Writing a Non Fiction Essays: How to Start?

When writing a non fiction essay, there are several things to consider. In general, non fiction essays require some level of research on the topic. For that reason, when choosing your topic, you’ll want to choose one that will be easily researched. That means there should be plenty of reliable sources for the information necessary to support your thesis.

Choosing a Topic

In addition to being a topic that is easily researched, non fiction essay topics should be interesting, appropriate to the class for which the essay is being written, and should lend themselves to writing a strong thesis statement.

Writing Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is your essay’s strong, central idea. You’ll want to choose a thesis that interests you, one that will interest the audience, and one that you can support with three to five strong points. Once you’ve determined your subject matter and written a strong, unifying thesis statement, you’re ready to create an outline.

Creating an Outline

Creating an outline is a very important part of getting started on your non fiction essay. It allows you not only to have an organized blueprint for actually writing it, but also to test the strength of your thesis. If you find it very difficult to write an outline using one particular thesis, it may be that the thesis itself is weak or unsuitable for the type of essay you have in mind.

The outline should look something like this:

  • Introduction: The introduction should contain your thesis statement, written in detail. It should also highlight three to five points which you will use to support your thesis.
  • Body of the Essay: The body of the essay should be broken into paragraphs which detail your main points. Each main point should have 2-3 well researched and cited sources to support it.
  • Conclusion: Your conclusion is essentially a restatement of the introduction; review your thesis, and the points which support it, before wrapping up with a strong closing statement.

Rough Draft

After making your outline, it’s time to write a rough draft. For the purposes of the rough draft, focus on just getting the information you want in your final essay down, in a well-structured manner. Don’t worry too much about sentence flow or grammar; you can correct those in your final draft.

Final Draft

Now, take your rough draft and rewrite it, paying attention to use of vocabulary, flow of sentences, and spelling and grammar. You’re done!