9 Stages of Writing an Essay in Your Second Language

Sometimes it's hard to write an essay even in your native language. Especially if you have not yet formed your opinion on a particular issue, and you have a long study ahead. When it is necessary to state your thoughts in a second language, the task becomes even more complicated.
However, we suggest that you no longer worry about this. It is not forbidden to do the preparatory part of the work in the native language, and to draw up the final result in a foreign one. In this article, we will tell you how to deal with an essay in a second language without any stress.

Make Sure That You Understand the Topic of the Essay Correctly

Each language has its own linguistic features and constructions. Since you received the topic of your essay in a second language, make sure that you understand it correctly. To do this, review the meaning of each unfamiliar word in the explanatory dictionary. Not in Google Translator! In the explanatory dictionary.

Shape Your Vision

If you still do not know much about the topic of your essay, it's time to start expanding your knowledge. In order not to make your brain cope with two tasks at the same time, start with scientific sources written in your own language. This will be enough to understand the essence, analyze the opinions of various scientists and begin to form your own.

Start Looking for Sources for Developing the Thesis and Supporting It with Evidence

Now you have some idea what you're dealing with, and it's time to find the scientific materials that you will use directly in your essay. This means that they must be written in the language in which you will write your work.

To do this, start with the Jstor and find at least three articles that are most relevant to the topic of your essay. Highlight the main point of each of these articles.
Now you need to develop your thesis statement. If you carefully worked out at least three sources and understood the logic of the author of each of them, it will not be difficult for you to come up with your unique thesis by analogy.

Draw up a Plan in Your Native Language

It is not forbidden to draw up a preliminary essay plan in your native language. Follow the standard five-paragraph structure. So what do you need to write?
  • Introduction. Your thesis is its foundation.
  • The first, second and third paragraphs. Write down your main arguments here.
  • Conclusion. Since you do not need to write anything new in this part of the essay, simply outline this item in the plan so that you don’t forget about it later.

The First Draft Version

When you see the outline and structure of your essay, you can start writing. We recommend starting with a draft in your native language. So it will be easier for you to formulate the most valuable thoughts and ideas. Therefore, follow the structure and start writing in your own language.

Important! Do not forget to add quotes. They should be from sources that are not written in your native language but in a foreign one. The best approach is to add a quote to your argument, thereby reinforcing it.

The Second Draft Version

At this stage, you can assume that 70% of the work has already been done. Now you need to translate the essay from your native language into a foreign one. And do it yourself, not with Google Translator.
Just calmly think how you would say this or that phrase in a foreign language. If you do not know the translation of a particular word, then use the dictionary. (Not Google, but a dictionary!).

Look for Mistakes

If you wrote your text by hand, read it carefully again. Make sure that all your sentences are constructed correctly in terms of grammar. Divide too long sentences into several short ones.

Write the Final Version of Your Second-Language Essay

Now is the time to create the best version of your essay. It is very likely that while writing the final version, you will be able to find more suitable words. Feel free to make changes. Anyway, you will need to check your work again.

Proofread and Edit It Once More

Since we have already reached the final stage of writing an essay in your second language, here you need a double-check. To do this, reread your text again and edit it in the same way as you edited the draft version.

Now use the Grammarly or EssayHelpLab. This will help to fix basic grammatical errors, if you have made them, as well as correct punctuation, remove double spaces and give recommendations on how to improve some phrases.

Congratulations, you are done!

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