Arriving At The Optimum Essay Layout
Creating an essay layout is an important step towards compiling an essay that meets the requirements of a style guide or course instructions. Students often dread the thought of attempting a layout, considering it a difficult task. The purpose of writing an essay is to be able to express a point of view to readers about a topic. In school and colleges, students are given the topic and asked to elaborate on it. It could be in the form of a general topic, an essay question about a specific sub topic, or a theory on which students could elaborate on. The basic essay structure remains the same. Students need to focus on leaving their individual mark on it. Preparing a layout helps in arranging their ideas and thoughts in a precise and cohesive manner. Some guidelines have been mentioned below that could simplify the process of building a layout.
- Students have to be sure of what they would be writing in their essay. This is often not possible, especially if they are not well versed with the topic. Their approach should now be to think of ideas for the whole essay. They should not bother about each point or argument at this stage. The essay question would provide the direction. An essay statement would be compiled based on it and a brainstorming session would lead to ideas which might not be firm as yet. Students must note down these points within the essay layout. A rough representation would suffice at this time.
- Once the rough draft has been compiled, students can work on each argument or point and elaborate on them. It would be a good idea to arrive at the appropriate research resources before they start writing. While elaborating on the points, they can use research content for reference. Again, the order of the sentences does not matter. Once each point has been elaborated upon, students can decide on the length of each paragraph. At every stage, simple and short sentences should be used.
- Some formatting guidelines need to be followed like using the required font size, line spacing, margin, pagination, and indented quotes from research content. The prescribed style guide would suggest how these and the bibliography or footnote would be presented. Students should practice and prepare ready templates with formatted text. An essay outline would allow the text to be changed while the essay is being compiled.
- The outline can be prepared considering the length of the essay. Each point or argument should be fitted into a paragraph. Effectively, the paragraph should have the argument and an example that elaborates on it. A logical representation should be presented by introducing the most compelling argument first followed by other arguments in order of their importance. If students are asked to write a narrative essay, they can introduce the main theme of the event they are writing about and elaborate on the characters, a particular episode, or language used. The conclusion would provide the direction readers could take further.
An essay layout is therefore quite easy and essential for students to complete essay projects on time. It would help them fit the pieces of the essay together.