Follow the three basic stages of essay writing to help you write an essay to be proud of!

The essay writing process can be divided into 3 basic stages: preparation, writing and editing. All are important if you want to write essays that will be informative and enjoyable to read. Students often omit stages. Some underestimate the time needed for careful preparation. Others heave a sigh of relief as soon as the last words are written, rushing off to give unedited assignments to their tutors. Typically these students produce work (and therefore marks) below a standard of which they are capable.

You might expect to spend as much or even more time preparing and editing your essays as you do writing them. Usually the more information sources included the more difficult it will be to get it all in a logical order with which you are satisfied, and so the more editing you might expect to have to do. If you spend more time planning you might hope to spend correspondingly less time editing, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

Don’t be discouraged if you have to rearrange substantial chunks of your essay to improve its coherence and readability – many professional writers do the same. There does, however, inevitably come a time when the profit gained from fine-tuning your essay must be balanced against that you might obtain from starting on your next assignment, revision or even taking a well earned rest!

The following pages describe the various stages of writing an essay in more detail:

preparation 2: outline (plan)
preparation 3: research
essay writing
edit your essay