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How to start an essay with your name

how to start an essay with your name

An Essay About Myself: Writing Tips and Tricks - Udemy Blog

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Five Methods:Essay Template and Sample EssaysGet StartedFormulate Your ThesisWrite an IntroductionMoving ForwardCommunity Q&A

Starting a college-level essay can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t feel inspired or organized enough to articulate your thoughts. But don’t worry – with a bit of planning, research, and hard work, you’ll be able to start a variety of college essays in no time at all. Any essay will begin with an introduction, which will state your main points, hook the reader, and state your thesis, which is the point that you’ll be arguing in the essay. If you want to know how to start a college essay, just follow these steps: First put a boring starting sentence, read on


Essay Template and Sample Essays

Method 1 Get Started

  1. Image titled Start a College Essay Step 1


    Have a crystal-clear understanding of the assignment. Though you may want to jump right into your college essay, you should know exactly what is asked of you before you even open up that blank Word Document. Carefully read the prompt and see what type of essay your teacher wants you to write, how many words are required, and how much research is required for the essay. Here are some things you should be very clear about before you begin:
    • Word count. If your essay only needs to be 500 words long, it will be very different from an essay that needs to be 2,000 words long. Be aware of the word requirement and stick to it, or at least within 10% of it. You don't want to weary your teacher by writing an essay that is much longer than required, or much shorter than required.
    • The amount of required research. Some classes will require you to write a paper that is heavily based on outside research you've done. Others will require you to use the course materials, like novels, or textbooks, for the basis of your paper, and to draw your own conclusions. Though almost every good essay is based on solid research.
    • If you have any questions, talk to your teacher well before the day the assignment is due to clarify any concerns you may have.
  2. Image titled Start a College Essay Step 2


    Master the different types of essays. There are many different types of essays you may have to write in college, and it's good to be aware of the variety of essays out there so you know what is expected of you. Here are the basic types of essays that you should master:[1]
    • The persuasive/argumentative essay. This essay will ask you to persuade your readers to see your perspective on an issue. For example, an essay showing readers all the reasons why personal handguns should be banned will be a persuasive essay.
    • The analytical essay. This type of essay is most common in literature courses. This essay will ask you to read a work and to analyze the words, themes, characters, and meaning using your own ideas as well as other scholarly sources for the topic.
    • The expository essay. This type of essay will pick a process or situation and will explain important aspects of this subject, such as describing the daily lives of college students.
    • The research essay. This essay will ask you to dig deeper into a topic by researching it and informing your readers of its history, uses, or relevance.
    • The compare and contrast essay. This type of essay will ask you to compare and contrast two topics and to show how they are similar or different. For example, and essay analyzing all of the similarities and differences between living in New York City and Los Angeles is a compare and contrast essay.
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    Define your audience. Are you writing for your professor, for your classmates, for experts in your field, or for people who are new to the subject? If you're writing for experts in the field, then you don't have to define basic terms and can use a more advanced vocabulary, but if you're writing for people who don't know much about the topic, like analyzing a film for readers who haven't seen it, then you'll have to give more basic details.
    • If you're writing a research paper on a topic that may be esoteric or unfamiliar to your readers, then you'll have to explain the research you've found in great detail.
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    Define your purpose. What is your purpose in writing the essay? Is it to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to define, to compare and contrast, to analyze, to synthesize, or to tell a story? Knowing your purpose right away can help you frame your argument and reach the right people in the right way. For example, if your goal is to persuade people, you'll have to develop a logical argument with compelling main points that convince your readers to see your point of view.[2]
    • If your purpose is to analyze something, like a poem or a play, then you'll have to provide compelling in-text evidence that supports your ideas.
    • If your goal is to compare and contrast, then you'll have to be knowledgeable about the differences and similarities of two topics.
    • If your purpose is to inform, then you'll have to thoroughly study a topic and help your readers understand it better.
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    Manage your tone. Tone is another important aspect of writing a successful college essay. For most essays, your tone should be professional, detached, and informative. If you use too much biased language to try to convince your research, then you won't sound authoritative. If you use slang or casual phrasing, then you won't sound professional. But if you're writing a personal essay (for a course on writing a memoir, for example), then you'll get to use more comfortable, informal language.
    • Your tone is your attitude toward the subject you're presenting. Is your tone detached, amused, slightly cynical, suspicious, or more passionate? Whatever the tone is, it has to be appropriate to the subject matter.
    • If you're writing an essay about stem-cell research, for example, your tone should be objective and detached; if you were writing an essay about online dating, you could take a more amused or playful tone.

Method 2 Formulate Your Thesis

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    Do your research. Though it may be fun to jump right into an essay without knowing exactly what you're talking about, the best thing you can do is to do your research first so you build a solid foundation for your thinking. Get the texts you need, take notes, and read them until you feel that you've mastered the topic and have enough information to write an essay or formulate an argument.
    • Make sure that the materials you use are credible and come from established professionals. Don't do your research on Wikipedia.
    • Take enough notes to be comfortable with the subject.
    • Be familiar with MLA or APA citation so that you can use it for your essay.
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    Know what makes an appropriate thesis statement. Once you've done your research, you'll need to write a thesis statement, which will be the central argument or point that you'll be making throughout the paper. Though you can outline some basic ideas first or find several main ideas that stand out to you, you should not begin writing the essay without a clear idea of what your thesis statement should be. One example of a thesis statement is the following: "New York City is a better place to live than San Francisco because it has more diversity, more opportunities, and better weather." Here are the characteristics of an appropriate thesis statement:[3]
    • Clarity
    • Precision
    • The ability to be argued
    • The ability to be demonstrated
    • Detail
    • The use of the third person
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    Write a thesis statement. Write a thesis statement that makes an argument clearly and precisely and which can be argued. You can't write a thesis about how unicorns exist because you can't prove that, and you can't write a thesis about how smoking is bad for your health because that can't really be argued. Instead, pick an interesting, relevant argument to your subject matter and pick at least two or three specific details to help you argue your point. Here are some examples of different thesis statements:[4]
    • A thesis statement for an analytical essay:"The Great Gatsby's three central themes are loneliness, the corruption of wealth, and the loss of great love."
    • A thesis statement for an argumentative or persuasive essay: "SAT scores should not be used as a factor in college admissions because they do not accurately gauge intelligence and are socioeconomically biased."
    • A thesis statement for an expository essay: "Most high school students spend their time balancing homework, friends, and extracurricular activities."
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    Create an outline. Once you have a thesis statement, you should create an outline that will serve as the road map to the rest of your paper, which will help you know exactly what to put in each paragraph. This will make your thoughts logical and organized and will keep you from getting overwhelmed or changing your mind halfway through the paper. The outline should include the introductory paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the concluding paragraphs, citing as much specific evidence as possible. Here's an example of an outline of an essay with the following thesis statement: "New York is the best city for young professionals because of its attractions, weather, and job market."[5]
    • Introduction: 1) hook, 2) three main points, 3) thesis statement
    • Body paragraph 1: attractions: 1) restaurants, 2) clubs and bars, 3) museums
    • Body paragraph 2: weather: 1) beautiful winter snow 2) pleasant spring 3) refreshing rain
    • Body paragraph 3: job market 1) opportunities in finance and business 2) opportunities for the arts 3) networking opportunities
    • Conclusion: 1) return to the hook, 2) restate main points, 3) state thesis

Method 3 Write an Introduction

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    Hook your readers. The introduction is comprised of three parts: the hook, the main points, and the thesis statement. The first part, the hook, should be a way to draw your readers in and to have them read the rest of your essay. The hook should relate to your main point and should get your readers engaged so that they want to keep reading. Here are some examples of hooks:[6]
    • The rhetorical question. Asking a question that helps draw the readers into the central debate you're discussing can help get their attention. For example, an essay that supports gay marriage can start with the question, "Shouldn't any person be able to marry the person he loves?"
    • A shocking statement or statistic. Starting with a shocking statement or statistic relevant to your topic can help get the reader's attention. For example, if you're writing an essay about depression among college students, you can start with a (research-based) statement like, "Over 10% of college students are currently suffering from depression."
    • An anecdote. Starting with a short anecdote relevant to your thesis can help draw your readers in. For example, if you were writing an essay about the difficulty of being a single mother, you could start by saying, "Jane was struggling to make ends meet while trying to take care of her son, Randy."
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    State your main points. Once you've hooked your readers with a strong statement, it's time to spend at least one sentence or two describing each main point, so that your readers know what to expect. For example, if you're writing an essay with the following thesis statement: "The Great Gatsby's three central themes are loneliness, the corruption of wealth, and the loss of great love," then you should spend one sentence describing the loneliness in the novel, one sentence describing the corruption, and another statement describing the loss of great love.

  3. Image titled Start a College Essay Step 12


    State your thesis. Once you've hooked your readers and stated your main points, all you have to do is state your thesis. It tends to work best as the last sentence in the introductory paragraph, though sometimes the essay can be successful if you place the thesis earlier in the introduction. The introductory paragraph and the thesis should work like a road map to the rest of the essay, so that the reader knows what to expect in the rest of the paper. To recap, a successful start to a college essay, or an introductory paragraph, should include the following:
    • A "hook" to get the reader's attention
    • A brief discussion of the main points that will be covered in the body of the essay
    • The thesis statement

Method 4 Moving Forward

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    Write 3-5 body paragraphs. Once you've found your thesis statement and have written that introductory paragraph, much of the hard work of the essay is over. Now, you'll have to jump into the body paragraphs that will develop the main points you've made in your thesis statement, and which will help inform or persuade your readers. You should have 3-5 body paragraphs or more, depending on the length of the essay. Each body paragraph should include the following:[7]
    • A topic sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph will be about.
    • Supporting details, evidence, facts, or statistics that develop the main point.
    • A concluding sentence that wraps up the ideas in the paragraph and transitions to the next body paragraph.
  2. Image titled Start a College Essay Step 14


    Write a conclusion. Once you have your introduction and your three body paragraphs, you should write a conclusion that wraps up the ideas you've introduced and explained in your essay. The conclusion should do several things:[8]
    • Restate your thesis
    • Remind the reader of your main point
    • Refer back to an anecdote, statistic, or fact in your introduction (optional)
    • Leave the reader with something to think about beyond the words on the page
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    Remember to stick to the third person. Writing in the third person (unless you're told not to do so) is a very important aspect of writing a successful college essay. You should never say "I think..." or "I believe that..." or your argument will sound too weak or insubstantial. Instead of saying, "I think abortion should remain legal in the United States," you can say, "Abortion should remain legal in the United States," to make your argument sound more forceful.
    • You should avoid the first and the second person. Don't say "you" -- say "one," "he or she," or use the appropriate pronoun. Instead of saying, "You should spend 3-5 hours a week if you want to succeed in college," say, "College students should spend 3-5 hours a week studying if they want to succeed."
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    Revise your work. Once you've written your rough draft, you should go back and revise the essay and check for any lapses in your logic, and unproved points, or any weak arguments. You may also find that not everything in the essay is relevant, that your ideas are repetitive, and that you may need to tweak your thesis a bit -- that's only natural.
    • Once you feel that the essay is solid, you can revise it for grammar and punctuation.

Community Q&A

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  • If you want to have a good college essay you should work very carefully. Plan your work, make several drafts and only then you will get your A. You should write your ideas in a logical way. Remember, the main aim of your essay is to catch the attention of the reader. That means leave your audience with the final word.

Although they vary depending on who has written them, most essay prompts include similar information. Essay prompts can seem overwhelming at first, especially if they incorporate a lot of information, but knowing what you're looking for can help you decipher them.
  • Most prompts begin with some contextual information about the topic of the essay. While this can seem superfluous, read it carefully; it may give you a clue about how your teacher wants you to frame the topic of the essay.
  • The "task" of the essay prompt will usually be worded with active verbs such as summarize, describe, compare, contrast, analyze and/or argue. These verbs will help you know what type of essay the prompt is asking for.[1]
  • Sometimes the prompt will offer a list of questions or suggestions for further thought. Read this section attentively: sometimes these questions or suggestions may just be a way to prompt your own thinking, but other times it may be required to address them all in your essay.
  • Many prompts will conclude with a list of formatting requirements: common requirements include "12-pt font," "double-spaced," and "1-inch margins," but your prompt may also ask for others.
  • A good essay topic is broad enough that you will have plenty to say, but not so broad that you can't say anything of substance. An essay about "the impact of Shakespeare" is too broad; you could write a dozen books about that topic. An essay about "the impact of Shakespeare on common English phrases" is narrower, but still offers you plenty to think about.

Part 2 Prewriting for Your Essay

  1. 1

    Consider the purpose of your essay. Is it to persuade your reader of something? Is it to convey an experience? Is it to present a critical analysis of a text or image? Knowing your goal will help you decide how to navigate your ideas. [4]
  2. 2

    Prewrite to get ideas flowing. The best way to start an essay is to get your ideas out in a non-essay format to begin with. Prewriting can take many different forms, and you may want to experiment to find one that helps you the most.
    • Freewriting, a process in which you just write what you are thinking about without worrying about grammar or punctuation or even your central argument, may be a good way to start generating ideas.
  • A mind map may be a helpful prewriting guide for visual learners. The center of the mind map contains your main argument, or thesis, and other ideas branch off in all directions.[6]
  • 3

    Keep your audience in mind. As you write, think about what you might need if you were reading the essay. If it's a history essay, what context would you need about your topic? If it's a narrative essay, what information would you need to feel as though you had experienced the event?[7]
  • 4

    Understand that prewriting isn't perfect. One of the biggest causes of writer's block is striving for perfection before you've written a word. Don't censor yourself as you prewrite. Try to avoid negative thoughts such as "This doesn't make any sense" or "I can't express what I want to say." Just write everything down![8]
  • 5

    Write a traditional outline. If you have used one of the prewriting methods listed above, reorganize the content and add detail by creating an outline.
  • Indicate each section with a roman numeral (For example, I. Puppies are cute.)
  • Provide at least two sub-points for your main point. Indicate each sub-point with a capital letter (For example, A. Puppies look cute, B. Puppies act cute.)
  • Provide at least two details for each sub-point. Indicate your details with a number (For example, A- 1. Puppies have sweet faces, 2. Puppies are small, and little things are usually cute. B- 1. Puppies play and roll around all the time, making people laugh, 2. Puppies are very affectionate and lick their owners to show love.)
  • Each level of detail should be indented further to the right than the level before.
  • 6

    Read your outline. Be sure that the organization makes sense, and re-organize or switch sections around if you need to. Be sure that each section has a similar amount of detail, and add detail to any sections that need to be developed.

  • Part 3 Developing a Thesis Statement

    1. 1

      Determine the type of paper you need to write.
    • An argumentative thesis will indicate a position (side of the argument) as well as introduce the topic.
    • An expository thesis will introduce what is going to be explained in the paper.
    • An analytical thesis will introduce the topic and contextualize the reason for the analysis.
  • 2

    Understand what a thesis statement needs to accomplish. Your thesis statement should provide an answer to the question "So what?" Ask yourself how your argument or analysis contributes to your reader's understanding.

  • 3

    Think about what you want to say. Developing your thesis statement is an important part of writing your paper. If you try to write it before you’ve done any thinking or research about your topic, you’re unlikely to be successful.
    • Refer back to your prewriting and try to find relationships between the ideas there.
    • Think about your essay assignment and what you most want to say: the thesis statement will likely be somewhere in between those two things.
  • 4

    Use a “working” thesis statement.

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