How to Write an Amazing Essay in Spanish
Has your teacher asked you to write an essay in Spanish? Essays are probably the most common type of homework around the world. Teachers want you to write essays because they’re a way to improve your abilities when you’re learning a new language.
Writing essays may not seem like fun, but it actually improves your cognitive abilities! The act of researching, organizing, and writing pushes you to increase your knowledge on different topics, strengthens your critical thinking skills, and advances your ability to communicate and express your thoughts.
With all these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder you want to write a great essay in Spanish. But there are times when your ideas vanish and your mind goes blank—you wonder, where do I begin and what steps do I follow?
Even if you’re a pro when it comes to writing in English, writing an essay in Spanish can be a challenge. In this blog post, I’ll help you overcome this small hurdle to help you make your Spanish essay cohesive, persuasive, and as professional as possible.
Are you ready to write an amazing essay in Spanish?
Basics and Benefits of Writing Essays
Strong writing skills are important for school, college, and a professional career. It’s likely that Spanish is not your first language, but if you’re learning the language then writing a research-fueled Spanish essay gives you all sorts of advantages. It enables you to practice grammar, spelling, vocabulary, as well as synthesize your ideas and thoughts surrounding the topic you’re writing about.
Writing a terrific essay in Spanish requires planning, organization, and structure. Having a process saves you time and once you’ve established a system that works for you, the writing comes easy!
How to Structure an Essay in Spanish
Similar to when you’re telling a story, your essay should follow a traditional story arc. This means that you start with an appealing introduction, after which you develop your idea within the body of the essay, and finally, you close your thoughts or argument with a summary and conclusion.
Let’s take a deeper look at these 3 parts of an essay in Spanish:
Start your essay with a summary of the topic you’ll cover throughout your piece. The introduction reflects the argumentative line that your whole essay follows. It should be brief but not too short. I recommend making the intro 10% of your whole essay.
A good introduction gives enough information by stating a problem or the reason why you’re writing the essay and why the reader should be compelled to read it.
Some writers choose to write the introduction after they’ve written the body and conclusion. I think it’s a good strategy that allows you to summarize and evaluate the body of your whole essay before you aim to highlight important points in your introduction.
My biggest advice is to make it clear what the reason for your essay’s existence is, so that your reader can feel excited to know more, and invited to learn from you.
This is the main part of your essay. I recommend that you dedicate 80% of your whole essay to the body. This critical section develops the core ideas of your essay in Spanish as it’s where you present the main ideas and their arguments in relation to the topic you’re writing about.
This part requires you to do research from reputable sources, fact checking, and tying all your ideas together in a cohesive way.
The remaining 10% of your essay in Spanish should focus on bringing the essay to a close. You want to summarize all the main ideas of your topic and establish your final posture on it.
Preferably, leave no loose ends and make sure the ending of your essay has the ability to create a discussion or invite the reader to find out more about the topic.
Steps to Follow to Write an Essay in Spanish
Every writer has a unique system that works for them. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa.
The steps and path you follow for writing an essay in Spanish depend on the knowledge and fluency you have of the language as well as your familiarity with writing.
Nevertheless, I recommend some basic steps that will help you if you’re a beginner when it comes to writing an essay in Spanish.
1. Define a Topic
Choose a topic of interest to you. If the topic is not assigned by your teacher, go for a current issue or interesting topic that will inspire you to research as much as possible. Check the local media, or go online and find out what topics are available for you to discuss.
2. Do Your Research
This aspect is critical—you must find reliable sources of information for your essay. Go to a library if possible, find academic papers online, and gather as much documentation as possible that helps you understand the central themes and patterns of your chosen topic.
As a plus, if you do your research in Spanish, you’ll see other essays in Spanish that will help you develop your own Spanish writing style, tone, and personality.
3. Determine Your Position
After you’ve gathered enough research, you’ll begin to see an angle or position you can take in relation to the information. The angle or position you take is essentially your “point.” Ask yourself, “What’s my point in writing this?” When you’ve answered that, you’ve discovered your position.
To support your position, your research should include quotes, statistics, and any relevant information you can find from credible sources.
4. Draft an Outline
This step is vital for organizing your arguments and ideas. Since Spanish is not your first language, an outline will allow you to translate words or phrases. In addition to listing Spanish notes in your outline, keep this basic process in mind:
- Know your audience
- Gather all notes, research, and supporting materials
- Organize them into a cohesive flow
- Be sure to organize by how each subtopic relates to the main topic and to each other
5. List Spanish Words and Terms
Since you’re writing an essay in Spanish, it’s only befitting that you have a list of specific words and terms you want to include in it.
Draft a list of terms that are relevant to your essay in Spanish, whether they’re reminders in your outline or they’re unfamiliar terms that beg to be further researched.
The terms you choose allow you to set a tone and define whether you’re using standard Spanish, informal Spanish, or literary and formal language.
The tone you choose to follow in your essay guides your word choice.
Here’s a list of words and phrases in Spanish that can help with your writing:
|To begin with||Para empezar|
|In the beginning||Al principio|
|As a point of departure||Como punto de partida|
|Because of||A causa de|
|To continue||Para continuar|
|Too / Also||También|
|On the other hand||En cambio / Por otra parte|
|You have to take into account||Hay que tomar en cuenta|
|For example||Por ejemplo|
|In summary / to summarize||En resumen|
6. Write the Body of Your Essay
Focus on fully developing your argument with relevant examples and evidence to support your position. Each paragraph should focus on only one argument along with supporting evidence, and the flow from one paragraph to the next should sound natural and rational.
Spanish is a richer language, so don’t be afraid of writing longer sentences than usual, but make sure you combine them with short dynamic phrases. It’s essential to keep your reader interested!
7. Write an Engaging Introduction
Once you’re done with the body of your essay, start writing the introduction. The purpose of your intro is to set a tone and prepare the reader for what follows.
Putting together your introduction at the end allows you to absorb what you’ve written and define how to present the topic and express your point.
8. Summarize and Conclude
The conclusion is your essay is an opportunity to tie all your points together and restate the main argument. Since some essays are meant to be objective, I recommend you include a paragraph or sentence that stimulates reflection and enriches the reader’s perspective on the topic.
9. Final Edits and Proofreading
This final step is the second most critical when it comes to writing an essay in Spanish! Edit for correcting typos, punctuation, grammatical errors, and spelling.
I recommend you share your Spanish essay with a native speaker who can proofread it before you turn it in. Another person’s perspective can help you spot an error or a section that lacks cohesion.
A Few Final Tips
Read your essay as many times as possible
I find myself making changes to essays after reading them at least 4 or 5 times. You need to check your essay for:
- transitions between paragraphs,
- unnecessary fillers, and
- adequate adverbs and adjectives.
Think and write in Spanish, if possible
By drafting an outline, doing your research, and organizing your ideas in Spanish from the beginning, you fully immerse yourself and make writing an essay in Spanish more efficient.
On the contrary, by writing and researching in English with the goal of translating, you’ll end up in a tough spot with way much more work than intended.
Ready to Write Your First Essay in Spanish?
I hope by sharing my essay-writing experience in this blog post that you feel more confident about writing your essay in Spanish. I know it can be frustrating and challenging at times, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes and correct them later.
The truth is, the more comfortable you feel speaking Spanish, the more your writing skills in Spanish will improve.
If you’re ready to take the next step and work on your speaking skills, join us at Homeschool Spanish Academy! You can sign up for a free trial class with one of our native, Spanish-speaking teachers. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking Spanish and writing essays like a pro!
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