Whether in philosophy, law, or history, the essay is often frightening. However, there is nothing inaccessible about succeeding in this analytical exercise: first of all, you must understand the spirit of it and respect its rules, and to begin with, you must set out your subject properly. So how do you find a problem and make a plan?
The biggest mistake is going off-topic. There is a lack of analysis of the subject, and instead of thinking by himself, the student is often content to recite a course and as a result, he falls aside.
The essay has nothing to do with a display of knowledge. You are not graded on the number of lines or pages produced, nor are you evaluated on the capacity of your memory. You are not asked to write a personal opinion piece or a purely creative piece.
To write an essay is to develop in writing, in a logical and argumentative way, an analysis of a subject. It is a matter of answering a precise question completely, a bit like trying to solve a particular problem in math. In this case, you would not think of answering by simply recalling the course, without starting from your statement or doing any demonstration, would you?
Similarly, to be successful, the essay must answer a fairly specific question. The course is only a toolbox from which you can draw – depending on the subject – philosophical concepts, literary or historical references – but you are the architect of the demonstration. “The most important thing is the reflection!”
So you need to read your essay topic as carefully as you would a math statement. Analyze every word in it and pay attention, sometimes, to the exact meaning of a question or phrase. If the topic is that difficult for you, you can pay for essay to have peace of mind about the grade.
Finding the problem when the subject is not a question
Sometimes, especially in higher education, the topic is not formulated as a question but looks like the title of a lecture. And yet it is not a lecture that you are being asked to write about, but an essay! It is therefore essential to formulate a problem in the form of a question to allow you to make a real analysis.
This requires, first of all, a good knowledge of the course to identify, behind a very brief statement, the important theoretical points that can be evoked. But it also requires a well-honed analytical mind to ask a relevant question that is both on topic and deals with a central, not secondary, theme.
Your problem will lay the foundation for your essay. You will build your entire paper by developing a response that will have several parts, like building the walls of a house.
Finding ideas in response to the problem
Your problem has emerged from your close encounter with the subject? You must now try to answer it and to do this, you must come up with your ideas in the draft. Depending on your preference, use keywords or short sentences.
To avoid drowning, try to keep your central question in mind. This will make it easier to organize your ideas and again avoid getting off track… Also, if you think of elements from the course, make sure they answer the question you are asking. Not quite? Then don’t keep them!
Illustrate with well-chosen examples
Finally, think about finding examples and illustrations for each idea: a good argument always requires some examples.
In philosophy, it all depends on your problem: a subject in science will of course lead you to quote scientists, to allude to great discoveries or innovations. A subject on art requires at least two or three references to an artist (painter, musician, poet) or artistic trends. But be careful not to quote for the sake of quoting. The example must support a part of your philosophical demonstration.
Make a clear and logical plan
You have your ideas, now you need to organize them to answer the question in an orderly fashion. Take a new sheet of paper and make a fairly detailed plan. The essay does not only evaluate the ideas expressed but the way they are articulated, the way the student advances his reasoning. This requires logic and clarity. The plan must therefore flow from your ideas and not the other way around.
You are not evaluated on the quantity of your knowledge but the quality of your thinking. It is, therefore, better to drop certain ideas than to end up with a confusing text that tries to fit everything in without demonstrating anything. You can check subreddit where you’ll find the best essay writers.
While always keeping your central question in mind, look at your ideas: you will see that some are similar, so you must group them. Others bring a complement, a nuance, or another point of view: it is another part or a sub-part of the first one.
But what is the link between them? When building your plan, it is very important to keep this in mind so that you don’t just juxtapose ideas next to each other. Arrows, small linking words, or numbering (depending on your habits) allow you to express the logical links between your parts.
This will allow your text to flow smoothly and articulately from one idea to the next, like a gymnast running up and down a ladder, throwing his arms from one rung to the next.
In the end, your demonstration naturally leads you to the conclusion: you provide a clear answer to the problem, without repeating what you said, but by gaining more height.
If you have trouble making your essay plans, the visual method consists in isolating the major themes of the subject in circles. Often there is a minor theme within the major theme. You can quickly draw up a plan and then look for your ideas, which saves a lot of time.
There is nothing complicated about all this, but we must admit that it takes a little practice to integrate all these rules with ease. However, you can practice finding a problem and making a plan without writing a whole paper (which would be too long and which you will not do). Take some yearly subjects and give yourself a limited amount of time to find the problem and make the plan. Don’t look at the answer key because it prevents you from thinking for yourself and won’t help you progress.