How to write an essay about a social issue?
Now that you have chosen a social issue to write about, it is time to get started on your essay. There are a few things to keep in mind as you begin:
- Keep your audience in mind. Who will be reading your essay? How much do they already know about the issue? What kind of information do they need in order to understand your argument?
- Make sure to define any key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to your audience.
- Take a stance on the issue. What is your opinion? What solutions do you propose?
- Support your claims with evidence from reliable sources. Use statistics, expert testimony, and real-life examples to back up your argument.
- Anticipate and refute counterarguments. What objections might your audience have to your position? How can you address these objections?
- Be clear, concise, and persuasive. Organize your thoughts in a way that is easy for your reader to follow, and make sure your argument is convincing.
- Edit and proofread your essay carefully before submitting it. Make sure there are no errors or typos, and that your essay flows smoothly from beginning to end.
Following these tips will help you write an effective and persuasive essay about a social issue.
Here are some additional tips that are essential to follow for a good essay.
1. Planning your essay is essential
It’s unusual advice to start with, but the fact is that various techniques are suitable for different pupils and essayists. You must figure out which approach works best for you. It’s not a terrible idea, regardless of whether you’re a big planner or not, to make some notes on a piece of paper before you begin writing; nevertheless, don’t be shocked if you end up drifting away from it somewhat – or considerably – as soon as you get started. Usually, the essays that are planned out the most become dull and lifeless because the writer follows their plan explicitly without deviating. However, it is more important to have the ability to tell when your argument veers off topic or your point is getting irrelevant as you write. As they say, practice makes perfect. In other words, for learning how to write a good English Literature essay, it’s more useful to practice writing often than planning everything out ahead of time.
2. Thoroughly analyze the text
Although it is possible for some essays written in first-class or A-grade level to be impressive without including any close reading, most of the highest scoring and sophisticated essays usually focus on the text itself and carefully examine its language and imagery as part of the argument. (Close reading literary texts originated from theologians analyzing holy scripture, but became more common in literary criticism during early twentieth century when T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, William Empson, and other well-known essayists began to analyze poems or novels more closely.) The first advantage of extensive reading is that it increases the specificity of your argument, making it more difficult to generalize a point (so you can’t be so quickly accused of doing so). The second benefit is that extended reading helps you identify something about the text that no other essay your marker is reading will have mentioned.
For example, in the long Victorian poem titled In Memoriam (1850), poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson writes about his deep sorrow and grief after losing his close friend Arthur Hallam in the early 1830s. If asked about how religious faith is represented in this poem, you could write a brilliant essay on this theme by highlighting specific language used throughout In Memoriam. Rather than simply making a broad statement about the poet’s crisis of faith, delving into details will showcase the poet’s mastery in depicting this inner struggle.
3. Add a few sources to support each argument
The main issue with many college essay help is that their authors make a single, weak attempt to back up their point by citing evidence from the text or from an external source. This approach – known as ‘state, quote, explain’ – is surprisingly common among students. Unfortunately, it rarely convinces readers of the argument’s validity. The traditional approach of stating your position, then refuting the other party’s arguments is also limiting. Is one quote enough to back up a point? It may often be a question of degree, and while one piece of evidence is preferable to none, two or three pieces will have an even stronger impact. After all, in a court of law, just one eyewitness testimony won’t be enough to convict the accused of the crime; and even if it comes with supporting evidence (such as DNA, fingerprints, and so on), it will carry more weight.
4. Be confident in your language choices
A common issue in essays is an insufficient amount of evidence to support the argument, which then results in the student failing to convince their reader. Furthermore, this has a domino effect on how persuasive the student sounds– if they aren’t convinced by their own point, it’ll show through use of phrases like: ‘Tennyson might have,’ ‘perhaps Harper Lee wrote this to portray,’ or ‘it can be argued that.’ In the margins of an essay, an English university professor used to write, “What can’t be argued?” while pointing out a last phrase. This is a valid criticism because anything could be poor arguing if there’s no concrete evidence to support it. If you want to make a persuasive argument, you need backing evidence (point 3).
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American Education Writer
Natalie Wexler is a DC-based education journalist focusing on literacy and the so-called achievement gap. She is the author of The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System-and How to Fix It (Avery 2019), and the co-author of The Writing Revolution: Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades (Jossey-Bass 2017), a step-by-step guide to using the instructional method developed by Dr. Judith Hochman. She is also a contributor on education to Forbes.com and the author of three novels.