How to Write an Essay About Anything: Where to Find Information

  Before you start writing your essay you need to think about a topic. This may have been given to you by your tutor who may also have stipulated that the essay should consist of 5 paragraphs and a defined word count, usually 500 words. Knowing this you can plan your essay. Once you know the topic, you can brainstorm ideas and begin to construct your essay outline so that you know the direction you want to take. Using short sentences you can construct a route map for the essay which will help to keep you on track.  

  • Decide on a catchy title, this is one of the most important things in the essay
  • Write a short, but attention grabbing thesis that clearly indicates the point of the essay.

Where to find the information.

  • The internet is a great source of information but you need to be selective on the sites which you quote from.
  • Wikipedia is a great source of information but tutors prefer you not to cite it for information as it’s difficult to know who edited the piece.
  • Choose academic sites ending in .edu or government sites ending in .gov.
  • You can gain access to academic papers from online libraries.
  • Your college website should also give you access to library sources.
  • Visit the library and read original sources which you can cite.
  • Make a note of quotations, author’s name, publication and page number.

Don’t just use the internet for quotations and sources. Vary the information with citations and quotations from original sources. This will impress readers and add depth to your essay.

  • Read as widely as you can and look at successful dissertations on the topic you have chosen.
  • See how the successful dissertations write about their topic and why.
  • Notice how these articles use citations and quotations and their writing style.
  • You can also note how some writers are less successful. Become an expert in the topic so that you can write with authority.
  • Also, don’t forget to consult your tutor who can give you good advice on sources and where to find information.

It’s also important to keep abreast of current affairs so that you develop opinions. Newspaper articles are also a valuable source of information. If you make time to think, read, and plan you will write a great essay.