Writing an academic essay is much easier when you create an action plan that involves careful planning and preparation. The first thing is to ensure you understand the assignment and what is expected of you. Next, you must choose a topic if a specific one is not assigned. After that, you can work through the following process to develop a plan that guides you through completing an essay assignment.
Develop an action plan for your academic essay by creating a goal date for each step in the process.Map out your initial thoughts
The next step in creating the plan for an academic essay is putting your initial thoughts to paper, or mapping them out to establish what you already know. Grab a piece of paper, and write down everything that comes to mind on the topic. Do not attempt to edit your thoughts; write everything that comes to mind. Doing this allows you to establish the following:
If your topic requires research, start by deciding what types of sources you need. Take notes as you go through sources, and record bibliographic information to avoid plagiarism. You are likely to end up with more notes than you eventually end up using in your paper, but you want to avoid not taking enough notes and finding yourself without enough information.Outline your academic essay
Between writing down your initial thoughts and conducting research (if necessary), you are prepared to create an outline for an academic essay. The level of details you put into the outline is subjective; the important components of the outline include the following:
Essentially, the outline serves as a map as you write the rough draft of your academic essay.
When writing the rough draft for an academic essay, you cannot forget that this is your first attempt at the paper. It does not have to be perfect. Focus more on the content than on the quality of the writing. This helps keep the structure and flow of your thoughts and writing intact. If you stop to edit or revise, it is easy to allow the paper to stray off course. Once you complete the rough draft, set it aside for at least one full day before making any changes.Proofread, edit and revise rough draft After a day or two away from your rough draft, you are ready to begin proofreading, editing and revising your academic essay. Being critical as you evaluate your essay is crucial to improving it. By asking yourself a series of questions, you can determine what changes need to be made:
In addition, you want to watch for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Using a good proofreading tips guideline can help you catch some of the most common errors, or take your essay to your school’s writing center for additional help. Keep in mind you may need to add additional information or remove information included in your first draft as well.
You may find yourself writing several revisions during this process. After each, set it aside before re-evaluating it. This keeps your mind fresh and makes it easier to spot errors.Finalize and write final draft
The final draft of your academic essay is the final result of the revision process. This is where you tweak things for the final time before handing in an assignment. After you have prepared your final draft, set is aside for at least one day. Then, do a final proofreading, paying close attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Finally, check the formatting to ensure you follow the assignment guidelines, when applicable.
Creating an action plan for writing an academic essay is the best way to ensure you take the steps to write a great essay. Moving through the process, from getting your ideas on paper to completing the final draft, helps mold and shape your essay while making sure it is as perfect as possible. As you work through this process, remember that finishing your essay is not a race to the finish line. Take your time. The more time you give yourself in each step of the process, the more likely you are to complete that step well.
(Student 's Name (Professor 's Name (Subject (Date Submitted
A Say on the Essay
Essays say a lot about its. It shows the fountain of thoughts and ideas that its writer believes in and shows how creative and diligent one can be in expressing it. Many people think that writing essays involves merely typing words from one 's thoughts or researching and putting down someone else 's ideas on to. Turning in a written document such as this is just a report. True essay involve themselves thoroughly in their work. The best
essays show conviction and are enjoyable to read even for those who are not interested in the subject at hand. Essay writing is a remarkable way for people to persuade readers of their stand on a certain subject. The journey to creating a strong and dynamic essay involves the author 's creativity organized logic and the balance between subjectivity and objectivity Essays present the character of the writer through his beliefs and convictions which is why it is important for every author to put great effort in producing a written success
The birth of a great essay begins in the prewriting stage wherein concepts and ideas need to be formed to become the central focus of the written work. As Doris Viloria has described it. a masterpiece starts solely on pure instinct (79. All essays. however. must also take into consideration its purpose. audience. voice and medium. Powerful essays are molded out of questions either posed by the teacher or society itself. The way the answer and how the solution can be best delivered leads the way towards the development of a strongly founded purpose of a written composition. The arguments that develop from it are all born out of a writer 's need to solve the query or justify his premise. Knowing who will be reading the essay is critical in the writing process itself. Purpose and intended audience also dictate the voice of the written product. The medium by which a written work will be shown also depends on the requirement posed to the author. It is the writer 's prerogative to adapt his work according to where the finished composition will be read. Knowing these prerequisites. a writer needs to build his essay by knowing all the ideas and concepts that can be used to express his views through reading other sources. Jotting down adequate important views of other people and whatever notions that pop up while researching helps in remembering all the details that can be used to convey a central message. These notes assist the writer in building a thesis statement and its supporting arguments. The way an essayist develops these concepts into a draft shows his creativity resourcefulness and convictions
Writing a first draft can be the most challenging part of essay writing because it entails the skill in concretizing all concepts that are floating in his head or on the notes of a prewriting. It helps to.
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The next draft should be much easier to write because you will use the previous draft as a basis and you have a list of weaknesses to fix and a new outline to organize the draft.
If you've written your draft on a computer it's a good idea to save each draft as it's own file (draft 1, draft 2, etc.) that way you'll be able to track your improvement at the end of the writing process and have back-ups of your work in case there is a computer problem later. Of course when you're beginning each draft, at the start just use the save as command to give you a draft to start from (i.e. after you've written draft 1, use the Save As function to create draft 2; then you will make changes on this new draft 2 file). With all drafts, again, make sure to SAVE YOUR DRAFT OFTEN and PERIODICALLY PRINT COPIES OF YOUR DRAFTS in case you have computer problems.
The guidelines for drafting we discussed in the Draft 1 section apply to each draft that you will write although you will be refining more at the word and sentence level in later drafts. Click here to review those guidelines.
Keep in mind that your primary goal in the drafting stage is to improve your essay with each version you produce. You may need to go back to previous steps like Exploring to get new information to support your ideas or you might need to go back to Development to get a new strategy for explaining your point or perhaps revisit Organizing to reconsider how you've structured your argument. You should expect to re-visit these steps because, remember, writing is a recursive process.
After each draft, you should go through the reviewing and planning steps once again. With each draft review it yourself, ask a peer to examine it, and if necessary ask your teacher to re-assess it. After the draft has been reviewed make a new plan for revision by listing strengths and weaknesses and making a new outline. Also, remember to put time in between reviewing each draft-spacing will reviews will help make you a more critical and objective reader.
Click here to review guidelines for Reviewing.
Click here for to review guidelines for Planning.
Sometimes students ask how many drafts they should write. There really is no magical number. Some students will produce an effective essay after two rough drafts others may need more. We recommend that students write at least three rough drafts before polishing it into the final edited and formatted draft.
Additional annotated drafts and plans for revision.
For many people, the prospect of writing an essay is unnecessarily daunting and unpleasant. This is largely a result of the misconception that one's ideas need to be fully formed before even beginning the essay writing process, before even putting pen to paper.The Reality of Essay Writing
In reality, most of your ideas develop during the essay writing process. Through the stages of brainstorming, drafting, and revising, you can explore your thoughts, discover the ideas you want to communicate, and work out the best way to express them.
If you relax and allow yourself the freedom to spend time exploring and articulating your ideas, you'll find that there are few activities more liberating and rewarding than the process of writing an essay.The Basic Steps of the Writing Process
Whether you desire to write a narrative essay about a personal experience, a literary analysis of a story, an argumentative essay supporting a particular idea or point of view, or any other possible type of essay, the steps of the essay writing process are basically the same.
Introduction What is the writing process. Writing an essay takes time. That’s why writing is often referred to as a process. In other words, there are several steps to go through before you have a complete essay ready to turn in for a grade. In this lesson we will talk about those steps. They are: Pre-Writing Organizing Drafting Revising and Editing Handing in a Final Copy
Pre-Writing Step One Pre-writing literally means, “before writing.” Before you actually begin writing your essay, you will need to do the following things: brainstorm or generate ideas for your topic choose a topic to write on focus in on central ideas
Organizing Step Two Making an outline can help you organize what you want to write. This is a rough plan for your essay and can help make the process of writing much easier. Essay Outline Introduction Thesis: _____________________ Body 1. Topic Sentence: _____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea 2. Topic Sentence: ____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea 3. Topic Sentence: ____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea Conclusion
Drafting Step Three After getting ideas and making an outline of your essay, it is time to start writing the essay. When you begin writing your rough draft, try to remember the following guidelines. Don’t worry about writing the ‘perfect’ paper the first time. Your goal in writing a rough draft is to develop and support the ideas listed in your outline. Don’t focus on spelling and grammar as you write your rough draft. You can check this later in the writing process.
Revising and Editing Step Four After you write your first draft, go back over it and look for ways to improve your essay in content and organization. This step is called revision. After you revise for content and organization, begin editing your draft for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure errors. Content and Organization Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, etc. Revision Editing
The Final Copy Step Five The last step is turning in your essay to be graded. Look at the guidelines below for turning in the final draft of your essay. word-processed all new paragraphs indented five spaces 8 ½ by 11 inch white paper double spaced, size 12 font one inch margins on all sides
Evaluation Now, you are ready to review what you’ve learned. Click on the button below to return to Unit A. Do the interactive exercise. Then click on the essay rubric link to see how your essay will be evaluated.
References PowerPoint Presentation by Ruth Luman: Modesto Junior College. Reid, J. (1993). Teaching ESL Writing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents. This project incorporates portions of copyrighted works. These items are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the educational fair use guidelines. They are restricted from further use.Share presentation with a group
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In the Writing Centre we talk a lot about writing being a process, and we try very hard to teach students through as many tutorials as they will come to, that indeed they will learn to become more confident, capable and skilled writers as they work on their writing, practice, get feedback and learn from their errors and missteps as well as from what they do well. This focus on writing as a process is central to the work that many Writing Centres and academic literacy specialists do around the world and in South Africa. Learning is not a linear process, so why would we imagine that writing about what we are learning would be a linear process too? However, when we present our writing, we do present it in a linear form: introduction, development of argument or discussion, and conclusion followed by references, and this can fool undergraduate students into thinking that the research and writing process should be quite simple and straightforward.
Key to this process is drafting, getting feedback and revision. Student-writers have to move through these steps, iteratively rather than linearly, in order to produce a piece of work they would call the final draft and submit for assessment. But this is a difficult process, and also one that many students do not necessarily welcome. I worked on a project in 2010 where we introduced a drafting, feedback and revision process where previously students had had only one chance to write an essay and receive a mark for it. Several of the students did not enjoy the drafting process and one even commented that it made her feel ‘stupid’ because she felt she should be able to get it right the first time, and upset that the essay was not finished yet. I have often wondered where this notion of getting writing right the first time came from. Did she bring it with her from school? I don’t remember drafting essays at school, and I rarely did so as an undergraduate. If I did, I made my own revisions, often in a very hit and miss manner because I did not often get useful feedback, and did not really understand how my lecturers wanted me to write. So I can empathise with her feeling stupid for not getting it ‘right’ on the first go, and also feeling disheartened when the feedback she got showed her how much work she still had to do. She is certainly not alone in feeling this way. Many academics who send papers to journals and are asked to revise and resubmit, sometimes by overhauling the whole argument, have felt this way. Yet, we keep going and we keep writing. Why?
We think when we write – before we write, while we write and even after we write. New ideas occur, new connections between ideas become clearer, and sharper and more concise ways of stating our points, supporting them and referring to sources emerge and take shape as we work through the iterative process that is writing. We read and research, think and make notes, write something in the form of a first draft, and hopefully are brave enough to show someone – a tutor, a friend, a lecturer – who can read critically, offer advice and point our thinking in new directions. Along with our own continued thinking about our work, we use this advice and feedback to reshape what we have written, improving on it and learning more as we do. This is a tough process, and it is time- and energy-consuming. But, it is ultimately also rewarding; there is pleasure in crafting a piece of writing that represents your thinking and that can communicate it skillfully to a reader who enjoys reading it. So this iterative process is one that helps us to grow – in knowledge, ability and also in self-confidence.
I did not appreciate the value of drafting, revising and rethinking my writing until I was a Masters student. I think that some of this had to do with needing to mature emotionally and intellectually. As an undergraduate I did not really see the connections between all the pieces of knowledge I was learning, or how writing about them could help me to do much more than earn the marks I needed to graduate well. Later, as a more mature student, I could appreciate how different each draft was, and I with them. This appreciation for, and even pleasure in, revising and rewriting has served me well as a PhD student, too.
I also think that my coming late to finding value in drafting and revising my own writing had to do with a difference in focus between my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. As an undergraduate the focus was on the thing I produced; the essay or the portfolio or so on. It was not on the process of writing it. I seldom received feedback or was given chances to draft and revise before the final submission. At postgraduate level, even though I had to produce writing that was assessed, the focus in seminars and also in the papers we wrote was far more on the process of thinking, rethinking, debating, challenging and learning as we went, and the writing I did reflected this.
Perhaps this is what is lacking in undergraduate curricula. The focus is more often than not on the the product at the expense of time for the process that is involved in creating a product that shows one’s intellectual ability and also growth. We need to rethink, quite radically, the way we teach and value writing and thinking as iterative rather than linear processes if we are to see the intellectual and also emotional qualities we want in our graduates and postgraduates.
The Writing Process
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The Writing Process
Steps in Writing an Essay
Revising and Editing
Planning and Organizing
What is the writing process.
Writing an essay takes time. That’s why writing is often
referred to as a process. In other words, there are several
steps to go through before you have a complete essay ready
to turn in for a grade. In this lesson we will talk about those
Pre-writing literally means, “before writing.” Before you
actually begin writing your essay, you will need to do the
Making an outline can help you organize what you want to
write. This is a rough plan for your essay and can help make
the process of writing much easier.
After getting ideas and making an outline of your essay,
it is time to start writing the essay. When you begin writing
your rough draft, try to remember the following guidelines.
and support the ideas listed in your outline.
Don’t focus on spelling and grammar as you
write your rough draft. You can check this later
in the writing process.
Revising and Editing
After you write your first draft, go back over it and look for
ways to improve your essay in content and organization.
This step is called revision. After you revise for content and
organization, begin editing your draft for spelling, grammar,
punctuation, and sentence structure errors.
What is the best advice for Drafting? → (1) Revision; (2) Editing; (3) Proofreading
What is current emphasis on for a Letter? → Strategy and Humanness
What is Indirect Order? → Put it Last, using the opening to prepare the audience
What types of research is done in gathering information? → (1) Visualize Readers; (2) Keep their interests in mind; (3) List Pertinent Facts; (4) Brainstorming; (5) Diagrams
What are Cons of Email? → Not Confidential; Doesn't Communicate Emotions, Tone of Voice, or Unspoken Communications; Can be Ignored or Delayed