Essay Writing Tips

Looking for Essay Writing Tips? We take you through the writing process with practical tips that will help with your assignment writing. Don’t let assignment season give you a headache.

It’s assignment season and that probably means you have some essays due. You might not be the next Virginia Woolf, but there are some easy essay writing tips you can apply to ensure you get the marks you deserve. 

5 Tips for Writing Essays

Most students get a headache whenever they have to write essays, but you can make this process fun. Seem impossible? Use the tips listed below and you’ll see the difference. 

Read the Essay Prompt Carefully 

This is the most crucial stage in your essay writing process. Highlight keywords like compare, contrast, discuss, identify and explain. Doing this carefully will help you identify what is expected of you. 

Pick a Topic 

Once you understand what is expected of you, you can jot down some ideas and topics you want to explore. Narrow your focus and choose a topic you find interesting and that you’d be able to manage well. 

Create an Outline

Creating an outline is simply planning your essay. Mind maps work perfectly for this. Write down keywords you’d like to explore and which direction you think your argument will go towards. Your writing will be more focused.  

Research 

Once you’ve gotten a sense of what your main points are going to be, you can start researching. There are many online platforms where you can get access to secondary sources. Remember to find trustworthy sources. 

Draft 

Good essays go through a few drafting processes first. Your first attempt won’t be perfect. Writing is a process. Ask your friends or tutors to proofread your work and give suggestions. 

A student writing in her notebook. Find Essay Writing Tips here.

What to Avoid When Writing Your Essay

While it’s good to explore your creativity and find your voice when writing essays, your freedom is not unlimited. Listed below are some things you should avoid when writing your essay

  • Contractions 
  • Idioms 
  • Cliches 
  • Slang, Jargon 
  • Rhetorical questions

Also make sure that you use good grammar and spelling when writing. These mistakes are more common than you would think and it creates the sense that you rushed through your assignment. 

Writing Your Essay: Step by Step

So you’ve chosen your topic and created your outline. Now it’s time to start writing. Let’s go through this step-by-step. 

Create a Thesis Statement 

Your thesis statement tells the reader what the purpose of your essay is. Use your outline to identify what this will be. Your thesis statement will guide the rest of your essay so make sure it is clear and direct. 

Write the Introductory Paragraph

Once you’ve identified your thesis statement, you can go ahead and write your introduction. It needs to be something that captures the reader’s attention. You can use a story, shocking revelation or quote. 

Start Your Body Paragraphs

Here’s where you’re going to argue, explain or describe your topic. It should begin with an introductory sentence that carries the rest of the argument. Use secondary sources to support your argument. Remember to reference these correctly. 

Write the Concluding Paragraph

Your concluding paragraph should sum up and close any ideas you may have. Make it short. Three to five sentences should be enough. Remember to refer back to your thesis statement to really support your argument. 

Edit Your First Draft

Editing your work is important. Go through your work to make sure your structure flows, that your salient argument is coming through and that there are no spelling and grammatical errors. Most good essays go through 2 to 3 drafting processes. 

A student writing her essay. Find Essay Writing Tips here.

What Makes a Good Essay?

What qualifies as good writing? The answer to this will vary from person to person, but good essays general have the following qualities:

  • A clear focus 
  • Development of the central idea
  • Unity. Every paragraph should relate to the thesis statement 
  • Good flow and coherence of ideas
  • A paper should be written in correct, standard English 

Use these as a checklist when you’re editing your work. 

How can I Improve my Essay Writing Skills?

Besides using our essay writing tips, there are also some things you can do to improve your writing skills. If you want to become a better writer, you need to become a better reader. Read often and widely. 

Write Everyday

Practice does make perfect. Writing, like any talent, needs to be worked on. Dedicate an hour or two to writing daily. 

Read What you Want to Write About

Get into the habit of reading. Join your local library or source books online. Choose papers and novels based on what you want to write about.  

Choose Simple Words

Using over-complicated language does not make an essay better. This often comes across as pretentious and trying too hard. Use simple, short sentences. 

Avoid Filler Words

Most people have bad habits when writing essays. Filler words are words that contribute nothing to the argument. Identify what your filler words are and avoid them. 

Keep Sentences and Paragraphs Short

The longer your sentences are the more likely you are to make mistakes. Try to keep things short and sweet next time you have an essay due.  

If you need extra help with your written communication, you can always do a short course. All our courses have business language as a subject. This will help greatly when writing essays. 

Take Your Essay Writing to the Next Level

Ready to take your essay writing to the next level? Contact us today. We have student resources and expert tutors that will assist with your assignments. Reach out on the following: 

  • Call us on 0800 39 00 27 – it’s free
  • Or fill out a contact form for a call back 
Last Updated: November 13, 2020

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
I am dedicated to creating engaging online content. I enjoy reading, writing and popular culture. House Ravenclaw. View my LinkedIn

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