Writing essays (or articles, if you prefer) should not be a difficult or arduous task. Rather it should be pleasurable outpouring of your position on an issue; an expression of your strong feelings about a current event; an exposition on a topic on which you have done some significant research; or maybe just sharing a particular point of view on something you have some real interest in.
This article is a reflection of something that I have been interested in for an extended period of time - writing essays. Essay writing from my point of view is an explanation of how to do a task as well as the importance of the task from a personal perspective.
As an independent consultant the writings I often do include writing reports, designing programs, evaluating programs, and developing proposals to acquire grant moneys along with other types of highly technical writing. Essay writing then is a release from that type of demanding writing. As I write this, I am experiencing a release from my normal and typical writing directly associated with making a living.
Essay writing, simplified, can be broken down into eight specific tasks:
1. Identify the substance of what you want to write about.
2. Work on the title of the essay. The title is extremely important. It will determine whether or not someone actually decides to read your essay. Make the title a catchy and intriguing one.
3. Develop a strong lead paragraph. This is important because, after the title, the paragraph must make the reader wants to further explore what you have to say.
4. Keep your main points you want to make to no less than three and no more than nine. Two are too few. Ten are too many.
5. Support each of your points with facts and data. If you choose to quote a so-called expert, keep it to a minimum. The important thing is to make sure that your facts and data are from reputable sources.
6. Keep your sentences short and concise. Write in the active voice. And, write to the reader. Let the reader know that you are talking to him or her.
7. Use bullet points if they are appropriate to your essay and avoid jargon unless you are willing to explain what it means.
8. Conclude your essay with a summary of your main points or a simplified restatement of the essence of your essay.
There it is. Essay writing should be a release. Consider it to be therapeutic and have fun doing so.
Essay writing is a personal growth activity. Learning to do it well can be both therapeutic and profitable. Visit You Control Your Destiny to read my numerous essays on the lifetime pursuit of personal growth, developing and building your entrepreneur spirit, and managing stress and making it work for you. And while you are there, subscribe to the free monthly newsletter for free Financial and Personal Growth advice. Will Barnes is a therapist, entrepreneur, and and personal growth consultant, For over thirty-eight years he has counseled and consulted with individuals and families in the areas of personal growth, and realizing your true potential.