You don't have to be a good writer to write well. Writing is a process. By learning to treat writing as a series of small steps, rather than a big instant magic trick that you have to perform, you will make writing a composition much easier and more fun. You can learn to brainstorm main ideas before you start writing, organize a draft of those main ideas, and revise your composition until you produce a refined essay. For more information, see step 1.
Part 1 of 3: Pre-writing
Step 1. Read the assignment carefully
It is important to get a clear understanding of what your teacher expects to find in your composition, both in terms of subject matter and style. Keep the homework sheet with you each time you are working on your composition and read it carefully, paying attention to the specific questions you need to answer. Sometimes you will have to address all parts of a question, while other instructions will allow you to choose. Ask your teacher about anything you are unsure about. Make sure you have a clear idea about the following:
- What is the purpose of the composition?
- What is the theme of the composition?
- What are the extension requirements?
- What is the most appropriate tone or voice for the composition?
- Is an investigation required? It is good to ask yourself these questions.
Step 2. Plan to divide your time into 3 equal parts
Writing in "stages" can help make your task feel more achievable and can help you control your time more effectively. Plan to spend about ⅓ of your time and effort on the 3 individual parts of:
- Pre-writing: gathering your ideas or research results, brainstorming, and planning the composition.
- Writing: writing the composition actively.
- Editing: read the text again, add sentences, delete unnecessary parts and correct the text.
Step 3. Practice free writing or an exercise as if you were going to write in a journal, to get some ideas on paper
Get some free writing practice when you're just starting out trying to figure out the best way to approach a topic you need to write about. You don't have to show it to anyone, so feel free to explore your ideas and opinions on a given topic and see where it leads.
Try writing something in a timed way by keeping the pen moving for 10 minutes without stopping. Don't be afraid to include your opinions on a particular topic, even if your teacher has advised you not to include personal opinions in the document. This will not be the final draft
Step 4. Try a group or bubble exercise
If you've generated a lot of ideas in free writing, but are having trouble knowing where to start, then creating a web diagram would be good. This will help you go from the general to the specific, which is an important part of any composition. Start with a blank piece of paper, or use a chalkboard to draw the outline. Leave plenty of free space.
- Write the topic in the center of the paper and draw a circle around it. Suppose the theme is "Romeo and Juliet" or "The Civil War." Write the phrase on the paper and circle it.
- Write the main ideas or interests you have on the topic around the center circle. You may be interested in "the death of Juliet", "the wrath of Mercutio", or "the family struggle". Write down all the main ideas that interest you.
- Write the most detailed points or observations on each specific topic. Start looking for connections. Are you repeating the language or ideas?
- Connect the bubbles using lines in those places where you see connections that are related. A good composition is organized by main ideas, and not chronologically or according to plot. Use these connections to form main ideas.
Step 5. Start with the idea that is most interesting to write a solid and innovative text
When brainstorming to write your text, try to focus on the idea that seems the strongest or most interesting to you. Start by putting together a rough draft using free writing in that part, then expand to develop ideas for the rest of the document.
Don't worry about composing a refined thesis statement or final argument at this point. You can do this later in the process
Step 6. Make a formal outline to organize your ideas
Once the main concepts, ideas, and arguments on the topic begin to take shape, you might consider organizing everything into a formal outline to help you get started on the actual draft of the document. Use complete sentences to begin gathering the main points that you will use in the true composition.
Step 7. Write a thesis statement
The thesis statement will guide the entire composition, and is perhaps the most important part of writing a good composition. Typically, a thesis statement consists of a debatable observation, which you try to prove true in your essay.
- The thesis statement has to be debatable. In fact, many thesis statements are structured as the answer to a correctly formulated question on the topic. "Romeo and Juliet is an interesting play written by Shakespeare in the sixteenth century" is not a thesis statement, because that is not a debatable topic. No demonstration needed. The statement "Romeo and Juliet presents Shakespeare's most tragic character in Juliet" is more like a debatable observation, and could be the answer to a question such as "Who is Shakespeare's most tragic character?"
- The thesis statement has to be specific. Claiming that "Romeo and Juliet is a play about making bad decisions" is not as solid a thesis statement as saying "Shakespeare makes the argument that the inexperience of adolescent love is both comic and tragic at the same time."
- A good thesis guides the essay. Sometimes in the thesis you can preview the points that you will discuss in the paper, guiding yourself and the reader: "Shakespeare uses Juliet's death, Mercutio's rage, and the petty arguments of the two main families to illustrate the idea that the heart and the head are disconnected forever. "
Part 2 of 3: Write a First Draft
Step 1. Think of fives
Some teachers teach the "rule of five" or the "five paragraph format" for writing texts. This is not an immutable rule, and you don't have to confine yourself to an arbitrary number such as "5", but it can be helpful in building your argument and organizing your ideas to try and aim for a minimum of 3 support points. different to support the main argument. These 3 points will be addressed as part of your thesis statement. Some teachers like their students to compose:
- Introduction, in which the topic is described, the question or problem is summarized, and the argument is presented.
- Paragraph 1 of the main point, in which you establish and substantiate the first supporting argument.
- Paragraph 2 of the main point, in which you establish and substantiate the second supporting argument.
- Paragraph 3 of the main point, in which you establish and support the final supporting argument.
- Concluding paragraph, in which you summarize the argument.
Step 2. Support the main points by using two types of evidence
Within a good composition, the thesis is like a desktop, it has to be supported with the legs of the table, represented by solid arguments and evidence, since it cannot float there by itself. Each point that you are going to argue must be supported by two types of evidence: logic and proof.
- The test includes specific quotes from the book you are writing about, or specific facts on the subject. If you want to talk about Mercutio's temperamental character, you will need to quote him, set the scene, and describe him in detail. This will be the proof, which you will also have to unravel through logic.
- Logic refers to reason and reasoning. Why is Mercutio like this? What are we supposed to notice about the way he talks? Explain the proof to the reader using logic and you will make a strong argument that will have strong evidence.
Step 3. Think of the questions that need to be answered
A common complaint from student writers is that they can't think of anything else to say on a particular topic. Learn to ask yourself the questions the reader might ask to generate more material by answering those questions in your draft.
- Ask yourself the question: How does Juliet's death present itself to us? How do the other characters react? How is the reader supposed to feel?
- Ask yourself why. Why did Shakespeare kill her? Why don't you let her live? Why does it have to die? Why wouldn't history work without his death?
Step 4. Don't worry about "sounding smart."
One mistake many student writers make is spending too much time using Microsoft Word's Thesaurus function to update their vocabulary using cheap substitutes. You are not going to fool your teacher by including a $ 40 American word in the first sentence if the argument is as weak as the paper it is written on. Establishing a strong argument has much less to do with the writing and your vocabulary and more to do with building the argument and supporting your thesis on the main points.
Only use words and phrases that you are proficient in handling. Academic vocabulary may sound impressive, but if you don't fully understand its meaning, you can hinder the impact generated by the essay
Part 3 of 3: Review
Step 1. Get feedback on your first draft
It may be tempting to want to quit as soon as the required number of pages or number of words is reached, but it will be much better if you rest the essay for a while and go back to it with fresh eyes and are willing to make changes and make changes. have the draft revised into a finished product.
Try to write a first draft on the weekend before the due date, and give it to your teacher for comments a few days before the due date. Meditate on the comments received and make the necessary changes
Step 2. Be willing to make big cuts and changes
Proofreading is difficult, but it is also essential for good writing. Many students think that proofreading is about correcting spelling and typographical errors, and while that is certainly a part of proofreading, it is important to know that NO writer writes a perfect argument that is impeccably organized and constructed on the first pass. You still have more work to do. Try:
- Move the paragraphs around to achieve the best possible organization of the points, or the best "fluency."
- Eliminate whole sentences that are repetitive or don't work.
- Eliminate any points that do not support the argument.
Step 3. Go from the general to the specific
One of the best ways to improve a revised draft is to choose points that are too general and make them much more specific. This could include adding more supporting evidence in the form of quotes or logic, it could involve completely rethinking the point and shifting focus, and it could involve finding new points and new evidence to support your thesis.
Think of each main point you are establishing as a mountain in a ridge that you are flying over in a helicopter. You can stay above it and fly over it quickly, pointing out its features from afar and taking a quick flyover, or you can drop us into it and show it to us up close, so that we can see the mountain goats and rocks and waterfalls. What would be the best route?
Step 4. Read the draft out loud
One of the best ways to analyze yourself and see if your writing holds up is to sit down with your document in front of you and read it out loud. Sound "correct"? Circle anything that needs to be more specific, anything that needs to be rephrased or needs to be clearer. When you're done, go over everything again and add whatever you need to get the best draft possible.
Step 5. Correcting the text is the last step in the process
Don't worry about commas and apostrophes until you're almost ready to turn in your draft. Questions regarding sentences, spelling, and typography are called "late concerns," which means that you only need to worry about them when the most important parts of your composition (the thesis, main points, and the organization of the argument) are captured in the best possible way.
- If you think that what you have is not enough, you can always add more circles to your guide diagram.
- The open source program called Free Mind can help you with the preredaction process.
- Remember that there is no time limit (unless you are taking a timed exam, of course) so take your time and let your ideas flow freely.
- You can let your imagination fly.
- Write an observation, and explain yourself in 2 lines about that particular observation.