How to Write an Investigative Essay

An investigative essay is one in which a writer presents his or her knowledge or findings on a particular topic. The writer’s opinions can be expressed although a measure of objectivity should be retained if the essay is intended for an academic setting. If you’ve never written an investigative essay before, pay attention to the following steps.

Know your subject matter

If your knowledge in the area is shallow the resulting essay will be flimsy and your points will not impress the reader. Take the time to read up on your topic from multiple sources, attend seminars, watch video lectures or discuss it with experts. All of these actions can help fill holes in your knowledge base so that you can approach the topic throughly in writing.

Decide how you will address the issue

Most of the topics you will consider choosing can be subdivided into other topics if you try hard enough. If you keep the topic too broad you may end up making very vague points that do not connect with the reader. Try to focus on an aspect of the topic and then present evidence in and out of its favor.

Prove your points

Once you know which part of the topic you will be dealing with you can decide which points you will be including. As you list your points, be certain you have evidence to support them. If a point lacks evidence it seems weak and out of place in the essay, particularly if the surrounding points are very strong.

Proofread and edit

This step is crucial in the writing of essays of all types. Any missing or badly chosen words or punctuation marks can reduce the efficacy of your essay. The same goes for confusing sentence structure which can make your writing style seem chaotic to the average reader. Double and triple check for mistakes of this nature and if possible, acquire a second opinion from someone whose judgment you trust. It can be difficult to spot a mistake you are accustomed to auto-correcting mentally especially if you are tired and overworked so it’s good to enlist a fresh pair of eyes.

No essay style is impossible to conquer. In the end they all require determination and knowledge, both of which can be acquired with a bit of effort. Your success is within your grasp.

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