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How to WRITE AN ESSAY IN 10
Language and Written
1. Examine the essay question
• Highlight key words.
• Use the dictionary to check the meaning of any unfamiliar
• Identify the task words that indicate what needs to be
done, eg ‘discuss', ‘explain', ‘compare'.
• Identify the topic words that indicate the particular subject
of the essay,
2. Finalize any necessary reading or
research as background to the essay
o Be selective: use sources which are relevant and
o Write notes in your own words.
o Write down quotations that may be particularly useful,
but ensure the source of these quotes is acknowledged
if they're used.
o Take note of sources so they can be provided in
footnotes and the bibliography.
3. Brainstorm your ideas in response
to the question
o Jot down any relevant points.
o Make note of any relevant evidence or quotes that
come to mind.
o Use a mind map to help stimulate lateral thinking.
4. Construct a thesis that
encapsulates the response to the
o The thesis should be a statement that strongly expresses
the overall response to the question.
o Avoid a thesis that's too simplistic – show thought has been
put into some of the complexities behind the question.
o The thesis is the backbone of the essay – it will be stated in
the introduction. It also needs to be referred to several
times in the essay before restating it and demonstrating
how it has been proven in the conclusion.
5. Write a plan for the response
o Order ideas in a logical sequence.
o Make sure every point in the plan is relevant to the
o After the plan has been written it should be clear where
the essay is going.
6. Write the introduction
o Open up the discussion.
o Introduce the thesis.
o Indicate how the questions will be answered.
o Name any texts to be discussed, if appropriate.
o Engage the reader.
7. Write the main body of the essay
o Ensure each point is given a new paragraph.
o Use words or phrases at the start of each paragraph that will indicate to
the reader how it relates to the previous paragraph, eg, 'however', ‘in
addition', ‘nevertheless', ‘moreover'.
o Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that clearly links the paragraph
to the rest of the essay.
o Provide supporting evidence for each point that you make.
o Revisit the thesis, and express it in different ways if possible, to emphasise
how the question is being addressed.
8. Write your essay conclusion
o Summarise the main ideas.
o Demonstrate how you have proven your thesis.
o Finish with an interesting or thought-provoking,
but relevant, comment.
9. Edit the draft
o Check for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
o Delete any sections that are not particularly relevant.
o Change vocabulary to improve expression.
o Seek feedback from peers or a teacher before writing the final copy.
10. Write the final copy
o Add any footnotes or bibliography if required.
o Present a clean, neat copy.
o Submit on time.
• Adapted from: dgalaxy.com- Cool stuff for
nerdy teachers. Available at: