Write an Interesting Essay in Five Steps

Whether you need to write an essay for a class, admission into a college, or whatever calls for you to write this well-known form of structured prose, yours will most likely be one of MANY essays to be reviewed. How do you write an interesting essay and make yours stand out?

Imagine your teacher/professor grabbing another essay off the towering pile of papers on her desk. Her eyes are bloodshot and scratchy, but she has to finish going through the last of these endless papers. It is YOUR paper she now holds before her. The corner of her mouth curls up in appreciation at the witty title. Her eyes grow wide with interest as she’s pulled into the opening paragraph and thesis. Nodding her head, she explores your ideas and your examples by applying them to her own experiences, writing encouraging comments in the margins. After reading your strong and convincing close, she promptly scrawls “A+” at the top of your paper.

What a rush that would be, huh?

“But essays are boring!” you protest.

I, and many of my colleagues, would agree with you, having read many of them; however, they SHOULDN’T be boring. Though I can’t guarantee you will get an A+ on your paper, these tips can guide you toward writing your own interesting prose and help your paper stand out amongst the countless piles of drab. These are five steps that will help you write an interesting essay.

Write an Interesting Essay Tip #1- SHINE
Let your true personality and your interest in the subject shine throughout your paper! Essays are designed to reveal who you are as an individual. Having a passion for what you’re writing about makes a big difference. If you’re not excited about what you’re writing, your readers won’t be either, and your prose will sound lifeless. If you don’t have a choice on the topic and it is chosen for you, find an angle on that topic you ARE passionate about. Give it your own personal “spin” that will set your paper apart from others.

Write an Interesting Essay Tip #2- SHOW
This is a mantra my English teacher pounded in me and so does my editor: SHOW DON’T TELL. If asked the question, “Why do you want to be a [your chosen profession]?” Don’t TELL us, “I’ve always dreamed of being a veterinarian.” SHOW us how this has been a life-long pursuit: “When I bandaged that Golden Retriever’s leg and saw the tear-filled eyes of his owner show such gratitude, I knew in my heart being a veterinarian was the only choice for me. I’ve been volunteering at animal shelters and hospitals ever since.” SHOW it...or prove it, as some say.

Write an Interesting Essay Tip #3- SHARE
By keeping your audience in mind, share your experiences by sighting examples or anecdotes that your targeted audience can RELATE to. This will make it personal for those reading your essay, thereby drawing them into the piece.

Write an Interesting Essay Tip #4- SHAPE
Make sure you’re staying on target and shape your piece around your opening thesis. You don’t want to stray from the subject and go off on endless tangents. That will most definitely make for a frustrating paper, if not a dull one.

Write an Interesting Essay Tip #5- SHARPEN
Edit, edit, edit! Make that paper as sharp as you can by trimming it down and making every word count. Get feedback and make improvements. (Keep in mind you don’t have to implement every suggestion. Remember: Opinions are like bellybuttons...everyone has one!)

SHINE, SHOW, SHARE, SHAPE AND SHARPEN...these are tips to help you write an INTERESTING essay and to help you spice up your prose.


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