I often get asked how to write essays of a set length, with a 5 paragraph essay being by far one of the most popular. It might seem like a daunting prospect when you are tasked with doing it for the first time, but as my experience will hopefully show you, it’s just a matter of having a set routine that you stick to. Take a look at the following hints and tips that I’ve found useful in my career to date, and you’ll be flying through your essay writing in no time.
Check you understand the question
One of the most common mistakes students make is not fully understanding the question before they start writing. You can feel like you’re making great progress, getting loads down on paper, but then your whole world comes crashing down when you start summing up. It’s at this point you realize you haven’t properly understood the question, and that the arguments you have carefully written down don’t touch any aspect of the actual question.
The great thing about this experience is that you can learn from it, and use it as an opportunity to grow. A great way to check that you understand the question fully is to see whether or not you can eloquently explain what it means to one of your classmates. If you can’t, then you need to think a little more before you pick up your pen and paper.
Clarify the word count with the assessor
5 paragraphs make for a very compact and succinct essay, which is where the real challenge lies. To make sure you don’t unnecessarily constrain or penalize yourself, it’s always worth double checking the approximate word count with the course assessor. They won’t always be able to give you an exact number, but they will be able to give you a rough range to aim at. Make this one of the first things you do, and your essay will be all the better for it.
Don’t waste words with the introduction
If you want to be able to make the most of the space you have at your disposal, you certainly don’t want to use up 3 paragraphs with a winding and wandering introduction. Keep it short and sweet, and stay on topic all the way through. All you need to do is briefly set the scene, not cover the entire history of the subject.
Break your argument into its key components
If you decide that you want to pay someone to write my essay, then that’s a great way to learn how to break up your argument. For maximum impact you want to be able to cover one key tenant of your argument per paragraph. You might feel like this leaves things a little thin on the ground, but the reader really doesn’t want to be confronted with a barrage of facts, statistics, and intricate details.
Avoid recapping and endless repetition
As the subheading would imply, I’m going to keep this section short and sweet. It’s all about saying what you mean with clarity and precision, and then gradually building on it with each successive paragraph. If you decide to repeat yourself half a dozen times, it not only makes for a boring read, it also makes the reader think you lack confidence and understanding.
Finish with a flourish in your conclusion
The conclusion is the final thing that your assessor is going to read, and it’s also the part where you tie everything together. You need to be able to summarize in a powerful way that leads you naturally to 2-3 compelling conclusions. It’s the most difficult part to get right, but it’s also the part that turns an okay essay into a great essay.