How to write an essay in a most effective way.
Many students find it difficult to write an essay. This may be because they are unfamiliar with the world "essay" as it had become a byword where students are prompted to write about something. The idea seems to be too general, and the concept appears to be vague, the reason why many students find it difficult to write an essay. There is a need, therefore, for the student to understand the word "essay" to be able to write a good composition that will qualify as a true essay and do away with its ramification.
What is an essay?
So what is an essay? The following are definitions of an essay.
- a written composition of moderate length exploring a particular issue or subject
- an analytic or interpretive literary composition
- a short piece of writing which is quite often written from an author's personal point of view
- a relatively short prose composition on a limited topic
- a prose composition with a focused subject of discussion
Drawing out the key words from these definitions, the essay, therefore, is a piece of writing on a specific topic where the author presents an analytic composition usually based on his own point of view. The essay presents one's own interpretation of things founded on his knowledge as well as experience. It is analytic in the sense that the writer investigates the component parts of an issue and how these parts are related in making up the whole. Analyze means to break a complex topic into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. Simply stated, the essay aims to clarify things by going deeply into the issue at hand.
How to write an essay: using the TSPU Principle
One of the least known but effective techniques on how to write an essay is the application of the TSPU Principle. The TSPU acronym simply stands for Topic Sentence, Paragraph Unity. Topic sentence refers to your lead statement, just like in writing a newspaper piece, that summarizes the content of the whole discussion on a particular topic. The topic sentence is written as the first statement in a paragraph. After writing the topic sentence, all the following sentences should aim to add more information, provide detail or clarify the ideas presented in the topic sentence. The whole sentence should provide sufficient detail to answer the what, when, where, why, who, and how questions. In other words, the sentences after the topic sentence should support the first statement in the paragraph in a comprehensive way possible.
Example on how to write an essay
The following paragraph illustrates how to write an essay using the TSPU principle:
A tsunami [what] caused by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake [why] hit Japan [where] last Friday, March 11, 2011 [when]. The earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in history. Hundreds of people [who] were killed as big waves swept away [how] boats, cars, homes, and buildings. Hours later, big waves caused by the earthquake hit Hawaii and raised warnings in Pacific countries. The strong waves affected one of Japan's nuclear power plant in the northeast causing widespread alarm after the reactor's cooling system failed.
The highlighted sentence is the topic sentence and all the other sentences support that topic sentence to provide detail, clarify and answer questions comprehensively. More sentences related to the topic sentence can then be written to compose the paragraph. The supporting sentences brings unity to the whole paragraph making the essay easy to comprehend. Once all the basic questions are answered, another topic sentence to start off another paragraph related to the preceding paragraph but dealing with a separate concern can be written.
So when does the writer stop writing about the essay topic?
The answer is simple. The essay must answer the objectives of writing that essay. Thus, the writer must have the objectives clear in his mind before writing his piece.
Try these tips on how to write an essay. You will notice a big difference in your written composition and hopefully get an A or A+.
©12 March 2011 Patrick A. Regoniel How to Write an Essay