5 Essential Components of a Brilliant Essay

how to write college essay
When students are faced with college essays for the first time, they barely have an idea how to handle the process of research, writing, and editing. College professors don’t waste time explaining how an academic paper should look like; they usually assign a topic and expect the students to deliver successful academic content without explaining what exactly they want to receive.

As a result, college students have to find their own way around essay writing. The assignment may not seem too challenging before you start dealing with it, but you soon understand that not everyone can write exceptional papers.

The following list of 5 essential components of every successful essay will help you understand what you’re expected to submit.

1. Main thesis

Essays that don’t contain a clear thesis are never valued highly by college professors. The thesis is your main statement, which presents your opinion or judgment on the topic. You should never confuse the thesis with the topic, since there is a big difference. The topic you is only the subject area that frames your discussion, but the thesis statement is narrower and presents a clear point of view.

In order to come up with a memorable thesis, you should think how to make it arguable. Your writing should challenge the reader (your professor) to think about your opinion and find intelligent ways to agree or disagree with it. That being said, you should never present an obvious interpretation.

The thesis should be explicitly stated at the end of the first paragraph of your paper.

2. A particular problem or question you are going to elaborate

Your thesis statement should be placed within a broader context that arises from a certain issue. Many students misunderstand the question or problem presented in the topic. Your professor expects you to clarify something and solve the question; not to write a thesis that simply expands it without providing any solution.

In the first paragraphs of your college essay, you should establish the question or problem. Make sure you present the main points of the issue; otherwise your reader will be left confused. In the second part of the paper, you should deepen the discussion and offer possible solutions. If your paper is not successful in this aspect, your professor will evaluate it as irrelevant.

3. Arguments based on verifiable evidence

Every essay writer has a responsibility to investigate the problem, think of strong arguments and support them with facts and opinions that can be verified. Unless you are writing a paper based on personal experience, you should always prove your thesis with strong evidence.

Don’t be afraid to rely on evidence that has already been used by other academic writers; you can always re-examine it and approach it from a different angle. However, your professor would appreciate your efforts even more if you managed to provide previously overlooked or undiscovered arguments that prove the thesis statement.

Remember: you must always make the thesis arguable. This obligates you to look at the other side of the issue and consider providing counter-evidence. Although this aspect would complicate the discussion, you can always make the paper successful by elaborating two opposite sides and orienting the reader towards a particular stand.

4. Analyze and reflect!

The work of essay writers isn’t limited to conducting a research and supporting a particular thesis with evidence. If you don’t manage to turn the evidence to your advantage, you will fail to persuade the reader that you’re right. To achieve such goal, you must discuss the sources you discovered through strong arguments that express your own opinion. Show your reader how the evidence collected from academic and scientific resources supports, proves, and deepens the main thesis.

The references you include in the paper don’t speak for themselves; you must analyze them in details and highlight the specific parts that support your thesis. There is an interesting rule that professors follow when evaluating academic essays: the student should offer at least two words of analysis for each word of the provided citation.

In order to use evidence properly, you need to understand the difference between analysis and reflection: analyzing is directly associated to the evidence, while reflecting means building analysis with the intention of supporting a larger claim.

Reflections usually include counter-arguments, assumptions, detailed definitions and correlations with previous claims. It is important to build reflection throughout an academic paper, but it’s even more essential to use it in the concluding paragraph.

5. Logical flow

When students think about the structure of an academic paper, they are usually careful to provide an introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. However, paying attention to these separate parts of a paper results with a serious mistake – lack of connectivity and logical flow between the paragraphs.

Your professor should understand how each paragraph is associated to the previous and following one. Organizing the college paper by chronology (where the evidence is provided in the same order as in the original source) or by repetition (where each paragraph starts with evidence of the same premise) is not what you’re supposed to do.

Clearly, it is important for the arguments to be connected in a logical flow, but they should all result from the thesis statement. The only way to structure the content properly is to start from your thesis and build it more deeply as you progress in the discussion. Use the evidence to support your content; do not write the content according to the evidence you collected.

The Most Important Component is Your Own Voice!

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing your first paper or you’re a “veteran” academic writer; one thing is certain: the process is never smooth and easy. You need to spend a lot of time in research, gather proper evidence and think of a way to discuss them from a unique aspect.

Your professor should be able to recognize your personal voice throughout the paper. Consistency is important not only within the paper, but throughout the entire course as well.

Think where you stand on particular issues, form strong opinions and structure convincing arguments that will make you a memorable student!

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