How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies

ThoughtCo / Hugo Lin

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates. It lets readers know what your essay is about and it encourages them to keep reading.

There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are 13 introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.

State Your Thesis Briefly and Directly

But avoid making your thesis a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about...". 

"It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday...." (Michael J. Arlen, "Ode to Thanksgiving." The Camera Age: Essays on Television . Penguin, 1982)

Pose a Question Related to Your Subject

Follow up the question with an answer, or an invitation for your readers to answer the question.

"What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. We might say, it borrows meaning from what it surrounds and sets off, the head with its supremely important material contents, and the face, that register of the soul. When photographers discuss the way in which a photograph reduces the reality it represents, they mention not only the passage from three dimensions to two, but also the selection of a point de vue that favors the top of the body rather than the bottom, and the front rather than the back. The face is the jewel in the crown of the body, and so we give it a setting." (Emily R. Grosholz, "On Necklaces." Prairie Schooner , Summer 2007)

State an Interesting Fact About Your Subject

" The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Chee-up! Chee-up! and bowing like an overpolite Japanese Buddhist trying to tell somebody goodbye...." (David James Duncan, "Cherish This Ecstasy." The Sun , July 2008)

Present Your Thesis as a Recent Discovery or Revelation

"I've finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people." (Suzanne Britt Jordan, "Neat People vs. Sloppy People." Show and Tell . Morning Owl Press, 1983)

Briefly Describe the Primary Setting of Your Essay

"It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. In some of them brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars, with their blankets draped round them. These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or two." (George Orwell, "A Hanging," 1931)

Recount an Incident That Dramatizes Your Subject

"One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked." (Katy Butler, "What Broke My Father's Heart." The New York Times Magazine , June 18, 2010)

Use the Narrative Strategy of Delay

The narrative strategy of delay allows you to put off identifying your subject just long enough to pique your readers' interest without frustrating them. 

"They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl...." (Lee Zacharias, "Buzzards." Southern Humanities Review , 2007)

Use the Historical Present Tense

An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. 

"Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother’s station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy—his and mine—to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. Years from this evening, I won’t actually be sure that this boy sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesn’t matter tonight. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five." (Ryan Van Meter, "First." The Gettysburg Review , Winter 2008)

Briefly Describe a Process That Leads Into Your Subject

"I like to take my time when I pronounce someone dead. The bare-minimum requirement is one minute with a stethoscope pressed to someone’s chest, listening for a sound that is not there; with my fingers bearing down on the side of someone’s neck, feeling for an absent pulse; with a flashlight beamed into someone’s fixed and dilated pupils, waiting for the constriction that will not come. If I’m in a hurry, I can do all of these in sixty seconds, but when I have the time, I like to take a minute with each task." (Jane Churchon, "The Dead Book." The Sun , February 2009)

Reveal a Secret or Make a Candid Observation

"I spy on my patients. Ought not a doctor to observe his patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of hospital rooms and gaze. Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to discover me. But they never do." ( Richard Selzer , "The Discus Thrower." Confessions of a Knife . Simon & Schuster, 1979)

Open with a Riddle, Joke, or Humorous Quotation

You can use a riddle , joke, or humorous quotation to reveal something about your subject. 

" Q: What did Eve say to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden? A: 'I think we're in a time of transition.' The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and anxieties about social change seem rife. The implication of this message, covering the first of many periods of transition, is that change is normal; there is, in fact, no era or society in which change is not a permanent feature of the social landscape...." (Betty G. Farrell, Family: The Making of an Idea, an Institution, and a Controversy in American Culture . Westview Press, 1999)

Offer a Contrast Between Past and Present

"As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I don't care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke." (Garrison Keillor, "Walking Down The Canyon." Time , July 31, 2000)

Offer a Contrast Between Image and Reality

A compelling essay can begin with a contrast between a common misconception and the opposing truth. 

"They aren’t what most people think they are. Human eyes, touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history, are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than your average marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with nature’s facsimile of Jell-O. Your beloved’s eyes may pierce your heart, but in all likelihood they closely resemble the eyes of every other person on the planet. At least I hope they do, for otherwise he or she suffers from severe myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or worse...." (John Gamel, "The Elegant Eye." Alaska Quarterly Review , 2009)

  • 'Whack at Your Reader at Once': Eight Great Opening Lines
  • What Is a Compelling Introduction?
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • Hookers vs. Chasers: How Not to Begin an Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • How to Develop and Organize a Classification Essay
  • 6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Personal Essay
  • A Guide to Using Quotations in Essays
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right

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Baby Steps: 10 Proven Tips to Write Better Essays in English

If writing an essay sounds a little bit scary, just think of it as a chance to improve your writing skills .

Nobody expects your first essay to be perfect. Just make sure you learn something new every time you write an essay, and you will  grow your abilities.

We’re going to help you out with ten tips for writing better essays while you’re learning English .

1. Create a Word Bank

2. act like a reporter, 3. create topic sentences, 4. argue both sides, 5. read backwards, 6. use an online thesaurus and a dictionary, 7. combine and separate sentences, 8. have a native english speaker edit your essay, 9. review the whole essay with your friend, then rewrite it, 10. use online apps, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

This is an interesting approach to writing your essay. First, choose a topic and write a thesis . A thesis is the main argument of your essay. For instance, if your topic is reading, your thesis might be “Reading makes you smarter.”

Once you have a thesis, think about your main topic and find words that relate to it in different ways. Then, branch out (broaden, diversify) your list to words that aren’t as closely related to your main topic.

For the example above, your primary list might include words like “books,” “reading” and “intelligent.” Your other “branched out” list might include “Harry Potter,” “reading by a fire” or “test scores.”

This process will help expand your vocabulary over time. Using these words when you write will also make your essay more vibrant (energetic, colorful).

When you are first assigned the topic, go ahead and really explore the possible options for your thesis. Ask questions. Get curious. The more questions you ask before you start writing, the more information you will have to use in the essay.

A strong essay is one that covers a lot of content in a succinct (short, to-the-point) way. This process of acting like a reporter will give you valuable quotes, resources and vocabulary to begin the writing process.

For instance, if you’re writing about a new diet plan , you might ask questions like, “Who is the best candidate for this diet plan?,” “How can someone get started?” and “What is the hardest part of this plan?”

A topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph, and it summarizes the rest of the paragraph. You can create them first to help you stay on track when writing your essay.

For the thesis “Reading makes you smarter,” one paragraph’s topic sentence might be, “Newspapers make you more aware of current events.” Another paragraph’s topic sentence could be, “Reading plays and classic literature will make you more cultured.”

If you’re writing about the three main issues facing writers today, you could write three full sentences that each address one main issue. Set these aside. Then, when you start writing the essay, refer to your topic sentences to create a solid structure that begins at point A and ends at point C.

If you have to write a longer or more complex essay, it might help to outline both sides of the argument before you start writing. When you write the essay, you will need to choose one side to focus on. But as you prepare, having a side-by-side list of points can be helpful in developing your thesis.

Also, by arguing for the opposite side of your opinion, you will learn which points you need to better address in your essay. You will learn more about the topic, and you will gain more vocabulary words to enrich the essay.

As an example, you might be writing an essay arguing that people should drink less coffee. To argue both sides, you’ll need to consider the opposite side: the benefits of coffee. How will people quit if they are addicted? What about the antioxidants in coffee? Aren’t those good for you? Really explore the entire concept (both sides of the argument) before you write.

Proper grammar is difficult for even the most fluent English speakers. Because you are learning English, you actually have an advantage. Many native speakers learned improper grammar from the start. It’s difficult to undo the damage caused by a lifetime of writing improperly.

As you learn the English language, make a serious effort to practice your grammar and sentence structure. One way to spot improper grammar in your own English writing is to read each sentence backwards (start with the last word and end with the first). This way, you won’t be fooled by how the words sound when you read them in your head.

Is everything in the correct tense (past, present, future, etc.)? If you’re writing about plurals, are the possessive nouns plural? Are the apostrophes in the right places? Does every sentence end with a punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation point)? Reading the text backwards makes you focus on the rules of grammar instead of the flow of the sentence.

You might have learned a large number of fancy words when studying for an entrance exam. But before you start using them in academic essays, be very sure you know what they mean in the context of your essay. This is where the dictionary can come in handy .

A thesaurus is another valuable tool when writing an essay. A thesaurus tells you synonyms, or words that have the same or a similar meaning to the word you look up. It’s important because it can add some volume to your essay and increase the impact of your words.

For example, if you’re writing about cooking, the words “stir” and “add” might come up a lot. This repetition is boring for a reader.

So instead of constantly saying, “Add the tomato” and “add the eggs,” a thesaurus will teach you to say things like “whisk in the eggs” or “gently fold in the tomatoes.” See? It sounds a lot better and adds interest to your essay.

Visual Thesaurus is a resource that works just like a regular thesaurus, but it also shows you the connections between the words. For example, if you type in the word “stir,” you’ll immediately see a whole circle of other words connected to “stir” with lines. From there, you can click on any of the words in the circle (like “move,” in this case) and then see all the words related to that word. This helps you find and learn new words quickly, and it’s also fun!

Once the essay is written, go back through the writing to find any sentences that seem too long or wordy. Break these into two or more sentences.

For example, the following sentence is too long, which makes it unclear:

If you want to write in another language, you need to practice writing in creative ways, like writing on a blog, writing fun poems or texting a friend who speaks the language you’re learning every day.

Instead, you could write it as two clearer sentences (with less repetition of the word “writing”):

If you want to write in another language, you need to practice in creative ways every day. For example, you could start a blog, create fun poems or text a friend.

Do the opposite with sentences you find too short.

Also, look for sentences that are very closely related to one another. If two sentences seem like the thoughts are connected, you can combine them with a semicolon ( ; ).

For example, the following sentences are very closely related:

Learning to write in another language can be really difficult, especially when you’re first getting started. That’s why it helps to practice every day.

That’s why you could write it this way:

Learning to write in another language can be really difficult, especially when you’re first getting started; daily practice is helpful.

Meet up with a friend who is fluent in English (or, at least, more fluent than you). This friend can edit your essay and point out any repetitive errors.

If they find mistakes that you make often, you will be able to watch more closely for that error as you write future essays. This friend will also be able to point out grammatical or spelling errors that you might have missed.

If you don’t have any friends who are fluent in English, you can use a website like Conversation Exchange . This is a free site where native English speakers will correct your writing. In exchange, you correct the writing of someone learning your native language.

Once you and your friend have both reviewed your essay and marked any mistakes, rewrite the whole thing. This step is important. Just noting that you made some mistakes will not help you learn how to avoid them in the future.

By rewriting the essay with the corrections in mind, you will teach yourself how to write those sections properly. You will create a memory of using proper grammar or spelling a word correctly. So, you will be more likely to write it correctly next time.

Lastly, there are some fantastic online resources that can help improve your writing. For instance,  Hemingway Editor  can review your document to find any confusing or wordy sentences. You can rewrite these to make them easier to understand.

You could also head over to  Essay Punch  to find resources, tools and support that can help improve your writing skills.  Grammar Book  is a great resource for practicing proper grammar and spelling.

If you need some practice with words and grammar, but you learn better from audio and video, it can be challenging to improve your writing ability. One way to improve your English skills with a multimedia approach is using a language learning program like FluentU .

Since many online resources are readily accessible, feel free to experiment with your options. Try to find the ones that cater best to your learning habits and needs.

The advice in this post is mainly for improving your essay writing over time. However, if you want a more professional opinion for an important essay, you can also use Scribendi . Scribendi is an online essay editing resource that helps with academic and admissions essays. If you’re applying to a school or are writing an important paper, you may want to consider their services to make sure your essay is the best it can be.

Learning a new language is certainly an ambitious (challenging) task. There are so many small details to learn, and the process takes a lot of time and commitment. But with practice and study, you will improve.

It takes even more effort to become a strong writer in a new language, but these tips will help you get started.

Hopefully, you were able to find one or two tips that you believe will help you improve your essay writing abilities. Over time, try to use all of these strategies (or at least more than one) in your writing routine. Good luck!

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials , as you can see here:

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If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.

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FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:

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FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

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FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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how to start english essay

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

how to start english essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

how to start english essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

how to start english essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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  • What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)
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How to Write an English Essay

Last Updated: March 31, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 14 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 1,597,324 times.

When taking English courses in high school and college, you'll likely be assigned to write essays. While writing an essay for an English class may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be. If you give yourself plenty of time to plan out and develop your essay, however, then you will not have to stress about it.

Sample Essays

how to start english essay

Getting Started

Step 1 Set aside time to write.

  • Your instructor will expect to see a well-crafted thesis early on in your essay. Place your thesis at the end of your first paragraph.
  • If you don't understand how to write a thesis, ask your instructor for help. This is an important concept that will keep coming up in courses where you have to write papers.

Step 4 Develop your introduction...

  • Telling a personal anecdote
  • Citing a surprising fact or statistic
  • Overturning a common misconception
  • Challenging the reader to examine her own preconceptions

Step 5 Jot down an outline for the remainder of your essay.

  • You can create a numbered outline using a word processor or just put it on paper.
  • Don’t worry about being too detailed when you create your outline. Just try to get the major ideas on paper.
  • A really solid outline helps you figure out how you're going to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Collect all of your notes and materials.

  • Make sure that you have your outline handy as well. You can build on your outline by expanding on each of the points in the order that they are listed in.

Step 2 Include topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.

  • Think of the topic sentence as a way to tell readers what you'll talk about in the rest of the paragraph. You don’t need to summarize the whole paragraph—just provide readers with a taste.
  • For example, in a paragraph that describes Okonkwo’s rise and fall in Things Fall Apart, you might begin with something like: “Okonkwo starts out as a poor young man, but then rises to a position of wealth and status.”

Step 3 Develop your ideas as much as possible.

  • Returning to the invention stage . This includes exercises such as freewriting, listing, or clustering. You can also revisit your notes and books to see if there's anything you missed or forgot.
  • Visiting your school’s writing lab . You can find a writing lab on most college campuses. They are free to students and can help you improve your writing at any stage in the writing process.
  • Talking to your instructor . Take advantage of your professor's office hours or one-on-one appointments. Meet with them and discuss ways that you can improve your essay before you hand it in.

Step 4 Cite sources using...

  • An MLA style works cited page starts on a new page at the end of the essay. Provide entries for each of the sources that you used. These entries should include the information necessary to allow the reader to find the source with ease. [7] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • MLA style in-text (also called parenthetical) citations provide readers with the author’s last name the page number for the information. It's necessary to include an in-text citation for any information that you quote, summarize, or paraphrase from a source. It comes right after the sourced information, and it includes the author’s last name and page number in parentheses. [8] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 5 Work towards a conclusion.

  • Qualify or complicate the information in your essay
  • Suggest a need for further research
  • Speculate on how the future will change the current situation

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Give yourself plenty of time.

  • If possible, give yourself at least 5 days to work on your essay. Dedicate separate days to researching, crafting your thesis, outlining your ideas, drafting your paper, and making revisions.

Step 2 Focus on improving the content of your essay first.

  • Have I answered the question in a satisfactory way?
  • Do I have a clear thesis? Is my thesis the focus of my essay?
  • Do I include adequate support for my argument? Is there anything else I could add?
  • Is there a logic to my essay? Does one idea follow the next? If not, how might I improve the logic of my essay?

Step 3 Ask a friend to read your essay.

  • Try swapping essays with a friend from class. You can read and comment on each other’s essays to make sure that both of you have done the best work possible.
  • Make sure that you swap papers at least one day before the paper is due so that you will have time to correct any errors that your friend finds.

Step 4 Read your essay out loud.

  • As you read, correct any errors that you find and make a note of anything that you think could be improved, such as adding more details or clarifying the language.

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Analyze the topic or essay question.

  • Always ask your professor if you don't understand the assignment. It's important to have a clear idea of what they want before you start working on the assignment.

Aly Rusciano

Aly Rusciano

“Think of your thesis as the point you're trying to prove in your essay. If the essay came with a prompt question, your one-sentence answer is your thesis.”

Step 2 Consider your audience.

  • A well-detailed answer that satisfies the assignment requirements
  • A clear and direct piece of writing that is easy to follow
  • A polished paper with no minor errors, such as typos or misspellings

Step 3 Think about what you will need to include.

  • For example, if you are tasked with writing about a character in a book, then you will need to provide lots of details about that character. This will probably require rereading some passages of your book as well as revisiting your notes from class. [16] X Research source
  • To ensure that your paper is easy to follow, you'll need to make sure that there's a logical order to your essay. Do this by creating an outline and checking your work for logic.
  • Start early and give yourself lots of time for revision. Try to complete your first draft about one week before the paper is due.

Step 4 Develop your ideas.

  • Freewriting . Write as much as you can without stopping. If you can’t think of anything, write “I can’t think of anything to write,” until something comes to mind. After you finish, go over what've written and underline or highlight any useful information for your essay.
  • Listing . Make a list of all of the details and information that are relevant to the essay prompt. After you have listed everything that you can think of, read over it and circle the most important information for your essay.
  • Clustering . Write your topic in the middle of the page, then branch out with other connected ideas. Circle the ideas and connect them to the main one with lines. Keep going until you can't do any more.

Step 5 Research your topic if necessary.

  • Good sources to use for English essays include books, articles from scholarly journals, articles from trustworthy news sources (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.), and government or university sponsored web pages.
  • Many instructors include “research quality” in their grading criteria, so including poor sources, such as blogs, may result in a poor grade.
  • If you are not sure if a source is of good quality, ask your instructor or a librarian.

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • If you choose to have someone critique your essay, try to find someone who fits your essay's target audience. You won't be able to improve your literary analysis of "To Kill a Mockingbird" if you hand it to someone who's never read it. Thanks Helpful 17 Not Helpful 5

how to start english essay

  • Don’t procrastinate on starting and developing your essay. Good writing takes time and careful planning. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/developing_an_outline/types_of_outlines.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/paragraphs_and_paragraphing/index.html
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-11-developing-a-convincing-argument/
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/mlacitation/intext
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_basic_format.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/index.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/index.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/understanding_writing_assignments.html
  • ↑ http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/fulllist/second/en228/how_to_write_an_essay/
  • ↑ http://writing.ku.edu/prewriting-strategies

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write an English essay, start by collecting your notes and sources to brainstorm a thesis, also known as your main argument. Once you have an argument, begin your essay by writing a paragraph that introduces your topic and thesis. After the introduction, write out body paragraphs, which should each start with a topic sentence and develop your thesis by providing specific examples. Finally, finish your essay with a conclusory paragraph, then, edit it for grammar, clarity, and any filler content. For more, like how to write an outline, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to write an Essay Introduction (5-Step Formula)

How to write an Essay Introduction

One of my friends – a high-up professor in an English university – told me he can tell the grade a student will get within the first 90 seconds of reading a paper.

This makes the introduction the most important paragraph in your whole paper.

The introduction orients your reader to how well you understand academic writing, your skills in critical thinking, your ability to write professionally with minimal errors, and the depth of knowledge you have on the topic.

All in one fantastic paragraph! No pressure.

No wonder introductions are so difficult to write. If you’re like me, you find that you can sit and stare at a blank page as the moments tick by. You’re just not sure how to write an introduction!

After reading the top 30 online articles on how to write an essay introduction, I synthesized the five most common steps that universities give on how to write an introduction.

The five steps I am going to introduce to you in this paragraph are from my I.N.T.R.O. method. The intro method provides an easy-to-use acronym for how to write an introduction that the top universities recommend.

The INTRO method’s steps are:

  • [I] Interest: Provide an opening sentence that shows why the topic is of interest to everyday human beings
  • [N] Notify: Notify the reader of background or contextual information
  • [T] Translate: Translate the essay topic or question by paraphrasing it
  • [R] Report: Report on your position or argument
  • [O] Outline: Provide an outline of the essay structure

Below, I go through each step one by one. Each step is designed to be written in order, although you may feel free to mix them up after you’ve written each sentence to make it feel and read just the way you like.

Use the INTRO method as a guide for how to write an introduction and get words down on paper. As I often argue on this website, just writing something is often the hardest part .

You may also find that some essay introductions work better without one or more of these 5 steps. That is okay, too. Use these 5 steps as advice on points to include in an introduction and adjust them as you need. You may find in your specific area of study you need to add or remove other sentences. Play around with your introduction until you feel comfortable with it.

So don’t be too hard on yourself: have a go at a draft of your introduction with no pressure to use it in the end. You’ll find by the time you’ve written these five sentences you’ll have the creative juices flowing and a compelling introduction will be down on paper in no time.

1. Interest

Provide an opening sentence that shows why the topic is interesting to everyday human beings

Nearly every source on how to write an introduction that I found online recommended that your first sentence be an engaging ‘hook’ . Most sources highlight that the ‘hook’ sentence should draw in the reader’s interest in order to make your piece stand out.

The marker wants to see if you understand why this topic is of interest is in the first place. They want to see if you ‘get it’ from the very start.

I also recommend that you view the hook as an opportunity to show why the topic is interesting to everyday human beings . This makes it relevant to your reader.

To show you understand why the topic is of interest in the first place, aim to do one of the following things:

  • Show what makes the topic worth discussing. Your ‘Interest’ sentence might help show why someone should care about the topic. Will it affect our livelihoods? Will it harm us? Make our work lives easier? The more relatable this point is to real human lives, the better.
  • Highlight the single most interesting point in the essay. You might notice that you have already pointed out this interesting ‘hook’ somewhere in your essay. Find that interesting, relatable point and make it the opening sentence of your introduction.
  • Use an interesting fact or figure to show the topic’s importance. Percentages or real numbers about how many people are or would be impacted by the issue help to show the topic’s importance. This will create reader interest with a ‘wow’ factor.
  • Show how the essay topic is relevant to today’s world. If you’re struggling to identify this interesting ‘hook’, go onto google and find news reports related to your topic. How has the topic made it into the news recently? The news report will help you to brainstorm why this topic is of interest to the everyday lives of real human beings.

However, do not overstate the issue. You should provide a clear, reasonable perspective in this first sentence rather than an over-the-top claim. For example, aim to avoid hyperbolic or overly emotional phrases:

To find out more about retracting over-the-top emotion and hyperbole, we have put together a guide on academic language that you may like to read.

To summarize, I recommend that your first step in how to write an introduction is to write a ‘hook’ sentence that focuses on why the topic is interesting to everyday human beings . Use sober, clear facts about the importance of the topic to real human lives to get yourself started.

Read Also: My Suggested Best Words to Start a Paragraph
Notify the reader of background or contextual information

Nearly every source I found also recommended that you provide brief ‘background’ or ‘contextual’ information.

‘Background’ or ‘contextual’ information shows your depth of knowledge and understanding of the topic.

Here are some examples of ‘context’ for a few topics:

Hopefully, you can see here that giving ‘context’ is a way of showing that you have a really strong or deep knowledge of the history or background story of the topic. This is your chance to differentiate your depth of knowledge from other students. A sentence or two giving some of this context also helps to show off your knowledge right from the start.

Most sources recommend only providing one or two sentences of background information. This will help you to show off your knowledge without stealing content from the body of your essay. The body of the essay will add depth and detail to your points in the introduction, so feel free to leave out examples and explanations beyond your engaging sentence or two: you will have time in the body of the essay to elaborate.

3. Translate

Translate the essay topic or question

This point was mentioned by more than half the websites I found giving advice on how to write an introduction.

Many universities recommend re-stating the essay topic or question in your own words. This helps your marker to see that you understand the topic and are directly addressing it.

Here are some examples of essay questions and ways you can re-state the essay question in your introduction:

Something to keep in mind is that you do not want to appear to be re-stating the essay question simply to take up extra words. We call this ‘padding’. An example of padding is when a student drops the essay question in as a question, word-for-word:

  • How can knowledge about history help us to improve our lives in the future? This is the question that will be answered in this essay.
  • This essay will answer the question “What is the lasting impact of European Colonisation in the 21 st Century?”

Do not drop the essay question into the introduction without paraphrasing or surrounding explanation. If you do this, your marker will think you’re just trying to add words to the introduction because you’re not sure of anything interesting to say

Report your position or argument

Most essays do not require you to take a stance on an issue.

Essays that do require you to take a stance are called either ‘argumentative essays’ or ‘persuasive essays’.

If you are writing a persuasive essay, you will need to include Step 4: Report. For this step, you’ll need to state where you stand on the issue:

Keep in mind that essays should never leave a reader confused. Essay writing is not like creative writing: your reader must always know what’s going to be said right from the start. When reading to gather information, readers don’t like to be surprised. They want the facts up-front. Therefore, your marker will expect to know what your stance is on the issue right from the introduction onwards.

Provide an outline of the Essay Structure

This last point on how to write an introduction is important and separates average students from top students.

Introductions should always highlight the key points that will be made in an essay. Academic writing should never surprise the reader.

The fact that steps 4 and 5 both highlight that you should orient your marker reinforces the importance of this. Always, always, guide your marker’s reading experience.

Your essay should signpost all key concepts, theories, and main sections that make up your essay. If an important point is made in the essay but not signposted in the introduction, you are likely to confuse your marker. A confused marker very rapidly lowers your mark.

Too often, students fail to outline key points of their essays in the introduction. Make a habit of signposting your key ideas, points, theories, or concepts you will cover in the introduction in order to gain marks.

It is always easier to write this outline once the essay plan is written. You will then be able to gather together the key points that you listed in your essay plan and include them in the introduction.

The outline of the essay structure can only be one or two sentences long. You can state as your last sentence in your introduction:

  • “Firstly, this essay … then, …, and finally …”
  • “The essay opens with …, then, …, and then closes with …”
  • “After exploring …, … and …, this essay will conclude with …”

Try to outline the issues you will cover in order. Providing an orderly outline of your essay is very helpful for your reader.

Now, I know that some people don’t like this method. Let me reassure you with this study from Theresa Thonney in 2016. Thonney examined 600 top-ranking articles in fields including Literature, Music, Environmental Sciences, Nutrition, Inter-Cultural Studies, and more to see how many articles used this method. In other words, she completed a comprehensive study of whether professional, published authors use this method of orientating the reader to the structure of the article.

Thonney found that 100% of top-ranking articles she looked at in the Astronomy field used this method. 98% of articles in Sociology journals used this method. In fact, the field with the lowest amount of authors who use this method is Art, which had 76% of authors use this method. In other words, even the lowest result she found showed that three in every four professional authors use this method.

So, you should too.

Let’s sum point 5 up by reinforcing this very important rule: your marker should always be very clear about what they will read, and in what order, to improve their reading experience.

A short list of things to Avoid in Introductions

I want to conclude this post with an outline of some of the worst things you can do in an introduction. The introduction sets the scene, so you want to make a good impression. You don’t want your marker taking away marks due to one of these top mistakes:

  • Rhetorical Questions.
  • Vague padding.
  • Dictionary definitions.

Sometimes, teachers also recommend avoiding referencing in introductions. I have colleagues who absolutely refuse to let students include references in their introductions. Personally, I think that’s absurd – if a reference is required, include it! However, check with your teacher on their personal preferences here as I know this is a point of contention in faculty lounges.

How to write an introduction

The introduction is important for creating a strong first impression, especially since markers often make up their mind about your grade very early on in the marking process.

Introductions are best written last. That way, you will be able to include all the signposting you need to do (step 5), have a good understanding of the context (step 2), and be more certain about what your stance is on the issue (step 4).

Here’s the five INTRO steps I’d encourage you to use every time:

Once you have written your introduction, it is a good idea to put it away for a few days and then come back to edit it with fresh eyes . Remember that grammar and punctuation are important in the introduction. You want to leave a good impression.

If you have a friend who can read the draft for you and give you tips, or if your teacher has drop-in hours, use them to get some tips on how to write an introduction, what sounds right, want sounds off, and how you might be able to improve your introduction.

Once you have written your introduction, you might want to have a look at our guidance on how to write conclusions in order to end your piece as strongly as you started! People often think conclusions are just like introductions. That’s not true. Conclusions are unique paragraphs, so head over to our guidance on conclusions now to get the support you need on writing the best conclusion you can.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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how to start english essay

How to Start a College Essay to Hook Your Reader

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What is the purpose of the college essay introduction, tips for getting started on your essay, 6 effective techniques for starting your college essay.

  • Cliche College Essay Introduction to Avoid

Where to Get Your Essay Edited for Free

Have you sat down to write your essay and just hit a wall of writer’s block? Do you have too many ideas running around your head, or maybe no ideas at all?

Starting a college essay is potentially the hardest part of the application process. Once you start, it’s easy to keep writing, but that initial hurdle is just so difficult to overcome. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you jump that wall and make your essay the best it can be.

The introduction to a college essay should immediately hook the reader. You want to give admissions officers a reason to stay interested in your story and encourage them to continue reading your essay with an open mind. Remember that admissions officers are only able to spend a couple minutes per essay, so if you bore them or turn them off from the start, they may clock out for the rest of the essay.

As a whole, the college essay should aim to portray a part of your personality that hasn’t been covered by your GPA, extracurriculars, and test scores. This makes the introduction a crucial part of the essay. Think of it as the first glimpse, an intriguing lead on, into the read rest of your essay which also showcases your voice and personality. 

Brainstorm Topics

Take the time to sit down and brainstorm some good topic ideas for your essay. You want your topic to be meaningful to you, while also displaying a part of you that isn’t apparent in other aspects of your application. The essay is an opportunity to show admissions officers the “real you.” If you have a topic in mind, do not feel pressured to start with the introduction. Sometimes the best essay openings are developed last, once you fully grasp the flow of your story.

Do a Freewrite

Give yourself permission to write without judgment for an allotted period of time. For each topic you generated in your brainstorm session, do a free-write session. Set a time for one minute and write down whatever comes to mind for that specific topic. This will help get the juices flowing and push you over that initial bit of writer’s block that’s so common when it comes time to write a college essay. Repeat this exercise if you’re feeling stuck at any point during the essay writing process. Freewriting is a great way to warm up your creative writing brain whilst seeing which topics are flowing more naturally onto the page.

Create an Outline

Once you’ve chosen your topic, write an outline for your whole essay. It’s easier to organize all your thoughts, write the body, and then go back to write the introduction. That way, you already know the direction you want your essay to go because you’ve actually written it out, and you can ensure that your introduction leads directly into the rest of the essay. Admissions officers are looking for the quality of your writing alongside the content of your essay. To be prepared for college-level writing, students should understand how to logically structure an essay. By creating an outline, you are setting yourself up to be judged favorably on the quality of your writing skills.

1. The Scriptwriter

“No! Make it stop! Get me out!” My 5-year-old self waved my arms frantically in front of my face in the darkened movie theater.

Starting your essay with dialogue instantly transports the reader into the story, while also introducing your personal voice. In the rest of the essay, the author proposes a class that introduces people to insects as a type of food. Typically, one would begin directly with the course proposal. However, the author’s inclusion of this flashback weaves in a personal narrative, further displaying her true self.

Read the full essay.

2. The Shocker

A chaotic sense of sickness and filth unfolds in an overcrowded border station in McAllen, Texas. Through soundproof windows, migrants motion that they have not showered in weeks, and children wear clothes caked in mucus and tears. The humanitarian crisis at the southern border exists not only in photographs published by mainstream media, but miles from my home in South Texas.

This essay opener is also a good example of “The Vivid Imaginer.” In this case, the detailed imagery only serves to heighten the shock factor. While people may be aware of the “humanitarian crisis at the southern border,” reading about it in such stark terms is bound to capture the reader’s attention. Through this hook, the reader learns a bit about the author’s home life; an aspect of the student that may not be detailed elsewhere in their application. The rest of the essay goes on to talk about the author’s passion for aiding refugees, and this initial paragraph immediately establishes the author’s personal connection to the refugee crisis.

3. The Vivid Imaginer

The air is crisp and cool, nipping at my ears as I walk under a curtain of darkness that drapes over the sky, starless. It is a Friday night in downtown Corpus Christi, a rare moment of peace in my home city filled with the laughter of strangers and colorful lights of street vendors. But I cannot focus. 

Starting off with a bit of well-written imagery transports the reader to wherever you want to take them. By putting them in this context with you, you allow the reader to closely understand your thoughts and emotions in this situation. Additionally, this method showcases the author’s individual way of looking at the world, a personal touch that is the baseline of all college essays.

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4. The Instant Plunger

The flickering LED lights began to form into a face of a man when I focused my eyes. The man spoke of a ruthless serial killer of the decade who had been arrested in 2004, and my parents shivered at his reaccounting of the case. I curiously tuned in, wondering who he was to speak of such crimes with concrete composure and knowledge. Later, he introduced himself as a profiler named Pyo Chang Won, and I watched the rest of the program by myself without realizing that my parents had left the couch.

Plunging readers into the middle of a story (also known as in medias res ) is an effective hook because it captures attention by placing the reader directly into the action. The descriptive imagery in the first sentence also helps to immerse the reader, creating a satisfying hook while also showing (instead of telling) how the author became interested in criminology. With this technique, it is important to “zoom out,” so to speak, in such a way that the essay remains personal to you.

5. The Philosopher 

Saved in the Notes app on my phone are three questions: What can I know? What must I do? What may I hope for? First asked by Immanuel Kant, these questions guide my pursuit of knowledge and organization of critical thought, both skills that are necessary to move our country and society forward in the right direction.

Posing philosophical questions helps present you as someone with deep ideas while also guiding the focus of your essay. In a way, it presents the reader with a roadmap; they know that these questions provide the theme for the rest of the essay. The more controversial the questions, the more gripping a hook you can create. 

Providing an answer to these questions is not necessarily as important as making sure that the discussions they provoke really showcase you and your own values and beliefs.

6. The Storyteller

One Christmas morning, when I was nine, I opened a snap circuit set from my grandmother. Although I had always loved math and science, I didn’t realize my passion for engineering until I spent the rest of winter break creating different circuits to power various lights, alarms, and sensors. Even after I outgrew the toy, I kept the set in my bedroom at home and knew I wanted to study engineering.

Beginning with an anecdote is a strong way to establish a meaningful connection with the content itself. It also shows that the topic you write about has been a part of your life for a significant amount of time, and something that college admissions officers look for in activities is follow-through; they want to make sure that you are truly interested in something. A personal story such as the one above shows off just that.

Cliche College Essay Introductions to Avoid

Ambiguous introduction.

It’s best to avoid introductory sentences that don’t seem to really say anything at all, such as “Science plays a large role in today’s society,” or “X has existed since the beginning of time.” Statements like these, in addition to being extremely common, don’t demonstrate anything about you, the author. Without a personal connection to you right away, it’s easy for the admissions officer to write off the essay before getting past the first sentence.

Quoting Someone Famous

While having a quotation by a famous author, celebrity, or someone else you admire may seem like a good way to allow the reader to get to know you, these kinds of introductions are actually incredibly overused. You also risk making your essay all about the quotation and the famous person who said it; admissions officers want to get to know you, your beliefs, and your values, not someone who isn’t applying to their school. There are some cases where you may actually be asked to write about a quotation, and that’s fine, but you should avoid starting your essay with someone else’s words outside of this case. It is fine, however, to start with dialogue to plunge your readers into a specific moment.

Talking About Writing an Essay

This method is also very commonplace and is thus best avoided. It’s better to show, not tell, and all this method allows you to do is tell the reader how you were feeling at the time of writing the essay. If you do feel compelled to go this way, make sure to include vivid imagery and focus on grounding the essay in the five senses, which can help elevate your introduction and separate it from the many other meta essays.

Childhood Memories

Phrases like “Ever since I was young…” or “I’ve always wanted…” also lend more to telling rather than showing. If you want to talk about your childhood or past feelings in your essay, try using one of the techniques listed earlier (such as the Instant Plunger or the Vivid Imaginer) to elevate your writing.

CollegeVine has a peer essay review page where peers can tell you if your introduction was enough to hook them. Getting feedback from someone who hasn’t read your essay before, and thus doesn’t have any context which may bias them to be more forgiving to your introduction, is helpful because it mimics the same environment in which an admissions officer will be reading your essay. 

Writing a college essay is hard, but with these tips hopefully starting it will be a little easier!

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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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Writing Skills: How to Write an Essay in English

Struggling with another English essay? Inside, find a basic structure that will help you make the essay writing process easier and turn in a remarkable essay.

Determine the Purpose of Your Essay and Stick to It

Brainstorm ideas, develop a thesis statement, create an outline, start writing, edit and proofread, the bottom line.

Character get a bad mark on his English essay

For many beginning English learners writing a whole essay in English can turn out to be a challenge. It’s no wonder why – English students often face a lot of difficulties because there are so many grammar rules and stylistic nuances that it can be daunting for even the most determined students.

However, essays are an integral part of the education system. Essays allow teachers to evaluate your critical thinking and written communication skills. You’ll also need good essay writing skills if you want to apply for universities in English-speaking countries.

The great news is that, with a little hard work and determination, anyone can become a proficient English writer. In this article, we'll discuss some tips that will boost your writing skills and help you ease the essay writing process. Keep reading and learn how to start writing remarkable essays in English!

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There are many different types of essays, and each one requires a different writing approach. Some essays, such as persuasive essays , require a lot of research to form well thought-out arguments. Others, such as personal narratives , are more informal and may not require as much additional research.

If you're assigned a research paper , you'll need to use more factual evidence to support your claims. Admissions essays , in turn, require you to present yourself to the admissions committee and demonstrate why you're a good fit for their school.

In an expository essay you explain or define a concept, while in a descriptive essay you'll describe something in great detail.

Understanding the purpose of your essay will help you determine what kind of information to include and how best to organize it. No matter what type of essay you're writing, it's important to determine the purpose early on and stick to it . Keep in mind that trying to accomplish too many things in one essay will only confuse and frustrate your reader.

When you want to write an essay, one of the most important steps is brainstorming . This is when you sit down and come up with ideas for your essay.

Here’s a few questions to get your brainstorming session started. What am I trying to say with my essay? What points do I want to make? What examples can I use to support my claims?

Simply jot down all of your ideas on the topic, and then look for common themes and patterns. By taking the time to think about your essay before you start writing, you'll save yourself a lot of time and frustration later on.

Character thinking about writing the essay

Once you have a general idea of what you want to write about, it's time to develop a thesis statement . This is a short, concise sentence that states the central point of your essay. It should be specific and direct, without being too narrow or broad.

Some things to keep in mind to help you develop a clear thesis statement:

  • Make sure it is directly relevant to the prompt or question.
  • Be as specific as possible.
  • Browse sample essays to get a better idea of how yours should look like.
  • Don't be afraid to revise your thesis statement as you write!

For example, if you want to explore the theme of justice in the play Antigone , a good thesis statement might be:

  • In the play Antigone, Sophocles uses irony to highlight the contradictions between what is morally right and what is legally right.

This thesis statement tells us that the essay will be about how Sophocles uses irony, and what that says about the literature. It gives the reader a specific idea of what to expect, and it also helps to keep the writer focused on their essay’s main purpose.

After you've developed a thesis statement, it's time to create an outline . This will be a roadmap for your essay and help you keep your thoughts organized and on track. A good outline includes a main idea for each paragraph (usually expressed in a topic sentence), and supporting details.

To get started, simply list all of the ideas that you want to include in your essay. Then, look for any common themes or patterns. From there, you can start to develop a more specific outline.

To give you an example, here is a basic outline for a five-paragraph essay on the abovementioned play Antigone :

Introductory Paragraph:

  • Brief summary of the play.
  • Overview of your main argument.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Paragraph 1: Sophocles uses irony to explore the theme of justice.
  • Paragraph 2: The consequences of conflicts between morality and law.
  • Paragraph 3: The role of family in Antigone's decision.

Conclusion Paragraph:

  • Restate your thesis statement.
  • Summarize your main points and arguments.
  • Leave the reader with something to think about.

Remember, this is just a basic structure you can refer to. As you write your own essay, you may find that your ideas change or that the direction of the essay has shifted. That's okay! Just be sure to revise and adjust your outline as you go.

Character writing an essay

Now it's time to start writing your essay! Most people begin with an introduction paragraph where they present their topic and a thesis statement. If you’re struggling to write your thesis, it can also be helpful to start on a body paragraph. Experiment to find out what works for you. Be sure to use strong vocabulary and clear, concise sentence structure.

Avoid run-on sentences and stick to active voice whenever possible. Overusing passive voice is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to essay writing, as it unnecessarily complicates the text and makes it more challenging to get through. Also, avoid using first person pronouns (I, me, my, etc.) in formal academic essays.

When it comes to an overall paragraph structure, make sure that each paragraph focuses on one idea only. Keep in mind that the first sentence of each paragraph is a topic sentence . This means that you should express the main point of the paragraph in it.

Then, you can use transition words to connect sentences within a paragraph, present evidence and argument, and make the text more readable overall.

As you write, be sure to support your thesis statement and provide evidence from the source material. This could include quotes, examples, or simply referring back to specific scenes. Remember, your goal is to persuade your reader that your argument is valid. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your argument will be.

This is especially important if you write an argumentative essay , as it should take a stance on an issue. Your goal is to make your argument as clear and easy to follow as possible to keep the reader's attention throughout the whole essay.

If you find yourself getting bogged down in the details, take a break and come back to it later. Writing essays can be taxing, but with a careful approach to word choice and a bit of creativity, you can turn a simple essay topic into something remarkable.

After you've finished writing your first draft, it's important to edit and proofread your work . A good essay is clear, well-organized, and free of spelling and grammatical errors. You’ll need to edit and make sure that your essay meets all of these requirements.

Here are a few simple steps that will help you proofread and edit your essay:

  • Start by reading through your essay aloud. You can also print your essay out and mark errors with a pen. This will help you to catch any typos, grammatical errors, or punctuation mistakes .
  • Read through your essay again to ensure your sentences are clear and concise and make any necessary changes. Use a Thesaurus to find better words to use in your essay.
  • Have someone else read your essay and ask for feedback. They may be able to spot errors that you missed, provide feedback on the essay’s tone and your overall writing style, or give professional opinion on an explored subject.

Once you’ve checked your writing for errors, you’ll want to make sure you properly format your final draft.

Character editing an essay

One of the most important things of essay writing is to format your final draft correctly. This includes using the correct font, margins, and spacing. It's also important to be consistent with your formatting throughout the entire essay. Be sure to check the style guide of your assignment.

Some teachers will let you choose the font, and if they do it’s a good idea to stick with something simple and easy to read. Times New Roman or Arial are both good options for academic essays. Most teachers prefer 1-inch margins on all sides of the page. Spacing is typically double-spaced, with each new paragraph indented.

If you're not sure how to format your essay, check the style guide of the assignment. If you can’t find any info there, ask your teacher for guidance. They will be able to tell you exactly what they're expecting.

With these tips, you'll be well on your way to writing an excellent essay in English! Just remember to start early, stay focused, and be willing to revise your work. With a little effort, you'll be sure to turn in an essay that you can be proud of.

Character getting a good mark on his essay

Writing a good essay in English isn't as difficult as it may seem. By brainstorming ideas, developing a thesis statement, and creating an outline, you'll be well on your way to success. Just be sure to edit and proofread your work before submitting it.

With a little bit of effort and some helpful tips, you can produce an essay that is clear, concise, and well-written. Make sure to follow these guidelines and you're sure to impress your teacher (and yourself) with your writing skills. With these tips and tricks, you can write all different kinds of essays in English.

While you may think that a good writing style is something one’s born with, we at Langster know that it’s just another skill you can successfully develop by practicing. So, keep writing and you’ll get there!

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Ellis is a seasoned polyglot and one of the creative minds behind Langster Blog, where she shares effective language learning strategies and insights from her own journey mastering the four languages. Ellis strives to empower learners globally to embrace new languages with confidence and curiosity. Off the blog, she immerses herself in exploring diverse cultures through cinema and contemporary fiction, further fueling her passion for language and connection.

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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!

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

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.

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College Application Checklist

Find the right college for you., junior summer: ─do before applying to college checklist.

  • Set up a professional-sounding email address.
  • Create a balanced list of reach, match, and safety colleges.
  • Go to the application website.
  • Note the regular application deadline.
  • Note the early application deadline.

Junior Year: Take Tests and Other Exams for Admission

  • Find out if an admission test is required.
  • Take an admission test, if required.
  • Take other required or recommended tests (e.g., AP Exams, IB exams).
  • Send admission test scores, if required, with your application.
  • Send other test scores.
  • Retest by summer of junior year or fall of senior year.

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Early Senior Year: Get Letters and Essay Ready.

  • Request recommendation letters. Provide a résumé for reference.
  • Send thank-you notes to recommendation writers.
  • Start the essay drafting and revision process 2 months prior to the application deadline.
  • Draft initial essay.
  • Proofread essay for spelling and grammar.
  • Have 2 people read your essay.
  • Revise your essay.
  • Proofread your revision.

Fall of Senior Year: Make a Campus Visit. Apply for Financial Aid.

  • Interview at the college campus, if required.
  • Submit FAFSA® if eligible.
  • Submit CSS PROFILE if needed.
  • Make a note of the priority financial aid deadline.
  • Make a note of the regular financial aid deadline.
  • Submit college aid form if needed.
  • Submit a state aid form if needed.
  • Check the college's financial aid website to see if you need to submit any additional institution forms.

Submit the Application. Pay Fees by Deadlines.

  • Complete college application.
  • Save copies of your application and application materials.
  • Pay application fee. Submit an application fee waiver if eligible.
  • Submit application.
  • Request high school transcript to be sent.
  • Request midyear grade report to be sent.
  • Confirm receipt of application materials by checking your application status online.
  • Send additional material if needed.
  • Tell your school counselor that you applied.
  • Receive letter from admissions office.

Senior Spring: Make Your Selections.

  • Apply for housing and meal plans, if applicable.
  • Receive financial aid award letter.
  • Accept financial aid offer.
  • Notify whichever colleges you’re not planning to attend.

What things do you need to provide in the college application process?

When applying to college, you’ll need to provide information regarding personal details, your academic background, your extracurricular activities, and achievements you want to highlight. You’ll also need to submit standardized test scores and letters of recommendation, if required. Along with that, you’ll want to submit any required essays, making sure they highlight your aspirations and your personality. You can even strengthen your application by including additional information about yourself and a résumé.

Most colleges will require an application fee. If you require financial assistance to cover this fee, ask your school counselor about application fee waivers.

What are five things you need to know about college application process?

When navigating college admissions requirements, consider these five points:

  • Go through each college's admissions requirements, including transcripts, test scores, essays, and recommendations.
  • Pay close attention to submission deadlines to ensure you deliver all required documents on time.
  • Familiarize yourself with the admissions criteria, including academic performance, extracurricular activities, and personal attributes.
  • Check out the available financial aid options, such as scholarships and grants. Follow the designated application timelines.
  • Visit the colleges you're interested in. Take advantage of any interview opportunities to express your interest and gain valuable insights into the institutions.

Is the admissions process the same for all colleges?

The admissions process can differ between institutions. Colleges you apply to may ask for standardized test scores and recommendation letters. Or they may have more specific requirements. Before you even begin an application, you’ll need to review the admissions guidelines of each college you plan to apply to and personalize your application to their needs.

How important are extracurricular activities in the college admissions process?

Participating in extracurricular activities can significantly influence the college admissions process. Colleges seek students who aren’t only academically accomplished but also have a diverse range of interests and a demonstrated dedication to their passions. Being actively involved in clubs, sports, community service, and leadership roles can positively impact your application and highlight your potential contributions to the college community.

Are interviews required for college admission? How should I prepare for them?

Colleges may require interviews as part of their admissions process, or they may not require them. You’ll want to verify the specific requirements of each college. If a college recommends an interview or it’s mandatory, make sure to prepare yourself thoroughly. Practice answering common interview questions, research the college, and think about how to express your objectives and interests effectively. Interviews offer a chance to present yourself in a more personal and engaging way, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Related Articles

Why Indigenous Artifacts Should Be Returned to Indigenous Communities

Tribe tries to reclaim cultural items from museum for more than 20 years

DuVal is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Native Nations: A Millennium in North America

I n January 2024, the American Museum of Natural History in New York closed its Hall of the Great Plains and Hall of Eastern Woodlands, and visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago and other museums across the country are seeing covered display cases and signs explaining that these exhibits “have been covered in consideration of ongoing legal and ethical reviews.” These closures are overdue corrections by museums that have long misrepresented and misused Indigenous history. But more than a subtraction, they are a sign of an important shift in where and how Americans learn Native American history.

It’s easy to see covered cases and closed exhibits as a loss, even if an understandable one. Most of the news coverage has explained the shift as an unavoidable sacrifice for Native rights and sensibilities, a zero-sum game in which museum-goers and school field trips are the necessary losers. Headlines proclaim closures and removals and show pictures of empty cases or the final rush of visitors before the items were taken from public view. Stories quote disappointed visitors who interpret the closures as keeping them from learning about Native Americans.

Yet this focus misses the fact that there has never been an easier time to learn about Native American histories and cultures and to see Native American art and artifacts. A field trip that may be diminished by the closures at the American Museum of Natural History can simply head to lower Manhattan to visit the NYC branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s time to stop expecting Native history at museums of “natural history” and start learning it from museums and cultural centers that are run by any of the hundreds of Native nations in the United States or with their collaboration. And it’s time to start learning the quite different stories that they tell.

Until recently, exhibits about Native Americans were in museums of “natural history” because white Americans saw them as part of archaeology and anthropology rather than history. At its opening in the 1960s, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History had nothing about Native Americans, who instead were in the National Museum of Natural History alongside early primates and dinosaurs. The message was clear: Native Americans—perceived of as a monolithic culture—were primitive and destined for disappearance, fitting more with displays of animals than with the American History Museum’s message of technology and progress. In the early 20th century, the Yahi man known as Ishi was displayed as a living exhibit at the University of California Museum of Anthropology following the genocide of his people. In 1968, a group of Miwoks (Yosemites) visited the National Museum of Natural History and read in one of the exhibits that their tribe had gone “extinct” in the 19th century. And until the closures that happened in January, visitors at the American Museum of Natural History could see generic mannequins of Native men and women stoically conveying timeless primitiveness.

The latest changes are responding to new federal rules on the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) regarding the rights of Native nations over sacred and funerary objects of their ancestors. The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C., founded as part of implementing NAGPRA, was a way to responsibly deal with the large collection of Native American skeletal remains and sacred burial objects held by the Smithsonian. But the NMAI has become far more than that. Its Indigenous designers, curators, and administrators, in part with funding from Native nations, have built a public space with locations in D.C. and Manhattan where everyone can learn about Native peoples—in all their diversity—as continuing nations with living cultures, as real human beings in the past, present, and future.

The return of objects, funds from casinos and other tribal businesses, and an ongoing renaissance in tribal politics and culture have enabled Native nations across the country to build and renovate their own museums and cultural centers. In spite of their fraught histories with museums, some Native nations have embraced and changed museology. As Native scholar and founding director of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Amanda Cobb-Greetham, explained to me , Native peoples have “turned an instrument of colonization and dispossession … into an instrument of self-definition and cultural continuance.” They portray their own specific peoples as a living history. Executive Director of the Museum of the Cherokee People Shana Bushyhead Condill explains of her museum, “We preserve and perpetuate the history, stories and enduring culture of the Cherokee people.”

There are hundreds of examples, including the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Connecticut; the Osage Nation Museum in Pawhuska, Oklahoma; and the Himdag Ki: Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum in Sells, Arizona. These museums all teach the diverse histories of their peoples, from the distant past to the present, to Native and non-Native visitors. As Mohawk scholar Scott Manning Stevens puts i t, in these Indigenous cultural centers, “living cultures are as much a part of the fabric of the institution as the artifacts still displayed in exhibits.” Many have research centers too, where tribal and non-tribal scholars can work on a more respectful and accurate study of the past.

Read More: Without Indigenous History, There Is No U.S. History

Beyond tribal museums, other museums are being built or creating exhibits with participation by Native Americans. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, has become a leader in incorporating Native artists and curators into its definition of “American Art.” The Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania does not need to cover artifacts in its “Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now” exhibit because tribal representatives helped to create it. At the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, funded by the Chickasaw Nation in addition to Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma, Native nations collaborated on the architectural design, the exhibits, and the programming. And wherever you are, you can access online exhibits and teaching resources created by hundreds of Native nations on their own past and present.

Some of the items that have now been taken out of view may come back once they have gone through the NAGPRA consultation process, but much more important is the shift away from anthropological museums being the place to see Native American historical artifacts. Native American histories are not being lost or papered over, but the location as well as the style of their presentation is shifting to a more human, forward-looking one. This is a gain for everyone. Ideally, the covered cases and closed halls will prompt visits to new places and spark new understandings of the long and continuing history—and future—of Native America.

More Must-Reads From TIME

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  • Stop Looking for Your Forever Home
  • The Sympathizer Counters 50 Years of Hollywood Vietnam War Narratives
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  • Hormonal Birth Control Doesn’t Deserve Its Bad Reputation
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Degree - This is the academic degree you are receiving. Your major is in addition to the degree; it can be added to the phrase or written separately.  Include the full name of your degree, major(s), minor(s), emphases, and certificates on your resume.

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Example: Primary Major: Psychology ; Secondary Major: Marketing
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  • In May 20XX, I will graduate with my Bachelor's degree in International Affairs.
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Guest Essay

The Problem With Saying ‘Sex Assigned at Birth’

A black and white photo of newborns in bassinets in the hospital.

By Alex Byrne and Carole K. Hooven

Mr. Byrne is a philosopher and the author of “Trouble With Gender: Sex Facts, Gender Fictions.” Ms. Hooven is an evolutionary biologist and the author of “T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us.”

As you may have noticed, “sex” is out, and “sex assigned at birth” is in. Instead of asking for a person’s sex, some medical and camp forms these days ask for “sex assigned at birth” or “assigned sex” (often in addition to gender identity). The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association endorse this terminology; its use has also exploded in academic articles. The Cleveland Clinic’s online glossary of diseases and conditions tells us that the “inability to achieve or maintain an erection” is a symptom of sexual dysfunction, not in “males,” but in “people assigned male at birth.”

This trend began around a decade ago, part of an increasing emphasis in society on emotional comfort and insulation from offense — what some have called “ safetyism .” “Sex” is now often seen as a biased or insensitive word because it may fail to reflect how people identify themselves. One reason for the adoption of “assigned sex,” therefore, is that it supplies respectful euphemisms, softening what to some nonbinary and transgender people, among others, can feel like a harsh biological reality. Saying that someone was “assigned female at birth” is taken to be an indirect and more polite way of communicating that the person is biologically female. The terminology can also function to signal solidarity with trans and nonbinary people, as well as convey the radical idea that our traditional understanding of sex is outdated.

The shift to “sex assigned at birth” may be well intentioned, but it is not progress. We are not against politeness or expressions of solidarity, but “sex assigned at birth” can confuse people and creates doubt about a biological fact when there shouldn’t be any. Nor is the phrase called for because our traditional understanding of sex needs correcting — it doesn’t.

This matters because sex matters. Sex is a fundamental biological feature with significant consequences for our species, so there are costs to encouraging misconceptions about it.

Sex matters for health, safety and social policy and interacts in complicated ways with culture. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to experience harmful side effects from drugs, a problem that may be ameliorated by reducing drug doses for females. Males, meanwhile, are more likely to die from Covid-19 and cancer, and commit the vast majority of homicides and sexual assaults . We aren’t suggesting that “assigned sex” will increase the death toll. However, terminology about important matters should be as clear as possible.

More generally, the interaction between sex and human culture is crucial to understanding psychological and physical differences between boys and girls, men and women. We cannot have such understanding unless we know what sex is, which means having the linguistic tools necessary to discuss it. The Associated Press cautions journalists that describing women as “female” may be objectionable because “it can be seen as emphasizing biology,” but sometimes biology is highly relevant. The heated debate about transgender women participating in female sports is an example ; whatever view one takes on the matter, biologically driven athletic differences between the sexes are real.

When influential organizations and individuals promote “sex assigned at birth,” they are encouraging a culture in which citizens can be shamed for using words like “sex,” “male” and “female” that are familiar to everyone in society, as well as necessary to discuss the implications of sex. This is not the usual kind of censoriousness, which discourages the public endorsement of certain opinions. It is more subtle, repressing the very vocabulary needed to discuss the opinions in the first place.

A proponent of the new language may object, arguing that sex is not being avoided, but merely addressed and described with greater empathy. The introduction of euphemisms to ease uncomfortable associations with old words happens all the time — for instance “plus sized” as a replacement for “overweight.” Admittedly, the effects may be short-lived , because euphemisms themselves often become offensive, and indeed “larger-bodied” is now often preferred to “plus sized.” But what’s the harm? No one gets confused, and the euphemisms allow us to express extra sensitivity. Some see “sex assigned at birth” in the same positive light: It’s a way of talking about sex that is gender-affirming and inclusive .

The problem is that “sex assigned at birth”— unlike “larger-bodied”— is very misleading. Saying that someone was “assigned female at birth” suggests that the person’s sex is at best a matter of educated guesswork. “Assigned” can connote arbitrariness — as in “assigned classroom seating” — and so “sex assigned at birth” can also suggest that there is no objective reality behind “male” and “female,” no biological categories to which the words refer.

Contrary to what we might assume, avoiding “sex” doesn’t serve the cause of inclusivity: not speaking plainly about males and females is patronizing. We sometimes sugarcoat the biological facts for children, but competent adults deserve straight talk. Nor are circumlocutions needed to secure personal protections and rights, including transgender rights. In the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision in 2020, which outlawed workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people, Justice Neil Gorsuch used “sex,” not “sex assigned at birth.”

A more radical proponent of “assigned sex” will object that the very idea of sex as a biological fact is suspect. According to this view — associated with the French philosopher Michel Foucault and, more recently, the American philosopher Judith Butler — sex is somehow a cultural production, the result of labeling babies male or female. “Sex assigned at birth” should therefore be preferred over “sex,” not because it is more polite, but because it is more accurate.

This position tacitly assumes that humans are exempt from the natural order. If only! Alas, we are animals. Sexed organisms were present on Earth at least a billion years ago, and males and females would have been around even if humans had never evolved. Sex is not in any sense the result of linguistic ceremonies in the delivery room or other cultural practices. Lonesome George, the long-lived Galápagos giant tortoise , was male. He was not assigned male at birth — or rather, in George’s case, at hatching. A baby abandoned at birth may not have been assigned male or female by anyone, yet the baby still has a sex. Despite the confusion sown by some scholars, we can be confident that the sex binary is not a human invention.

Another downside of “assigned sex” is that it biases the conversation away from established biological facts and infuses it with a sociopolitical agenda, which only serves to intensify social and political divisions. We need shared language that can help us clearly state opinions and develop the best policies on medical, social and legal issues. That shared language is the starting point for mutual understanding and democratic deliberation, even if strong disagreement remains.

What can be done? The ascendance of “sex assigned at birth” is not an example of unhurried and organic linguistic change. As recently as 2012 The New York Times reported on the new fashion for gender-reveal parties, “during which expectant parents share the moment they discover their baby’s sex.” In the intervening decade, sex has gone from being “discovered” to “assigned” because so many authorities insisted on the new usage. In the face of organic change, resistance is usually futile. Fortunately, a trend that is imposed top-down is often easier to reverse.

Admittedly, no one individual, or even a small group, can turn the lumbering ship of English around. But if professional organizations change their style guides and glossaries, we can expect that their members will largely follow suit. And organizations in turn respond to lobbying from their members. Journalists, medical professionals, academics and others have the collective power to restore language that more faithfully reflects reality. We will have to wait for them to do that.

Meanwhile, we can each apply Strunk and White’s famous advice in “The Elements of Style” to “sex assigned at birth”: omit needless words.

Alex Byrne is a professor of philosophy at M.I.T. and the author of “Trouble With Gender: Sex Facts, Gender Fictions.” Carole K. Hooven is an evolutionary biologist, a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, an associate in the Harvard psychology department, and the author of “T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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  1. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

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    You may even want to start from the very end of your essay. If you know where your essay is going, but not necessarily how it will get there, write your conclusion first. Then, write the paragraph that comes right before your conclusion. Next, write the paragraph before that, working your way backwards until you're in your introduction paragraph.

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    Use the Historical Present Tense. An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. "Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother's station wagon.

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    Every good introduction needs a thesis statement, a sentence that plainly and concisely explains the main topic. Thesis statements are often just a brief summary of your entire paper, including your argument or point of view for personal essays. For example, if your paper is about whether viewing violent cartoons impacts real-life violence ...

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    An essay is a written composition that presents and supports a particular idea, argument, or point of view. It's a way to express your thoughts, share information, and persuade others to see things from your perspective. Essays come in various forms, such as argumentative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive, each serving a unique purpose.

  6. Essay Writing: How to Write an Outstanding Essay

    The basic steps for how to write an essay are: Generate ideas and pick a type of essay to write. Outline your essay paragraph by paragraph. Write a rough first draft without worrying about details like word choice or grammar. Edit your rough draft, and revise and fix the details. Review your essay for typos, mistakes, and any other problems.

  7. Baby Steps: 10 Proven Tips to Write Better Essays in English

    1. Create a Word Bank. This is an interesting approach to writing your essay. First, choose a topic and write a thesis. A thesis is the main argument of your essay. For instance, if your topic is reading, your thesis might be "Reading makes you smarter.".

  8. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  9. How to Write an English Essay (with Pictures)

    1. Set aside time to write. You cannot write a quality essay in 10 minutes. It's best to give yourself ample time to write and revise the essay. Try to factor in some time for breaks between drafts as well. If you're approaching a deadline, however, you may need to make the best use of the time you have. 2.

  10. How to write an Essay Introduction (5-Step Formula)

    Report your position or argument. Most essays do not require you to take a stance on an issue. Essays that do require you to take a stance are called either 'argumentative essays' or 'persuasive essays'. If you are writing a persuasive essay, you will need to include Step 4: Report.

  11. How to Write an Essay: 4 Minute Step-by-step Guide

    There are three main stages to writing an essay: preparation, writing and revision. In just 4 minutes, this video will walk you through each stage of an acad...

  12. How to Start a College Essay to Hook Your Reader

    Set a time for one minute and write down whatever comes to mind for that specific topic. This will help get the juices flowing and push you over that initial bit of writer's block that's so common when it comes time to write a college essay. Repeat this exercise if you're feeling stuck at any point during the essay writing process.

  13. Essay and dissertation writing skills

    Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

  14. Top 10 English Essay Writing Tips

    In your conclusion, you summarise what was said in the essay. 3: Plan your English Essay. A simple and clear plan is very important to making sure your ideas are well-organised and easy to follow for when you write the actual essay. Below you will see a plan for the main body of a sample English essay. There are two advantages and two ...

  15. Writing Skills: How to Write an Essay in English

    Conclusion Paragraph: Restate your thesis statement. Summarize your main points and arguments. Leave the reader with something to think about. Remember, this is just a basic structure you can refer to. As you write your own essay, you may find that your ideas change or that the direction of the essay has shifted.

  16. How to Write a Good English Literature Essay

    This point might be summarised by saying: the best way to write a good English Literature essay is to be honest about the reading you're putting forward, so you can be confident in your interpretation and use clear, bold language. ('Bold' is good, but don't get too cocky, of course…) 5. Read the work of other critics.

  17. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  18. How to Start an Essay: Tips to Consider and Mistakes to Avoid

    An introduction's main objective is to: Captivate the reader. Provide background information on the topic. Introduce the main idea of your thesis. Keeping this in mind, your essay's opening paragraph needs to be distinct, educational, and compelling. Be brief; your introduction should not exceed five or six sentences.

  19. How to write an essay

    Using evidence. Evidence is the foundation of an effective essay and provides proof for your points. For an essay about a piece of literature, the best evidence will come from the text itself ...

  20. College Application Checklist

    Send thank-you notes to recommendation writers. Start the essay drafting and revision process 2 months prior to the application deadline. Draft initial essay. Proofread essay for spelling and grammar. Have 2 people read your essay. Revise your essay. Proofread your revision. Fall of Senior Year: Make a Campus Visit. Apply for Financial Aid.

  21. What Are Good Sentence Starters for Essays?

    You're introducing a new idea, such as at the beginning of an essay or of a paragraph; You're presenting a conclusion or summary, for instance at the end of an essay. You want to add emphasis to a particular sentence or point. You want to write a hook to captivate readers. The sentence requires certain context, such as background information.

  22. Indigenous Artifacts Should Be Returned to Indigenous People

    As Mohawk scholar Scott Manning Stevens puts i t, in these Indigenous cultural centers, "living cultures are as much a part of the fabric of the institution as the artifacts still displayed in ...

  23. Properly Write Your Degree

    The correct way to communicate your degree to employers and others is by using the following formats: Degree - This is the academic degree you are receiving. Your major is in addition to the degree; it can be added to the phrase or written separately. Include the full name of your degree, major (s), minor (s), emphases, and certificates on your ...

  24. Essay on Studying Abroad in English for Students and Children

    Essay on Studying Abroad: A fascinating and educational experience, studying abroad provides access to different opportunities, viewpoints, and cultures. It enables students to venture beyond their comfort zones and start a path of intellectual and personal development. In this essay, we will explore the many benefits of studying abroad, how ...

  25. What Can Fiction Tell Us About the Apocalypse?

    Start here. What can fiction tell us about the apocalypse? The writer Ayana Mathis finds unexpected hope in novels of crisis by Ling Ma, Jenny Offill and Jesmyn Ward. At 28, the poet Tayi Tibble ...

  26. Start using ChatGPT instantly

    Starting today, you can use ChatGPT instantly, without needing to sign-up. We're rolling this out gradually, with the aim to make AI accessible to anyone curious about its capabilities. We may use what you provide to ChatGPT to improve our models for everyone.

  27. Opinion

    The ascendance of "sex assigned at birth" is not an example of unhurried and organic linguistic change. As recently as 2012 The New York Times reported on the new fashion for gender-reveal ...