Our 10 tips on writing an effective essay to improve your skills

How to write a good essay? Students often ask this question just as their parents, who are powerless to help their children. Even their teachers can’t help every single student because they are busy looking for new methods of teaching or have personal matters which also require lots of attention.

For many students writing a perfect essay often results in a failure and they are genuinely surprised at the enthusiasm of their classmates when it comes to writing an essay. Why is that so? The answer is simple - because we all are different. Someone likes to orate, fantasize and argue. Such people are usually fond of writing essays. However, many find themselves completely lost sitting in front of a blank sheet and a given topic. Is there a way to solve the problem of the essay writing? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some ways to make your paper better.

10 things to consider if you want to improve academic essay writing

Before writing an essay, you might want to read some of our recommendations laid out down below. These simple guidelines will help you cope with written work and improve your marks and overall academic results.

  1. Define the topic
  2. If you are allowed to pick a topic on your own, choose something interesting to you. If you cannot find anything striking within the subject, look for the one that seems more captivating than others.

    If a topic has been assigned and it is either difficult or boring; instead of procrastinating, try to strictly follow the common essay structure.

  3. Organize your thoughts
  4. You can find it hard to sit at the desk and brainstorm how and what you will write. Firstly, create a kind of sketch of the future paper in your head. You can make a rough imaginary draft while, for example, walking your dog, washing dishes or doing the shopping.

    If time is short, we advise outlining your thoughts and arguments in the form of short theses immediately after receiving the assignment. This will allow you not to forget important points while writing the work itself.

  5. Think up a catchy title
  6. Create a summary of your essay in a few words. Provide your reader with a clear understanding of the content and your viewpoint. You can try to hook the reader with a rhetorical question, play on words, or a quote from your essay.

  7. Get them interested right away with an attention grabber
  8. The first sentence should intrigue the reader, "advertise" the main part. You can use an interesting fact, provocative statistic, brief story about researching or pose a question as a hook.

    To make sure that your topic is easy to perceive, deliver the necessary facts, present your reasoning, but do not dive into specifics. Also, your introduction shouldn’t take more than 10% of the whole essay.

  9. Present your paper’s main points in a structured way
  10. The essay’s body describes, explains and thoroughly develops the argument outlined in the introduction. In each paragraph, you should elaborate one of the points in the development of the overall writing piece and then support it with evidence (a vivid example, statistics, etc.).

  11. Write clearly and accurately
  12. The style of writing an essay is usually semi-formal, but formal one is sometimes required for job applications or reports. Do not use contractions. For example, It is better to write "cannot" instead of "can’t".

    Any time you can use a verb form, employ it. Do not use a noun form in formal writing. For instance, a phrase like "conduct an investigation" you can change to a single stronger verb "investigate".

  13. Avoid fuzzy language
  14. Try to use "subject+verb" sentence pattern and do not exploit "there is / there are" constructions too much.

    Furthermore, such words as "really", "very", "a lot", and "so" usually do not add any value; hence, you can omit them.

  15. Use the active voice
  16. Only if you study science, it is considered normal to use the passive voice, but if you study sociology, humanity, history or social science, you should use the active voice.

  17. Show critical thinking
  18. It is a bad idea to copy the essay question that is on your test paper. For example, the essay question is "The Earth is round. Do you agree?". Do not fall into the trap starting your essay "I agree that the Earth is round because …". Paraphrase the essay question, use synonyms or concessions. Moreover, by representing both sides, you demonstrate a fastidious approach towards the issue.

  19. Create a "hit the bull's eye" ending
  20. Persuasively restating your main argument, begin the conclusion by being specific and then move to the general. It should highlight all your significant findings, including their implication for the broader field or future research.

No matter how you end your writing (appeal to emotions or call to action), review your essay for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. And remember that a perfect essay is not a game of chance, but a result of trial and error process.