We’ll provide you with the tools you need and show you, step-by-step, how to achieve your goal. We do not intend to make this a grammar book. We do include information that makes a difference in how well you’re understood. Therefore, each Part is a step up the ladder or a tool to help you in getting to the top.

The Foundation

The foundation of the writing process is knowing what an essay is, what it aims to do, and how to put it together effectively. This part discusses reasons for writing and the basic terms and concepts you’ll need in beginning the writing process.

Getting Started

Narrow Your Focus and Determine Your Thesis Statement. Often, the hardest part of any assignment is getting started. This first step teaches you valuable ways to narrow your focus in choosing the subject of your paper and how to develop an effective thesis statement.

Form a Plan: Outline

Develop Your Outline. Once you have chosen a topic and method of development for an essay, you need a plan – an outline – so you can present your ideas clearly. This step helps you organize your ideas using one of three outline styles and introduces the easy 1-2-3 method of planning an essay.

Methods of Development

Choose Your Method of Development. Depending on the result you hope to achieve, you can use various methods of writing called methods of development. This step explains the various ways you can present your ideas, why each method is valuable, and which method is most ideal depending on whether your goal is to inform.

Craft Your First Draft

Write Your First Draft. The standard essay consists of these required elements: title, an introductory paragraph – ending in a clear thesis statement – three develop- mental paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Having taken the steps to this point, next comes a big step up, as you take the information you’ve gathered to develop the key paper elements and produce a working draft that you can then craft into a finished essay.

Your Writer’s Toolbox: Sentences

Prepare for Your Final Draft, Part 1. Part of the process of refining your first draft is to examine each word, sentence, and paragraph to ensure what you’ve written is correct, clear, concise, and compelling.

Your Writer’s Toolbox: Mechanics

Prepare for Your Final Draft, Part 2. This is your second set of tools. In this part we take a brief look at spelling, punctuation, and grammar and how some simple rules can ensure that your sentences are written correctly.

Your Writer’s Toolbox: Style

Prepare for Your Final Draft, Part 3. This third set of tools helps you elevate your writ- ing to a higher level. Style is the combination of the words you use and the way you put them together. Just as we dress in our own style, we write in our own style. In this part, you’ll learn some of the “tools of the trade” to give your writing flair, as well as language to avoid and tips for writing that grabs the reader’s attention.

Your Final Draft Checklist

Revise and Finalize. Now that you are equipped with all the tools you need to create a well-written, effective, engaging essay and have worked your way up the ladder one step at a time . . . you’re almost at the top. In this part you’ll learn how to revise your first draft – putting all the steps to use – and write a final draft that showcases both your ideas and your writing skill.

A Final Look

Proofread. You now have a well- thought-out, well-constructed, quality essay, and it’s been hard work. There’s just one more thing to do before you turn it in – proofread. Any time you are writing where it matters how you and your writing are perceived, proofreading is essential. This part – your last step – teaches you quick and easy ways to proofread your work like a professional, giving your essay the polish and finishing touches it needs to be first class.

A Finished Assignment

From Beginning to End. If you’ve followed the steps up the ladder we’ve presented, you’re at the top. Congratulations! Here we show you an example of a finished assignment from beginning to end. It takes you through each step, so you can see what we did, how we executed each step, and what we finally produced.