Writing a Simple Essay

Writing an essay is not difficult if the writer follows a formula. Essays can be written in many forms which include division and classification; narrative and descriptive; analysis; argumentative; persuasive; cause and effect; and comparison and contrast. Whichever form the author chooses, the essay should follow a specific format.

Choose a Topic

The writer should begin by choosing a topic. The type of essay may help the author make that determination. A topic that interests the writer is usually best, so that developing the document can be a pleasant experience. The author may need to conduct research for more complicated essay topics.

Create an Outline

The next step in essay creation is the outline. This step in the process is critical because this is the formula that the writer will follow to develop the essay. The outline begins with a topic or thesis statement.

Write the Thesis, Intro and Body

The thesis statement is the most important sentence in the document. The entire essay is created from this sentence. A writer may choose to use more than one sentence for the thesis statement. The introduction is written around this statement. The body of the essay is built out from the thesis sentence. Each element introduced in the main statement is expanded in the body of the paper as support.

If the thesis statement states, "The stages of changing a flat tire include removal of the tire nuts, removal of the tire, and placement of the new tire and tightening of the bolts" the body of the essay should consist of a paragraph describing each stage of the tire change.


I. Introduction. Includes introduction and thesis statement: The stages of changing a flat tire include removal of the tire nuts, removal of the flat tire, and placement of the new tire and tightening of the bolts.

II. Body

Paragraph 1:
  • Retrieval of the jack and crowbar from vehicle trunk
  • The process of jacking up the car
  • Removal of the tire nuts
Paragraph 2:
  • Removal of the flat tire
  • Removal of the new tire from the trunk
  • Placing the flat tire in the trunk
Paragraph 3:
  • Placement of the new tire on the vehicle
  • Tightening the bolts
  • Lowering the jack
  • Storing the jack in its position in the trunk

III. Conclusion. The conclusion should be a brief summary of the essay and a statement of any conclusions that can be drawn.

Final Review and Checklist

  • The tone of the essay should be consistent with the type of essay being presented.
  • No slang or clichés should be used unless they are pertinent to the information being conveyed.
  • After developing the outline, the writer should create a first draft.
  • This draft should be revised and edited as per an instructor's suggestions.
  • The writer should also revise and edit the essay as he or she deems necessary. Getting into the habit of revising and editing is excellent practice for every writer, novice or experienced.
  • The final draft should be viewed by an instructor or other professional and any suggestions for revision or editing made before publishing.