Writing an Effective Essay in 5 StepsSaturday, October 2nd, 2010
Effective essays are directed to the reader
A good essay is an effective essay: one way or another, every time we write an essay, we are trying to persuade the reader, at least to follow our argument and, if possible, to agree with it. Effective essays are always easily readable, since they apply to the reader’s interests and display little bits of information at the time, displaying a combination of facts and examples, and showing the essay writer’s own ideas as well as an opposite point of view the reader may have… to prove them wrong! There is a great writing technique in which you basically do that. It is called “reductio ad absurdum”, and politicians use it a lot.
If you are looking forward to writing the really effective way, the reader must be permanently taken into account. Even more so if the only reader is going to be your teacher when correcting your work. Here we will show you how to success just by following five simple steps.
Step #1: Reasoning
The first step for writing an effective essay that truly persuades the reader, is providing reasons. As you can see, you can’t limit yourself to make a declaration, but you should explain why. Always try to make the explanation as logical as possible. Do not appeal to the reader’s emotions but to their sense of logic. For example, if you are defending death penalty, do not write “an eye for an eye”, but instead write about how more money would be available for education rather than for keeping criminals alive.
Step #2: Researching
Since you need facts and data to support your argument, you must obtain them from reading, observation or interviewing experts. In order to find them, you should read newspapers and books, so a visit to your local library sounds like a great idea. Direct quotes from experts in the topic are other valuable sources of information.
Step #3: Repeating
Another basic technique effective essays (as well as advertising) implement, is repetition. That doesn’t mean repeating the same words or sentences more than twice. Instead, try using synonyms and paraphrasing: that way the reader will receive the exact same message many times without realizing. Another way to support your argument that is also related to repetition, is using plenty of examples.
Step #4: Comparing
Another persuasive essay writing technique you may probably know is comparing. By using similes, metaphors and analogies, you can relate your statement to something that the reader already accepts as true. In this way, you are half way through on your way to convincing them to see things your way: how about that for an effective essay?
Step #5: Storytelling
Expressing your point of view as a maxim of a fable, you will persuade many more readers than by providing the statement alone. After all, by telling the right story you don’t need to persuade anyone of anything, but you simply help others independently decide that you are right. Storytelling really is the heart of persuasion!