Essay Writing 1-2-3

As we all know, part of being a student is being able to compose your thoughts into persuasive essays. Writing can be tricky for many students, but following a few simple guidelines can help you achieve a good grade and a solid argument.
As a general rule of thumb, the first step to writing should always be brainstorming. Generally, we are taught that brainstorming should be done on paper during quiet study hours. This writer disagrees: brainstorming is best done as a team effort! Find someone who will listen to you rant tirelessly about your writing topic. You may encounter some opposition here, but eventually you are bound to find someone who is as fired up about animal cruelty or child labor as you are (or need to seem to be for your essay!). Try to get enthusiastic about your writing assignment: passion always makes for a more persuasive argument.
Step two has a bit of grey area: some teachers will tell you that an outline is a must, but for some writers, a free-flowing first draft can be just the ticket to kick-start your writing. For outline writers, consider this paragraph steps two and three. If you prefer beginning with an outline, try to be as skeletal as possible about it. If it should happen that you are the type of student who likes to dive right in, go for it! Whatever pops into your head should end up on the paper.
The next two steps are versions of the same concept: editing. Read over your writing or hand it over to a friend for evaluation. Edit, cut, delete, and reword. Refine your ideas, first into a second rough draft, and then into a final draft. By the time your essay reaches your final draft, it should be clear, concise, and persuasive. Your writing should convince your teacher to petition for an extra month of summer vacation or that Harry Potter really is the greatest book ever written. Who knows, you may just end up with enough time to go to Mexico this September!

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