- By Jason Bacot
- Published 12/28/2010
If you have been given the task of writing a custom essay, it is not the same thing as being asked to hold forth with your own opinions on a topic (unless that’s what you’re specifically asked to do). The key to writing a good custom essay is to stick to the assignment as closely as possible, and unless you’re asked otherwise, to make yourself, as the author, disappear. It is the text itself that should shine. You may well have an idea about how long a custom essay should be, and you may have special expertise that makes writing a custom essay on a particular topic easy for you. However, it’s not OK to modify the assignment on the theory that you “know better.” Your job is to write what you’ve been assigned according to the instructions you have been given. Sticking to the word length, topic, and other requirements (like whether it’s OK to use first person, or which sources are approved for research) is essential to writing a successful essay. What is an essay, exactly? It is a work of nonfiction that uses description and narration. It may seek to explain a concept or propose solutions to specific problems. While it takes creativity to write a good essay, the essay isn’t a medium for creative expression the way fiction, memoirs, and other forms of writing are.
Essays should be neat in that they should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. With other nonfiction forms, such as newspaper reports, there may be no “tying it all together” at the end. The bad guy was caugh
t and arrested, and that’s the end. But with an essay, you will attempt to tie together the knowledge and research that you present in the body of the essay in your concluding paragraph. The heart of your essay is the thesis statement. This is the sentence, usually at the end of the introductory paragraph, that makes an assertion, and it is what holds the essay together. For example, a thesis statement might say, “Historical accounts, anecdotal evidence, and scientific studies have all pointed to excessive sun exposure as a factor in the development of skin cancer.” From there, you would elucidate the historical accounts, the anecdotal evidence, and the scientific studies. And at the end of the essay, you restate your thesis, binding the work together into a cohesive text. You may be assigned a specific word length for an essay, and you should stick to it, but keep in mind that your essay will need three to five paragraphs to effectively support your thesis statement. How deep and involved these paragraphs are will depend upon how long you can make each point without significantly exceeding the word length. If you are not assigned a specific word length, and you don’t know where to begin, shoot for 500 to 750 words. That is usually long enough to give your thesis statement the support it needs, unless you have a very complex topic.
When you write an essay, you’re creating a (usually) brief nonfiction piece that must stand on its own in support of a particular thesis. It’s a challenge, but a good 750 word custom essay can be far more informative than a rambling, disjointed piece twice that long.