For your Year 12 exams, it’s good to be confident in your capability to answer long-form questions. Writing a good, solid essay response is crucial; read on for the steps to making sure that your essay argument is as clear and supported as possible.
Starting can often be the most difficult part of essay writing, but it all comes down to a nice, simple topic sentence. You want to answer the question in the very first few lines and establish your main argument for why. This argument is what you’ll be supporting throughout the body copy.
Create your outline
The structure of your essay is essential, so make sure to start by putting a draft together that outlines all your main points. This outline will help you arrange your thoughts and ideas into a coherent structure which will make it much easier to start writing.
Make sure your points flow nicely from one to the next – it’s much easier to move things around in the planning stage. Write down ideas and examples you’d like to include, but keep it simple – you’ll expand on them later.
Begin with your introduction
Directly after your topic sentence, you’ll need to introduce the texts you’ll be using to supporting your argument – ideally, in just a few sentences. The concluding sentence of your introductory paragraph should lead nicely into your first body paragraph.
On to the body copy…
Practice your topic sentence skills by writing one for each of your body paragraphs, and then elaborate on the point that the paragraph is focusing on. Include plenty of examples and quotes that support your argument.
Repeat the process from point 4 for each body paragraph until you feel that you’ve presented plenty of evidence to support your answer.
To conclude your essay, re-summarise your main points. Keep it concise – nobody wants to read your entire essay again right away. Succinctly answer the initial question again to reinforce your main argument.
Review, review, review
Read over your essay – two or three times if possible – keeping an eye out for spelling and grammatical errors. Look for places where you can make your point more concise and where your argument could use more support. This attentiveness could earn you a few extra marks.