Updated: Dec 28, 2018
If you could avoid writing essays, I know you would. They’re time-consuming, usually pretty long and on something that you have a 50/50 chance of even knowing. And that's ok. However, I am here to tell you that whether you know it or not, an essay is your best friend. And, writing it is easier than you think. To prove it, I am going to share the secrets to not only writing a great essay, but also using the least amount of time and effort.
Writing an essay shouldn’t be stressful. It should actually be pretty fun.#Nerd It’s your time to creatively shine and show how smart, funny, innovative, unique or even sassy you are. It's one of the simplest forms of art and one of the strongest forms of marketing and self-promotion. Now, let me show you an easy way to create them.
We know every essay consists of an introduction, body and conclusion. Keeping only that in mind, we're going to start over. Let's put what we already know aside. Just pack it away. You will need it later. With the slate cleaned and a good foundation, let's get started.
The first step is easy and takes the least amount of time. In fact, 90% of the time, someone else has already done the work for you. #Blessed. All you need to do in step one is capture the subject. Usually, your teacher, professor, scholarship committee, or boss (shout out W.I.L.D. Program), has already given that to you. And sharing a little secret here, no matter what the topic may be, it's usually general even when it's specific. #TheMoreYouKnow🌈 For instance, you could write an essay about why Lil Uzi Vert is your favorite music artist and reuse many of the parts in that same essay for one written about why academic grading is helpful in student performance. And if you immediately recognized some similiaries, then you my friend are well on your way to mastering another unrelated life skill, inductive reasoning. 😏 So, after you've capture your subject, guess what, you're done. You have your introduction. Simply say exactly what it is you will do. It's that easy.
So, let's start one right now and use a real life example. I am going to use the Petco Education Scholarship and show you how to write an essay step by step. Ready? Let's go.
The Petco Education Scholarship is a grant that will pay for a classroom to have a pet and the items to support the proper care of that pet. The scholarship application requires each applicant to submit the proper information which includes an essay about why your class deserves a pet. You can choose from any of these pets: Betta Fish, Ball Python, Bearded Dragon, Hermit Crab, Aquatic Turtle, Guinea Pig and Leopard Gecko.
Step 1: Capture - Your Introduction Paragraph
The subject of my essay is easy. It's why my class deserves a pet and the money to take care of it. So, that's exactly what I am going to write. It is still an introduction, so I am going to write at least 5 sentences.
Having a pet is a big responsibility. You have to research the best pet for you. You also have to figure out the best way to take care of that pet. That can take a lot of time and a lot of money. My class and I are really excited about the idea of having a pet and and taking on more responsibility. We are willing to do the work it takes to make it happy. However, we do need some stronger support financially. This is where the Petco Education Scholarship can help make our hopes materialize. With this scholarship, we can give a ball python a great home and the best care it could ever need.
The second step takes the most amount of effort, which is still not a lot, and will indicate exactly how long this essay will take you. Step two is all about conversing. Just talk or write in this case. That's it, just write. Think about the subject you just captured, empty your brain and write it all down. Don't worry about using correct grammar. Don't worry about it making sense. Just write everything you know about that subject. The more you have, the easier it will be. You're creating a Stream of Consciousness and it's my favorite part of the writing process 🤓.Once you've talked about and wrote down everything you know about the subject, move on. You're done. That's right. You've completed step two.
Step 2: Converse
My subject is why my class deserve a pet and I chose a ball python as that pet. Now, I just talk about it and write down all I know about it.
Ball python from africa, exotic, my class has no pet. my teacher is boring and i sleep a lot in the class. I am low key afraid of snakes, they are poisonous and can kill you if they don't squeeze you to death like i saw on youtube.I think i can do it though plus it would be hella cool it would be great to win something, pythons sound big, they eat rats, what if one of the rats we feed it live. they get along and become friends. that crazy. how much are rats. Duval county is broke. i saw a python at a zoo one time. it was like 10 feet though science class would be so much better. can you train a snake to bite certain people. whats going to happen when we leave the class. is the teacher afraid of snakes. I think training a snake could be fun. imma put it around my neck. the one at the zoo was too big for that. how much do they cost anyway are they the ones that's in the everglades too they can't be that big if they sell them in petco guinea pigs are cute though and leopard geckos look weird and have big mouths, bearded dragons are cool though too i like them.
Whether step three is easier or harder is solely based on how much you said in step two. Step two was all about figuring out just how much you knew about your subject. So, step three is all about where you want to take your essay. In step three, you will construct your essay. You should reflect on what you know. Take a look at your stream of consciousness and pick out the biggest, most unique or reoccurring ideas. Try picking 3 and have at least one that is unique to you. Once you've settled on your 3, simply build off that. If it is hard to choose 3, try combining similar ideas. This will also help you support those ideas as well. Step three is where you figure out if you need to do more research 👈🏾 (That's a useful link right there) on your topic or not. So, let's do this.
Step 3: Construct - The Paragraphs of Your Body
Take several of your small ideas to build a few big points. Based on my stream of consciousness from earlier, I chose snakes, money and fear. I wrote about the idea of choosing snakes because they are cool and different. In fact, I talked a lot about snakes in general. That's an idea I can easily use. I wrote about how the school district is broke and that would be why I needed the scholarship money in the first place. That's an idea I need to use. The third thing and my most unique idea was that even though both my teacher and I were afraid of snakes, I wanted to conquer that fear. Now that we have our three ideas, let's make three points. To make a point, you have to support your idea. Therefore to construct each point, we need to break down and/or build up our ideas. You know what, let me break this down even further.
Point: First Idea - First Paragraph in the Body
Let's start with my first idea which is snakes, more specifically ball pythons. I seemed to know a lot about snakes, so now I just need to put those statements into sentence form and make my point. However, if for instance I didn't know that much about it, I could still use it as a point. I would just do a little more research 👈🏾 (There goes that link again being all useful and 💩) by using the Googles. There I could find enough information to help me substantiate my point. After I have my supportive statements, I need finalize my point. You can do this is a bunch of ways. The easiest is just to say it in the first two or last two sentences. My point here would be simple in that I want a pet snake because snakes are a unique type of reptile that have some really interesting adaptations. This would be my first point and paragraph in the body.
Snakes are reptiles that have some really interesting adaptations. Some snakes are constrictors which means they wrap around their prey and squeeze really tightly. Some snakes are venomous and inject poison into their prey. There are even some snakes that use a combination of both. Ball Pythons are constrictors that live in Africa. They are a smaller species of python only growing up to 6 feet long and mainly eating small rodents, bids and even other reptiles. They can live up to 40 years and are known for their easy-going and even docile nature. They are also known as great starter pets for people who are interested in snakes. This is why I know it would be perfect for our class.
Point: Second Idea - Second Paragraph in the Body
My second idea was that the school district was broke. If I look back at my stream of consciousness, I notice that was all that I put down for that idea. So, I will have to do more research 👈🏾 (This is the goat of useful links). It is still a good idea because it is the primary reason why I am applying for this scholarship. I know my school district. But, I am still going to have to do a little more searching to prove it. To do this, I can ask my teacher or I can simply go the Googles again and type in exactly what I want to know which is "Duval School district is broke." When I do this, I look for the most recent and credible sources. I found one in the Florida Times Union's article that was published back in April of this year. It gave me all the information I needed to make my point which is my district doesn't have any additional funds to help support a classroom pet. This would be my second point and paragraph in the body.
Being a student in the Duval County School District, extra funds are not easy to find. In fact, just last year, my district had to take funds from the reserves just to cover the year's expenses. This has led to some tough decisions to be made like moving some teachers to part-time at multiple schools, reducing reading coaches and academic specialists, and even lowering the number of assistant principals in some schools. That means that funding for a classroom pet is definitely not on the priority list. But, I do not think that should stop us from engaging in a new way to teach and learn. This Petco Scholarship will help ensure we can continue learning new things and gaining more knowledge and experience.
Point: Third Idea - Third Paragraph of the Body
My last idea is that my teacher and I are afraid of snakes and want to get over that fear. This one may be the easiest one to talk about and is also the most powerful. It's my personal point. It's all about me as the writer and author and why this is so important to me. It should be more personable than the other two paragraphs. It's my time to seal the deal. This is my third and final point and paragraph of the body.
Snakes may be some of the most feared creatures on this planet. I know because I am a person who is very cautious around them. I also know that because so many people are like me and my teacher, and do not know a lot about them outside of what we may have seen or heard about them through someone else. This also further proves that snakes are extremely misunderstood and why I want and we need a ball python as a classroom pet. I want to become more comfortable around snakes, so I can teach others how cool they are. Just researching for this scholarship, I have learned so much about snakes especially the ball python. Many people do not know how important they are for the environment, but also how really cool they are. Like the ball python is considered a royal snake in parts of Africa. The Egyptians used to wear them as bracelets. Facts like that, people would never know if we didn't learn and share that with them. This could help them think of snakes as the cooler creatures that they are. They also eat rats that can unknowingly spread some viruses that makes us, but doesn't harm the snake at all. Both my teacher and I want to do our part to change the story of the snake. We are ready and willing to learn, understand, provide and teach.
Now, we have made it! 🙌🏾 You are at the end. Your final step is to wrap it up. Step four is where you conclude your essay. You have built an introduction and a solid body. So, let's repeat what we did and end with a boom💥. A good conclusion should include all your main points, reference your introduction and end with an ask or mic drop 🎤. Make sure you ask for and tell why you deserve what it is you want or need.
Step 4: Conclude - My Conclusion Paragraph
The conclusion is the end for me. I will repeat what I said in my introduction and body and end with what I want or need. I need to reference snakes, money, and fear as well as ask for the scholarship.
The idea of getting any classroom pet, let along a ball python, is beyond exciting. Other than finding a creative way to initially pay for a classroom pet, my teacher, class and I know that taking care of a pet is a huge responsibility. We are willing to do the work. He trusts me to help our class set a great example for other classes and show that a classroom pet is an overall great teaching and learning aid. Regardless of whether you are a little more cautious or a snake enthusiast, I want my school, class and community to know that snakes are amazingly important and cool creatures. Therefore, with the support of the Petco Education Scholarship as recipients of the award, my class can not only learn more about these fascinating creatures, earn an opportunity to showcase and grow our skills in responsibility, STEM and animal care, but also share what we learn to become better wildlife advocates.
Now, you're done! It was that easy. That's right you have successfully written and laid the foundation for a solid essay. And not only did you do it in the least amount of time, it also didn't take that much effort and you can reuse many of the parts word for word for future essays. Because, it's yours. You can't plagiarize what you created. #WorkSmarterNotHarder Congratulations!👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Now, if you found this helpful, like this post and most importantly, leave a comment! I want to know how you felt about this. Did you understand it? Did it make essay writing easier? Did you learn something new? What would you like to see next in this series? Either way, don't forget to subscribe for updates on the latest posts, opportunities and scholarships!
Check out the next post on how to 👉🏾Research👈🏾! Knowing how to research is a life skill worth learning.