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I don't know how to start my essay..

FluffyWambler 1 / -  
Apr 5, 2009   #1
Essays terrify me. So much so that I have fretted over and ignored the ones I have to write for the end of the semester. I have a 6 page paper do Wednesday and a 8 page paper do Thursday. I have written maybe half a page for the first paper so far. I go from being frustrated, to being determined, to breaking down into a crying wreck because I don't know how to get this done!

I'm just not very good at essay writing. Style and such isn't much of a problem for me so much as content. I can never seem to write a lot about anything. I'm a pretty quiet and unopinionated person by nature. Most students and professors talk about how hard it is to keep ideas in line and so they can all fit in the page limit. I have the opposite problem, I have a hard time writing enough to hit the limit. It makes me feel stupid, but I know I am not. I do well on exams and I've done quite well on the papers I did last semester... I just don't know how to go about it. I feel lost.
Chidem 4 / 18  
Apr 6, 2009   #2
Don't be terrified dear friend! :)

I can exactly understand you, I felt the same when I first learned that I needed to write essays.
Hmmm let's make it more clear yes, I opened my dictionary and checked what essay means ;) I even didn't know that ... It has nothing to do with being stupid, the professors that you mention have spent a lot of time on writing essays, of course they will be good at it.

We all have our own traits and abilities that we are very good at, okay writing essay can not be one of them however it can be something that we can do when we need. I think in this way.

Some people can write magnificent essays and some can only pass :) that's enough too, if this is what you need.

I've checked your profile and I think you should be thanking God that you write in your native language :)

Essays have rules so just put those rules to your paper as a skeleton and fill it. You can use books to inform yourself about the subject if you have no idea.

I wish it helps you at least in breaking your own borders, I would be very happy to help you more. :)

Let's write essays! :)
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 6, 2009   #3
Let us start by discussing murals. Specifically, I know nothing about murals. Let us suppose, though, that in a moment of masochism, I decide to write an eight page essay on them. I could stare at a blank screen feeling stupid, or, I could do a search for murals on Google. Out of an abundance of too much free time, I have actually just tried this. Quickly skimming the first three promising sources I find, I start making notes. They start something like this:

Earliest cave painting a form of mural. Used in religious ceremonies. Many murals in churches

Mexican Revolution. Murals used to challenge social oppression, justify revolution.

1930s America. African Americans use mural art to challenge racial bigotry.

A pattern is beginning to emerge here. All of the sources talk about murals as serving a political purpose. So, now I go from having a really broad topic (murals), to having a much narrower one (murals as political art). This of course allows me to do a new search in Google. I can take more notes from my additional sources, looking for more connections I can make between them. I also realize, in passing, that some of the sources are from Google Books, and are 300+ pages long. If someone can write 300 pages on the topic of murals, surely I can manage 8 with ease. I am learning and becoming more confident with every passing minute.

If you look up essay in a dictionary, you'll see it comes from the French word essayer, meaning "to try," to make an attempt." So, do some research, write down what you can, then post the prompt and your draft/notes here for more specific feedback.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 6, 2009   #4
Wow, great advice here.

I'll expand on something Sean wrote, and mention that writing this essay is no different from explaining something to a friend. If you go see a movie and stay awake through the whole thing, you can easily tell a friend about it. You can write a paragraph about it, even.

So, what is the difference between books/articles and movies? You can spend quality time with a book/article and get to know it so well you can explain it to a friend. You can writing a paragraph about it. Then, at the end, put the author's name in parentheses (i.e. citing the soure). Simple as that.

You DO have sources, right? How many books and articles have you collected?

Also, break these papers into sections. Think of them as about 14 little one page papers. Can you find 7 or 8 books/articles for each paper? It's a lot of work, but not THAT bad!

Also, let your paper be reated as a collage of books/articles. Just explain each book and article, and when you have written a little blurb about 7 or 8 of them, rearrange them to make a nice collage, a nice paper.

At the END, write your intro 1.) paragraph with thesis statement, and 2.) reflective, thoughtful conclusion.
Sammy 4 / 9  
Apr 20, 2009   #5
Just basically break everything down and do it step by step. Itll be easier instead of just sitting down and trying to write the whole paper at once. Good luck!
MoeMoe1 13 / 75  
Apr 20, 2009   #6
what sammy said but do a draft first so wen you do the final you know what mistakes you did rong
sarahmk 22 / 55  
Apr 20, 2009   #7
make an outline, it always works
gacesaa 6 / 10  
Apr 22, 2009   #8
think about topic and than make a list of things which are related with topic
SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 23, 2009   #9
Taking from everyone's advice, here is a step-by-step.

1. Research and know your subject.
2. Brainstorm your material.
3. Create an outline.
4. Write a rough draft, working one subject at a time.
5. Edit. (and post on EssayForum lol)
TranDinhHop - / 1  
Apr 18, 2019   #10

How to start a essay by English with a begin study English

I feel difficult to write English sentens. I can't exchange my origial language to English, so, I bored of write English essay.
Vanesha 1 / 3  
Apr 19, 2019   #11

Well, I think almost everyone fell the same when it come to essay ;) you already got some valuable suggestions before, but let me add three more : 1. Relax, and talk to someone that can inspire and give you more ideas, 2. Write on your book note, every ideas or thoughts that pop up in your mind, bring your notebook everywhere you go, because sometimes ideas come in the most unexpected time. 3. Do not, procrastinate, start now. If your don't feel like writing, just open your laptop and re-read your writing, you will find something to add. Cheer up! I hope you can finished your essays before the deadline :)
kanzcech 1 / 2  
Apr 26, 2019   #12
Hi @TranDinhHop I think you should write a draft and structure your essay by pointing what kind of message you would like to write and how to convey it into words and sentences. The first step is always difficult, but you will be able to write a great essay if you make the points first. Try making bullet points on the most important things that should be written in your essay and follow up with sentences.
Krystal318 9 / 20 2  
Apr 26, 2019   #13
there are so much advice above. I'm just saying that I'm not better than you in writing either. I decided to focus on improving my writing about a couple months ago. English is not my first language and writing is what i hate most, so poor me here. But im not gonna quit. Here what i've been doing to learn writing:

- read and do exercises on English writing skill book (i'm learning english grammar, structure, paraphrasing)
- read articles, other essays to learn the way they express, learn vocabulary as well
- write essays and get it checked by others (essayforum example)
- write again again again ^^
good luck to you and myself

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