How to Teach Someone to Write an Essay

Writing essays is a skill that must be practiced.

Knowing how to write an essay is an essential skill for any student, and one that can be used in any career as an adult. Essays provide a method for logically composing arguments and a base for practicing good writing skills. These skills can be carried into letter-writing, presentations, proposals and countless other forms of communications. To teach someone how to write an essay, it is good to start with the basics.

Help your student find a topic that is easy to research, so the focus can be on the writing style, rather than difficult or complicated concepts. Although good research is an important part of essay writing, it is not the only thing the student will be learning.

Show examples of good essay writing. Good essays have strong introductions, solid research in the body of the piece and a conclusion people will remember. Good grammar and sentence structure are also important.

Begin with an outline. Have your student list the main ideas to be covered in the essay, with subtopics that include major points for each idea. Students learning to write essays will benefit from the organization an outline provides.

Brainstorm an attention-grabbing opener with your student. Interesting facts and good stories are often eye-catching ways to begin. The last sentence of the opening paragraph should explain the main point of the essay. Work with your student to help him come up with a concise thesis sentence that clearly explains the essay's purpose.

Help your student express the supporting points in his essay using his outline. With a proper outline, even a beginning essay writer has a simple-to-follow map for the body of his essay. Each idea should have a separate paragraph, with the subtopics from the outline as supporting ideas.

Ask the student to explain the main point of his essay in the final paragraph, being careful not to restate the exact information in his opening paragraph.

Read the student's essay, making sure his sentences are clear and concise. If needed, give advice on how to make a point more clear. Also check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and correct where appropriate.

Emily Potter has written professionally since 1998. She has edited local magazines, such as "Family Living in Southeast Idaho," and worked as a reporter for the "Idaho State Journal." Potter has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Montana.