How to Write an Essay on Survival

Research true survival stories to include in your essay.

Survival typically refers to enduring circumstances or situations that may challenge a person's well-being and life, or to persevering through trials and hardships. Natural disasters, violent conflicts, war and even economic hardships can create the need for survival skills. Essays on survival can be written from many angles, but no matter which angle he or she takes, the writer should identify the elements needed to survive the situation that is being examined.

1 Preparation

2 Decide if the essay

Decide if the essay will be an analysis of a true survival story or a survival guide for a specific situation. This will dictate the set of circumstances about which you'll write.

3 Write a thesis statement

Write a thesis statement to narrow your topic and to summarize what the essay will prove.

4 Conduct research on your topic

Conduct research on your topic. Consider the impact of the climate, geography, social and political problems, and regional wildlife have on your topic. Find true survival stories with similar circumstances to your problem. Investigate existing resources like survival guides and government resources.

5 Create an outline for the essay

Create an outline for the essay. Organize your ideas by listing them in order from most important to least important. Group similar or supportive ideas together, and take note of any research that will support the arguments.

6 Writing

7 Introduce your topic and thesis statement

Introduce your topic and thesis statement in the first paragraph.

8 Use the body paragraphs

Use the body paragraphs to support your thesis statement. Describe the landscape the essay focuses on, including details of the weather, terrain, food and water sources and describe potential dangers. Analyze true survival stories that relate to your topic, focusing on what actions the people took, or should take, and the outcomes of those actions.

9 Discuss counter-arguments for your thesis

Discuss counter-arguments for your thesis, if any exist. This might include alternative survival techniques or stories from survivors who have put forth different information. Prove to the reader why your thesis is correct by using your supportive evidence.

10 Conclude the essay

Conclude the essay by restating your thesis and referencing the arguments and research that is presented in the essay.

11 A bibliography

Write a bibliography or works cited page for any research used in the essay according to your instructor's guidelines.

  • Record the citation information for any sources you use in your essay while you are conducting research.
  • Provide in-text citations for direct quotes or paraphrased information or passages.
  • Proofread the essay before submitting.

Sara Volmering started writing in 2007. She has contributed film reviews and human-interest stories to the "Western Herald," her university newspaper. Volmering holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Michigan University.