Useful Tips for Writing a Leadership Essay
A leadership essay is one of the academic works you may have to prepare during your curriculum. In fact, it’s not a difficult task to cope with regarding you are ready to conduct deep research. Your task is not just to show you are knowledgeable in this topic, but also demonstrate the skill of developing your ideas logically as well as persuading audience or readers.
Choosing an Impactful Topic
Leadership is quite an extensive topic, which includes many aspects. One of the ways is to describe what true leadership is. Start with a definition of leadership – take it from a dictionary or give your understanding of this issue – and then describe what traits a leader should develop.
You can also touch a controversial question, for example:
- Do real leaders always stay in the shadow?
- Is leadership a natural talent?
- Does leadership only mean giving commands?
There are different styles of leadership, and you can compare them or describe the one you consider the most admirable. For instance, explain the difference between democratic and authoritarian styles or give the pros and cons of idealistic style.
Your essay might be the story of a well-known leader in society. Still, your task is not to write about any famous person – a singer or a musician. Make sure a hero of your writing piece is a strong personality. Explain what challenges he/she faced, what helped him/her to achieve goals. It’s not a biography, it’s a story of someone’s flight as a leader.
One more variant is to focus an essay on your own life story. Readers will definitely be eager to get to know what difficulties you have gone through and how they influenced your inner world. Remember however that you should share your experience, but not just praise yourself.
Take into consideration that a strong essay includes facts and results of researches. Examine relevant information, find out what experts think of leadership. No doubt, you have your own understanding of this issue, but try to extend it using available sources of information.
Creating an Outline
Before you start writing your essay, think over its structure and put a plan on paper. Make sure your thoughts are united into a logical and coherent line.
If you are going to present one’s life story, here is a possible plan for your essay:
● Introduction. State who is your inspiration.
● Body. Paragraph 1: What challenges he/she faced.
Paragraph 2: What he/she realized. What steps he/she made.
Paragraph 3: How his/her decisions influenced his/her life.
● Conclusion. Rephrase the statement given in the introduction.
If you have decided to outline what leadership is, the plan can be made in such a way:
● Introduction. Definition or your understanding of leadership.
● Body. Paragraph 1: Features of character a true leader need.
Paragraph 2: Attitude to life and challenges.
Paragraph 3: Relations with followers.
● Conclusion. Express the introduction in other words.
How to Write a Catching Introduction
Do you want readers to get involved in your work from the very first sentence? Then never start your essay with a phrase ‘I’d like to tell you about…’ If readers get bored with the introduction, they won’t have any desire to get acquainted with the whole writing piece.
A good introduction grabs readers’ attention, and the best way to do it is to use a hook. Be creative: write something unique that will distinguish your essay from many other similar writing pieces. But be careful not to make it too creative so that readers won’t get the main idea.
For example, start with an interesting question and touch a problem familiar to readers:
● What’s the difference between being a leader and considering yourself a leader?
● Have you ever met a true leader?
● Do you regard yourself as a leader? etc.
An essay introduction always comprises a thesis statement, which sums up the main idea of your work. Explain your view on what is leadership or who is a real leader, for example:
● Leadership is not a natural gift, one needs to develop certain traits, and this process takes time.
● Challenges don’t make us become leaders, rather we become leaders regarding we develop the right attitude toward challenges.
Keep in mind that an introduction should not be too long – it usually contains 3-4 sentences.
Writing a Body
In this section, you extend the main idea of an essay explaining your thoughts in detail. As a rule, a body encompasses 3-4 paragraphs: one paragraph for each point of your outline.
It’s the main part of your work, so here you are to use pieces of evidence found during your research. Each paragraph is a completed thought and is based on one argument sustaining the essay claim. So, make sure all the arguments stick to the thesis statement.
The first sentence of a paragraph is a logical continuation of a previous one, so transition words are necessary to unite passages into one thinking line. Feel free to use examples, quotes and even jokes to demonstrate your message.
- Here is a sample of a first body paragraph.
‘The concept of leadership includes much more than just giving commands to subordinates. A true leader has the ability to influence other people so that they obey with zeal. No doubt, it requires charisma, still, it does not mean you play a role, because an audience will surely figure it out and get disappointed. A leader is not an actor, and real charisma means there is something special about your character that attracts followers to you.‘
- In the second passage continue the idea, but give another argument.
‘Nevertheless, being able to attract people is not enough. A successful leader should be skillful to coordinate a group of people and give adequate instructions. Subordinates will not accept you unless you are experienced enough.’
- The example of a third paragraph:
‘However, one of the most important traits leadership requires is the ability to accept you don’t know everything and make mistakes. So, don’t try to convince followers you are perfect. Create trust-based relations, so that subordinates feel confident to rely on you.’
Making a Conclusion
In conclusion, you rephrase the thesis statement. Don’t use any new ideas or arguments, because your goal is to summarize the main points mentioned in the essay. Also, never put questions, for questions are to be answered at a body section.
Though you sum everything up, try not to sound dull. It’s the last remark of your work, it’s your last chance to persuade readers the essay claim is important for them. You have tried your best to write a catching introduction and a strong body, don’t fail at the very end of your writing piece.
- Here is a sample of an essay conclusion.
‘A leader is a person who is able to influence and inspire followers. He is knowledgeable and experienced, and subordinates are not afraid to trust him. Still, you will never find an ideal leader. A successful leader accepts he is imperfect but strives for becoming perfect.’
If you want to prepare a strong essay, think over what would inspire you and express that claims for readers. Leadership is a broad topic, so feel free to choose a direction the most suitable for your outlook.
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