Just like any other academic paper out there, a communication essay has to follow certain educational guidelines. While it may sound redundant, the goal of an essay for a communication class is to actually communicate some ideas — ideally, in a way that would persuade the audience and make them agree with you, the author. The first step, traditionally, is deciding on a topic. After that, you will have to think which point you are about to prove. Got there? Good! This point is going to be your thesis statement.
Now, it’s time to get some research done. After all, this is an academic paper you are working on, which means it will have to be supported by some valid academic sources. After you have collected enough material to prove your point of view, look for the best order to present your arguments. This structural order is going to be an outline for your paper — or, in some cases, its first draft.
While many students ignore writing an outline, crafting one does more good than harm. It may sound like a waste of time, but in practice, it helps you structure the paper in advance and stick to it while writing. This, in its turn, helps with the writing block and keeps the overall logic of your work more consistent.
An outline structure presupposes an introduction, main body paragraphs, and conclusion. The standard academic pattern is a five-paragraph essay — that is, at least three paragraphs in the main body. If it helps, think of an essay as of a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The introduction states the main idea of your paper (that is, your thesis). However, the main purpose of this paragraph is to hook the reader and make him read further. So, feel free to include any interesting stats, quotes, or questions right from the start. In this case, your thesis statement will be placed at the end of your introductory paragraph.
As it was already mentioned, an essay should have at least three body paragraphs. Make sure each one conveys a new thought (argument). At the same time, they all have to be linked together; even more — they have to contribute to your thesis statement. Remember, the goal of any essay is to prove your point of view, and the main body is where you do it.
A conclusion never includes any new information. Here, you sum up what you already have written in body paragraphs (in other words and more briefly, of course) and restate your thesis statement. Make sure you do not ‘jump’ to conclusions, though. All of the information you include here has to be directly related to the material you analyzed in the above paragraphs. Do not just state “it becomes obvious that the [thesis] is correct” — especially if the reasoning in your body paragraph was not so obvious to the reader.
Finally, do not be surprised if you do not really like your first draft. Sometimes, it takes two or three to truly ace it.