Any piece of writing of a certain length can aspire to be an essay, but to truly make the grade as a professional essay, a paper needs to meet certain requirements and develop a strong authorial voice that can speak authoritatively on its topic. Since the essay form was perfected by the French author Michel de Montaigne in the seventeenth century, many have tried to match the high standards established early on in the essay’s illustrious history, but few have succeeded. While an essay need not necessarily be one for the ages to meet the standards of academic writing, there are a few key steps to help you develop a professional paper that will show you in a good light.
Let’s take a look at 10 steps that can make a big difference in creating a professional essay:
Read the essay assignment completely and carefully. This might seem like an obvious step, but it’s one that often gets overlooked in the rush to create it. Your first step should always be to read the full assignment and any rubrics that are included to make sure you completely understand every part of the assignment and everything you’ll need to do to fully address the question and complete the topic.
Visit your school’s library. A Google search might be a good place to start, but it can’t replace the resources you’ll find at a well-stocked academic library. A professional essay starts with professional sources, so be sure to use the resources available to you to develop a list of the best possible sources for your paper.
Develop a thesis statement. It can be tempting to start writing right away and generate a thesis statement after you’ve finished, but this gets the process backward and ultimately wastes time. Instead, develop a working thesis based on your research (you can improve it later, if needed) and use that thesis to help you keep your essay focused on the main point you are trying…