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How to organize your thoughts when writing an essay

Writing a college essay

A well-organized essay makes the reader follow the thread of your thoughts. Different types of essays may have different formatting styles. 

Following the correct format and organization will improve your chances of earning a good grade for your essay. 

Sometimes, it may be hard to find an entry point for translating your thoughts into writing. Introductions often need a catchy statement to hook the attention of your reader. The way you organize your thoughts will affect how properly you write your essay. 

Trying to find the best statement to begin your essay may make you experience writer’s block for a moment. 

Here are a few tips on how you can organize your thoughts as you write an essay. 

Avoid the last-minute rush

Start by preparing how to write your essay before the due date of submission. If you prepare at the last minute, you are likely to miss some important points. You can achieve this by taking notes while you read.

This process makes you organize your information into the different categories that you’ll use to write your essay. Well-organized work also saves you the time you’d have spent thinking about what you want to write. 

It’s really about making your thoughts come out naturally and putting in the effort to make your essay flow smoothly. Most importantly, you’ll proofread your essay to check for errors before submission. 

Find an environment that enhances your concentration

Among the many things that can distract you from concentrating are checking social media, noises, or even stress. Organizing your thoughts for essay writing needs your undivided attention. 

You can reduce these distractions by putting your phone away or in silent mode to avoid distractions from notifications. 

Again, you should find what calms your mind such as finding a quiet environment like the library, nature, or listening to some soft, soothing background music. 

Also, take a break and find the appropriate time when you feel less stressed to start writing your essay. 

Clean your working space

Cleaning and decluttering your working space will set your mind ready and free to start. Clean working space can motivate you and reduce your stress levels as you plan to start your writing assignment. 

Again, you can find creative ways such as writing sticky notes, and markers to decide how you want to write down ideas for your essays. Don’t underestimate how productive you will become just by cleaning your working space! 


The prompt for your essay might be open-ended or specific. Brainstorming is to help you think through the ideas you want to use in writing your essay. 

At this point, you’ll note the ideas as they come for easy reference when you start writing. It also minimizes the chances of a last-minute rush as earlier mentioned. 

Brainstorming is also important for mapping your ideas. The mapping helps you to join one idea to the other. It is also a good way to break down the supporting ideas from the main idea. 

Understand your essay structure

Different essays require that you use a specific organizational structure or format. You should write your essay in the correct format to show that you actually thought about it.

For example, the basic format for an essay will have an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion.

As you introduce your essay, the reader will understand the key concepts and get the main ideas as they move through the body of the text. The proper organization shows that you are or intend to become a great writer.

Research your topic

Researching is important because it will provide you with enough information for your essays. For example, you may be required to write an essay of 1000 words or more. 

An essay of such length might make you feel confused about where and how to start. You need to build an angle from where to approach your essay. 

Researching adequately for your work improves your essay writing skills and knowledge of the topic you want to discuss.

Again, when you research adequately, it improves the essay’s quality and accuracy. Of course, you expect nothing but the best as you submit your findings. 

Time yourself

This is a time-management tip. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to take a full day to write an essay that you could finish in 2 hours. 

When you have already set the correct environment you can work in, you should also be specific on how much time you need to spend on the essay-writing task. 

Managing your time properly will prevent you from multitasking and save you from becoming unproductive. 

Finishing your assignment on time will free more time to complete other tasks. You will also have time to interact with your friends or even better check your phone!

Take a break

Taking a break will help you clear your mind. Getting something off your chest will make you feel a whole lot better.

You may also take this time to look at your topic from another perspective.

This can improve the quality of your essay and efficiency in writing because you can notice simple errors and edit your paper accordingly. We make errors all the time but simple mistakes can be avoided when you take a 5 or 10-minute break before you continue.

Again, taking breaks improves your concentration, reduces frustration, and improves your creativity levels.  

Wrapping it up

The effort you put into ensuring your essay stands out starts even before you put pen to paper. Think of its as arranging your room. You may not know where to put each item, or you may want to change their location in the initial stages.

There is always a starting point. Get a step-by-step approach to make your ideas as clear as day. Before you know it, your ideas will have a smooth flow and you will complete writing your essay in style.

How do you write your essays? Let us know in the comments section.

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