How To go about writing an essay

You can find Previous Year Argumentative Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

How To go about writing an essay

Step One: Listing out ideas
The first step would be to choose a topic from among the choices given. While making the choice you must ensure that you are familiar with the subject and have adequate knowledge about it. After choosing the topic, you should list out all the ideas that come to your mind on a piece of paper. Leave a few rows blank below each idea, so that new related ideas can be added.

Step Two: Planning and structuring
Having listed out all your ideas, the next step is to plan and structure your composition around the central idea or the plot. To accomplish this you arrange the headings (ideas) in a logical order, with headings and subheadings, (sub ideas) which now give you an outline of the essay.

You can now write the essay, going from heading to heading, expressing each heading in a paragraph. The essay writes itself painlessly, because you have already done most of the thinking. Hence to write an essay one must

  1. Make an outline of the essay
  2. Structure it into paragraphs.

1. Making an outline of an essay
Suppose you are to write a composition on ‘Describe a weekly market scene in your area. State why you like or do not like the scene. You can go about jotting the main ideas, leaving a row blank for incorporating ideas that come later on.

  • When they are held _________________
  • Where are they held _________________
  • Why they are held _________________
  • Who all participate _________________
  • Description of the weekly market _________________
  • What you like about these weekly markets _________________
  • What you dislike about these markets_________________
  • Importance of such markets _________________

How to go about writing an essay
After incorporating the sub ideas that come later on you can now regroup, and rearrange them into specific paragraphs like

  1. Introduction
    When they are held -Time and days of the week
    Where are they held – Describe the location and approach
  2. Body composition
    Who all participates?
    Farmers, small traders and customers from towns and cities.
  3. Why they are held
    To help farmers sell their agriculture produce.
  4. Description of the weekly market
    Noisy hawking of wares – dirty surroundings – crowded with gaudily dressed womenfolk and children – men haggling over price, etc.
  5. What you like about these weekly markets
    Goods available at economical prices direct from the producer, Interaction between the city dwellers and the farmers.
  6. What you dislike about these markets
    Unplanned,dirty, crowded, noisy, create traffic hazards
  7. Conclusion – Importance of such markets
    Promote trade and commerce

2. Structuring it into paragraphs
We see from the above that each paragraph expresses a specific idea. It represents a heading or sub-heading in the outline of the essay. It is therefore a building block of the essay which should neither be too long nor too short.

A paragraph should have a topic sentence near the beginning that announces the theme of the paragraph. The first sentence should be linked to, or be in contrast with the last sentence of the previous paragraph, by using linking words like however, furthermore, since etc.

After writing your essay you should now ensure the following.

General accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar
It is natural to make careless mistakes for since you are writing under pressure. You must therefore correct the same, by editing your composition which you must spare five minutes. Some of the most common mistakes, which students generally make are:

  • Errors of Tense, Example: He comes to see me yesterday.
  • Wrong sentence construction, Example: He was getting late for the party, he hurried.
  • Misuse of words (Vocabulary), Example: The teacher eulogized him for his misdeed.
  • Wrong spelling
  • Omission or wrong use of prepositions
  • Punctuation errors
  • Wrong use of idioms
  • Wrong use of pronouns,
    Example: She had told him that he would be coming late.
  • Errors of agreement and number,
    Example: All the children have come in uniform.

Optimum length of the composition
Try to limit your composition to 350 to 400 words which would be about three hand written pages. A composition of optimum size would be one, which does justice to the topic by dwelling on each relevant point. This is because a short composition would limit the expression and evolution of ideas, while a long composition may lead to digression from the point, and also increase the likelihood of committing careless mistakes. Care should be taken to adhere to the above optimum length without wasting precious time in counting the number of words.