Additional Tips on How to Start an Essay


When starting an essay there is important groundwork, which can be completed to help ensure you success. We recommend when starting an essay you begin with your research, then outline, and finally, begin writing.

  • Consider
  • Before you start any step of the essay writing process you will want to first consider the assignment and provided instructions. What style essay are you writing? Is it MLA or APA? Once you have determined which of the four major essay types (expository, narrative, persuasive or descriptive) you are using and what format you will use, you can move on to considering a topic. What prompt did you instructor provide? Taking the direction of the paper you have already been provided into consideration, start exploring the possible topics you would like to potentially write about. Once you have a short list of potential topics select whichever topic will have the most information and best hold your interest.

  • Research
  • After narrowing down the type of paper you will be writing and in what format, as well as the topic that interests you—you will be ready to start researching. You will want to gather comprehensive research on your topic. With plenty of information about the background of your subject, as well as strong sources of information about your topic specifically, you will be equipped with the research necessary for a successful essay.

  • Outline
  • Following the compilation of your research, you are ready to outline. This is the last step in the preparation for beginning your essay. The outline will be a roadmap guiding you through your introduction, body content, and conclusion of your essay. The introduction will present your thesis statement with the main idea of your paper, and the elements of support you intend to discuss. These elements of support in the thesis statement will be the organization for the body content of your essay. With a properly organized paper you should be able to easily transition from point to point, and eventually into your conclusion.

  • Write
  • Now that you have considered your assignment and decided on an area of interest, then completed your research and outline—you are ready to finally write. These first steps are the keys to starting an essay, and now all that is left to do it just write. Get you ideas out and write without hesitation. There will be time for editing and drafting later, this is only the start!