How Do You START an Essay? [Guide for Teenagers]

You’ll encounter many tasks and challenges when working towards your college or university degree. One of the most common ones will be writing essays. The type of essay you write depends on the learning outcome the instructor wants to asses, but essays are going to be very common in many different fields of study at many different levels.

For instance, the instructor may want to gauge your ability to pick a stance on an issue by giving an argumentative essay task. Because these assignments are sometimes a bit complex, it’s common to hear students asking questions like, “How do I write my essay?”

You should take your essays seriously as instructors grade them to determine your overall college academic performance. Thus, you should meet specific quality characteristics to pass the assignments. Examples of the specific aspects the instructors look at when grading your essays include:

  • The relevance and comprehensiveness of the content
  • The organization of your essay
  • The language you use in writing the piece

When you present an excellent essay, you increase your chances of attaining a top grade. But remember, the final piece you present depends on how you begin writing it. If you’re haphazard in your approach, you’ll end up with a mediocre piece. So, how should you start your essay writing?

Understand the Requirements of the Essay

start an essay

Some students dive straight into the writing process before comprehending the assignment’s requirements. If you do this, you’re likely to miss a critical piece of information. Failure to follow instructions indicates that you aren’t serious about writing.

The first vital step in essay writing is understanding the prompt. Go through the question carefully while noting the key phrases used. These terms determine the type of response the instructor expects you to give. Examples of the terms you should take seriously include:

  • Explain
  • Illustrate
  • Demonstrate

Next, you should read other guidelines that come with the prompt. Following these guidelines as you write your piece shows you’re careful with your work. The specific guidelines you should note include the volume of content to write, the paper outline, and the sources you’re allowed to use. Moreover, take note of the formatting style to follow.

Choose an Appropriate Essay Topic

Sometimes, your professor may not give a specific topic to you. It’s advantageous as you’re free to choose a topic you’re comfortable with. However, you may still be restricted to picking a subject in specific areas.

Which types of topics should you write on? First, ensure the subject of discussion is relevant. It should also be something you’re passionate about. That way, it will be easy for you to obtain relevant content for the essay.

Create a Good Essay Writing Plan

You shouldn’t write your essay haphazardly. If you do, you’re likely to miss vital steps. Consequently, you may end up with an incomplete paper. Create a writing plan before you begin working on your essay task.

Identify all the writing processes you should adhere to as you complete your piece. They include obtaining content for the piece, writing, editing, and proofreading. You then allocate enough time for the completion of all these processes. Just like other reputable essay writers, you should be organized in your approach.

Obtain Credible Essay Content

At this point, you already know the type of content your professor expects. The goal is to make your essay as informative as possible. Even when writing an opinion-based essay, you should back your stance with facts and relevant examples. Therefore, research is a critical part of essay writing.

You can begin your research process by reading your lecture notes. Proceed to your college library and find books addressing the topic. You can also consider other credible online resources. Collect all the important issues on the topic. Take notes to ensure you don’t forget these concepts while writing the paper.

Determine Your Essay Outline

Now that you already have the content you want to write in the essay, it’s time to assess it and determine its suitability. If you feel a piece of information isn’t relevant, remove it. Where necessary, you can conduct additional research.

Next, determine how you want to organize your arguments. Begin with the strongest ideas before you proceed to the rest. For a 5-paragraph essay, you should have an enticing introduction, three complete body paragraphs, and a thought-provoking conclusion.

Take-Away and Final Thoughts

How you start your essay determines the quality of your final piece. So the first thing you should do is understand the prompt’s requirements. Then choose a topic and research. You can then determine the outline before you begin writing your essay.

Sara Dylan

Author Information

Sara Dylan is passionate about researching and writing interesting articles to help people. Sara is a prolific writer at, and enjoys a nice cup of tea as much as the next person.