific content that supports our third point. 

As a result, if we look back at what we’ve done, we’ll see that everything we wrote in the body paragraphs supports the main point that parents are the best teachers.

It’s time for the next step. 

Introduction  

Our introduction will be just one sentence, which is enough. 

First, let’s revisit our complete thesis statement. We will write the introductory sentence based on it. 

step by step on how to make an essay

In this paragraph, we go straight to the point, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, as we know, most instructors will expect some kind of an introduction. So, we’ll add one sentence before we get to the main point.

This sentence must be more general. We are zooming out a little. Let’s do it:

And let’s take a look at the full paragraph together with the introduction:

step by step on how to make an essay

Note that I took out the phrase “for three reasons.” It is unnecessary because it is clear that you are providing three supporting points. And the whole paragraph sounds better this way.

To write the conclusion, we’ll simply reword the thesis statement. We only need to make sure that we don’t sound like we’re just repeating things.

That was not too hard, was it?

It’s time for the final step. 

In this step, we just need to go over our essay, making final edits and corrections. And that’s all.

I hope this tutorial really helps you in your essay writing. 

Stay tuned and we’ll talk soon!

How to Write a 300 Word Essay – Simple Tutorial

How to expand an essay – 4 tips to increase the word count, 10 solid essay writing tips to help you improve quickly, 6 simple ways to improve sentence structure in your essays.

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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How to Write the Perfect Essay

06 Feb, 2024 | Blog Articles , English Language Articles , Get the Edge , Humanities Articles , Writing Articles

Student sitting at a desk writing in a notebook

You can keep adding to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the different bubbles when you spot connections between them. Even though you won’t have time to make a detailed plan under exam conditions, it can be helpful to draft a brief one, including a few key words, so that you don’t panic and go off topic when writing your essay.

If you don’t like the mind map format, there are plenty of others to choose from: you could make a table, a flowchart, or simply a list of bullet points.

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Thanks for signing up, step 2: have a clear structure.

Think about this while you’re planning: your essay is like an argument or a speech. It needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question.

Start with the basics! It’s best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs is a good number for an exam essay, since you’ll be under time pressure. 

If you agree with the question overall, it can be helpful to organise your points in the following pattern:

  • YES (agreement with the question)
  • AND (another YES point)
  • BUT (disagreement or complication)

If you disagree with the question overall, try:

  • AND (another BUT point)

For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question, “To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ?”, as follows:

  • YES (descriptions of her appearance)
  • AND (other people’s attitudes towards her)
  • BUT (her position as the only woman on the ranch gives her power as she uses her femininity to her advantage)

If you wanted to write a longer essay, you could include additional paragraphs under the YES/AND categories, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife reveals her vulnerability and insecurities, and shares her dreams with the other characters. Alternatively, you could also lengthen your essay by including another BUT paragraph about her cruel and manipulative streak.

Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question – as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense.

Smiling student typing on laptop

Step 3: Back up your points with well-analysed quotations

You wouldn’t write a scientific report without including evidence to support your findings, so why should it be any different with an essay? Even though you aren’t strictly required to substantiate every single point you make with a quotation, there’s no harm in trying.

A close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners. When selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. For example, you could highlight Curley’s wife’s use of a rhetorical question when she says, a”n’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs.” This might look like:

The rhetorical question “an’ what am I doin’?” signifies that Curley’s wife is very insecure; she seems to be questioning her own life choices. Moreover, she does not expect anyone to respond to her question, highlighting her loneliness and isolation on the ranch.

Other literary techniques to look out for include:

  • Tricolon – a group of three words or phrases placed close together for emphasis
  • Tautology – using different words that mean the same thing: e.g. “frightening” and “terrifying”
  • Parallelism – ABAB structure, often signifying movement from one concept to another
  • Chiasmus – ABBA structure, drawing attention to a phrase
  • Polysyndeton – many conjunctions in a sentence
  • Asyndeton – lack of conjunctions, which can speed up the pace of a sentence
  • Polyptoton – using the same word in different forms for emphasis: e.g. “done” and “doing”
  • Alliteration – repetition of the same sound, including assonance (similar vowel sounds), plosive alliteration (“b”, “d” and “p” sounds) and sibilance (“s” sounds)
  • Anaphora – repetition of words, often used to emphasise a particular point

Don’t worry if you can’t locate all of these literary devices in the work you’re analysing. You can also discuss more obvious techniques, like metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. It’s not a problem if you can’t remember all the long names; it’s far more important to be able to confidently explain the effects of each technique and highlight its relevance to the question.

Person reading a book outside

Step 4: Be creative and original throughout

Anyone can write an essay using the tips above, but the thing that really makes it “perfect” is your own unique take on the topic. If you’ve noticed something intriguing or unusual in your reading, point it out – if you find it interesting, chances are the examiner will too!

Creative writing and essay writing are more closely linked than you might imagine. Keep the idea that you’re writing a speech or argument in mind, and you’re guaranteed to grab your reader’s attention.

It’s important to set out your line of argument in your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but don’t forget to keep something back for the conclusion, too. Yes, you need to summarise your main points, but if you’re just repeating the things you said in your introduction, the body of the essay is rendered pointless.

Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff.

To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here’s an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:

Introduction

In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , Curley’s wife is portrayed as an ambiguous character. She could be viewed either as a cruel, seductive temptress or a lonely woman who is a victim of her society’s attitudes. Though she does seem to wield a form of sexual power, it is clear that Curley’s wife is largely a victim. This interpretation is supported by Steinbeck’s description of her appearance, other people’s attitudes, her dreams, and her evident loneliness and insecurity.
Overall, it is clear that Curley’s wife is a victim and is portrayed as such throughout the novel in the descriptions of her appearance, her dreams, other people’s judgemental attitudes, and her loneliness and insecurities. However, a character who was a victim and nothing else would be one-dimensional and Curley’s wife is not. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity – a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.

Both refer back consistently to the question and summarise the essay’s main points. However, the conclusion adds something new which has been established in the main body of the essay and complicates the simple summary which is found in the introduction.

Hannah

Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, University of Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. She thinks literature is a crucial way of developing empathy and learning about the wider world. When she isn’t writing about 17th-century court masques, she enjoys acting, travelling and creative writing. 

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How to write a perfect essay

Need to write an essay? Does the assignment feel as big as climbing Mount Everest? Fear not. You’re up to the challenge! The following step-by step tips from the Nat Geo Kids Almanac will help you with this monumental task. 

Sometimes the subject matter of your essay is assigned to you, sometimes it’s not. Either way, you have to decide what you want to say. Start by brainstorming some ideas, writing down any thoughts you have about the subject. Then read over everything you’ve come up with and consider which idea you think is the strongest. Ask yourself what you want to write about the most. Keep in mind the goal of your essay. Can you achieve the goal of the assignment with this topic? If so, you’re good to go.

WRITE A TOPIC SENTENCE

This is the main idea of your essay, a statement of your thoughts on the subject. Again, consider the goal of your essay. Think of the topic sentence as an introduction that tells your reader what the rest of your essay will be about.

OUTLINE YOUR IDEAS

Once you have a good topic sentence, you then need to support that main idea with more detailed information, facts, thoughts, and examples. These supporting points answer one question about your topic sentence—“Why?” This is where research and perhaps more brainstorming come in. Then organize these points in the way you think makes the most sense, probably in order of importance. Now you have an outline for your essay.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, WRITE!

Follow your outline, using each of your supporting points as the topic sentence of its own paragraph. Use descriptive words to get your ideas across to the reader. Go into detail, using specific information to tell your story or make your point. Stay on track, making sure that everything you include is somehow related to the main idea of your essay. Use transitions to make your writing flow.

Finish your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your entire essay and 5 restates your main idea.

PROOFREAD AND REVISE

Check for errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Look for ways to make your writing clear, understandable, and interesting. Use descriptive verbs, adjectives, or adverbs when possible. It also helps to have someone else read your work to point out things you might have missed. Then make the necessary corrections and changes in a second draft. Repeat this revision process once more to make your final draft as good as you can.

Download the pdf .

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Essay Writing Guide

Essay Writing

Last updated on: Jun 8, 2023

How to Write an Essay - A Complete Guide with Examples

By: Nova A.

13 min read

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Jan 1, 2019

How to Write an Essay

Are you finding yourself staring at a blank page, unsure of where to begin when it comes to writing an essay? 

Do you struggle with organizing your thoughts and expressing your ideas effectively?

You're not alone!

Many students face challenges when it comes to essay writing, but fear not! 

In this comprehensive guide, we will help you in writing impactful essays with confidence. From choosing a compelling topic to crafting a well-structured argument, we'll take you step-by-step through the essay writing process. 

So, get ready to become a skilled essay writer in no time!

How to Write an Essay

On this Page

Pre-Writing Process: Preparation and Planning 

Building a strong foundation is key to crafting a stellar essay. The pre-writing process sets the stage for your essay by focusing on preparation and planning.

Understand the Essay Prompt or Topic 

Before diving into the writing process, it is crucial to choose and thoroughly understand the essay topic . 

Carefully read and analyze the requirements, instructions, and any specific guidelines provided. 

Identify the key components of the prompt, such as:

  • The main question or issue to be addressed
  • The scope of the topic
  • Any specific requirements for the essay

Choose the Type of Essay 

The next step is to decide which type of essay you need to write. Choosing the correct type of essay is an important step toward your successful essay. 

Here are the main types of essays in which every academic essay can be categorized.

  • Descriptive Essay - A descriptive essay discusses the topic in detail so that it becomes easy to understand for the reader.
  • Narrative Essay - A narrative essay is a narration of a story in the form of an essay.
  • Persuasive Essay - A persuasive essay convinces the reader to accept your perspective about the essay topic.
  • Expository Essay - An expository essay explains and clarifies the topic with great details and examples.

Knowing what type of essay you are required to write can help you choose the topic and draft the essay. Here are the other types of essays that you should also be familiar with.

  • Argumentative essay
  • Analytical essay
  • Cause and effect essay
  • Classification essay
  • Synthesis essay
  • Compare and Contrast Essay

Conduct Thorough Research

Once you have a clear understanding of the essay prompt, it's time to gather relevant information through research. 

Utilize various sources such as scholarly articles and academic databases to gather information that will support your arguments.

Also decide what type of formatting and citation styles you need for your essay.  Generally, the following are some common college essay writing styles for students:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)  - An Author-Date citation style designed for psychology and social science discipline.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) - An Author-Page number citation style designed for language and humanities disciplines.
  • CMS (Chicago Manual of Style) - A Notes-bibliography or Author-Date citation style, also known as Turabian Style. It is applicable to both scientific and non-scientific disciplines.

Create an Outline to Structure Your Essay 

An outline acts as a skeleton for your essay, providing a structured framework to guide your writing. It helps you with how to write essay format questions and ensure that your essay flows logically and coherently. 

Start by organizing your main ideas or subtopics into sections or paragraphs. Then, under each main idea, list the supporting points, evidence, or examples you will include.

Wondering how to write an outline for an essay ? Here is a 5 paragraph essay outline structure.

Writing Process: Crafting Your Essay 

The writing process includes engaging introduction, body and conclusion. Let’s get through the step by step for crafting each section. 

Write the Introduction 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay. The purpose of the introduction is to inform your reader about the topic that you will discuss in the essay. 

If you are thinking how to write an essay introduction, here is what an engaging introduction includes:

Engaging Hook 

To capture the reader's attention from the start, consider using a compelling hook . 

This can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an intriguing anecdote. 

The goal is to create curiosity and make the reader eager to continue reading.

Background Information

After grabbing the reader's attention, provide some context or background information related to your essay topic. 

This will help the reader understand the significance and relevance of the subject matter. 

It can include historical context, relevant statistics, or an overview of the current state of affairs.

Thesis Statement 

Conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that encapsulates the main argument or purpose of your essay. 

The thesis statement should reflect the stance you will be taking and provide a roadmap for the subsequent body paragraphs.

Body Paragraphs 

Body paragraphs are the linking paragraphs between the conclusion and introduction. 

All the information, examples, facts, and details about the topic in this section ultimately support your thesis statement.

Topic Sentences and Supporting Arguments 

In each body paragraph, start with a topic sentence that introduces the main point or argument. 

Each topic sentence should be clear and specific, guiding the reader on what to expect in the paragraph. 

Follow up with supporting arguments or ideas that expand on the topic sentence and provide evidence or examples to support your claims.

Using Evidence and Examples 

To strengthen your arguments, include relevant evidence, examples, or data. This could be in the form of research findings, expert opinions, real-life scenarios, or personal experiences. 

Ensure that the evidence directly supports your claims and helps convince the reader of your point of view.

Use Clear Transitions 

Maintain a logical flow within and between paragraphs by using clear transitions. 

Transitions help connect ideas and create a smooth transition from one point to another. This ensures that your essay is cohesive and easy to follow. 

Use transition words and phrases such as "furthermore," "in addition," "on the other hand," and "in contrast" to signal shifts in ideas and create a seamless reading experience.

Conclusion 

The conclusion is the last paragraph that summarizes the main theme of the essay and its outcomes. It should include:

Summarize Key Points 

In the conclusion, provide a brief summary of the key points discussed in the body paragraphs. Remind the reader of the main arguments and evidence presented throughout the essay.

Restate the Thesis Statement 

Reiterate the thesis statement but rephrase it or present it in a slightly different manner. This helps reinforce the central message and reminds the reader of the main focus of the essay.

Call-to-Action/ Impression

End the conclusion with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action. This could be a reflection on the broader implications of the topic, a suggestion for further research, or a call to action.

Post-Writing Process: Editing and Refining 

After writing your essay, make sure you:

Proofread for Grammar and Spelling Errors 

After completing the initial draft of your essay, it's crucial to thoroughly proofread it for any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. 

This step ensures that your writing is clear, polished, and professional.

Check for Clarity and Coherence 

Read through your essay with a critical eye, examining the flow of ideas and the logical progression of arguments. 

Ensure that each paragraph and sentence contributes to the overall coherence of the essay. 

Look for any gaps in information or abrupt transitions and revise accordingly to enhance the clarity and readability of your essay.

step by step on how to make an essay

Essay Checklist 

Writing an essay requires careful attention to various aspects, ranging from content to structure, grammar, and formatting. 

Use the following checklist to ensure that your essay meets the necessary requirements and is of high quality.

How to Write an Essay - Examples 

There are several different categories of essays, each with its unique requirements. Each essay presents different information in different ways. 

Here are some useful how-to-write essay samples for different types of essays that will help you write your essay. 

HOW TO WRITE AN ACADEMIC ESSAY - EXAMPLE

HOW TO WRITE AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY - EXAMPLE

HOW TO WRITE A NARRATIVE ESSAY - EXAMPLE

HOW TO WRITE A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY - EXAMPLE

How to Write an Essay About Yourself

Tips for Effective Essay Writing 

Writing an essay can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can create a compelling and well-crafted piece of work. 

Here are some tips to help you improve your essay-writing skills:

  • Understand the essay prompt: Carefully read and comprehend the essay prompt to ensure your essay stays focused.
  • Plan and outline your essay: Create a clear outline to provide structure and coherence to your essay.
  • Conduct thorough research: Gather reliable information from credible sources to support your arguments.
  • Develop a strong thesis statement: Craft a clear and concise thesis statement that guides your writing.
  • Write clear and concise paragraphs: Focus each paragraph on a single main idea and use concise language.
  • Use evidence and examples: Support your claims with evidence, examples, and proper citations.
  • Revise and edit: Review for clarity, coherence, grammar, and formatting errors.
  • Seek feedback: Get input from others to gain valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.
  • Practice writing regularly: Regular practice helps improve your writing skills and style.
  • Manage your time: Take breaks and allocate time effectively for each stage of the writing process.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Essay 

As a beginner, there are high chance that you make mistakes while writing your essay. However, you can avoid them by working on some basics. 

Below we have mentioned some common errors made by the non-natives.

  • Using passive voice 
  • Adding complex sentences 
  • Adding improper or no transitional sentences 
  • Plagiarism 
  • Failing to follow the assignment instructions
  • Ignoring pronoun subjective-objective agreement 
  • Improper or missing citation references 
  • Citing unreliable resources

You can also check this detailed video guide on what to avoid while writing an essay!

Make sure you avoid these mistakes to make your piece of writing impactful. However, if you are not sure about your essay writing skills, getting professional help is a good idea. 

Let expert writers at 5StarEssays.com assist you with “ write my essay for me ” worries! 

Get professional help with your essays and research papers to achieve academic success. 

Contact us now to experience the difference our essay writing service can make. Don't wait, start writing exceptional essays today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i start writing an essay.

To start writing an essay, begin by understanding the essay prompt or topic. Conduct research to gather relevant information and develop a clear thesis statement. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and structure your essay. 

What are the 5 parts of an essay?

The five parts of an essay include:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Transitions
  • References or Bibliography

Nova A.

Marketing, Literature

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

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International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March every year. Image:  Unsplash/ThisisEngineering RAEng

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This article was first published in 2022 and updated.

  • 8 March is International Women’s Day – devoted to celebrating the achievements of women and seeking gender equality.
  • The campaign theme in 2024 is #InspireInclusion , while the official theme of the UN observance of the day is ‘ Invest in women: Accelerate progress ’.
  • It will take another 131 years to reach gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2023 .

Gender equality is central to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) – and a perennial item on the Secretary-General's annual priority list.

SDG5 calls for the world to " Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls " by 2030.

Empowering women can boost economies and help the peace process, believes António Guterres, but it needs to happen faster.

"We are promoting women's full and equal participation and leadership in all sectors of society, as a matter of urgency," he told the UN General Assembly, outlining the agency's priorities on 7 February 2024.

It will take another 131 years to reach gender parity , according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2023.

The continued fight for women’s rights is marked each year by International Women’s Day (IWD).

What is International Women’s Day and when did it start?

IWD takes place on 8 March every year.

It began life as National Women’s Day in the United States back in February 1909. The following year, at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark, women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin called for an international women’s day to give women a greater voice to further their demands for equal rights.

It was unanimously approved by the female attendees from 17 countries, including Finland’s first three women MPs. International Women’s Day was marked for the first time in March 1911 – and the date was fixed as 8 March in 1913. The UN celebrated it for the first time in 1975 and in 1996 it announced its first annual theme: "Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future".

How is the day marked around the world?

International Women’s Day is celebrated as a national holiday by countries across the globe, with women often given flowers and gifts – and there are IWD events in major cities worldwide .

On 8 March 1914, there was a women’s suffrage march in London, calling for women’s right to vote, at which high-profile campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested.

In 2001, the internationalwomensday.com platform was launched to reignite attention for the day, celebrate women’s achievements and continue to call for gender parity.

On the centenary in 2011, sitting US President Barack Obama called for March to be known as Women’s History Month. He said: “History shows that when women and girls have access to opportunity , societies are more just, economies are more likely to prosper, and governments are more likely to serve the needs of all their people.”

The World Economic Forum has been measuring gender gaps since 2006 in the annual Global Gender Gap Report .

The Global Gender Gap Report tracks progress towards closing gender gaps on a national level. To turn these insights into concrete action and national progress, we have developed the Gender Parity Accelerator model for public private collaboration.

These accelerators have been convened in twelve countries across three regions. Accelerators are established in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean, Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East and North Africa, and Japan and Kazakhstan in Asia.

All Country Accelerators, along with Knowledge Partner countries demonstrating global leadership in closing gender gaps, are part of a wider ecosystem, the Global Learning Network, that facilitates exchange of insights and experiences through the Forum’s platform.

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In these countries CEOs and ministers are working together in a three-year time frame on policies that help to further close the economic gender gaps in their countries. This includes extended parental leave, subsidized childcare and making recruitment, retention and promotion practices more gender inclusive.

If you are a business in one of the Gender Parity Accelerator countries you can join the local membership base.

If you are a business or government in a country where we currently do not have a Gender Parity Accelerator you can reach out to us to explore opportunities for setting one up.

What is the theme of International Women’s Day in 2024?

Each year, there are effectively two different themes: one proposed as a campaign theme by the IWD website, which this year is #InspireInclusion , and the UN's official, which this year is " Invest in women: Accelerate progress ".

UN Women and the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs jointly publish an annual update on the progress towards SDG5.

In the latest – Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023 – they reveal there's an "alarming" $360 billion annual deficit in spending on gender-equality measures.

A gender-focused SDG stimulus package to deliver transformational results for women, girls and societies.

UN Women has outlined areas that need joint action to ensure women are not left behind:

Investing in women: A human rights issue

"Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge. Investing in women is a human rights imperative and cornerstone for building inclusive societies. Progress for women benefits us all."

Implementing gender-responsive financing

"Due to conflicts and rising fuel and food prices, recent estimates suggest that 75% of countries will curb public spending by 2025 . Austerity negatively impacts women and crowds out public spending on essential public services and social protection."

Shifting to a green and caring economy

"The current economic system exacerbates poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation , disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Advocates for alternative economic models propose a shift towards a green and caring economy that amplifies women’s voices."

Supporting feminist change-makers

"Feminist organizations are leading efforts to tackle women’s poverty and inequality. However, they are running on empty, receiving a meagre 0.13% of total official development assistance ."

What is the state of gender parity globally?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2023 found that, although the global parity score has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, "the overall rate of change has slowed down significantly".

The index benchmarks 146 countries across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment) and tracks progress towards closing gender gaps over time.

Of the four gaps tracked, Political Empowerment remains the largest, with only 22.1% closed – a 0.1 percentage point increase on 2022.

The gender health gap: It's more than a women’s issue. Here’s why

Why clear job descriptions matter for gender equality, buses are key to fuelling indian women's economic success. here's why, what is the gender pay gap.

The gender gap in Economic Participation and Opportunity remained the second largest of the gaps, with only 60.1% closed so far (up slightly from 58% in 2022). The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis is having a disproportionate impact on women .

The gender pay gap is the “difference between the average pay of men and women within a particular group or population” according to the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equal pay in the UK.

Each year, the charity marks Equal Pay Day in the UK, the day of the year at which women stop earning relative to men. In 2023, that date was 22 November.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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