How to Write an Essay Step by Step (+ APA, MLA, Chicago Citation Tips)
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How to Write an Essay

How to Write an Essay Step by Step (+ APA, MLA, Chicago Citation Tips)

Writing essays is like going on an adventure to explore ideas and express yourself. It's a skill that's super useful whether you're a student or a professional essay writer. But it's not just about putting words down – it's about making those words count. By learning some basic tricks on how to write better essays, you can turn your essays into powerful stories that grab attention and make a real impact. In this article, we’ll be sharing a step-by-step essay writing guide for everyone who wants to bring their skill and adroitness up a notch. In the meantime, if deadlines are too short, opt for expert essay writing help right now!

Essay Definition

First of all, you have to understand what is an essay in school or college. It is a short-form piece of academic writing that presents and defends a particular perspective, argument, or interpretation on a given topic. It serves as a platform for expressing thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a structured manner, typically consisting of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Essays can vary widely in length, style, and format, ranging from formal scholarly pieces to informal reflections or personal narratives. Regardless of the type, essays are characterized by their coherence, clarity, and logical progression of ideas, aiming to inform, persuade, or entertain the reader while conveying the author's intended message. Those of you seeking hands-on help with such an assignment, feel free to consult EssayService.com.

Thesis Statement in Essay

A thesis statement is the backbone of an essay, serving as its central argument or main point. It succinctly encapsulates the writer's stance on the topic and sets the direction for the entire piece of writing. Typically found at the end of the introductory paragraph, a thesis statement not only states the writer's position but also provides guidance for the reader, outlining the key points that will be explored in the subsequent discussion. It serves as a guiding beacon, ensuring that the essay remains focused and coherent by tying together all the arguments and evidence presented throughout.

Writing an effective thesis statement requires careful consideration and deliberation. It should be specific and concise, clearly articulating the main idea while avoiding vague or overly broad statements. Additionally, a strong thesis statement is arguable, presenting a claim that can be supported or refuted through evidence and reasoning. This element of contention invites engagement and critical thinking from the reader and challenges the writer to defend their position with compelling evidence and logical analysis. Ultimately, a well-crafted thesis statement anchors the essay and serves as a springboard for meaningful exploration and discussion of the topic at hand. Students who buy essays on our website receive an in-depth thesis relevant to their topic and subject scope as a part of the writing service.

Types of Essay

It’s a well-known fact that many students ask seasoned penmen to ‘write my essay’ if they can’t meet the deadline or are trapped in writer’s block when tackling one of the nine general types of essays common in school and college. Let’s review each of the essay types, providing a link to a more detailed and nuanced writing guide:


Argumentative essays are designed to present a specific argument or claim supported by evidence and reasoning. The primary objective is to persuade the reader to accept the writer's viewpoint on a contentious issue or topic. These essays often involve thorough research to gather relevant data, statistics, and examples to bolster the argument. Additionally, counterarguments are addressed and refuted to strengthen the writer's position, making the argumentative essay a dynamic and rigorous form of discourse that encourages critical thinking and debate. More information on how to write an argumentative essay here.


Persuasive essays share similarities with argumentative essays but are focused more on convincing the reader to take a particular action or adopt a specific viewpoint. While argumentative essays aim to present a logical argument, persuasive essays appeal to the reader's emotions, values, and beliefs to sway their opinion. Through the use of rhetorical devices, persuasive language, and compelling storytelling, these essays seek to evoke a response from the audience and inspire them to support the writer's cause or perspective. More information on how to write a persuasive essay here.

Compare and Contrast

Compare and contrast essays explore the similarities and differences between two or more subjects or ideas. These essays typically involve a structured analysis of the chosen topics, highlighting both their shared characteristics and distinct qualities. By juxtaposing the similarities and differences, compare and contrast essays offer valuable insights into the nature of the subjects being examined, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of their complexities and nuances. More information on how to write a compare and contrast essay here.

Cause and Effect

Cause and effect essays delve into the relationships between events, phenomena, or actions, exploring how one factor leads to another or influences a series of outcomes. These essays aim to identify the root causes of a particular issue or phenomenon and analyze its subsequent effects or consequences. Through careful analysis and logical reasoning, cause-and-effect essays elucidate the connections between various elements, providing readers with valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms at play. More information on how to write a cause and effect essay here.


Descriptive essays aim to create vivid and sensory-rich descriptions of a person, place, object, or event. These essays paint a picture in the reader's mind through detailed observations, vivid imagery, and evocative language, allowing them to experience the subject firsthand. Descriptive essays appeal to the reader's senses, emotions, and imagination, immersing them in the portrayed world and eliciting a strong emotional response. More information on how to write a descriptive essay here.


Narrative essays tell a story or recount a personal experience, often drawing upon the writer's own life or imagination. These essays follow a chronological structure and typically include elements such as characters, plot, setting, and conflict. Through engaging storytelling and vivid narrative techniques, narrative essays transport the reader into the heart of the story, allowing them to experience the events alongside the writer and gain insights into the human experience. More information on how to write a narrative essay here.


Informative essays aim to educate or inform the reader about a specific topic, concept, or idea. These essays present factual information clearly and concisely, without expressing personal opinions or arguments. Informative essays often follow a logical structure, organizing information into categories, subtopics, or steps to facilitate understanding and retention. Whether exploring scientific principles, historical events, or cultural phenomena, informative essays provide readers with valuable knowledge and insights into the world around them. More information on how to write an informative essay here.


Analytical essays involve a detailed examination and interpretation of a specific text, artwork, concept, or phenomenon. These essays dissect the subject matter, analyzing its components, structure, and underlying meaning to uncover deeper insights and implications. Through close reading, critical analysis, and logical reasoning, analytical essays explore the complexities and nuances of the subject, providing readers with a deeper understanding of its significance and relevance. More information on how to write an analytical essay here.


A scholarship essay is a personalized piece of writing that aims to convince scholarship providers why you are the most deserving candidate for their financial assistance. It typically includes information about your scholastic achievements, extracurricular activities, community involvement, career goals, and any other relevant experiences or qualities that make you stand out. The essay provides an opportunity for you to showcase your strengths, aspirations, and the impact that receiving the scholarship would have on your educational journey. More information on how to write a scholarship essay here.

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Essay Writing Process Explained

Getting started with writing an essay might seem overwhelming, but breaking it down into steps can make it much easier. In the text that follows, we'll walk you through five key steps to writing an essay. From brainstorming ideas to polishing your thesis statement, these steps will help you organize your thoughts and craft a compelling piece of writing that grabs your reader's attention.

Essay Writing Process

Step 1 – Analyze the Audience and Purpose

Consider who will be reading your essay and why they are reading it. Tailor your writing style, tone, and content to meet the expectations of your audience.

For example, if you're writing for a scholarly audience, you may use more formal language and provide in-depth analysis. If you're writing for a general audience, you may need to define terms and provide more context. Understanding the purpose of your essay – whether it's to inform, persuade, entertain, or provoke thought – will guide your writing and help you achieve your goals effectively.

Step 2 – Essay Writing Preparation and Brainstorm Ideas

Take some time to brainstorm and choose essay topics that are engaging personally for you. Consider different angles, perspectives, and arguments that you could explore in your essay. You can use techniques like mind mapping, freewriting, or listing to organize your thoughts.

Don't be afraid to explore a variety of ideas and perspectives during the brainstorming process. Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it seems unrelated or unconventional. Sometimes, the most unexpected ideas can lead to the most compelling essays. Once you have a list of ideas, evaluate them based on relevance, feasibility, and potential for development. Narrow down your options to the most promising ones that align with the requirements of your essay prompt.

Step 3 – Create a Thesis Statement

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that presents the main argument or point of your essay. Your thesis should outline the purpose of your essay and provide a roadmap for what will be discussed in the body paragraphs.

Your thesis statement should be clear, specific, arguable, and respond to the question what is the main idea/thesis statement of the essay. Avoid vague or broad statements that lack focus. Instead, make a precise claim that you can support with evidence and analysis throughout your essay. Consider the scope of your thesis – is it too narrow or too broad? Aim for a thesis that is narrow enough to be manageable within the confines of your essay but broad enough to allow for meaningful exploration and discussion.

Step 4 – Outlining Before Essay Revision

Create an outline to organize your ideas and structure your essay. Outline the main points or arguments you'll make in each paragraph, along with supporting evidence or examples. A well-structured outline will help you stay focused and ensure that your essay flows logically from start to finish.

Use your outline to create a logical structure for your essay. Organize your main points or arguments clearly and coherently, ensuring that each paragraph flows smoothly into the next. Within each section of your outline, include specific details, examples, or evidence to support your points. As you flesh out your outline, pay attention to the balance and proportionality of your essay – ensure that each point receives adequate attention and that your arguments are well-developed and substantiated. If you stumble on the outlining stage, use our paper service to speed the process up.

Step 5 – Writing and Essay Proofreading

With your outline in hand, start writing your essay, focusing on one section at a time. Write a strong introduction that grabs the reader's attention, followed by body paragraphs that support your thesis with evidence and analysis. Finally, conclude your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis.

Once you've finished writing, take time for revision and editing. Double-check your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar mistakes. Reading your document aloud or getting feedback from peers should also be a part of the proofreading stage before submitting the work.

Essay Structure

An essay with introduction body and conclusion is a typical structure of this short studious document, which is also known as a composition. Let’s analyze each of the essay’s constituent parts in more detail:

Essay Introduction

The introduction sets the stage for the entire essay, serving as the reader's first impression of your topic and argument. It should begin with an attention-grabbing opening that draws the reader in and establishes the topic's relevance. This could be a compelling anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a startling statistic. Following the hook, provide the necessary background information to provide context and understanding of the topic. This might include historical context, key term definitions, or an existing research overview. Finally, conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your essay's main argument or purpose.

Main Body

The essay's main body is where you develop and support your argument in detail. Each paragraph should focus on a single main point or idea directly related to your thesis statement. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence introducing the main idea, followed by supporting evidence, examples, and analysis to strengthen your argument. Use clear and logical transitions between paragraphs to ensure a smooth flow of ideas. The body paragraphs should build upon each other to provide a coherent and convincing argument, with each piece of evidence or analysis reinforcing your overall thesis.

Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the essay's final section, where you summarize your argument and restate your thesis in light of the evidence presented in the main body. Avoid introducing new information or arguments in the conclusion; instead, focus on synthesizing the key points and demonstrating the significance of your argument. You can also reflect on the broader implications of your findings or suggest areas for further research or exploration. End the essay with a strong closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader and reinforces the importance of your argument.

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5 Paragraph Essay Format

The 5-paragraph essay format is a commonly used structure for organizing essays, particularly in learning settings. It consists of five paragraphs:

  • Introduction

The first paragraph of the essay introduces the topic to the reader and presents the thesis statement—a concise summary of the main argument or purpose of the essay. The introduction often begins with a hook to grab the reader's attention, followed by background information to provide context for the topic. The thesis statement typically comes at the end of the introduction, serving as a roadmap for the rest of the essay.

  • Body Paragraph 1

The essay's second paragraph focuses on the first main point or argument introduced in the thesis statement. It begins with a topic sentence that presents the paragraph's main idea, followed by supporting evidence, examples, or analysis to strengthen the argument. Each body paragraph should have a clear focus and provide sufficient detail to support the overall thesis.

  • Body Paragraph 2

The third paragraph follows the same structure as the second, focusing on the second main point or argument presented in the thesis statement. It begins with a topic sentence that introduces the paragraph's main idea and provides supporting evidence or analysis to support the argument. Like the first body paragraph, this should be cohesive and directly related to the thesis.

  • Body Paragraph 3

The fourth paragraph continues the pattern established in the previous two paragraphs, focusing on the third main point or argument presented in the thesis statement. It begins with a topic sentence that introduces the paragraph's main idea and provides supporting evidence or analysis. This paragraph should also contribute to the overall coherence and persuasiveness of the essay.

  • Conclusion

The essay's final paragraph summarizes the main points presented in the body paragraphs and restates the thesis statement in light of the evidence presented. The conclusion should not introduce new information or arguments but instead provide a synthesis of the key points and demonstrate the significance of the overall argument. It often ends with a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader and reinforces the importance of the essay's argument.

How to Cite in Essay?

If you’re wondering what is a citation in an essay, it usually refers to a source of information used to support or substantiate a particular argument, claim, or idea presented within the text. It serves to acknowledge the original author or creator of the information being cited. It provides readers with the necessary information to locate and verify the source. Citations can take various forms depending on the citation style, such as in-text citations within the essay's body or bibliographic entries in a separate reference list or bibliography at the end. By including citations, writers demonstrate classroom integrity, avoid plagiarism, and contribute to the credibility and reliability of their work by showcasing the breadth and depth of their research and engagement with existing scholarship.

Here's a brief overview of how to write a citation in an essay using APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles:

APA (American Psychological Association)

  • In-text citation: (Author's Last Name, Year of Publication)
  • Example: (Smith, 2019)
  • If directly quoting, include the page number: (Author's Last Name, Year of Publication, p. Page Number)
  • Example: (Smith, 2019, p. 25)
  • Reference list entry: Author's Last Name, Author's Initial(s). (Year of Publication). Title of the Work. Publisher.

MLA (Modern Language Association)

  • In-text citation: (Author's Last Name Page Number)
  • Example: (Smith 25)
  • If directly quoting, include the page number: (Author's Last Name Page Number)
  • Example: (Smith 25)
  • Works Cited entry: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Title of the Work. Publisher, Year of Publication.

Chicago (Notes-Bibliography)

  • In-text citation (footnote or endnote): Author's First Name Author's Last Name, Title of the Work (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), Page Number.
  • Example: John Smith, Title of the Work (New York: XYZ Publishers, 2020), 25.
  • Bibliography entry: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Title of the Work. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

Remember to consult the specific guidelines provided by your instructor or institution for any variations or additional requirements in citation style. If managing quotations and references seems too complex at the moment, order essay online from writers who know all the ins and outs of citation style manuals.

Ten Useful Essay Writing Tips

Writing an essay up to the mark is an activity that requires training and a certain talent. At first, it might not work well. However, with the training and knowledge received from this article, you can elevate your proficiency to new heights and maybe even begin to enjoy the process.

  1. Set aside dedicated time for each stage of the writing process – planning, drafting, revising, and editing – to avoid last-minute rush.
  2. Tailor your writing style and tone to your audience's expectations, whether it's educational, professional, or general readers.
  3. Opt for strong, descriptive verbs to add power and precision to your writing, avoiding weak or passive constructions.
  4. Be ruthless with unnecessary words and phrases, keeping your writing clear, concise, and to the point.
  5. Always cite your sources accurately and consistently to avoid plagiarism and give credit to the original authors.
  6. Share your drafts with peers, mentors, or writing tutors to get constructive feedback and improve your writing.
  7. Read your essay aloud to yourself to catch awkward phrasing, errors, and inconsistencies that may not be apparent when reading silently.
  8. Use tools like outlines, mind maps, or note-taking apps to organize your thoughts and keep track of your research materials.
  9. Give yourself regular breaks during the writing process to recharge and maintain focus, preventing burnout and fatigue.
  10. Acknowledge and celebrate each milestone you achieve in your writing journey, whether it's completing a draft or receiving positive feedback.

Do you need more essay writing tips? Here’s a separate article dedicated to the tricks of the trade of professional essayists.

Let’s Sum It Up

Knowing how to write an essay is important for students because it is a fundamental skill that underpins academic success across all disciplines. Essays serve as a primary assessment method and foster critical thinking skills for analyzing information, forming coherent arguments, and articulating ideas effectively. Through essay writing, students learn to conduct research, organize their thoughts logically, and communicate their insights persuasively, all essential for success in higher education and beyond. Additionally, essay writing empowers students to engage with complex topics, contribute to scholarly conversations, and demonstrate their understanding of course material, facilitating intellectual growth and development. With our essay writing services available 24/7, you can quickly fill in knowledge gaps and produce superior compositions.

Frequently asked questions

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