You don’t have to be a good writer to write well. By learning to treat writing as a series of small steps instead of a big all-at-once magic trick you have to pull off will make writing a composition much easier and much more fun. You can learn to brainstorm main ideas before you start writing, organize a draft of those main ideas, and revise your composition into a polished essay. See Step 1 for more information. It’s important to get a clear understanding of what your teacher expects from your composition in both for topic and style. What is the topic of the composition? What is the appropriate tone or voice for the composition?
These questions are good for you to ask. Plan to divide your time into 3 equal parts. Do a free-write or a journaling exercise to get some ideas on paper. When you’re first getting started trying to figure out the best way to approach a topic you’ve got to write about, do some free-writing. No one has to see it, so feel free to explore your thoughts and opinions about a given topic and see where it leads. Try a cluster or bubble exercise. A web diagram is good to create if you’ve generated lots of ideas in a free write, but are having trouble knowing where to get started.
This will help you go from general to specific, an important part of any composition. Start with a blank piece of paper, or use a chalkboard to draw the outline diagram. Around the center circle, write your main ideas or interests about the topic. You might be interested in “Juliet’s death,” “Mercutio’s anger,” or “family strife.
Write as many main ideas as you’re interested in. Around each main idea, write more specific points or observations about each more specific topic. Are you repeating language or ideas? Connect the bubbles with lines where you see related connections. A good composition is organized by main ideas, not organized chronologically or by plot. Use these connections to form your main ideas. Start with whatever idea is most interesting for a strong, innovative paper.
When you’re first brainstorming for your paper, try to hone in on what you think is the strongest or most interesting idea you have. Start by outlining free-writing about that part, then build outwards to develop ideas for the rest of your paper. Make a formal outline to organize your thoughts. Once you’ve got your main concepts, ideas, and arguments about the topic starting to form, you might consider organizing everything into a formal outline to help you get started writing an actual draft of the paper. Use complete sentences to start getting your main points together for your actual composition. Your thesis statement will guide your entire composition, and is maybe the single most important part of writing a good composition.
A thesis statement is generally one debatable point that you’re trying to prove in the essay. Your thesis statement needs to be debatable. Your thesis statement needs to be specific. Juliet is a play about making bad choices” isn’t as strong a thesis statement as “Shakespeare makes the argument that the inexperience of teenage love is comic and tragic at the same time” is much stronger.