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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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- How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples
How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.
The main goals of an introduction are to:
- Catch your reader’s attention.
- Give background on your topic.
- Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.
This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Table of contents
Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.
Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.
Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.
Examples: Writing a good hook
Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.
- Braille was an extremely important invention.
- The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly why the topic is important.
- The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
- The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.
Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.
Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.
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Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:
- Historical, geographical, or social context
- An outline of the debate you’re addressing
- A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
- Definitions of key terms
The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.
How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:
Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.
This is the most important part of your introduction. A good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.
The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.
Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.
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As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.
When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.
It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.
To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .
You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.
Checklist: Essay introduction
My first sentence is engaging and relevant.
I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.
I have defined any important terms.
My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.
Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.
You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.
- Literary analysis
This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.
This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).
In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.
To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
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How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips
A large portion of university and high school education is based on writing academic essays. They are most effective at demonstrating students’ knowledge of a subject and showcasing their abilities to gather and present information and data. In this guide from our essay writing service , we are going to explain to you how to write an excellent academic essay and show you the different types you can choose from.
What Is an Academic Essay?
In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas. This type of assignment allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity and encourages them to develop their ideas to communicate a message.
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Compared to other types of academic writing, essays are usually shorter in length and present the authors’ opinions to support their arguments. Here are some key features of an academic essay for you to keep in mind:
- Conciseness — as a rule, essays are short; the length of such papers range from 200 to 500 words.
- Topic — due to their short lengths, a perfect topic for an essay should be narrowed-down and not too broad.
- Well-structured text — although essays can be considered as one of the least formal types of writing, they still need to have a solid structure and follow the proper academic paper format.
- Clear central idea — every academic essay should deliver a specific point that should be clear and powerful (i.e. thesis statement).
- Personal motivation — unlike other types of writing, essays often imply that their authors are personally interested in the subjects they are discussing.
- Supporting facts, evidence, and examples — although essays may present an author’s personal beliefs and ideas, they should also provide arguments that support those ideas.
It helps to develop your academic writing skills early—as they are skills you will carry forward throughout your studies and lifetime. People who are good at writing academic essays also tend to be able to articulate themselves more clearly, and tend to have more confidence when speaking.
To fully understand how and when to use an academic essay, our custom writing service will describe the main types of them for you.
Academic Essay Example
Here is a perfect academic essay example from our research paper writer .
Types of Academic Essays
Academic writing can be categorized into four main types of essays that serve unique purposes—though some share similar structures. With that being said, the four types of academic papers are narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.
Expository and persuasive types are most commonly seen in university curriculums as they are more scientific and objective. Narrative and descriptive essays are more subjective and engage your creativity. Now, let’s break down each type and look at each academic essay definition.
This type of writing requires the author to create a compelling story of practically anything imaginable. In other words, it is a super-condensed version of a novel. This type of essay requires students to demonstrate their creative abilities. Therefore, it implies the constant use of strong adjectives. Their use will help the author of an essay to create a strong, graphic picture for their story and enhance the audience's perception of the topic. Although telling a compelling story is basically the main purpose of this type of essay, there is much more to it than there seems. A well-written narration should also have a point that is “written between the lines”. Simply put, there should be a clear message delivered through the text. By putting a hidden message between the lines, you motivate the reader to read the paper in its entirety as it sparks their curiosity.
Read more about how to write a narrative essay .
In short, in this type of essay, the author chooses a specific thing, experience, emotion, or idea and describes it for the reader. Just like with narrative writing, this style requires the author to be subjective and creative. And, just like a narrative essay, the author is meant to draw a picture in the audience’s eyes. Another key to success in writing a descriptive essay is carefully selecting words. Such a paper should evoke certain emotions in the reader and connect them to the object of discussion. Finally, the paper should describe the subject in simple terms. When the reader understands the subject well after reading an essay - that’s when you know you have written a stellar descriptive paper.
Another type of academic writing — an expository essay is used to help readers understand subject matter by providing grounded information and facts. This type of writing requires its author to support all of the information included in the paper with valid evidence. An expository paper is no place for opinions or personal views on a subject. A quality paper should use analysis that consists of factual information on its subject. The author's key goal is to inform and educate the audience through clear logic and facts. Just to give you an example, this “How to Write an Academic Essay” article can be considered as expository writing.
Writing a persuasive paper requires one to embrace the role of a salesman (or saleswoman). You can state an opinion, project, or idea which you then have to sell to your reader(s). The logic behind how you supply the reader(s) with information should be impenetrable, leaving them with no doubt that what you are expressing is the only truth they need to know. Cater your points carefully to avoid being pushy, and hide your sales tactic behind well-thought-out sentences. When it comes to defending an argument, you can use logical tactics, emotional tactics, or a mix of both; this depends on what you are attempting to argue.
Good Academic Essay Topics
Logically, topics will vary based on the style of writing you are creating. Sometimes you can find the same topic within separate academic essay categories, but the main content will always vary depending on the category of paper you write about. That being said, here are some good academic essay topics for high school and college students:
Narrative Essay Topics
- Describe how you and your family survived the quarantine. Explain how it affected you.
- Talk about your experience of being engaged in remote learning. How did it affect your grades and overall performance? Do you think that remote education is better or worse than the traditional alternative?
- Write a story that explains the importance of technology in the modern person’s life.
- Write a story that explains the value of every person’s contribution to the process of solving the global problem of climate change.
Descriptive Essay Topics
- Describe a person who has had the biggest impact on your life.
- What is the most significant recent event in global history?
- Describe the experience of falling in love. How does it affect one’s personality?
- Describe the most impactful piece of art or music you have ever seen. What traits do you think define powerful art?
Expository Essay Topics
- Why does the rate of teen suicides keep increasing? What forces youth to commit suicide?
- What can each individual do to contribute to the prevention of climate change and reduce the threats it brings with it?
- What strategies can our society adopt to recover after the global pandemic as quickly and painlessly as possible?
- George Floyd’s death and the police’s abuse of authority: What can we do to prevent future cases?
Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the government make relevant amendments to the constitution to restrict the actions permitted by police officers during arrests?
- Should we keep on following self-distancing rules even now since the danger has diminished?
- Gun control: Provide arguments for stricter gun control in the US.
- Should technology (apart from those devices used for educational purposes) be banned in colleges?
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Proper Format for Your Academic Writing
Usually, an academic essay follows the standard 5-paragraph structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Moreover, each section will have its own unique internal structure. The introduction’s main goal is to introduce the topic and to reveal the essay’s main message (a.k.a. the thesis statement). The body paragraphs’ primary tasks are to defend the thesis with 3 sub arguments—1 per paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion is there to wrap up the entire argument and to leave a lasting impression in the form of an overall concluding statement. Down below we have presented a graphic organizer that illustrates the breakdown.
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Start Off the Writing Process by Creating an Outline
Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary.
- Thesis Statement: This is the focal point of your writing and one of your introductory paragraphs' key elements. It is the main message the author is trying to deliver.
- Body Points (Subpoints): These are the key points or statements that you will use to support your thesis.
- Connection: When writing an academic essay, it is important to tie it directly or indirectly to the real world. Provide a reason why it is important to you or why it is relevant to society. This will fill your paper with new meaning and showcase your unique way of thinking.
- Summary: This is a short and strong statement that briefly explains your given points.
You might also be interested in getting more info about HOW TO WRITE AN OUTLINE in MLA and APA styles.
To help you get a better idea of how to shape a perfect outline for your essay, here is a sample outline for a paper written about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on the Society”:
- ~ Hook: Statistics show that in 2019 alone, almost two thousand people were killed due to police brutality.
- ~ Background information and explanation of key terms: The term "police brutality" refers to the excessive, unwarranted, and often illegal use of force by the policemen. Throughout the US, and throughout global history, there have been plenty of cases of fatal force that range from assault to torture, and even murder. Moreover, statistical data indicates that the levels of violent crime in the United State do not determine the rates of police violence. That is why, recently, police brutality has become a real and prevalent issue that is being widely discussed and spotlighted in the media.
- ~ Thesis statement: The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant impact on how people view their society, and it has to be addressed appropriately to prevent further growth of discontent and violence.
- ~ Point 1 + example/evidence
- ~ Point 2 + example/evidence
- ~ Point 3 + example/evidence
- ~ Summary of the key points discussed in the main body.
- ~ Restatement of the thesis statement.
- ~ A final sentence that leaves readers with more to consider.
Once you have created a proper outline, listed your main points, and collected evidence to support your ideas, it is time to start writing your paper. A lot of people choose to come up with a title before the writing process as it helps them set the mood for their work. Others prefer writing first and then creating a title based on their written information. The second option is more suitable for writing a narrative or descriptive essays, as the title’s meaning could be abstract. However, when it comes to expository and persuasive papers, it is important to set a specific essay title and to follow its general theme.
Introduction: How to Start an Academic Essay
The academic essay format we are talking about in this article is pretty basic. It has been widely used to create high-quality essay examples for university for years. The main reason students still use it is that it is considered to be the most effective in terms of delivering information to the reader.
Where to start: When writing any academic writing assignment, a student should begin by shaping a solid introduction.
Quick tip: If you are not too experienced in writing academic papers, don’t hesitate to find a good academic paper example to give you an idea about how to make a good introduction. Looking at good samples can help to get you going.
A reader’s attention span is at its peak at the very beginning of a paper, when they just start reading, so your introductory paragraph will basically set the tone for the entire academic paper. Luckily, EssayPro can share a few handy and highly effective techniques to help you build a compelling introduction!
First of all, you should begin with a powerful hook. The term “hook” is used to refer to the first sentence of the introduction paragraph—the main purpose of which is to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read on. To help you get on the right track, here are some of the best tactics for creating a hook that works:
- Quote: Starting an introduction with a creative and meaningful quote is one of the most popular techniques for introducing a paper. When the quote is chosen right, it can make a powerful impact on a reader and set the right tone for the entire essay. Therefore, quotes often serve as good openers. However, it is vital to pick the right quote that will directly relate to your topic and does not distract your reader from your topic’s main point.
- Fact: Another common opening technique is to begin an essay with a factual statement or statistic. This is most helpful when writing an expository or persuasive essay, as, in this case, such an opener will add credibility to your paper. Also, starting with a fact will demonstrate that you have researched your topic well.
- Rhetorical Question: Finally, another way to begin your essay is to start with a rhetorical question. This technique will help you to connect more with your reader(s). A good rhetorical question will stick in your reader's mind as they go through the rest of the paper. However, it is important that you answer the rhetorical question from the introduction in your essay’s body or, at least, guide your audience towards a relevant observation.
Bad Hook Example: “Police brutality must stop.” – This is not intriguing and does not grab the reader’s attention, though it gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about.
Good Hook Example: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – This hook will have a stronger impact on a reader because it is a famous quote from a police-brutality victim. Consequently, it hints on the topic of the essay, but keeps the intrigue.
When you have a powerful hook, it is time to give your readers an insight into the essay's main topic. Since the main theme of the paper may not yet be evidently clear at this point, you need to narrow down your paper’s focus by introducing some valuable contextual background information. Outlining the background data will help readers understand how the topic will unfold throughout the paper. Finally, after you provide the background, it is time to shape your golden sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).
In a nutshell, the thesis statement is the key theme, idea, or argument of your essay. In other words, it summarizes the entire message you are going to deliver in a single sentence.
Bonus tip: When shaping your thesis statement, do not overload it with unnecessary information. Keep it straight to the point and concise. Remember that the main purposes of this sentence are to lay out the focus of the paper and to introduce the readers to the main ideas you will cover within the body paragraphs.
Bad Thesis Statement Example: “Police violence is bad for society.” – This is too short and does not indicate a solid opinion from the author.
Good Thesis Statement Example: “The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant influence on society and has to be addressed appropriately to prevent the growth of discontent and violence further.” – This is concise, but detailed enough to let the readers understand the purpose of the writing. It is logical and states the clear position the author supports.
The Main Body
The body paragraphs of your essay will be the source of information for your audience. The main body is always the biggest part of a 5 paragraph assignment and requires the most attention. When writing your body paragraphs, your main points should be stated according to the order of your outline and should support your thesis statement with valid arguments and facts. If you deviate from that, it’s going to confuse the audience, especially those who are very attentive to your essay’s flow.
Here are the main requirements for writing a strong body section:
- Accuracy : Be cautious with information and do not contradict yourself. Include the relevant subpoints (based on the body paragraphs) you presented in your thesis.
Bad Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) However, according to some sources, Antarctica is now gaining back ice, which indicates that the problem is being resolved. (Point 2)
Good Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) Also, according to scientists and the reports from statistics taken from satellites, Antarctica keeps losing its land ice rapidly, which also indicates continued global warming. (Point 2)
- Evidence: Every topic or idea you present should be defended with sufficient evidence to accredit your words. Provide details such as facts, statistics, and references.
Bad Example: Global warming is a real threat because of the increase in the carbon footprint left by people.
Good Example: According to the official Nasa report, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have now almost reached the point of 420 parts per million. This indicator is considerably larger compared to the level of the atmospheric carbon dioxide reported in 1950, which barely reached 320 parts per million. These facts let us conclude that the issue of climate change is now indisputable.
- Word Choice: Mind your vocabulary, especially when it comes to persuasive or descriptive papers. The words you use should accurately represent your information. Use vivid adjectives and strong adverbs. Some things you want to avoid in terms of word choice are misused words, jargon or technical terms that confuse readers, slang or inappropriate language, cliches, wordiness, etc.
Bad Example: Last but not least, police brutality cases cause society discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
Good Example: Lastly, police brutality causes discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
- Keep It Consistent: A body paragraph should be between 5-7 sentences. Logically, they should all follow a similar structure, with the main difference revolving around the presentation of the subpoint. We always recommend students check out a quality academic writing sample to get a good idea of how the whole piece should look like.
The main body's goal is to answer any questions that have appeared in the reader’s mind after the introduction. Every new point should get the audience closer to understanding the complete concept you deliver throughout your essay. Ideally, your goal is to bring them to the same level of knowledge on the subject as you have in your capacity. After doing so successfully, it is time to transition to the conclusion.
Academic Essay Conclusion
In any assignment you write, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of your paper, your reader might not even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, you have to remind them. Overall, a good essay conclusion is going to include:
- Summary: A condensed paraphrasing of the information stated in the thesis and the subpoints. (Only if you are writing an expository, descriptive, or persuasive paper)
- Personal or Social Connection: In other words, why this information is relevant to society. Stating such a connection showcases the general importance of the subject and its modern-day relevance.
- Overall Concluding Statement: This will normally be the last sentence that serves the purpose of tying a knot around your work. If you have initially started with a rhetorical question, a nice touch would be to give the audience an answer to it here. If you have written a quote, rephrase it in your own words. It is important to leave the audience with a strong statement that will stay in their minds.
The drafting process takes you from a compilation of information to the structured delivery of your idea within your essay. No excellent-quality paper has ever been written in a single draft. The process begins with a rough draft – a stage where you use all of the information you have acquired from your relative outline. From there, you narrow down this information to the most relevant parts that add actual value to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also rid itself of content problems, structural flaws, or simple typos. The final draft of an essay might end up being drastically smaller than its original draft.
Word choice is one of the factors that define the quality of an academic essay. It is also often overseeded or neglected. It is no secret that some words are better at communicating ideas than others. It is also no secret that vocabulary plays a big role in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is especially significant in descriptive essay writing when your goal is to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. If you are writing a paper on a specific area of study, it is crucial to use words related to that field and avoid simple neutral words that offer no contribution to the text.
Finalizing the Submission
At this stage of writing, your content should be well polished. After taking your essay through a peer review and/or red pen edits, make sure to:
- Fix all grammatical mistakes and punctuational errors
- Finalize your title
- Add a bibliography if needed (basically, a “references” or “works cited” page that also includes the sources you have used, but weren’t referenced within the text)
- Make sure your paper meets its specified academic paper formatting requirements.
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We hope we’ve given you a good head start at becoming an expert academic essay writer. Remember, the purpose of an academic essay is to develop your ideas to deliver a message. As a result of getting better at academic essay writing, you will be able to articulate yourselves clearly and be able to write and speak more confidently. Good luck with your assignment!
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Essay Writing Guide
Learn How to Write An Essay in Simple Steps
13 min read
Published on: Sep 8, 2017
Last updated on: Mar 16, 2023
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An essay is a common type of writing and assignment that high-school and college students have to deal with. Essay writing can be a pretty daunting task, especially when you lack creative writing skills or don’t enjoy writing at all, or both.
Most of the students are not aware of the essential steps to write an essay. Read on and master how to write an essay on any topic that is well-researched, detailed, and tailored for an A grade.
What is an Essay?
Let's begin by learning the definition of an essay. So, what is an essay? An essay is a brief composition based on a certain topic or subject that students do as part of their schoolwork or university coursework.
Essays are one of the most common assignments handed out by colleges and institutions since they are an excellent tool for improving many essential skills including analytical thinking, research, creative skills, and so on.
Let's look at writing strategies that can help you get an A in your essay. Let's start at the beginning and work our way through these steps to write a good essay:
- Choose the Essay Type
- Choose an Interesting Topic
- Create an Essay Outline
- Write Your First Draft
- Write an Essay Introduction
- Develop a Thesis Statement
- Compose Body Paragraphs
- Write a Strong Conclusion
- Review Your Essay
Let's take a look at each step of learning how to create an excellent essay in depth.
Steps to Write an Essay
Here is the basic structure that you need to follow for writing an academic essay:
1. Choose the Essay Type
The first step is to choose the type of essay that you are writing. Choosing the right type of essay also plays an important role in the overall success of your paper.
Here are the basic types of papers in which academic essays can be divided.
- Narrative essay
- Persuasive essay
- Descriptive essay
- Analytical essay
- Argumentative essay
- Expository essay
Knowing the type of essay will eventually help you decide on the topic and the overall structure of your essay in the best possible way.
2. Choose an Interesting Topic
If you are given the topic, skip to the next step, create an outline and start the writing process.
If you are not given a topic, you have a little more work to do and choose your topic first.
The key to choosing a good topic is to think of what interests you and what you can relate to, the most.
Also, make sure that the topic you choose has sufficient research material available. Search either on the internet or in books for the topic you have chosen to write on.
You can also find a list of interesting essay topics that you can explore and choose the one to write your essay on.
3. Create an Essay Outline
Creating an outline is very important if you want to compose an impressive piece of paper. By putting all the ideas on the paper, you can easily see connections and links between ideas in a more clear manner.
If you don’t know how to write an essay outline, here are the following steps that you need to follow for structuring your essay properly.
- Write your topic at the top of the page
- List down all the main ideas
- Leave space under each idea
- In this space, list down smaller ideas that relates to the main idea
Following these steps for writing an essay outline will give you a complete idea of the themes required to be discussed in your paper.
4. Write your First Draft
Your first writing draft will help you do the following;
- Set the framework and structure of your essay.
- The way you will answer the main question.
- The kind of examples and evidence you will use in the essay.
- The way you will structure your argument
The first draft is not your final essay. Consider it your essay’s raw material that you can edit and proofread later.
5. Write an Essay Introduction
The introductory paragraph of an essay should be both attention-grabbing and informative.
To learn how to write an essay introduction, you first need all the necessary information required to tell the reader about the main idea of your essay.
A vague or boring introduction will give off the wrong impression, and your reader might decide not to read it any further.
Here are the steps in which you can start your essay introduction that is both interesting and informative.
- Use a hook sentence and add informative or shocking revelations.
- Provide background information and context on your topic
- Define the objective of your essay
- Provide an overview of the whole essay structure
6. Develop a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement defines the main purpose and claims of your essay. It is typically defined in one or two sentences and is added at the end of your introductory paragraph.
A perfect thesis statement has two parts. The first part states the topic and the latter states the main point of the essay.
Let's have a look at examples of thesis statements and distinguish between strong and weak thesis statements.
A: “The technological advancement has revolutionized human interaction, medical progress, scientific invention, and economic ventures but also manifested insecurities and privacy issues.”
B: “The Internet has assisted humans in numerous ways but also affected them.”
Without any doubt, A is a perfectly crafted thesis statement.
7. Compose Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay describes or explains your topic. Each idea that you write in the outline will be a separate paragraph within the body of the essay.
Since the body is made up of multiple paragraphs, it is important that they are consistent with one another.
Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence. For those who don’t know what is a topic sentence , it is the first sentence that describes the main purpose of each paragraph. The topic sentence forms a transition between the body paragraphs.
Use transitions to introduce new paragraphs such as “firstly.. secondly... thirdly…, finally, moreover, furthermore, in addition”, etc.
It is a good idea to refer to the transition words for essays to introduce new paragraphs in an impressive manner.
The main aim of body paragraphs is to support your thesis by presenting evidence, facts and figures, statistics, quotes, examples, and other strong evidence.
Here are the tips that you should follow for writing each body paragraph.
- Write a clear topic sentence
- Provide solid evidence to support your argumen
- Provide examples
- Make sure the paragraph information is consistent
- Use transitions between paragraphs
- Conclude each paragraph by linking the evidence to your main point
8. Write a Strong Conclusion
The conclusion sums up the overall ideas and provides a final perspective on the topic. Concluding your essay holds the same importance as the introductory paragraph.
For writing a perfect essay conclusion , provide a futuristic overview, persuade your reader about your point of view and restate the thesis statement.
If you have no idea about how to write a conclusion for an essay, here are the key points that you should include.
- Draw connections between the arguments mentioned in the body section
- State the outcomes
- Show the relevance and significance of the thesis statement
- Mention the broader implications of the topic
Here is the information that you should avoid writing in a conclusion:
- Don’t introduce new ideas or arguments at this stage.
- Do not undermine your arguments
- Do not write phrases like 'in conclusion, or 'to conclude'
9. Review Your Essay
If you think that you are done with your essay after writing your conclusion, you are wrong. Before considering that your work is finished, you need to do some final touches.
Review your essay and make sure it follows the essay format properly. Double-check your essay instructions and make sure your essay is in the desired format.
Don’t forget to check your paper for grammar and spelling mistakes as well.
How to Structure an Essay Paragraph?
Here are the factors that are included in each body paragraph of the essay.
- A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. It sets the tone for the paragraph.
- Supporting sentences that help to explain the main idea and topic of the paragraph.
- Evidence that you have gathered with research, and supports your point of view.
- Analysis of the given evidence and a critical conclusion of the paragraph.
- A conclusion or a concluding sentence that sums up the entire paragraph.
All of these components make up a perfect paragraph for any essay.
The best practice is to learn from the essay examples written by expert writers to avoid common essay writing problems . The examples can help you know the purpose of each type of essay and how to write a perfect one.
Imitate their writing style, argument construction, and structure.
As you read, highlight the important parts of an essay to learn how they did it. Keep in mind that the length of an essay depends on the level and complexity of the topic.
Here is a well-written sample essay from one of our expert writers that you can have a look at.
Essay Writing Tips
Here are the expert tips that you should follow for writing a perfect essay.
- Start writing your essay early
- Remember the main question or idea in your mind.
- Brainstorm ideas
- Research your topic in-depth
- Break down the essay into different sections and do not try to finish it in a single sitting.
- Write and add the introduction and conclusion after finishing the essay.
- Use transition words to create a coherent flow between the paragraphs.
- Connect the evidence with the main idea carefully.
- Do not copy-paste the content.
- Ensure flawless grammar and punctuation.
- Cite the references properly.
- Edit and revise relentlessly.
- Put the essay away for a few days and check again.
Essay writing can be made easier if you follow a certain pattern and master the steps we have provided you with. Moreover, the tips given above will help you improve your essay-writing skills also.
Try practicing as much as you can and impress your teacher with a well-written essay.
Writing essays can be difficult but the fact is, you can’t escape academic writing no matter what.
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- College essays (narrative essays, persuasive essays, compare and contrast essays, etc.)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is an essay format.
The essay format is the set of guidelines that decide how your paper should be arranged. Formatting a paper includes following rules for its structure, title, and citations before you begin writing it.
When formatting this type of document there are certain things to focus on like making sure each paragraph has one main idea which leads into two more ideas in succession.
Remember not to let these paragraphs become too long because they can lose the reader's attention if they go over three pages long.
What are basic writing skills?
Here are the basic writing skills:
- Spelling and punctuation
- Good reading skills
- Knowledge of sentence and paragraph structure
- Understanding of different types of writing
- Great editing and rewriting skills
Other than these, there are a number of other writing skills.
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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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Essay – examples & model answers | B2 First (FCE)
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Environment)
Example exam task:, example answer (grade: 3), example answer:.
I think that my country has problems with pollution to the environment like all other countries. This problem is normal for Russia. We have big problems with transport because there are too much cars in our country. And because of that we have problems with atmospeer, air in my city and in all Russia is really dirty and sometimes I can’t make a sigh because it smells around me and of course around that cars on the road. I’ve heard about tradition of one country. They don’t go anywhere by car one day a month or a year, they just use bycicle or their feet. I think it could be very good if we had a tradition like that.
So, what about the rivers and the seas? Yeah, there are some really good and clean rivers and seas where you can go, but there are not many of them. Once I saw the river OB in my city, it was about two years ago but I stil remember that in some places it was not blue, it was green or purple I didn’t really understand because it had different colours.
I don’t know what should we do. Maybe we should just open our eyes and look what we did. But Russian people don’t care about the world around them many people care only about themselves an that’s all.
So, the best idea is look around and try to do something good for our planet and for us and our children.
FCE, CAE, CPE
Practice, write & improve, examiners comments & grade:, example answer (grade: 3-4).
To begin with pollution and damage to the environment is the most serious and difficult problem for countries of all over the world. Scientists of different countries predict a global ecocatastrophe if people won’t change their attitude to our planet.
First of all a huge damage to the environment brings a transport. People can’t imagine their living without cars, buses, trains, ships and planes. But it’s an open secret that one of disadvantage of these accustomed things is harmful exhaust. Needless to say that use of environment friendly engines helps us to save atmosphere from pollution.
In addition to this our rivers and seas are in not less danger situation. It’s a fact of common knowledge that numerous factories and plants pour off their waste to ponds. Obviously that cleaning manufacturing water helps to avoid extinction of ocean residents.
Apart from this I’m inclined to believe that every person can and must contribute to solving this important problem. Doing a little steps for protection our environment every day we will be able to save our Earth. And it’s a task of each of us.
Model Answer (Grade: 5)
DEVELOPMENT VS ENVIRONMENT
If we surf the web looking for pollution and environmental catastrophes, we will find out that every country in the world suffers them. This is a natural consequence of the struggle between development and environment.
If a country decided to live isolated from the rest of the world, living on what it can naturally grow and produce, it surely wouldn’t be highly polluted. But we all want exotic food and technological items from all over the world, so we have to pay the price.
Investing on electrical transport would benefit the environment a lot. Even more if this electricity came from a natural source of energy like wind, rivers and solar boards. It’s difficult to achieve this because petrol companies will fight against these actions.
We also have to take care of our rivers and seas. We all have heard about factories throwing highly toxic substances to rivers, without minimizing their poisoning effects. A really strict law should be applied to fine these factories and make them change their policy.
But what about ourselves? We also can do a lot! If, when possible, we bought larger packs of food, we would be producing less rubbish. And this is only an example!
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Fashion)
In today’s world, the fashion industry has a strong importance in people’s lives. The fashion industry say to the society what to wear and creates new types of clothes all the time.
Some people claim that the fashion industry has a bad effect on people’s lives, they say that the fashion industry creates clothes that the society has to wear. Furthermore, the clothes’ price is extremely high and people, who can’t afford it, should not be in the society.
In the other hand, the fashion industry guide the people to be in a good appearance, because, nowadays, the appearance of the person is more important than the person itself.
In my opinion, the fashion industry doesn’t has a bad influence on people’s lives. It’s something which was created to help people what to wear.
Example Answer (Grade: 4)
Fashion industry is very a discussed subject nowadays: they create and design new clothes everyday in order to satisfy some people needs.
There are many people who claim that the fashion industry is important and good for society. According to them, this industry design beautiful clothes and thanks to that every person can wear shirts, trousers or any acessory which is on today’s fashion.
On the other hand, the fashion industry in some people opinion, controls the market of clothes and because of that they can’t wear what they want to. In addition, the industry can increase the price of clothes, forcing people who don’t want to be “oldfashioned” to buy and pay a large amount of money to keep “beautiful”.
In my opinion, we can’t let the fashion industry decide what we must or musn’t wear. We shouldn’t judge people for its appearance,because that is not important. We must wear whatever we like, want and feel confortable with.
The society we live today is characterised by technology in constant development, fast speed processes, information travelling and getting to people at a blink of an eye and a complex web of social networking. In this context, the fashion industry is becoming increasingly important and having a more and more paramount role in our lives.
On one hand, the fashion industry is undeniably a source of profit and income. It hires millions of people all over the world and generates millions of dollars every year. Furthermore, such profitable business is also believed to be able to spread and make known the culture of a people, encouraging and enhancing a better understanding of each other.
Nevertheless, for those who are neither impressed nor motivated by numbers and figures, the fashion industry is seen as one which segregates people, isolating those who not fit their laws and commands. It is stated that people place too much importance on appearance and the material, world, sadly true, and the fashion industry just spurs on such situation. Moreover, not only are the costs of fashion item unrealistically high, it is thought to be a money better spent on more pressing issues, such as poverty and hunger.
I do believe that the fashion industry, as it is today, has a harmful effect, because it values a minority of people in detriment to the majority. However, it has such a wide reach that, it put into a good use, it can save lives.
FCE Essay Examples: Topic (Languages)
“There are more reasons to learn a foreign language than to pass a test”
Everything around us revolves around language(s), it is the most important thing in our lives. Society would just not function without it. They are It is our future and I would personaly love to learn as many as I possibly can.
Not everything in life is done because it is necessary. Learning a new language can be a lot of fun. Many people only do it as a hoby, or their knowledge is something that brings them pride and pleasure.
Secondly, we have people who do it simply to challenge themselves. Truly I believe that having a great outcome that stems from your hard work and dedication to learn something new is a wonderful way to challenge prove your ability to yourself and others. Then there is travelling. It is very important to be able to understand and have a conversation with someone abroad, unless you would like to get lost or worse.
To conclude, I think that learning a new language is an amazing thing no matter why you do it. It is always better to do things out of enjoyment, but even if you do it for a test, that knowledge will always be useful.
Learning a a foreign languages is very important nowadays. English, in particular, is essential because it allows is spoken all over the world. That’s the reason why we start studying it from the age of six years old. Going abroad and being able to speak to native people is very satisfying and that’s why I want to improve my knowledge about foreign languages.
I decided to take this exam to know how high my level of English is, but also because I need this certification to go abroad next summer. I really want to come back to Cornwall, an amazing region in the South-West of England. I’ve been there twice with my family, but now I want to go alone. Only being there to England I can really improve my English comprehension and speaking skills.
Fortunately I can will have some English lessons which taught in English at university and I can’t wait for it because it will be an interesting challenge for me. Studying foreign languages is essential to live and to travel. It isn’t simple and I surely have to challenge myself everyday, but the result is so satisfying that we I can’t do without it.
FCE Essay Example: Topic (History)
A very common topic that is being discussed nowadays is wether schools should teach subjects that some may consider useless later in life. A clear example is history, since it is quite difficult to learn and does not help us in day-to-day activities.
However, many people do not realize the importance of it or that it affects our lives today. For example, our political system would not be this way if it weren’t for the Ancient Greeks, numerous politicians and wars who helped shape democracy and our constitution. Yet it is still thought that it’s useless.
In addition, it is very important that we never forget about our past since we must know where we were standing years ago. Moreover, there are some things, such as World War II, that we have to remember to prevent them from happening again. We should also know where we we were standing a century ago: our origins, our identity. The more you learn about your ethnicity, the better.
All in all, I think that it is extremely important to learn about one’s own country’s history. Anyone who gets the chance to do this should not waste it, since they are very fortunate to have this opportunity
Would you pass B2 First (FCE)?
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