How to Write a Composition Essay: Easy Steps

Writing guide
Posted on February 8, 2019

To start with, writing a composition is an essential part of the learning process for students. If treating writing a composition as a set of separate steps, the entire process will become much easier and exciting. While writing this type of assignment, students learn to brainstorm different ideas, organize them in the rough draft, and critically evaluate the arguments. A composition is usually an essay with a well-developed and organized introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In a composition, you should argue a specific point of view, provide supporting details, and draw an appropriate conclusion. There are different types of compositions that can be assigned by professors in a wide range of disciplines, including a descriptive, narrative, and expository composition. In all cases, a composition is not merely a piece of writing but rather a composed essay with a logical structure, cohesive organization, and polished grammar. Writing a good composition requires one to have strong writing skills and critical thinking that facilitate the process of creating valuable ideas.

For writing a high-quality composition essay, you should take 4 preliminary steps:

  1. Read the topic of a composition closely. You should understand what professor expects from your writing in terms of content and style. Usually, professors give a prompt with one or more questions students should deal with while writing their compositions. Thus, you should feel confident that you understand the main purpose, general topic, length requirements, and appropriate tone that pertain to your composition.
  2. Create a plan to manage your time effectively. You should divide your time into three equal parts because writing in stages will help you with controlling the time spent on the composition. The first stage is pre-writing one during which you should brainstorm your ideas, conduct online research, and gather your thoughts. The second stage is writing and composing your essay, and the third one is related to editing and revising the paper.
  3. Start generating as many ideas as possible. You should brainstorm and choose the strongest and the most interesting ideas that can be included in your paper. At this point, it is not necessary to create a polished thesis statement or strong arguments but rather come up with the basic ideas that you can use later in the essay.
  4. Organize your thoughts into a formal outline. Once you decided which ideas, concepts, or arguments can be included in your composition, you can organize them in a formal outline, which will help you begin writing a rough draft. You should try to use complete sentences when organizing your main points for the composition.

Before you start working on your paper, you should know specific requirements of each type of a composition:

  • Descriptive. The main purpose of a descriptive composition is to describe a particular person, a piece of art, or a place to form a detailed picture in the reader’s mind. The descriptive composition should be informative, and collected information should be presented with specific details.
  • Narrative. The narrative composition is aimed at telling a story that is usually narrated from the author’s point of view using a lot of sensory details so that a reader can feel involved in the sequence of the story. In such compositions, verbs should be vivid and precise.
  • Expository. The expository composition attempts to define and explain a particular topic with the aim of providing a lesson for a reader.
  • Persuasive. In the persuasive composition, a student is expected to take a firm position on a specific issue and provide reliable arguments to persuade the reader to take appropriate actions.
  • Report. The report is a type of composition in which a student describes a particular event, taking into account what, where, when, why, and how this event occurred.

Selecting a Suitable Topic for a Composition

If your professor did not provide a specific topic for your composition, you should develop it by yourself. In this situation, your main task is to create an original and strong topic that would contain various aspects worth revealing. For understanding the broader picture related to a particular subject, you should be:

  • Open-minded. You should not concentrate only on a single area within the discipline, try to consider different ideas while selecting a suitable topic. For example, if you are assigned to write a composition that explains the peculiarities of Japanese culture, you should pay attention to not only common traditions and customs of Japan but also cultural features that distinguish this country from any other part of the world.
  • Critical. You should be as objective as possible while choosing an appropriate topic for your composition. For instance, if you have to write a book report, you should not only indicate the author of the book, the names of the main characters, and the place where the story happened, but rather you should dwell on the deeper analysis of the main events and behavior of characters discussed in the book without incorporating your personal feelings and emotions.
  • Enthusiastic. You should be willing to search for the best topic for your composition. Selecting a narrow and simple topic for your paper will not fully demonstrate your mastery in writing. In particular, if you decide to write about the history of the American Civil War, you should go deeper and write about the implications of the Civil War for African Americans, and what kind of nation America became after ending slavery on its territory.

After you are critical, open-minded, and enthusiastic when selecting a topic for your composition, you will have more chances to develop a strong theme. The following list of topics will inspire you to organize your ideas and come up with your own topic:

  • The Importance of Being a Good Friend;
  • The Impact of Great Britain on American Culture during the Colonial Period;
  • How Does My Dream Job Look Like;
  • The Way People Form Their Attitudes to Marriage;
  • The Significance of Integrative Jurisprudence;
  • The Cell Division in Eukaryotes;
  • Why Mozart Is Viewed as a Genius;
  • The Relationship between Psychology and Education;
  • The Role of Teachers in Creating a Stimulating Educational Environment.

After deciding upon a specific topic for your composition, you should develop a strong thesis statement. Creating a formal outline can help you as you can analyze and organize our arguments in a logical order and come up with a thesis statement of the composition. In fact, a thesis statement is the most significant part of a composition that will guide you through writing the whole paper. In a thesis statement, you should present your position concerning the topic you will defend in the paper. You should remember that a thesis statement summarizes the main points of your composition in a single well-developed sentence. The thesis statement should be a debatable point of view that other scholars or writers could prove or refute. For example, “William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is an exciting play that was created in the 1500s” cannot be viewed as a thesis statement because it is a well-known fact that does not need to be proved. Instead, “William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” influenced the development of playwriting in the 1500s by adding a theme of violence” is a good thesis statement because others can agree or disagree with your position.

Basic Structure for a Good Composition: A Few Ideas from LUr Writers

In general, the structure of a composition is similar to the structure of an essay and includes the introduction, main body, and the conclusion. Let us look at the composition’s structure closer.
The introduction is the first paragraph of your composition in which you should introduce your topic to the reader, provide sufficient background information, and summarize the main points in a thesis statement. The main purpose of the introduction is to raise the reader’s interest in the topic of your composition. The introductory paragraph usually begins with a general statement, a statistic, a quote, or a question and ends with the thesis statement. In the introduction, it is of vital importance to follow the appropriate structure that will help the reader to understand the content in the main body easier.

The main body of a composition is the most significant part of your paper in which you should prove the validity of your thesis statement using strong arguments and providing reliable evidence to back them up. In the main body, you should not only elaborate and expand your thesis statement but also demonstrate your assertion maintained in the arguments with supporting evidence and possible objections. In most cases, in the main body, you should provide different perspectives on the same topic and show how you came up with the final decision. You should remember that the major ideas of your composition should appear in separate paragraphs, and it would be better to present the best arguments at the end of your composition. The three components of the main body include:

  • Elaboration: You should present and clarify relevant information.
  • Illustration: You should provide a broader picture related to your main arguments.
  • Argumentation: You should give the reasons, justifications, and rationale for your position, and explain the importance of your claims.

In addition to that, each paragraph in the main body should follow the provided outline:

  • Opening Sentence: Write your argument.
  • Evidence: Give the information that supports the opening sentence.
  • Details: Elaborate more on your ideas.
  • Closing Sentence: Conclude about the argument you have made in the opening sentence.

When moving from one argument to another, you should use transitional words to allow your reader to follow your composition easier. Thus, you can use such logical connectors as however, moreover, additionally, besides, nevertheless, furthermore, subsequently, therefore, etc.

A conclusion is the last part of your composition in which you restate your thesis statement, summarize the main points revealed in the main body, and provide the final judgment reached after consideration. You should try to make your last paragraph appealing so that the reader could believe in your claims. A conclusion should be a synthesis of all arguments that results in the new information about the topic for a reader. As such, the major goal of the conclusion is to leave the reader with the idea that embraces the essence of the main body and, at the same time, provokes further reflection.

Proofreading Composition Essay Tips

As soon as you have written your composition according to all guidelines, it is necessary to reread and check your work for various mistakes. You should remember that proofreading is an essential part of the entire writing process as mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling can affect not only the flow of your composition but also its general quality. Therefore, you should remember a few simple rules that will help you make your work flow perfectly. Specifically, you should not use the first person “I” or “We” in your composition because it will make your paper more informal. All information that is not common knowledge, for example, statistic, quotes, or statements, should be properly cited using a required formatting style to avoid plagiarism issues. Professors usually expect their students to use the MLA formatting style in their compositions. That is why you should check whether you cited the statements of other people and indicated the author and the number of the page in brackets.

Eventually, read your work sentence-by-sentence, paragraph by paragraph to examine its flow thoroughly. While reading your composition, you should pay attention to paragraph structure, mechanical errors, repetition of words, and different figures and charts. You should examine whether your composition looks appealing and coherent. If you feel that any paragraph needs more details, add them to your work as it is the last opportunity for you to improve your composition. You can also invite your friend or someone from your family to proofread your composition and look at your work from their perspective. In the end, make sure that all sentences in your composition are meaningful and related to the main topic. Consequently, this composition essay writing guide will help you to save more time and create an A-grade composition. If you need professional help, our experts will easily process your “do my essay for me” request.

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Wiberg, M. (2018). Interactive Compositions. The MIT Press. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037518.003.0007

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