MTM Writing Clinic
Writing a well-constructed essay is a process. It can be broken into five major stages. By completing each stage, you will ensure that your final essay is organized and error free!
When the instructor assigns your topic, take notes! Your instructor will set parameters for your essay such as type of topic, type of essay (descriptive, explanatory, argumentative, summary, etc.), audience, length, and documentation.
An instructor may define the topic for you, such as
Once you have selected a topic, it is time to explore your topic.
Once you have identified that topic of your essay, you can begin to define your research needs by performing a freewriting, brainstorming, or cluster activity. These activities can help you identify what you know, what you don't, and where you think you might find the information you need.
Once you have identified the scope and content of your essay, it's time to get organized.
The most effective way to organize your essay is to write an outline. Many instructors will require an outline as part of the writing process, because it provides a roadmap of your essay. It is much easier to locate and correct problems with organization and evidence in this stage than once you have begun to write.
Title of Paper
Your title is the topic of your paper. Avoid titles like:
My Essay, Shakespeare's Othello
The Relationship of Desdamona and Othello in Shakespeare's Othello, The Making of an American Car: The Founding of the Ford Motor Company
Now that you've completed your outline, it is time to write your essay.
Once your essay has been constructed, it is time for a final review and edit.
The final stage of completing your essay involves proofreading your essay. When proofreading, there are two areas you want to focus on: revising and editing. Before you begin the revising and editing process, take a break. Give yourself at least fifteen minutes, and preferably a day between writing the completed essay and proofreading your essay.
The revision process involves the flow of your writing. During this process, you will want to ensure that your ideas are clearly stated and that your essay conveys a unified message about your topic. Remove idioms and colloquial language to ensure clarity of ideas. Ensure that your evidence is clearly supported by examples and research evidence. Finally, read your essay aloud to hear and correct any awkward-sounding sentences. Key areas to focus on during the revision process:
Although technology can assist in our efforts to proofread and correct errors with sentence structure and grammar it cannot replace the proofreading process. A computer program review will not ensure that your argument is clear and well-defined, nor correct spelling mistakes from misused words.