An essay is, above all, an exhibition of ideas. Therefore, the argument is consubstantial to this genre. It is not about exposing, arguing and concluding indisputable scientific or philosophical truths. The essay, as the word says, is a test and an experiment. The essay puts its own thesis, its own paths and its own conclusions. And within the rules that he has imposed himself, he demands to be coherent and strict. There are three golden rules in all writing, and not just essays: simplicity, clarity and precision. Do not forget that even the most difficult things can be said simply.
The steps to write an essay are the following:
- Purpose The first step, prior to writing, is to set a purpose, an objective: what will I say? What is my thesis? What do I intend to show or demonstrate?
- Bank of ideas. No one is going to dictate the words we are going to write. As we are not great or inspired writers, and since the functioning of the mind is associative, it is convenient to write, in the disorder in which they occur to me, all the ideas about the subject that I am going to develop. I mean, I make a bank of ideas. Just as the architect constructs the building first on paper, the essayist takes some steps before the actual writing.
- Selection of ideas. I review the written ideas and select the ones that will serve me for the essay, which will play a more adequate role in the argumentation.
- Organization of ideas. I put the ideas in the order in which they should go in the essay, in such a way that each corresponds a paragraph. The argumentative force of the essay depends on the order, in which it is necessary to ensure that nothing is missing or over. It is advisable to follow a hierarchical order, from the general to the specific, to the point of arrival, until what was wanted to be demonstrated, and to announce, from the beginning, the subject of the one to be treated, in order to demand the essay fulfillment of that purpose.
- Drafting. All the steps listed precede the writing. I have already laid the foundations for my essay. Now comes the stage of writing.
- Review and correction of the draft. I carefully review and correct the wording in all its aspects: spelling, syntax, semantics (ownership and adequacy of words). The essayists usually enjoy a lot of this correction task, which is greatly facilitated by the possibilities of correction and editing of texts offered by the computer. There must be enjoyment, joy, in this type of work, which leads to the work well done. It is convenient to let the text rest from my reading and return to it some time later to distance myself from it, as if I were, not the author but a reader, and thus continue my work of correction. Special recommendation: avoid excess words and useless repetitions. The more words we write, the more chances there are of making mistakes and we will be less precise. If I can not be elegant and an artist in my exhibition, at least I must be correct. The goal is for any reader to understand my message unequivocally.
- Step to clean. It is the final part of the essay, to leave it as the others are going to read it to me, which supposes still new revisions.