How to Write a Good Essay.

The paper under analysis deals with the process of writing a good essay. The thesis statement of the essay states that there are good and bad essays and that a writer can make his essay good by paying attention to its organization, focus and revision. The writer asserts his views on some of the key concepts associated with the process of writing, namely organization of the topic, thesis statement, organization of the work space, clear focus in writing, revising and editing and the importance of natural flow and progression of thought. This paper attempts to analyze the essay based on its thesis statement, content, organization and the communicative effectiveness. It also seeks to point out the strengths of the essay and offers some suggestions for improvement.

Thesis statement

The essay explains how one can develop the paper effectively in a manner that appeals to the readers, and in the very beginning of the essay itself the thesis of the essay is clearly stated: “An essay can be either as good or as bad as you choose to make it “(Para 1, line 1) and the writer goes on to postulate that one can develop a good essay by giving attention to “its organization, focus and revision.” (Para 1, line 3). The thesis statement is clear and to the point. Good effort is made by the writer to substantiate this thesis all throughout the essay.

Content and organization

The content and organization of the essay are very much in tune with the thesis stated. It seems that in eight different paragraphs, the essay is organically developed. The author is successful in his attempt to give a specific outline for the paper; however, one comes across some inconsistencies when it comes to the development of the main points. For instance, the topic sentence of the second paragraph deals with the organization of the topic of the paper.

Instead of dedicating the whole paragraph to the organization of the topic and how good topics can be selected, the author goes on to talk about interest, a point not much relevant to the paper or the thesis statement. On the other hand, the third paragraph of the paper which deals with the concept of thesis statement, is clear, concise and to the point. In this part, the paper gives a clear description of the thesis statement.

In the fourth paragraph, where the writer speaks on the organization of the work space seems to be an irrelevant and unimportant part of the essay as the focus of the essay is to deal with good and bad writing. It would be more effective if the writer could talk on the paper and its structure rather than giving details of the physical surroundings- the house and its rooms. Similarly, the fifth paragraph which deals with the focus of writing deviates to the significance of editing.

Here, instead of elaborating upon the main point of the paragraph, the freedom that revision gives to the writer is being highlighted. Again in the same paragraph we get an instance of inconsistency when the author, who began the paragraph stating that “a clear focus is important” shifts to “however some focus is necessary” (para5 line6) The author, thus, with out substantiating the main point jumps to explain other main point in the next paragraph namely revision. The writer’s views on revision, natural flow and progression of thought in writing adds to the content of the essay.


The last paragraph of the essay which needs to conclude the essay does not serve its purpose as the writer does not come to any conclusions regarding the thesis that is stated. Apart from the conclusion, the content of the paper is solid and the writer is able to express himself/ herself clearly. The writer can make his/her essay more sounding if proper care is provided to the development of the main points by substantiating each main point adequately and by not deviating from the main points.

Strengths of the essay

  • The essay has a clear thesis statement.
  • The writer is able to express himself clearly.

Suggestions for improvement

  • The main points are to be substantiated properly.
  • The discussion on the focus of writing sounds inadequate and needs improvements. The essay conveys the wrong impression that the writer can move away from the focus as revision provides him with the opportunity to rectify it.
  • The essay lacks a proper conclusion.

Sincerely, Name of the student

The Process

The art of writing essay differs entirely from composing any other genres of literature say report, short story, novel etc. Essays written usually have a lot of didactic purposes to carry out. An essay can be either a work of wisdom, imagination, or both combined. The strength of an essayist lies in clear thesis statement, development of main points and sub points (the content) and in how organically the essayist develops them logically in various paragraphs (organization).

The thesis statement of an essay deals with the central idea of the essay or rather it “contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about.” (The Thesis Statement). It should, therefore, be clear and precise and should reflect the point of view that the writer wants to establish. All the arguments and elaborations in the essay should lead to the establishment of the thesis stated and no doubt a strong and powerful thesis can make the essay more convincing and appealing to the reader. An effective writer should keep in mind the fact that “a focused paper is the key to writing a good essay” (Lane, 2004) and should plan and design his/her essay in such a way that no unnecessary digressions take place from the central idea of the essay.

The sorting and development of the main points that support the thesis is the next step in the process of writing a good essay. Once the relevant main points are identified, the writer needs to organize them in the body part of the essay under various paragraphs. In doing so the writer should make sure that “each individual paragraph” is “focused on a single idea that supports” his/her thesis. (Ten steps to writing an essay: How to write an essay: 10 easy steps, 2004).

It is also essential to substantiate-provide examples or evidences-each main point with supporting details so that the arguments become authentic and convincing to the reader. A good piece of essay is something that makes use of effective and appropriate transitions in writing and such transitions add to the unity of the whole. Thus, it is essential to maintain an organized entity to the whole essay and this is possible only when the essayist is able to keep the focus of the thesis all throughout the essay.

The process of writing is a slow and steady one and one does not complete his essay at a single sitting. The essayist needs to conceive and bear the ideas in his mind until he breathes meaning into them and shapes them in tune with the central idea. Thus, one can never undermine the significance of revision and editing in the process of writing because when “writing has errors, readers are confused or distracted.” (Owen, 2008).

One needs to read, reread and edit the essay as many times as required until the ideas sound clear and emphatic. During each stage of the revision and proof reading, the essayist needs to bear the thesis statement in his mind so that he can either do away with any unnecessary or irrelevant details, or incorporate any points without which the essay would be incomplete.

It should thus be born in mind that the process of writing is a continuous process and that each stage of the writing process is equally significant and interrelated. As Kimberly Chapman rightly puts it: “Writing your essay is like building a brick wall: if you leave gaping holes all over the place, the entire structure will be weak at best, and may crumble entirely.” (Chapman, 2005). From the development of the thesis statement to the final revision, the essay undergoes a developmental process. The essay needs to communicate powerfully to the reader, and for this there should be coherence of thought and unity. There should be a logical connection between all that has been dealt with in an essay and the thesis statement should act as the link and bridge among all the points discussed.


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