About This Site
other writing sites offer dozens of tutorials, handouts, and links
on writing, but this is the only one that takes you through a clear
ten-step process on how to write an essay. Although the writing
process for many individuals is not always so linear, having a path
to follow, or ladder to climb, will guide beginning writers in the
right direction. You don't have to always move chronologically from
step one to step ten to write an essay, but it makes more sense
to do so. And this site gives you a framework for guidance.
Learning to enjoy writing
As you put an honest effort writing your essays, you will find
true what fifteenth-century Renaissance philosopher Erasmus claimed
long ago: "The desire to write grows with writing." If
you don't have a clue about how to write an essay, or don't like
to write, try working as hard as you can to follow these steps,
and you may find your initial confusion or dislike of writing change.
Writing may even become a hobby or pastime you begin to do in your
spare time because you enjoy it so much.
According to Peter Elbow, a leading composition scholar, nothing
is more influential in learning to write simply than liking
to write. Students who like to write eventually become good writers.
By giving you clear, lively instruction and concrete guidelines
on how to write an essay, my hope is that you will learn to like
writing. Each tutorial on this site is coupled with vivid examples
that ground the principle in an easy-to-follow way; additional interactive
exercises allow you to practice your learning, and links on the
top offer supplementary activities to enhance your writing ability.
Who am I?
For the past six years, at Brigham Young University
in Utah, Columbia University in New York, and now The American University
in Cairo (Egypt), I taught students how to write essays that are
persuasive, well-researched, carefully organized, and pleasantly
insightful. I know the process students need to go through to produce
high-quality work. There aren't any shortcuts, but if your efforts
are guided in the right direction, your hard work can have real
payoffs, both in feelings of self reward and grades.