Let's face it-most people do not exclaim "Hooray!" when they are tasked with writing an essay. Especially, when the pressure of a winning scholarship based on your essay is the task at hand. However, if you have a systematic plan to writing your essay, it can be relatively easy to effectively transfer your thoughts to paper. The best place to start is with the basics.
First, you want to have the specific instructions of the assignment, or a syllabus of required information if provided. This will make sure that you have all of the content in your essay that is going to be graded. If any of the requirements are missing, then you will automatically lose points from the grading scale.
Second, determine your format. This is usually specified in the syllabus (i.e., 500-700 words with a title page, or APA format (American Psychological Association). Templates are handy when writing your paper, because you can simply replace the template information with your writing and the spacing and margins are already formatted. Fund for Thought provides a template with each essay packet in order to make the writing process easier.
Third, create your outline (main points that relate to the topic). The outline is essentially the skeleton of your paper, and will help you organize your thoughts into a logical sequence. Typically, your outline should contain an introduction to the topic, 1st main point, 2nd main point, 3rd main point….etc. and conclusion.
Once you have mapped out your outline, writing the paper should be relatively easy at this point. Follow the format of your outline, and write supporting facts or opinion that support each main point from your outline. Separate each main point with a new paragraph, and make sure that you PROOFREAD AND SPELLCHECK. This is worth repeating: PROOFREAD AND SPELLCHECK! Your essay will be an epic failure if it is poorly written with grammatical and spelling errors.
In conclusion, if you use this systematic plan to essay writing, the task of writing an essay will not be quite so overwhelming. There will be variances to each assignment, but if you follow this basic plan, you at least have a plan and your writing will improve with each essay. By the way, did you happen to notice the format of what you just read? :o)