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What is an essay and how to do it?

During the school journey, in different subjects, teachers ask students to write different types of texts; however, not all students are clear about what an essay is, for example.

And it is that although it is one of the most common writings, many people tend to confuse them with summaries, which are synthesis of readings in which a compendium of the most important points of a content is made.

That said, you should know that an essay is a prose text in which the writer develops his ideas on a specific topic with personal character and style.

In addition, there are different classes of this type of document, for example: literary, scientific, expository, argumentative, critical and poetic.

To help you write these writings successfully during your university stage, below we will talk about the steps you must follow and the points you have to take into account when you wonder what an essay is.

1. Research

The first thing you should do once your teacher has indicated what type of essay and what topic you will develop, is to investigate as much as you can about what you will write.

Be careful not to direct your inquiry to a single point, perspective or position of the central topic, but it is best that you look for all kinds of information about it, always making sure that the data is from a reliable source.

To achieve this, you can use official Internet sites of government entities, documents published by universities, digital encyclopedias, and interviews with highly recognized professionals in the subject on which you focus.

2. Development of the argument

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At the end of the first step, it will be time to analyze all the data collected and establish your thesis or the argument that you will develop in the essay.

To make it easier you can choose a sentence or a question to answer, for example: “how will new technologies change jobs in the future?” or “Automation is changing the way we live”.

Of course, make sure that what you choose is something that can be supported by the research you did and that is consistent with your ideas.

3. Test plot

When you ask yourself what an essay is, something you have to be clear about is that it will not only be a document that presents arguments on a topic, but also that its structure is key.

For this reason, the next thing you will have to do is outline your material in a logical and fluid way for the reader, establishing which points you are going to develop and in what order, considering that there must be a relationship between each idea so that the final content is not confusing. or make no sense.

Hence, this stage should be considered as the assembly of a puzzle with all the information that you managed to get in the first step.

4. Development of ideas

The next thing will be to start introducing the ideas and arguments according to the structure you have established.

For this, you must remember to follow these steps:

Introduction: In this part you introduce the topic you will talk about, as well as your central argument. Remember to use the phrase or question you chose in one of the previous steps.

Here it will also be important that you state the purpose of the essay and a very brief summary of the main ideas that you will touch on in it.

Development: This part is where you can place all the data and ideas that support your thesis.

The most recommended thing is that you develop one idea per paragraph, but remember that it has to have a certain logic and fluency to make it understandable and interesting for the reader.

Also, introducing the references of your research is key to giving strength and validity to everything you expose in the text.

Conclusion: In this part you will express the solution to the argument of the subject on which you wrote; You must concisely present the ideas that you developed in the body of the essay and finally state what is the final premise that you seek to convey.

By making sure that the presentation of your arguments includes these stages, your final document will be of a high quality.

5. Edition

Finally, the edition of your essay is the icing on the cake, since it implies that you reread your text and take into account some points so that it is a success and correctly expresses what you are looking for, for example:

  • Identify any misspelling present in the document and, if you have doubts about the correct use of some words, consult the  RAE.
  • Check that the structure is developed correctly and that you have not included part of the development in the conclusion or introduction.​
  • Check that the  bibliography with the sources that you have used in the investigation of your topic is included. Also, if you placed citations, it is essential that you put the author’s data, since if you do not, it could appear plagiarism.
  •  Make sure that the ideas are precise and clear, but above all that there is no doubt for the reader about what the purpose of the essay is.
  • Check that the arguments, mainly in the development, have fluidity, coherence and a common objective. Don’t make the mistake of exposing data that has nothing to do with each other; the idea is to support the argument or thesis, not to confuse the reader.
  •  Do not use fancy words, it is best to use language according to who your text is directed to.
  • When this is ready, you can end your writing.

Good! Now that you know more about what an essay is and how to write it correctly, it’s time to practice your skills to develop this type of document.

Keep in mind that learning about this will help you not only for your student stage, but also for your professional life in the future.

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