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Mastering the art of essay writing in English

Alice Orrù

The key components of an essay

Selecting an appropriate topic, conducting thorough research, capturing the reader’s attention, writing a compelling thesis statement, organizing ideas coherently, supporting arguments with evidence, transitioning between paragraphs, ensuring paragraph unity and coherence, summarizing the key points, providing a thought-provoking closing section, reviewing grammar and punctuation, enhancing clarity and style, infusing your personal perspective, using descriptive language, techniques to overcome writing challenges, building a writing routine.

Did you know that over 1.35 billion people worldwide speak English as a first or second language? It’s not just a language but a bridge that connects cultures, ideas, and people. And one of the most crucial skills you can develop as an English learner is the ability to write compelling essays. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply someone who wants to communicate effectively, mastering the art of essay writing in English is a skill that can open doors and broaden horizons.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of essay writing in English. We’ll cover everything from the basics of essay structure to crafting captivating introductions, developing strong body paragraphs, creating compelling conclusions, and even polishing your essays through editing. After reading this article, you’ll understand how to write an essay in English that engages readers, presents your ideas clearly, and leaves a lasting impression.

How to write an essay: The basics

An essay is a written composition that presents and supports a particular idea, argument, or point of view. It’s a way to express your thoughts, share information, and persuade others to see things from your perspective. Essays come in various forms, such as argumentative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive, each serving a unique purpose.

An essay is like a journey that takes your reader from one point to another, guided by your words and ideas. To ensure a smooth ride, let’s break down the five key components of an essay:

Introduction

The starting point of your essay, where you introduce the topic and grab the reader’s attention

Thesis statement

A concise statement presenting your main argument or point of view, usually found at the end of the introduction

Body paragraphs

The heart of your essay, where you elaborate on your main points and provide supporting evidence

The closing section where you summarize your key points and restate your thesis while leaving the reader with something to ponder

Preparing for successful essay writing

Before you delve into the world of words and ideas, it’s essential to equip yourself with the right tools and strategies. As a seasoned traveler plans meticulously before a trip, successful essay writing requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience. This section explores the foundational steps that lay the groundwork for crafting compelling essays.

Before you embark on your essay-writing journey, choose a topic that interests you and aligns with the purpose of your essay. A well-chosen topic makes the writing process more enjoyable and ensures that your enthusiasm shines through your words.

Brainstorming techniques

Brainstorming is the fuel that ignites creativity. Jot down all the ideas that come to mind related to your chosen topic. Don’t worry about organizing them at this stage; the goal is to generate a pool of potential ideas to work with.

Researching and narrowing down ideas

Once you have a list of ideas, it’s time to research. Look for reliable sources that provide valuable information about your topic. As you gather information, start narrowing down your focus to the most compelling and relevant aspects.

Effective research is the backbone of a well-crafted essay. Utilize online databases, books, academic journals, and reputable websites to gather diverse information. Remember to take detailed notes to make referencing easier later on.

Reliable sources and references

Credibility matters in essay writing. Use sources that are trustworthy and well regarded within the academic community. When incorporating information from these sources, provide proper citations and references to avoid plagiarism.

Note-taking strategies

Develop a system for note-taking that works for you. Whether you prefer handwritten notes, digital documents, or both, ensure that your notes are organized, clear, and easily accessible when writing.

what are the techniques in essay writing

Crafting an engaging introduction

They say that first impressions are everything, and this sentiment holds especially true in the case of essay writing. An engaging introduction lays the foundation for an exceptional essay. Your introduction is the gateway that beckons readers into the world you’ve created with your words, urging them to explore further. In this section, we’ll see how to create introductions that grab attention, spark curiosity, and smoothly lead into your essay.

Think of your introduction as a gateway to your essay . Engage your reader with a captivating opening sentence that sparks curiosity and makes them want to read further.

For example, suppose we were to write an essay on Mary Jackson, the first Black woman to work at NASA. We could introduce it like this:

«Imagine a time when reaching for the stars meant defying more than just gravity. Mary Jackson, a brilliant mathematician and engineer, did just that. In a world where opportunities for Black women were limited, she became the first to break barriers at NASA.»

Anecdotes or quotes

Anecdotes and quotes are potent tools to humanize your essay and connect with your audience. Share a relevant personal story or a thought-provoking quote that ties into your topic.

Presenting a thought-provoking question

Posing a question in your introduction can stimulate your reader’s curiosity and encourage them to explore your essay in search of answers. Do you remember how we started this article? 😉

At the core of every well-constructed essay lies a guiding light – a thesis statement that illuminates the path your arguments will tread. Your thesis statement is the linchpin that holds your essay together, providing direction and purpose to every word you write.

Let’s continue with our essay example on Mary Jackson. Our thesis statement could look like this:

«This essay delves into the life of Mary Jackson, showcasing her pioneering spirit, determination, and lasting impact on science and society. As we explore her journey, you’ll see how her legacy continues to inspire generations, proving that even in the face of adversity, dreams can soar higher than the sky.»

Clarity and specificity

Your thesis statement is the compass that guides your essay. Make it clear, concise, and specific so that your reader knows what to expect.

Signposting the essay’s main points

Give your reader a road map of what lies ahead in your essay. Briefly outline the main points you’ll be covering in the body paragraphs.

«In the upcoming sections, this essay will trace the remarkable journey of Mary Jackson. She earned her place in history as the first Black woman to join NASA. We will unfold each phase of her life story, shedding light on her early years, educational achievements, significant contributions at NASA, unwavering commitment to diversity, enduring legacy, and resonance in today’s world.»

Developing strong body paragraphs

If the introduction of your essay is the grand entrance, then the body paragraphs are the chambers where your ideas come to life , flourish, and weave a compelling narrative. A skilled writer crafts body paragraphs that build upon one another to shape a coherent and persuasive argument. In this section, we’ll uncover the art of developing strong body paragraphs that are organized and informative and seamlessly flow from one another.

Each body paragraph should focus on a single main idea or argument. Organize your paragraphs in a logical sequence so that they always build upon the previous one.

Utilizing topic sentences

Start each body paragraph with a clear and concise topic sentence that previews the paragraph’s main point.

Logical flow of information

Ensure that your ideas flow smoothly from one paragraph to the next. Use transitional words and phrases to guide your reader through your essay effortlessly.

Support your claims with evidence, such as statistics, facts, examples, and expert opinions. This adds credibility and persuasiveness to your arguments.

Incorporating quotations and examples

Quotations and examples breathe life into your essay, providing real-world context for your ideas. Make sure to integrate them seamlessly and provide proper citations.

Proper citation and referencing

Avoid plagiarism by properly citing the sources of your information. Use a consistent citation style , such as the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or Chicago, and create a bibliography or “works cited” page.

what are the techniques in essay writing

Mastering essay structure and coherence

A compelling essay’s beauty lies in the depth of its content and the seamless flow of its ideas . In this section, we’ll explain how to understand better and use essay structure and coherence. We’ll talk about methods that turn paragraphs into a well-organized and exciting piece of writing.

Smooth transitions between paragraphs enhance the flow of your essay. Use transitional phrases to bridge ideas and create a seamless reading experience.

Using transitional words and phrases

Transitional words, such as “however,” “in addition,” and “on the other hand,” help connect ideas and show the relationship between different parts of your essay.

Maintaining the essay’s flow

Review your essay to ensure that the ideas progress logically and coherently. If a paragraph feels out of place, reorder or revise it.

Each paragraph should have a clear focus and relate directly to the main argument. Avoid going off on tangents that don’t contribute to your essay’s central theme.

Consistency in tense and voice

Maintain a consistent use of verb tenses and writing voice throughout your essay. Mixing past and present tense can confuse your reader.

Avoiding repetition and redundancy

Be mindful of repeating the same ideas or using redundant phrases. This not only adds unnecessary length but also dilutes the impact of your arguments.

Creating a compelling conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is not merely a summary but a reflection that echoes the essence of your arguments and ties them into a satisfying whole . In this section, we’ll explore the art of creating a compelling conclusion that reiterates your main points and offers a fresh perspective, a thought-provoking insight, or a call to action.

In your conclusion, briefly summarize the main points you’ve covered in your essay. Remind your reader of the journey you’ve taken them on.

Reiterating the thesis statement

Revisit your thesis statement, reinforcing the main argument you’ve presented throughout the essay.

Briefly summarizing the main arguments

Highlight the key arguments and evidence you’ve provided in the body paragraphs, emphasizing their significance.

Leave your reader with a final thought, question, or idea that encourages them to reflect on your essay’s topic and implications.

Implications or future considerations

If appropriate, discuss the broader implications of your essay’s topic or suggest areas for future research and exploration.

Leaving a lasting impression on the reader

End your essay with impact. Craft a conclusion that resonates with your reader, leaving them thinking about your words long after finishing your essay.

Returning to the essay example on Mary Jackson, here is a simple but impactful closing section:

«Mary Jackson’s journey is a powerful example of overcoming challenges. From her early interest in science to her important role at NASA, her legacy inspires diversity and progress. By exploring her achievements, we see that learning and fairness can create lasting change.

Mary Jackson’s story encourages us to face obstacles with determination. Reflecting on her journey, we’re prompted to think about how her influence urges us to value diversity and drive positive life changes.»

what are the techniques in essay writing

Polishing your essay: The editing process

In the editing process, your essay transforms from a rough draft into a polished gem ready to shine. In this section, we’ll delve into the nuances of the editing process , exploring techniques to review the grammar, punctuation, style, and clarity of your essay. From proofreading techniques to harnessing grammar-checking tools, we’ll see the steps to enhance your essay’s precision and eloquence.

Before submitting your essay, thoroughly review it for grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and spelling issues.

Proofreading techniques

Read your essay slowly and carefully, paying attention to each word and punctuation mark. This helps you catch typos and minor errors.

Utilizing grammar-checking tools

Use grammar-checking tools and software to catch any mistakes you have missed. However, don’t rely solely on these tools, as they may not detect all errors.

Ensure your sentences are clear and concise. Avoid overly complex language or jargon that might confuse your reader.

Sentence structure and variety

Vary the structures of your sentences to keep your writing engaging. Combine short and long sentences to create rhythm and flow.

Removing unnecessary jargon

Simplify your language and avoid unnecessary jargon, especially if your essay is intended for a general audience.

Showcasing your unique voice

In a world saturated with words, your voice is the signature that distinguishes your essay from the rest . Every writer possesses a unique voice that infuses personality and authenticity into their work. From striking a balance between objectivity and subjectivity to coloring your essay with personal insights, you’ll discover how to create a composition that echoes your individuality. As you embark on the quest to find and amplify your voice, remember that your words carry the imprint of your identity, enriching your essay with depth and resonance.

Feel free to share your insights and experiences if they are relevant to your topic. This can make your essay more relatable.

Balancing objectivity and subjectivity

While essays often express the author’s point of view, strive for a balanced approach that fairly presents both sides of an argument.

Expressing individual insights

Provide a thoughtful analysis and interpretation of the information you’ve presented. Your insights demonstrate your engagement with the topic.

Incorporate descriptive language to paint a vivid picture for your reader. Use sensory details to make your essay come to life.

Evoking imagery and sensory details

Engage your reader’s senses and invoke their imagination by describing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. This helps them immerse themselves in your essay.

soft skills

Overcoming writer’s block

Writer’s block – the unwelcome companion that often lurks on the path to creativity – is a challenge familiar to every writer . From freewriting to cultivating a writing routine, there are several strategies to break through barriers and reignite your creative spark. Remember, even the most accomplished writers experience moments of resistance; what sets them apart is their ability to overcome it.

Writer’s block can strike at any time. Experiment with different techniques, such as freewriting and mind mapping, to break through creative barriers.

Freewriting and mind mapping

Engage in freewriting – set a timer and write whatever comes to mind without worrying about grammar or structure. Alternatively, use mind maps to organize your ideas visually .

Taking breaks and seeking inspiration

Step away from your writing and do something else when you’re stuck. A change of scenery or a brisk walk can help refresh your mind.

Establishing a consistent writing routine can help you stay motivated and make steady progress on your essays.

Setting goals and deadlines

Set achievable goals and deadlines for each step of the writing process. This keeps you accountable and prevents procrastination.

Finding your optimal writing environment

Identify the environment where you feel most productive and creative. It could be a quiet corner, a bustling café, or a peaceful park.

In this journey through the art of essay writing in English, you’ve learned how to craft an essay that captivates, informs, and persuades. From selecting a topic to preparing a compelling conclusion, every step contributes to the overall quality of your essay.

Essay writing is not just a skill; it’s a powerful tool that can shape opinions, influence decisions, and connect people across cultures and time zones.

As you embark on your essay-writing pursuits, consider seeking guidance from Preply tutors who specialize in various areas of English , including academic writing. With their expertise, you can refine your skills, receive personalized feedback, and master the art of essay writing in English. Prepare, research, and let your words pave the way for impactful communication and meaningful expression.

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Alice Orrù

Alice is a web content writer and technical translator who is specializing in inclusive language. She is Italian but has been living in Barcelona, Spain, since 2012. Her work as a web writer results from many enriching experiences and collaborations with people and communities from very different international backgrounds. In addition to Italian, she speaks Spanish, English, French, and a little Catalan... and dreams of learning Portuguese. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or, if you speak Italian, have a look at her professional blog.

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what are the techniques in essay writing

Brinda Gulati

Stuck on a B, chasing that A+? We've all been there. 

I have two degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Warwick with First Class Honors. From 2013 to 2014, I also studied English Literature at the National University of Singapore. 

Translation: I’ve written a lot of academic essays.

Some good. Some inspired. And others, plain lousy.

After a few Bs and the occasional C, I cracked the code on writing good essays. An average academic essay answers a question; but an essay that gets an A+ solves a problem — whether through discussion, analysis, definition, comparison, or evaluation. 

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to write better essays. You’ll learn how to construct bullet-proof arguments with five unique thinking techniques, cut the fluff, and discover F.O.C.U.S. to improve your essay writing skills. 

Because essays don’t have to be boring. And writing them doesn’t have to either. 

What Makes A Good Essay?

What is “good” writing? The answer is subjective. For example, I loved reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, but to some, it might be drivel. 

Nonetheless, many examples of good writing share some core qualities. 

There are five overarching qualities of good essay writing : flow, organization, clarity, unity, and specificity. 

I’ve made a fun little acronym to help you remember them better: F.O.C.U.S.™️

F low: Does the writing flow smoothly from one point to the next? 

O rganization: Have you structured your essay with a clear beginning, middle, and end?  

C larity: Is the writing clear, error-free, and unambiguous? 

U nity: Are all the elements of your writing supporting the central thesis?

S pecificity: Have you provided specific details, examples, and evidence to justify your main points? 

A Fellow at The European Graduate School, and my most cherished mentor, Dr. Jeremy Fernando , has perhaps read, written, and graded thousands of academic essays over the years. 

His advice?  

“You’re asking the reader to go on an explorative journey with you; the least you should do is ensure the trip you’re taking them on is the same as the advertised one.”

5 Creative Thinking Techniques For Writing Better Essays

The thing is, good essay writing doesn’t start at — or even as — writing . 

There’s reading, re-reading, pre-writing, revising, then actually writing, editing, and then writing some more.

As with most persuasive arguments , you need frameworks: points of reference, mental models, and structured approaches to guide your decision making.  

That's exactly what we have here. 

1. Try Reverse Outlining

A reverse outline is just what it sounds like: a process that distills a paper down to its bare essentials, leaving only the key points and topic sentences. The result? A clear, bullet-point blueprint of the paper's structure, whether it's your own work or someone else's.

Key Benefits: 

✅Creates an X-ray of a paper's structure to identify its central arguments and assess its logical flow.

✅Helps you actively engage with someone else’s work to deepen your understanding of the material.

✅Reveals structural issues in your own essay, such as missing or misplaced points, redundancies, or weak arguments.

How To Create A Reverse Outline:

This is a two-step, and perhaps infinitely repeatable process.

Take a blank page and draw a line straight down the middle.

  • In the left-hand margin, write down the keywords for each paragraph in your essay. Stick to the main points. Be brief. 
  • In the right-hand margin, write down how the keyword or topic supports the main argument. Again, don't sit down to write Bonfire of the Vanities . Make it concise . The goal is to persuasively explain your arguments in a few words.

2. Practice The Lotus Blossom Technique

In this structured brainstorming exercise, you plant your main problem in the center box of a 3x3 grid. Then, you’ll fill the surrounding boxes with related themes to expand your thinking. The method was developed by Yasuo Matsumura at Clover Management Research in Japan.

Key Benefits:

✅ A fun, novel alternative to traditional mind-mapping and spider-diagramming.  

✅Helps you visualize your essay slowly unfolding from its core. (Like a lotus, basically.)

✅I like how it's creative and thorough at the same time. An equal combination of freedom and structure.

Illustration of the technique. The core problem of "self-doubt re: next job" and different colored boxes for related ideas.

How To Practice The Lotus Blossom Technique:

  • Put your problem/essay question in the center square.
  • Fill in the surrounding eight boxes with ideas related to the problem. At this point, you don’t need to elaborate. 
  • Now, flesh out each of your eight ideas. Or, as with the lotus flower image — add another row of petals. 

64 boxes showing the Lotus Blossom Techniques with "core problem" in the middle and colored boxes from A to E.

When all your boxes are filled in, you'll have 64 ideas for one essay argument. As far as starting-off points go, this one’s hard to beat. 

Pro Tip : Did you know that dim light is a creative stimulant? Go dark. Light some candles.

3. Build A Toulmin Argument Model

According to philosopher Stephen E. Toulmin, arguments are broken down into six key components: claim, grounds, warrant, qualifier, rebuttal, and backing. 

There are three essential parts to every argument: the claim, the grounds, and the warrant.

  • The claim is the main argument you want to prove to your audience. 
  • The grounds of an argument are the evidence and facts that support it.
  • The warrant is the assumption which links a claim to its grounds, whether implied or explicitly stated.

✅Craft persuasive arguments through an in-depth analysis that closely examines each part of your essay.

✅Analyzing an argument from its components can help clarify its logic.

✅The rebuttal component encourages you to anticipate and address counterarguments. The more perspectives you consider, the more well-rounded your argument will be.

How To Build A Toulmin Argument Model:

Let’s take a published paper — “ Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research ” by Jane V. Higdon and Balz Frei — and break it down using the Toulmin model. 

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >
  • Claim: Consuming moderate amounts of coffee (3-4 cups a day with 300-400 mg of caffeine) has few health risks and some health benefits. Nevertheless, caffeine may be more harmful to pregnant women, children, adolescents, and the elderly.
  • Grounds: According to epidemiological studies, coffee may prevent diabetes type 2, Parkinson's disease, and liver disease. 
  • Warrant: Studies suggest that coffee consumption in moderation may have some health benefits and poses minimal health risks.
  • Backing : A number of well-designed prospective cohort studies with large sample sizes are cited as supporting evidence. 
  • Qualifier: This study applies specifically to healthy adults who consume moderate amounts of filtered coffee. Optimal intake hasn’t been defined. 
  • Rebuttal: Some may be more sensitive to negative effects. Further research is needed.

I don’t know about you, but I often get convinced of my own arguments when writing essays, and then it’s hard for me to consider other perspectives.

So, if you want a sparring buddy, here’s how Wordtune can help you with counterarguments:

First, I’ve copy-pasted our claim from above 👇🏼

Wordtune's workspace showing how to generate a counterargument with AI based on the claim above.

Next, click on the little purple sparkle icon and choose “Counterargument” from the drop-down menu. 

Wordtune's generated text highlighted in purple and an arrow pointing to the research's source with a blue tick.

Lo and behold! Not only does Wordtune provide accurate contextual suggestions for a convincing opposing opinion, it goes one step further and cites a clickable source for the research .

Nothing short of time-saving magic , if you ask me.

4. Ask The Five Whys

You need to ask “why” five times to get to the root of any problem. That’s what the inventor of the method, and founder of Toyota Industries, Sakichi Toyoda, believed. 

✅The approach identifies the real problem, not just its surface symptoms. 

✅It’s an easy-to-do and straightforward process that gets to the heart of your essay question.

✅Use this approach in combination with the Toulmin Model to build a killer essay argument.

Asking The Five Whys:

Let’s look at a sample essay question and drill down to its core.

what are the techniques in essay writing

When you have the core of the problem in your palm, you can then start thinking of solutions. Perhaps finding more cost-effective ways to train and support teachers. Or exploring alternative funding options, such as grants and partnerships with local businesses.

5. Experiment With The Ben Franklin Exercise

Franklin wasn’t always a prodigious scholar. While working at a print shop, he reverse engineered the prose from the British magazine, The Spectator , to learn how to write better without a tutor. 

He took detailed notes at a sentence level, contemplated them for some time, and then re-created the sentences without looking at the originals.

In fact, research from MIT shows that it's “not just the study of tiny details that accelerates learning; the act of assembling those details yourself is what makes the difference.” This is called constructionist learning. 

✅Improve your essay writing by studying works of skilled authors through practiced imitation.

✅Organizing your notes from memory will help you construct a solid structure for your essay, and evaluate any gaps in logic and flow.

✅Actively deconstructing and constructing the material allows you to engage deeply with it, and therefore, write better essays.

How I Use The Ben Franklin Exercise:

One of my favorite passages in Literature — as clichéd as may it be — is from Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club . 

Excerpt from Goodreads of a passage from Fight Club with red underlines at a sentence level.

  • Note how “strongest” and “smartest” are alliterative words, creating a sense of rhythm right in the first sentence.
  • The imagery of banality — pumping gas, waiting tables, etc. is at once, vivid and relatable, moving and unmoving.
  • The phrase “midddle children of the history man” places the narrative in a broader, more relevant context.
  • Notice how the “g” is capitalized for the first mention of war and depression, but then it switches to a small “g” for the same words in the next sentence.
  • The repetition of “very very pissed off” is much more effective than simply saving “livid.”

Similarly, start by taking a paragraph from an essay you like. Make sentence-level notes and rewrite its essence without looking at it. 

My Top Tips To Write A Good Essay

1. write lousy first drafts.

You heard me. Write as if your keyboard doesn’t have keys for punctuation. Write as if no one is ever going to read your essay. The goal is to eliminate self-censorship . When you first start writing down your main points, don’t assume the role of a self-editor. 

TRY THIS : Open a blank page, set a timer for two and a half minutes, and type until the bell goes off. Take a break. Repeat. Don’t re-read what you’ve typed. 

Forget proper spelling. Forget good grammar. Those polishes are all for later, when you have something to polish. 

This is freewriting. 

And it’s wildly effective in getting you to stop thinking about deadlines, blinking cursors, and that A+. My highest-scoring essays have all begun with messy, unstructured, poorly-worded first drafts. 

2. Read Other Essays Like A Writer

Think of your favorite book. What makes you call it your favorite? Or a series you’ve watched recently. ( Behind Her Eyes is especially good.) What compels you to see it all the way through? The same principle applies to good essay writing. Have you read an essay in your research that hooked you? Or a friend’s work you wish you could put your name to? 

Read like a writer — become a proactive participant in examining why the writing works. Instead of passively drawing stars next to important observations, ask yourself, “ Why do I like these passages? What are they doing? And how are they doing it?” (Use the Ben Franklin Exercise here.)

Take apart the essay you’re reading like a forensic pathologist doing an autopsy. 

3. Start With An Outline

Speaking of autopsies, a good essay has good bones. Once you’ve disgorged your ideas on the page, start arranging them under headers. 

Google Docs' drop-down menu screenshot of formatting headers for the blog being written.

This blog too, was born in the Notes app on my phone. But if you’re taking the reader with you somewhere, you should know where you’re headed too. 

Pro Tip : Keep two working documents for your essay. One where you dump all the links, sources, and keywords. The other is where you work on your final draft for submission.

4. Cut The Fluff

The deadline’s in a few hours and you’re scrambling to hit minimum word count . Long, winding sentences with gratuitous adjectives you’ve just looked up in the thesaurus to sound more cerebral, erudite, scholarly.

I get it. I’ve done it. And those essays have bellyflopped. Professors know when you’re trying to game them.

Here’s an actual sentence from one of my essays I wrote in 2017:

“Ibsen’s realist drama, and in particular, A Doll’s House , is replete with the problems that chapter and verse modern life – the patriarchal model of the family, money and debt, and the performance of gender.”

And much to my embarrassment, this is the scathing comment from my then-professor: 

“This makes no sense.”

Essay sentence highlighted on the left, with a comment from Nicholas Collins on the right from 2017.

Let’s rework this sentence to make sense using Wordtune (a clever AI helper I wish I had during my university days):

“The patriarchal family model, money and debt, and gendered performance are all apparent in Ibsen's realist drama, especially A Doll's House .”

Wordtune's workspace showing how to cut the fluff with AI with the example from the essay above.

Much more sensible. 

5. Get Feedback, Edit, And Revise

I can’t emphasize this enough — don’t submit your first draft! Have someone else read it, perhaps a friend in the same class or even from a different major. Look at their eyebrows to see which sections make them frown in confusion. 

Ask them to red-pen sentences and logical gaps. And then —- edit, edit edit! 

Sleep on it. Let the essay stew in the back of your mind for a full night, and come back to it with fresh eyes.

Start (Pre-)Writing Better Essays

The ability to write persuasively will serve you well no matter what stage of your life you are in: high school, university scholar, or a professional trying to get ahead. After all, the human mind is hardwired for storytelling.

Remember, the key is to F.O.C.U.S.

Whether you’re crawling or speeding towards a deadline, bag that A+ with a smart AI assistant like Wordtune !

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Asking analytical questions, introductions, what do introductions across the disciplines have in common, anatomy of a body paragraph, transitions, tips for organizing your essay, counterargument, conclusions.

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Writing a great essay

This resource covers key considerations when writing an essay.

While reading a student’s essay, markers will ask themselves questions such as:

  • Does this essay directly address the set task?
  • Does it present a strong, supported position?
  • Does it use relevant sources appropriately?
  • Is the expression clear, and the style appropriate?
  • Is the essay organised coherently? Is there a clear introduction, body and conclusion?

You can use these questions to reflect on your own writing. Here are six top tips to help you address these criteria.

1. Analyse the question

Student essays are responses to specific questions. As an essay must address the question directly, your first step should be to analyse the question. Make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you.

Generally, essay questions contain three component parts:

  • Content terms: Key concepts that are specific to the task
  • Limiting terms: The scope that the topic focuses on
  • Directive terms: What you need to do in relation to the content, e.g. discuss, analyse, define, compare, evaluate.

Look at the following essay question:

Discuss the importance of light in Gothic architecture.
  • Content terms: Gothic architecture
  • Limiting terms: the importance of light. If you discussed some other feature of Gothic architecture, for example spires or arches, you would be deviating from what is required. This essay question is limited to a discussion of light. Likewise, it asks you to write about the importance of light – not, for example, to discuss how light enters Gothic churches.
  • Directive term: discuss. This term asks you to take a broad approach to the variety of ways in which light may be important for Gothic architecture. You should introduce and consider different ideas and opinions that you have met in academic literature on this topic, citing them appropriately .

For a more complex question, you can highlight the key words and break it down into a series of sub-questions to make sure you answer all parts of the task. Consider the following question (from Arts):

To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?

The key words here are American Revolution and revolution ‘from below’. This is a view that you would need to respond to in this essay. This response must focus on the aims and motivations of working people in the revolution, as stated in the second question.

2. Define your argument

As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument.

Consider these two argument statements:

The architectural use of light in Gothic cathedrals physically embodied the significance of light in medieval theology.
In the Gothic cathedral of Cologne, light served to accentuate the authority and ritual centrality of the priest.

Statements like these define an essay’s argument. They give coherence by providing an overarching theme and position towards which the entire essay is directed.

3. Use evidence, reasoning and scholarship

To convince your audience of your argument, you must use evidence and reasoning, which involves referring to and evaluating relevant scholarship.

  • Evidence provides concrete information to support your claim. It typically consists of specific examples, facts, quotations, statistics and illustrations.
  • Reasoning connects the evidence to your argument. Rather than citing evidence like a shopping list, you need to evaluate the evidence and show how it supports your argument.
  • Scholarship is used to show how your argument relates to what has been written on the topic (citing specific works). Scholarship can be used as part of your evidence and reasoning to support your argument.

4. Organise a coherent essay

An essay has three basic components - introduction, body and conclusion.

The purpose of an introduction is to introduce your essay. It typically presents information in the following order:

  • A general statement about the topic that provides context for your argument
  • A thesis statement showing your argument. You can use explicit lead-ins, such as ‘This essay argues that...’
  • A ‘road map’ of the essay, telling the reader how it is going to present and develop your argument.

Example introduction

"To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?"

Introduction*

Historians generally concentrate on the twenty-year period between 1763 and 1783 as the period which constitutes the American Revolution [This sentence sets the general context of the period] . However, when considering the involvement of working people, or people from below, in the revolution it is important to make a distinction between the pre-revolutionary period 1763-1774 and the revolutionary period 1774-1788, marked by the establishment of the continental Congress(1) [This sentence defines the key term from below and gives more context to the argument that follows] . This paper will argue that the nature and aims of the actions of working people are difficult to assess as it changed according to each phase [This is the thesis statement] . The pre-revolutionary period was characterised by opposition to Britain’s authority. During this period the aims and actions of the working people were more conservative as they responded to grievances related to taxes and scarce land, issues which directly affected them. However, examination of activities such as the organisation of crowd action and town meetings, pamphlet writing, formal communications to Britain of American grievances and physical action in the streets, demonstrates that their aims and actions became more revolutionary after 1775 [These sentences give the ‘road map’ or overview of the content of the essay] .

The body of the essay develops and elaborates your argument. It does this by presenting a reasoned case supported by evidence from relevant scholarship. Its shape corresponds to the overview that you provided in your introduction.

The body of your essay should be written in paragraphs. Each body paragraph should develop one main idea that supports your argument. To learn how to structure a paragraph, look at the page developing clarity and focus in academic writing .

Your conclusion should not offer any new material. Your evidence and argumentation should have been made clear to the reader in the body of the essay.

Use the conclusion to briefly restate the main argumentative position and provide a short summary of the themes discussed. In addition, also consider telling your reader:

  • What the significance of your findings, or the implications of your conclusion, might be
  • Whether there are other factors which need to be looked at, but which were outside the scope of the essay
  • How your topic links to the wider context (‘bigger picture’) in your discipline.

Do not simply repeat yourself in this section. A conclusion which merely summarises is repetitive and reduces the impact of your paper.

Example conclusion

Conclusion*.

Although, to a large extent, the working class were mainly those in the forefront of crowd action and they also led the revolts against wealthy plantation farmers, the American Revolution was not a class struggle [This is a statement of the concluding position of the essay]. Working people participated because the issues directly affected them – the threat posed by powerful landowners and the tyranny Britain represented. Whereas the aims and actions of the working classes were more concerned with resistance to British rule during the pre-revolutionary period, they became more revolutionary in nature after 1775 when the tension with Britain escalated [These sentences restate the key argument]. With this shift, a change in ideas occurred. In terms of considering the Revolution as a whole range of activities such as organising riots, communicating to Britain, attendance at town hall meetings and pamphlet writing, a difficulty emerges in that all classes were involved. Therefore, it is impossible to assess the extent to which a single group such as working people contributed to the American Revolution [These sentences give final thoughts on the topic].

5. Write clearly

An essay that makes good, evidence-supported points will only receive a high grade if it is written clearly. Clarity is produced through careful revision and editing, which can turn a good essay into an excellent one.

When you edit your essay, try to view it with fresh eyes – almost as if someone else had written it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Overall structure

  • Have you clearly stated your argument in your introduction?
  • Does the actual structure correspond to the ‘road map’ set out in your introduction?
  • Have you clearly indicated how your main points support your argument?
  • Have you clearly signposted the transitions between each of your main points for your reader?
  • Does each paragraph introduce one main idea?
  • Does every sentence in the paragraph support that main idea?
  • Does each paragraph display relevant evidence and reasoning?
  • Does each paragraph logically follow on from the one before it?
  • Is each sentence grammatically complete?
  • Is the spelling correct?
  • Is the link between sentences clear to your readers?
  • Have you avoided redundancy and repetition?

See more about editing on our  editing your writing page.

6. Cite sources and evidence

Finally, check your citations to make sure that they are accurate and complete. Some faculties require you to use a specific citation style (e.g. APA) while others may allow you to choose a preferred one. Whatever style you use, you must follow its guidelines correctly and consistently. You can use Recite, the University of Melbourne style guide, to check your citations.

Further resources

  • Germov, J. (2011). Get great marks for your essays, reports and presentations (3rd ed.). NSW: Allen and Unwin.
  • Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students in Higher Education [online]. Retrieved January 2020 from http://www.uefap.com
  • Williams, J.M. & Colomb, G. G. (2010) Style: Lessons in clarity and grace. 10th ed. New York: Longman.

* Example introduction and conclusion adapted from a student paper.

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what are the techniques in essay writing

Great essay writing in 8 steps

(Last updated: 12 May 2021)

Since 2006, Oxbridge Essays has been the UK’s leading paid essay-writing and dissertation service

We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers, applications and other materials. If you would like a free chat about your project with one of our UK staff, then please just reach out on one of the methods below.

Can great essay writing really be condensed down into just 8 steps? Well, whilst it's true that there is a lot that goes into academic writing of any kind, these top takeaways are a great place to start if you want to improve your essay writing.

To some, essay writing comes naturally. But for many, knowing how to answer an essay question in a way that will score high marks is something that must be learnt, and practised regularly. You can take comfort in knowing too that, once you learn how to write a great essay, you can apply the same techniques and formulas to almost any piece of academic writing, whether it's a standard essay, a reflective essay, a dissertation or thesis, a course assignment, coursework or something else.

So without further ado, let's dive in and learn the eight steps to writing an essay.

1. Understand the question

This may, at the face of it, sound like somewhat banal advice – but fact of the matter is that failing to properly understand the question set is one of, if not the most common reason behind a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. Are you being asked to critically evaluate something ? Compare and contrast? Analyse a particular circumstance? Evaluate the usefulness of a particular concept?

These are some of the common phrases found in essay questions, and each indicates a different set of expectations. If you are asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, for instance, you have to gain an understanding not only of said theory, but also other common approaches. They must all be weighed against each other, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theory and, importantly, you must come to a well-justified and confident conclusion. Is the theory good? What are its flaws? How can it be improved?

If you are asked to evaluate the usefulness of something, however, you don’t necessarily need to go into as much critical depth. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you should still note some strengths and weaknesses – but the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness. Perhaps the best approach is to find one, or a few, case studies where the theory has been used – what was the outcome of this? Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?

“Compare and contrast” essays , meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid of the above – you need to take a critical approach and evaluate the literature, but your focus has to remain solidly on the theories that you have been asked to compare and contrast. It is important to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a theoretical and applied level.

In essence, the wording of the essay question will tell you how the essay should be written. It will indicate where the focus of your essay should lie as you research and write.

2. Plan and schedule

Understanding the question is the first step, but it is equally important that you make efficient use of the available time. Students often underestimate the amount of work required to write a good essay, which results in two things: (1) late nights at the library, and (2) a disappointing grade. If you want to achieve a good mark, you should start planning your essay the moment you receive the essay question. The following table may be a useful aid:

Step Deadline
Understand the question (Insert date)
Map the essay chapters (Insert date)
Collect articles (Insert date)
Read and take notes (Insert date)
Start writing (Insert date)
Finish first draft (Insert date)
(Insert date)
Hand in (Insert date)

By setting deadlines for yourself and committing to stick to them, you are ensuring that you won’t be left with too much work right before your hand-in date. It is also important that you leave time, ideally a couple of days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.

3. Read widely

Writing may be the core task, but reading is equally important. Before you start writing your essay, you should conduct a broad search for relevant literature . Learning how to sift through a large amount of data is an important academic skill. You should start by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key words related to your research topic. Once you find an article that sounds promising, read through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.

If you are still not a hundred percent sure, it is usually a good idea to skip to the conclusion – this usually contains a detailed summary of the study, which will help determine whether you should read the article as a whole. You don’t want to waste time reading through and endless number of articles simply to find that they aren’t actually relevant. Once you have identified a few solid articles, you should (a) go through their bibliographies and take note of who they are citing, as these articles will likely be of value for your own research; and (b) check on Google Scholar to see who has cited them. To do this, simply input the name of the article in the search bar and hit enter. In the results, click “cited by” – this will return a list of all of the articles that have cited the publication you searched for.

It’s important that you don’t rely too heavily on one or a couple of texts, as this indicates to the marker that you haven’t engaged with the wider literature. You should be particularly careful in using course books (i.e. “introduction to management” and the like), as these are essentially summaries of other people’s work.

4. Be critical

Perfect theories and academic approaches are rare – the clear majority of theories, arguments, and studies have flaws. Being descriptive is fine if you are looking to scrape a pass, but for a higher grade you need to show that you are able to leverage critical reasoning in your dealing with academic materials. What are the limitations of the theories you are drawing on? How have these been dealt with in the literature? How do they impact the quality of arguments presented, and to what extent do they limit our understanding of what you are studying? What alternate explanations might offer additional depth?

Critical thinking is what will make your essay stand out. It shows the marker that you are not simply repeating the arguments that have been fed to you throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner. A good way to practice this is to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap for their own research.

5. Structure, flow and focus

How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure. A classic piece of advice is to "tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and tell them what you told them". This, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.

Having a clear and logical structure will help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray from the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value to the argument you are presenting. As you are writing, it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself: what value does this sentence/section add? How does it link to my overarching argument? If you find that you can’t answer those questions, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your core argument, and you may want to reconsider the path you are taking.

You should also make sure that all the different parts of your essay fit together as a cohesive and logical whole, and that the transition from one argument to the next is fluid. Students often treat essays as lists of arguments, presenting one after the other with little consideration for how they fit together, which inevitably leads to a lower grade. Make sure to tell your reader why you are transitioning from one argument to the next, why they are in this particular order, and how each argument helps shed light on a particular aspect of what you are discussing.

6. Quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism

Academic writing requires a careful balance between novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing a completely 'novel' essay, without drawing on a single source, indicates that you haven’t made yourself familiar with what has already been published. Conversely, citing someone for every point made suggests that you haven’t produced a novel argument.

As such, it is important that you provide evidence (a credible citation) when you are making a statement of fact, or drawing on arguments, frameworks, and theories presented by other academics. These, in turn, should support the overarching novel argument that you yourself are making.

When drawing on other authors it is important to understand the distinction between quoting and paraphrasing. The general rule of thumb is that you should paraphrase wherever possible, and quote only when necessary or if it clarifies the point you are making. That said, paraphrasing can be difficult without losing the inherit value of the argument presented.

In case you are unsure about the difference between quoting and paraphrasing, we’ve included an example below:

Quote: "Cultural capital can be acquired, to a varying extent, depending on the period, the society, and the social class, in the absence of any deliberate inculcation, and therefore quite unconsciously" (Bourdieu, 1986: 18).

Paraphrase: Unlike economic capital, the amassing of which requires some conscious effort, cultural capital can be built simply by existing and consuming (Bourdieu, 1986).

Both the quoted and the paraphrased versions carry essentially the same meaning, with the exception that paraphrasing shows slightly wider knowledge of Bourdieu (through mentioning another form of capital), and presents an argument that, while true to the writings of Bourdieu, better fits the overall argument.

Properly citing the sources upon which you draw also ensures that you will not be accused of plagiarism, which is a serious offence in academia. In fact, repeated and grievous plagiarism can lead to the suspension of your studies at the majority of academic institutions!

what are the techniques in essay writing

7. Find a 'study buddy'

Having a similarly ambitious 'study buddy' is often undervalued by students, but the synergy achieved by working together can help both of you achieve considerably higher grades. It is important to note that you shouldn’t write your essays together, nor necessarily agree on the approach to be taken beforehand, as this leads to the risk of submitting two papers that are too similar – again linking back to the issue of plagiarism.

Instead, you should exchange essays with each other once you are both done with the first draft. It is immensely difficult to proofread your own work – one goes blind to minor grammatical issues in a text after reading it repeatedly for days on end. It is similarly easy to overlook gaps in flow and logic of argument. Having a friend read through the work will address both of these issues, assuming that they, too, are high achieving.

8. Write academically

Another common issue – particularly amongst first and second-year undergraduates – is that they tend to use rather non-academic language:

In this essay I will look at how people who buy art use cultural capital. My theory is that having more cultural capital will change their taste in art, as they are able to understand the pieces differently to other people.

Examples such as the above are unfortunately rather common, and should give you a good idea of what to avoid. The sentiment behind the text is good, but it reads more like a second-rate blog post than an academic essay. Academic writing should be more formal , concise, unbiased and include good use of rhetoric. As for the above example, an academic might instead write:

This essay explores the role of cultural capital in the consumption of art, and the impact of cultural capital on consumers’ perception of artistic expressions.

You will note that this second example is far more concise yet none of the meaning is lost. It also uses present (rather than future) tense, and avoids informal terms. Clear, concise, and precise language is a hallmark of academic writing.

what are the techniques in essay writing

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what are the techniques in essay writing

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what are the techniques in essay writing

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Literacy Ideas

Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers

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P LANNING, PARAGRAPHING AND POLISHING: FINE-TUNING THE PERFECT ESSAY

Essay writing is an essential skill for every student. Whether writing a particular academic essay (such as persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository) or a timed exam essay, the key to getting good at writing is to write. Creating opportunities for our students to engage in extended writing activities will go a long way to helping them improve their skills as scribes.

But, putting the hours in alone will not be enough to attain the highest levels in essay writing. Practice must be meaningful. Once students have a broad overview of how to structure the various types of essays, they are ready to narrow in on the minor details that will enable them to fine-tune their work as a lean vehicle of their thoughts and ideas.

Visual Writing

In this article, we will drill down to some aspects that will assist students in taking their essay writing skills up a notch. Many ideas and activities can be integrated into broader lesson plans based on essay writing. Often, though, they will work effectively in isolation – just as athletes isolate physical movements to drill that are relevant to their sport. When these movements become second nature, they can be repeated naturally in the context of the game or in our case, the writing of the essay.

THE ULTIMATE NONFICTION WRITING TEACHING RESOURCE

essay writing | nonfiction writing unit | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

  • 270  pages of the most effective teaching strategies
  • 50+   digital tools  ready right out of the box
  • 75   editable resources  for student   differentiation  
  • Loads of   tricks and tips  to add to your teaching tool bag
  • All explanations are reinforced with  concrete examples.
  • Links to  high-quality video  tutorials
  • Clear objectives  easy to match to the demands of your curriculum

Planning an essay

essay writing | how to prepare for an essay | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

The Boys Scouts’ motto is famously ‘Be Prepared’. It’s a solid motto that can be applied to most aspects of life; essay writing is no different. Given the purpose of an essay is generally to present a logical and reasoned argument, investing time in organising arguments, ideas, and structure would seem to be time well spent.

Given that essays can take a wide range of forms and that we all have our own individual approaches to writing, it stands to reason that there will be no single best approach to the planning stage of essay writing. That said, there are several helpful hints and techniques we can share with our students to help them wrestle their ideas into a writable form. Let’s take a look at a few of the best of these:

BREAK THE QUESTION DOWN: UNDERSTAND YOUR ESSAY TOPIC.

Whether students are tackling an assignment that you have set for them in class or responding to an essay prompt in an exam situation, they should get into the habit of analyzing the nature of the task. To do this, they should unravel the question’s meaning or prompt. Students can practice this in class by responding to various essay titles, questions, and prompts, thereby gaining valuable experience breaking these down.

Have students work in groups to underline and dissect the keywords and phrases and discuss what exactly is being asked of them in the task. Are they being asked to discuss, describe, persuade, or explain? Understanding the exact nature of the task is crucial before going any further in the planning process, never mind the writing process .

BRAINSTORM AND MIND MAP WHAT YOU KNOW:

Once students have understood what the essay task asks them, they should consider what they know about the topic and, often, how they feel about it. When teaching essay writing, we so often emphasize that it is about expressing our opinions on things, but for our younger students what they think about something isn’t always obvious, even to themselves.

Brainstorming and mind-mapping what they know about a topic offers them an opportunity to uncover not just what they already know about a topic, but also gives them a chance to reveal to themselves what they think about the topic. This will help guide them in structuring their research and, later, the essay they will write . When writing an essay in an exam context, this may be the only ‘research’ the student can undertake before the writing, so practicing this will be even more important.

RESEARCH YOUR ESSAY

The previous step above should reveal to students the general direction their research will take. With the ubiquitousness of the internet, gone are the days of students relying on a single well-thumbed encyclopaedia from the school library as their sole authoritative source in their essay. If anything, the real problem for our students today is narrowing down their sources to a manageable number. Students should use the information from the previous step to help here. At this stage, it is important that they:

●      Ensure the research material is directly relevant to the essay task

●      Record in detail the sources of the information that they will use in their essay

●      Engage with the material personally by asking questions and challenging their own biases

●      Identify the key points that will be made in their essay

●      Group ideas, counterarguments, and opinions together

●      Identify the overarching argument they will make in their own essay.

Once these stages have been completed the student is ready to organise their points into a logical order.

WRITING YOUR ESSAY

There are a number of ways for students to organize their points in preparation for writing. They can use graphic organizers , post-it notes, or any number of available writing apps. The important thing for them to consider here is that their points should follow a logical progression. This progression of their argument will be expressed in the form of body paragraphs that will inform the structure of their finished essay.

The number of paragraphs contained in an essay will depend on a number of factors such as word limits, time limits, the complexity of the question etc. Regardless of the essay’s length, students should ensure their essay follows the Rule of Three in that every essay they write contains an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Generally speaking, essay paragraphs will focus on one main idea that is usually expressed in a topic sentence that is followed by a series of supporting sentences that bolster that main idea. The first and final sentences are of the most significance here with the first sentence of a paragraph making the point to the reader and the final sentence of the paragraph making the overall relevance to the essay’s argument crystal clear. 

Though students will most likely be familiar with the broad generic structure of essays, it is worth investing time to ensure they have a clear conception of how each part of the essay works, that is, of the exact nature of the task it performs. Let’s review:

Common Essay Structure

Introduction: Provides the reader with context for the essay. It states the broad argument that the essay will make and informs the reader of the writer’s general perspective and approach to the question.

Body Paragraphs: These are the ‘meat’ of the essay and lay out the argument stated in the introduction point by point with supporting evidence.

Conclusion: Usually, the conclusion will restate the central argument while summarising the essay’s main supporting reasons before linking everything back to the original question.

ESSAY WRITING PARAGRAPH WRITING TIPS

essay writing | 1 How to write paragraphs | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

●      Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea

●      Paragraphs should follow a logical sequence; students should group similar ideas together to avoid incoherence

●      Paragraphs should be denoted consistently; students should choose either to indent or skip a line

●      Transition words and phrases such as alternatively , consequently , in contrast should be used to give flow and provide a bridge between paragraphs.

HOW TO EDIT AN ESSAY

essay writing | essay editing tips | Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers | literacyideas.com

Students shouldn’t expect their essays to emerge from the writing process perfectly formed. Except in exam situations and the like, thorough editing is an essential aspect in the writing process. 

Often, students struggle with this aspect of the process the most. After spending hours of effort on planning, research, and writing the first draft, students can be reluctant to go back over the same terrain they have so recently travelled. It is important at this point to give them some helpful guidelines to help them to know what to look out for. The following tips will provide just such help: 

One Piece at a Time: There is a lot to look out for in the editing process and often students overlook aspects as they try to juggle too many balls during the process. One effective strategy to combat this is for students to perform a number of rounds of editing with each focusing on a different aspect. For example, the first round could focus on content, the second round on looking out for word repetition (use a thesaurus to help here), with the third attending to spelling and grammar.

Sum It Up: When reviewing the paragraphs they have written, a good starting point is for students to read each paragraph and attempt to sum up its main point in a single line. If this is not possible, their readers will most likely have difficulty following their train of thought too and the paragraph needs to be overhauled.

Let It Breathe: When possible, encourage students to allow some time for their essay to ‘breathe’ before returning to it for editing purposes. This may require some skilful time management on the part of the student, for example, a student rush-writing the night before the deadline does not lend itself to effective editing. Fresh eyes are one of the sharpest tools in the writer’s toolbox.

Read It Aloud: This time-tested editing method is a great way for students to identify mistakes and typos in their work. We tend to read things more slowly when reading aloud giving us the time to spot errors. Also, when we read silently our minds can often fill in the gaps or gloss over the mistakes that will become apparent when we read out loud.

Phone a Friend: Peer editing is another great way to identify errors that our brains may miss when reading our own work. Encourage students to partner up for a little ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’.

Use Tech Tools: We need to ensure our students have the mental tools to edit their own work and for this they will need a good grasp of English grammar and punctuation. However, there are also a wealth of tech tools such as spellcheck and grammar checks that can offer a great once-over option to catch anything students may have missed in earlier editing rounds.

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Putting the Jewels on Display: While some struggle to edit, others struggle to let go. There comes a point when it is time for students to release their work to the reader. They must learn to relinquish control after the creation is complete. This will be much easier to achieve if the student feels that they have done everything in their control to ensure their essay is representative of the best of their abilities and if they have followed the advice here, they should be confident they have done so.

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How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

Updated: July 11, 2022

Published: June 22, 2021

How To Write An Essay # Beginner Tips And Tricks

Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.

When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay. 

No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.

Ink pen on paper before writing an essay

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Types of Essays

Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic. 

When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals. 

For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay. 

Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.

Descriptive Essay

This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event. 

Argumentative Essay

In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Expository Essay

Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.

The Main Stages of Essay Writing

When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case. 

There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.

So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:

Preparation

Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.

Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).

In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.  

The Five-Paragraph Essay

We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use. 

The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.

Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.

Introduction

As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more. 

Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. 

You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.

Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic. 

In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.

That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.

Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work. 

You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement. 

Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument. 

student writing an essay on his laptop

Photo by AMIT RANJAN on Unsplash

Steps to Writing an Essay

Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.

Understand Your Assignment

When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.

Research Your Topic

Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay. 

Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.

Start Brainstorming

After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:

  • Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
  • Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
  • Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
  • Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them

Create a Thesis

This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise. 

Write Your Outline

Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline. 

In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look. 

A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph. 

If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step… 

Write a First Draft

The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward. 

Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward. 

Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did. 

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete. 

However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.

After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc. 

Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style . 

Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in. 

A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.

Essay Writing Tips

With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
  • Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
  • Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
  • Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.

If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary. 

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How to write a dissertation proposal, how to write a book title in an essay, basic essay structure: how to build it, how to start a scholarship essay, how to focus on homework, how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Lesley J. Vos

A rhetorical analysis essay is a piece of writing that investigates someone else’s writing and the rhetorical techniques used to influence the audience through the text in a certain way. In essays of this type you won’t see much content being analyzed but rather the words, sentence structure, and other linguistic aspects. For many, such text may not turn out easy. In case you are also struggling with how to do a rhetorical analysis, we are here to help. We composed the guide below to make the writing process easier for you. 

What is Analyze and Rhetorical Style Writing

Rhetoric is the art of persuasive communication, whether in writing or speech. At its core are three key concepts: logos, ethos, and pathos. 

How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Logos, the logical appeal, basically means using reason and evidence to support an argument. In academic essays, for instance, you often see charts, statistics, and well-reasoned arguments that make the case irrefutable. Ethos, the ethical appeal, is how an author establishes credibility. Think of a medical doctor writing an article about health; their credentials lend weight to their words. Pathos, the emotional appeal, strives to evoke an emotional response from the audience. An advertisement showing happy families to sell a product taps into this appeal by connecting with viewers’ emotions.

Rhetorical style writing is characterized by its strategic use of these appeals to persuade an audience. This style looks not into what is said, but how it is said. It includes the tone, diction, and overall structure of the piece. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech isn’t just powerful because of its message but also because of its rhythmic structure, emotive language, and masterful delivery.

To analyze this type of writing you need to examine how these elements work together to persuade the audience. You look at the text’s context—who wrote it, when, and why. You dissect the appeals used: How does the author build credibility? What logical arguments do they present? How do they play on emotions? Each element is scrutinized to understand the overall effectiveness. When analyzing a political speech, you might note the use of ethos in referencing the speaker’s experience, logos in their logical arguments for policy, and pathos in their appeal to the audience’s hopes and fears. 

Text and Context as a Part of Rhetorical Analysis

The first thing that you should establish before diving into writing a rhetorical analysis is that a text isn’t limited to written words; it can be any form of communication like speeches, advertisements, or even satirical images. The context, as such, involves everything surrounding the text: the author, the intended audience, the time and place of production, and the purpose behind it. For example, analyzing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech requires an understanding of the civil rights movement to grasp its impact and significance fully.

Equally important in rhetorical analysis are claims, supports, and warrants. A claim is the main idea or argument the author wants to convey. Supports are the evidence or appeals (logical, ethical, emotional) used to back up the claims. Warrants are the underlying assumptions that connect the supports to the claims, often implicit but necessary for understanding the argument’s logic. For instance, an advertisement might claim that a product brings happiness (claim), show happy people using it (support), and assume that viewers will associate the product with happiness (warrant). Analyzing these elements helps in dissecting how effectively the text persuades its audience.

Easy Guide on How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

Now, as we figured out the basics we can start writing. This might seem a daunting task, but by breaking it down into manageable steps, it becomes a clear and straightforward process. 

  • Gather all necessary information using the SOAPSTone technique, which stands for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone. For instance, when analyzing a speech by a political leader, identify the speaker’s background, the historical context of the speech, the intended audience, the purpose behind the speech, its main subject, and the overall tone used.
  • Next, examine the appeals—ethos, pathos, and logos. A charity ad might use ethos by showcasing a respected figure endorsing the cause, pathos by showing heart-wrenching images of those in need, and logos by presenting statistics on how donations are used effectively.
  • Then, identify the style choices and details such as word choice, repetition, and imagery. Consider how these elements contribute to the text’s effectiveness. A motivational speech might use repetitive phrases to inspire and energize the audience.
  • Once you have gathered and analyzed your information, build your analysis by asking questions like, “What is the author’s intention?” and “What effect does this work have on the audience?” This will help you understand the reasoning behind the writer’s choices.

How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Begin your essay with a clear introduction that provides background on the author and text, followed by a thesis statement. In the body paragraphs, support your thesis with detailed analysis, using examples from the text. Finally, conclude by summarizing your main points and restating the significance of your analysis.

By following these steps and focusing on the intricate details of the text and context, you can write a compelling and insightful rhetorical analysis essay.

How to Write a Rhetorical Essay: An Example Outline

To illustrate what a properly structured rhetorical analysis looks like, we decided to create an outline below to serve as an example.

Introduction

  • Hook : Start with an interesting fact or a compelling quote from the text.
  • Background Information : Briefly introduce the author and the text. Mention the context in which the text was produced.
  • Thesis Statement : Present your main argument about the author’s rhetorical strategies and their effectiveness.


:

Paragraph 1: Ethos

  • Topic Sentence : Discuss how King establishes his credibility.
  • Evidence and Analysis : Provide examples from the text where King references his leadership and experience.
  • Connection to Thesis : Explain how these references bolster his authority and make his message more convincing.

:
:
:

Paragraph 2: Pathos

  • Topic Sentence : Explore how King appeals to the emotions of his audience.
  • Evidence and Analysis : Provide specific examples of vivid imagery and emotional language.
  • Connection to Thesis : Discuss how these emotional appeals engage the audience and strengthen his overall message.

Paragraph 3: Logos

  • Topic Sentence : Analyze King’s use of logical appeals.
  • Evidence and Analysis : Highlight examples of logical arguments and supporting evidence.
  • Connection to Thesis : Explain how logical reasoning complements his emotional and ethical appeals.

: .
Evidence and Analysis:
:

Paragraph 4: Style and Tone

  • Topic Sentence : Examine King’s stylistic choices and tone.
  • Evidence and Analysis : Discuss the impact of his word choice, repetition, and prophetic tone.
  • Connection to Thesis : Show how these elements contribute to the enduring power of his message.
  • Restate Thesis : Summarize your main argument.
  • Summary of Key Points : Briefly recap the main points from the body paragraphs.
  • Final Thought : Discuss the broader significance of King’s speech and its impact on society.

How do you start a rhetorical analysis essay?

You should start a rhetorical analysis essay, begin with a strong introduction that includes a brief summary of the text you’ll be analyzing. Introduce the author, the title of the work, and the main argument or purpose of the text. It’s also effective to mention the context in which the text was written and to state your thesis, which should outline your main analysis points.

What are the 4 steps to making a rhetorical analysis?

The four steps to making a rhetorical analysis are:

  • Reading and annotating the text to identify the author’s purpose and the rhetorical strategies used.
  • Analyzing the appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) and how they contribute to the text’s effectiveness.
  • Examining the style and tone of the text, considering how the author’s choices impact the audience.
  • Organize your findings into a structured essay, ensuring each point is supported by evidence from the text.

What is the format of a rhetorical analysis?

Typically, a rhetorical analysis follows a structured format: an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs that cover different aspects of the rhetorical strategies used in the text, and a conclusion that summarizes your analysis and restates the thesis. Each body paragraph should focus on a single element of the rhetorical strategies, providing examples and analysis.

How do you write a good hook for a rhetorical analysis essay?

To write a good hook for a rhetorical analysis essay, you should grab the reader’s attention with an interesting fact, a provocative question, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote related to the text you are analyzing. The hook should be engaging and lead smoothly into the introduction of the text and your thesis statement.

What not to do in a rhetorical analysis essay?

In a rhetorical analysis essay, avoid summarizing the text instead of analyzing it. Don’t ignore the rhetorical strategies and how they contribute to the text’s purpose. Refrain from expressing your personal opinions about the text’s subject matter; focus on the author’s techniques and their effectiveness. Additionally, avoid using vague statements; always back up your points with specific examples from the text.

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Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Gain critical communication skills in writing and public speaking with this introduction to American political rhetoric.

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Associated Schools

Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences

What you'll learn.

When and how to employ a variety of rhetorical devices in writing and speaking

How to differentiate between argument and rhetorical technique

How to write a persuasive opinion editorial and short speech

How to evaluate the strength of an argument

How to identify logical fallacies in arguments

Course description

We are living in a contentious time in history. Fundamental disagreements on critical political issues make it essential to learn how to make an argument and analyze the arguments of others. This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make effective changes in society. Even outside the political sphere, conveying a convincing message can benefit you throughout your personal, public, and professional lives.

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. In it, you will learn to construct and defend compelling arguments, an essential skill in many settings. We will be using selected addresses from prominent twentieth-century Americans — including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, Ronald Reagan, and more — to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style. Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view.

Built around Harvard Professor James Engell’s on-campus course, “Elements of Rhetoric,” this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you. You will be inspired to share your viewpoint and discover the most powerful ways to convince others to champion your cause. Join us to find your voice!

Course Outline

Introduction to Rhetoric

  • Define the term "rhetoric."
  • Articulate the importance of effective communication.
  • Summarize the history of rhetorical study, from the ancient Greeks to the modern-day.
  • Identify the parts of discourse.
  • Define the three modes of appeal.
  • Identify tropes and schemes, and explain their use in composition.
  • Compose an opinion editorial on a topic of your choice.

Civil Rights - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Analyze Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream…” speech
  • Define inductive reasoning and some of its associated topics
  • Identify instances of inductive reasoning in writing and speech
  • Define deductive reasoning and some of its associated topics
  • Identify instances of deductive reasoning in writing and speech
  • Recognize and evaluate the strength of an argument's refutation
  • Apply the elements of rhetoric you have learned so far into the final draft of your op-ed

Gun Control - Sarah Brady and Charlton Heston

  • Analyze Sarah Brady’s Democratic National Convention Keynote Speech.
  • Analyze Charlton Heston’s speech on the Second Amendment.
  • Define “inductive reasoning” and some of its associated topics
  • Define “deductive reasoning” and some of its associated topics
  • Recognize and evaluate the strength of an argument’s refutation
  • Apply the elements of rhetoric you have learned so far in the final draft of your op-ed

Introduction to Oratory

  • Describe the origins of the practice of oratory.
  • Recognize ways in which orators tailor their writing for the spoken word.
  • Describe techniques for effective public speaking, both prepared and extemporaneous.
  • Brainstorm ideas for your own short speech.

The Red Scare - Joseph McCarthy and Margaret Chase Smith

  • Analyze Joseph McCarthy’s “Enemies Within” speech.
  • Analyze Margaret Chase Smith’s "A Declaration of Conscience" speech.
  • Identify the modes of appeal and the logical reasoning of the featured speeches.
  • Identify both common and special topics used in these speeches, like cause and effect, testimony, justice and injustice, and comparison, and begin to recognize their use in other speeches.
  • Identify examples from these speeches of logical fallacies including the either/or fallacy, the fallacy of affirming the consequent, the argument ad hominem, the argument ad populum, begging the question, the complex question, and the use of imprecise language.
  • Discuss the importance of winning and keeping an audience’s trust and the pros and cons of attempting to tear down their confidence in an opponent.
  • Define for yourself the definition of "extremist rhetoric," debate its use as a political tool.
  • Consider the moral responsibilities of those who would seek to persuade others through language.

Presidential Rhetoric - John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan

  • Discuss how the audience and the desired tone for a speech can influence diction (word choice).
  • Compare the effects of using passive vs. active voice, and first-person vs. other tenses in a speech.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of the use of symbolism in writing and speech.
  • Define hyperbole, antimetabole, and polysyndeton, and identify when these devices might be appropriate and useful in terms of persuasion.
  • Describe techniques for connecting with your audience, including storytelling and drawing on shared experience.

Instructors

James Engell

James Engell

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  • Knowledge Base
  • The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples

The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

Essay type Skills tested Example prompt
Has the rise of the internet had a positive or negative impact on education?
Explain how the invention of the printing press changed European society in the 15th century.
Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
Describe an object that has sentimental value for you.

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

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Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

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what are the techniques in essay writing

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein 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. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

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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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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Best Ai Essay Writer Tools in 2024

Revamped for originality: Our AI essay writer is an advanced yet easy-to-use software designed to help you create eloquent essays in no time, being secure against plagiarism.

Our essay writing software uses advanced AI techniques to generate complete essays at dizzying fast speed with just a keyword and without signing up.

Either the topic or the content of your essay must be added to the appropriate text field.

We will transform anything into an essay, from topic sentences to word selection.

The writing process will be kicked off from clicking the “My essay” button.

AI writer https://eduwriter.ai/ is just a couple of seconds from creating an original essay. You’ll find the output in the Box below.

Either by the copy icon or you can download it for your convenience, is all you need to do.

Quillbot’s AI-powered facilitated writing service is a one-of-kind tool with unique features. Its principal function is serving as a paraphrasing tool. It uses Artificial Intelligence so that text is reworded in different styles. It also hosts grammar checks and plagiarism detection controls.

In 2017, Roham Gharegozlou, David Silin, and Luke Lau formed a team to invent a tool that could assists in improving the writing skills of people through providing rephrasing and sentence restructuring suggestions. What is unique about QuillBot team is that it is bigger than the competing software teams who are not linguists, research scientists, and other experts. This diversity may be perceived as a suggestion that there is more experience than a single person behind the development.

Quillbot offers a suite of services including:

Paraphrasing Tool: Individuals can compose words themselves or use the AI-driven paraphrasing tool by copy and pasting the content which is already there. The device can be set to either adjust for simplicity or clarity depending on the user’s purpose of writing and desired formality.

Accessibility

Quillbot is browser based, as well as is plug-in-compatible with a great variety applications like Word, Google Docs etc. Therefore one can write in Quillbot whether he or she is online or offline, even in Microsoft word.

Homeworkify

Homeworkify enunciates its position as an assistant-app that is based on the AI technology, which is available to be used on both Android and iOS devices. The School’s objective is to boost the students’ success level in their academics. The tutor is the means through which these intricate solutions to math problems, scientific inquiries and many homework tasks, are provided, the tutor also gives out studying materials and exam readiness aids.

Humanizing the sentence: It turns out to be much simpler to locate the exact help after you have got familiar with the Homeworkify’s interface that is user-friendly. In addition, the AI-driven text-to-speech function brings an extra layer of learning by letting the learners completely understand the stated purposes audibly.

Including a variety of disciplines from mathematics and science to history and language proficiency tests, Homeworkify has developed a customizable platform to assist students in enhancing their performance. It be the case of standardized tests like IELTS, GRE, PTE, or TOEFL, or the one of disciplines such as Maths and Physics, Homeworkify is a comprehensive academic partner in all of the academic needs.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire

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UPSC Essays Simplified: Ideation and Brainstorming of the topics – the second step

How can the 12 qc technique help you to write a good essay our expert takes you through the second stage of writing an essay in upsc essentials' new series. don't miss the essay exercise towards the end of the article..

what are the techniques in essay writing

How to write essays for UPSC Civil Services Exams?   This is one of the most popular questions among aspirants. In UPSC Essentials’ special series  UPSC Essays Simplified , we take you through various steps of writing a good essay. While there is no set formula or fixed criteria prescribed,  Manas Srivastava  talks to  Ravi Kapoor , our expert, in this new series who guides the aspirants with a simplified framework on how to write a good essay.

Don’t miss  ‘The Essay Exercise’  towards the end of the article. Ravi Kapoor focuses on the following steps of pre-writing and writing stages which will help aspirants to write a ‘good essay’.

what are the techniques in essay writing

)

Today, we will focus on Step 2. 

About our Expert:   Ravi Kapoor, an IRS officer , has now ditched his coveted rank of deputy commissioner and has offered free quality mentorship to UPSC aspirants, drawing upon his ten years of experience to create customised and productive curriculum. Through a free mentorship programme, he integrates tailored educational materials, psychological principles, visual learning techniques, and a strong emphasis on mental well-being into his teaching skills granting aspirants a chance to learn from his expertise.

What is the second step to write a ‘good essay’ and techniques to achieve it? 

Once you have deconstructed the essay topic into its core themes and have understood its essence, the next step is to brainstorm and create the content required for writing the essay.

Needless to say, ideation and brainstorming should be done in the pre-writing stage before you put pen to paper and write the actual essay.

Here is what all to consider while doing so:

Festive offer

1. Everyone has a few content ideas about an essay topic, but this does not mean that those ideas will be enough. There are times when we miss critical dimensions of an essay.

For instance, consider a recently asked essay topic:

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

While this essay topic can be written about in a generic sense but is perhaps not ideal unless Indian poets who raised awareness about British oppression during the Indian National Movement are mentioned.

2. Ideation and brainstorming are not only about examples and anecdotes, they form the basis of arguments and counter-arguments that form the most substantive part of the essay and should therefore be done systematically.

3. Systematic ideation helps organise your thoughts which later aids in creating superior structure and adds flow to your writing.

What follows are techniques and strategies to brainstorm and ideate most systematically and comprehensively as possible.

12 QC technique

As the title suggests, these questions are 12 Question based clues (12 QC) that lead you to the important content ideas about a topic.

The 12QC is designed to force you to think widely about any topic by stimulating your knowledge networks in a structured way.

1. Where have you heard or read about the core concept of the essay before?

2. What is the importance of the concept for human beings?

3. Is the word made up of smaller words? What do they mean?

4. What is the opposite of the word?

5. What do you already know about it?

6. Is there an Ethical question or debate associated with it? What could it be?

7. What is the pessimistic side of the word? Can you use the word in a sentence to express something negative and depressing?

8. What happened in the past which is a good example of it?

9. Who does it affect? Why should anyone care about it?

10. Can you Think of an Indian example associated with it?

11. Is there something happening in the world right now which is an example of it?

12. What is the optimistic side? Can you use the word in a sentence to express something positive and hopeful?

Simply ask the 12 questions listed below about the core themes in the essay topic (Refer to Deconstruction – the first step article ) and write down one or two words which come to your mind as possible answers to the questions.

Here are some things to remember before putting this technique into practice:

– Please note that this exercise should be done for each of the main themes of an essay topic.

– Consider the theme in isolation while ideating, ignoring the essay topic for the time being.

– There may be more than 1 core theme in an essay topic.

–  Not every single question in the list needs to be answered. Remember that the questions are to stimulate thinking to generate ideas from what you already know. It’s not a quiz.

–  Not all ideas you generate need to be included in the essay.

The Essay Exercise

The 12 QC technique above may help you in brainstorming after deconstruction. Here is an exercise to put this into practice:

National reserves, Project Tiger, Forest Cover Indian Economy, World Trade, GDP
Subsistence for tribes, environmental diversity, economic value, carbon banks, landslides, mudslides, natural disasters Employment, human capital, growth, standard of living
Economic + excellence
Desert, arid, lifeless Economic mismanagement/disaster
Amazon rainforests, mangroves Scandinavian countries, Bhutan (Gross Happiness Index)
Environmental protection, engendered species, forest fires Inequality, Materialism, Unregulated Capitalism, Erosion of human values
Species extinction, endangered species , tax-evasion, black money, unregulated crypto currencies
Forest fires, forest covers, species extinction India’s economic growth forecast, one of the worlds largest economies.
Critical ecosystem for species, Recycle nutrient Subsistence for all, governments get tax, poor elevated out of poverty
Project Tiger, Forest department, Sandalwood smuggling, declaration of national parks UPI, Micro-finance, PSUs, Start-ups unicorns
Heat waves, forest fires, global warming, Amazon Green economy, India becoming manufacturing hub, Start up economy, gig economy.
Forest cover recently increased in India , Developed countries standard of living.

Important points to note: 

1. Don’t worry about a bit of repetition. If a word is being repeated, it is probably central to the topic you are brainstorming about.

2. Your ideas and examples are your own and will be different from those of others. The only important thing is how well you use them to strengthen your arguments in your essay-answers.

3. You can also disagree with points mentioned in these articles and think of other ones. The only thing to take care of is to give reasons and examples for your opinions in the essay because that is what will fetch you a good score at the end of the day.

Subscribe  to our  UPSC newsletter  and stay updated with the news cues from the past week.

The UPSC articles of  Indian Express  is now on Telegram.  Join our Telegram channel-  Indian Express  UPSC Hub and stay updated with the latest Updates. For your answers, queries and suggestions write at  manas.srivastava@ indianexpress.com .

Manas Srivastava is currently working as deputy copy editor at The Indian Express and writes for UPSC and other competitive exams related projects.

Manas Srivastava is currently working as Deputy Copy Editor with The Indian Express (digital) and majorly writes for UPSC-related projects leading a unique initiative known as UPSC Essentials. In the past, Manas has represented India at the G-20 Youth Summit in Mexico. He is a former member of the Youth Council, GOI. A two-time topper/gold medallist in History (both in graduation and post-graduation) from Delhi University, he has mentored and taught UPSC aspirants for more than four years. His diverse role in The Indian Express consists of writing, editing, anchoring/ hosting, interviewing experts, and curating and simplifying news for the benefit of students. He hosts the YouTube talk show called ‘Art and Culture with Devdutt Pattanaik’ and a LIVE series on Instagram and YouTube called ‘You Ask We Answer’.His talks on ‘How to read a newspaper’ focus on newspaper reading as an essential habit for students. His articles and videos aim at finding solutions to the general queries of students and hence he believes in being students' editor, preparing them not just for any exam but helping them to become informed citizens. This is where he makes his teaching profession meet journalism. He is also currently working on a monthly magazine for UPSC Aspirants. He is a recipient of the Dip Chand Memorial Award, the Lala Ram Mohan Prize and Prof. Papiya Ghosh Memorial Prize for academic excellence. He was also awarded the University’s Post-Graduate Scholarship for pursuing M.A. in History where he chose to specialise in Ancient India due to his keen interest in Archaeology. He has also successfully completed a Certificate course on Women’s Studies by the Women’s Studies Development Centre, DU. As a part of N.S.S in the past, Manas has worked with national and international organisations and has shown keen interest and active participation in Social Service. He has led and been a part of projects involving areas such as gender sensitisation, persons with disability, helping slum dwellers, environment, adopting our heritage programme. He has also presented a case study on ‘Psychological stress among students’ at ICSQCC- Sri Lanka. As a compere for seminars and other events he likes to keep his orating hobby alive. His interests also lie in International Relations, Governance, Social issues, Essays and poetry. ... Read More

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Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani recently addressed rumours that Sonakshi's father Shatrughan Sinha might not attend her wedding ceremony due to purported strained relations between them.

Sonakshi Sinha and her longtime partner Zaheer Iqbal will tie the knot on June 23, as confirmed by various celebrities. Shatrughan Sinha's close associate Pahlaj Nihalani also confirmed the wedding and addressed rumours of strained relations between the father and daughter. When asked if Shatrughan was upset about not being informed earlier, Nihalani remarked that he wouldn't remain so for long.

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Essay Papers Writing Online

Mastering the art of essay writing – tips, tricks, and strategies.

My essay writing

If you want to enhance your essay writing abilities, remember to:

1. Practice regularly: The key to becoming a better writer is to write consistently. Set aside time each day to write and refine your craft.

2. Read extensively: Reading a variety of genres and styles can help you develop your own voice and improve your vocabulary.

3. Get feedback: Share your essays with peers, teachers, or writing mentors to receive constructive criticism and learn from your mistakes.

4. Outline your ideas: Before you start writing, create a structured outline to organize your thoughts and ensure your essay flows logically.

5. Edit and proofread: Always review your work for errors in grammar, punctuation, and coherence. Revision is key to polishing your essays to perfection.

Develop a Strong Thesis

One of the most important aspects of essay writing is crafting a strong thesis statement. Your thesis serves as the main argument of your essay and sets the tone for the rest of your paper. Here are some tips to help you develop a strong thesis:

  • Be Clear and Specific: Your thesis should clearly state your position and provide a roadmap for your readers to follow.
  • Be Concise: Keep your thesis statement concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words or vague language.
  • Be Original: Your thesis should be original and reflect your own ideas and insights on the topic.
  • Be Supportable: Make sure your thesis is supported by evidence and examples throughout your essay.

By developing a strong thesis statement, you can create a foundation for a well-structured and coherent essay that effectively communicates your ideas to your audience.

Conduct Thorough Research

Conduct Thorough Research

One of the key elements of writing a high-quality essay is conducting thorough research. To ensure that your essay is well-informed and credible, follow these tips:

  • Utilize credible sources: Make sure to use reliable sources such as scholarly articles, academic journals, and books to gather information for your essay.
  • Explore different perspectives: It is important to consider various viewpoints on the topic and incorporate them into your essay to provide a well-rounded argument.
  • Take detailed notes: Keep track of important information, quotes, and references during your research to make it easier to refer back to them when writing your essay.
  • Verify your information: Double-check the accuracy of the facts and data you include in your essay to ensure that your arguments are backed up by reliable sources.
  • Give credit where it’s due: Make sure to properly cite the sources you use in your essay to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism.

By conducting thorough research, you can enhance the quality and credibility of your essay, making it more compelling and engaging for your readers.

Organize Your Ideas

Once you have gathered all your research and brainstormed your thoughts, it’s crucial to organize your ideas before you start writing. Creating a clear and logical structure for your essay will help you convey your argument effectively.

One effective way to organize your ideas is to create an outline. Start by outlining the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you see the overall structure and flow of your essay.

Consider using bullet points or numbering to clearly outline each section of your essay. This will make it easier for you to focus on each point individually and ensure that your ideas are presented in a coherent manner.

Remember to check your outline to ensure that your ideas are presented in a logical order and that your argument flows smoothly from one point to the next. This will help you create a well-structured and cohesive essay that is easy for your readers to follow.

Use Clear and Concise Language

Use Clear and Concise Language

When writing essays, it is essential to use clear and concise language to effectively communicate your ideas to the reader. Avoid using unnecessary words or overly complex sentences that may confuse your audience. Instead, focus on conveying your thoughts in a straightforward manner.

One way to ensure clarity in your writing is to use simple and direct language. Avoid using jargon or technical terms unless they are essential to your topic. Instead, opt for words that are easy to understand and convey your message clearly.

Additionally, make sure to structure your sentences in a way that is easy to follow. Start with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph, and then provide supporting details in a logical order. This will help your reader easily comprehend your argument and follow your line of thought.

By using clear and concise language in your essays, you will make your writing more accessible and engaging for your audience. Remember, the goal is to effectively communicate your ideas, so keep it simple and to the point!

Revise and Edit Carefully

Once you have finished writing your essay, it is important to revise and edit it carefully before submitting it. Editing plays a crucial role in improving the quality of your writing.

1. Read Aloud: Reading your essay aloud can help you identify awkward phrasing, run-on sentences, and grammatical errors that may have gone unnoticed.

2. Check for Consistency: Ensure that your arguments and ideas flow logically throughout the essay. Check for consistency in tone, style, and formatting.

3. Proofread for Spelling and Grammar: Carefully proofread your essay for spelling and grammar mistakes. Use tools like spell check and grammar check, but also manually review each word and sentence.

4. Get Feedback: Ask a friend, classmate, or teacher to review your essay and provide constructive feedback. Another set of eyes can catch errors or suggest improvements that you might have missed.

By revising and editing your essay carefully, you can ensure that your writing is clear, coherent, and error-free, making a strong impression on your audience.

Seek Feedback and Learn from it

Receiving feedback is an essential part of improving your essay writing skills. Whether it’s from your teachers, peers, or online writing communities, feedback can provide valuable insights into your writing style, structure, and clarity.

When seeking feedback, be open to constructive criticism and actively listen to suggestions for improvement. Pay attention to areas where you may have weaknesses or areas for growth. Taking the feedback into consideration and incorporating it into your writing can help you enhance your skills and become a better writer.

Join writing groups or workshops where you can exchange feedback with other writers and learn from their expertise.

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  1. Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing

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    what are the techniques in essay writing

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    what are the techniques in essay writing

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  1. Ultimate Guide for Writing Essays: Tips and Techniques

    4. Develop a clear structure: Organize your essay in a logical and coherent manner, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 5. Use proper grammar and punctuation: Make sure to proofread your essay for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation to ensure clarity and coherence. 6.

  2. Master the Art of Writing a Stellar Essay: Tips and Techniques

    1. Outline your main points: Before you start writing, create an outline of the main points you want to discuss in your essay. This will help you stay focused and ensure that your essay has a clear structure. 2. Use transitions: Use transitions to connect your ideas and guide the reader through your essay seamlessly.

  3. The Ultimate Essay Writing Guides: Tips, Tricks, and Templates

    Essay writing is a crucial skill that students need to master in order to succeed academically. Whether you're a high school student working on a history paper or a college student tackling a critical analysis essay, having a solid understanding of the essay writing process is essential. ... Experiment with different writing techniques: Try ...

  4. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 5 Asking Analytical Questions When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a

  5. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Essay writing process. The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay.. For example, if you've been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you'll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the ...

  6. Strategies for Essay Writing

    Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt. Asking Analytical Questions. Thesis. Introductions. What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common? Anatomy of a Body Paragraph. Transitions. Tips for Organizing Your Essay. Counterargument.

  7. Essay Writing in English: Techniques and Tips for Crafting ...

    An essay is a written composition that presents and supports a particular idea, argument, or point of view. It's a way to express your thoughts, share information, and persuade others to see things from your perspective. Essays come in various forms, such as argumentative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive, each serving a unique purpose.

  8. The Writing Process

    Table of contents. Step 1: Prewriting. Step 2: Planning and outlining. Step 3: Writing a first draft. Step 4: Redrafting and revising. Step 5: Editing and proofreading. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the writing process.

  9. How to Structure an Essay

    The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body. This article provides useful templates and tips to help you outline your essay, make decisions about your structure, and ...

  10. Writing tips and techniques for your college essay

    Don't summarize. Avoid explicitly stating the point of your essay. It's far less effective when you spell it out for someone. Delete every single "That's when I realized," "I learned," and "The most important lesson was...". It's unnecessary, unconvincing, and takes the reader out of the moment.

  11. Level Up Your Essay Writing: 5 Outside-the-Box Techniques

    Take a blank page and draw a line straight down the middle. In the left-hand margin, write down the keywords for each paragraph in your essay. Stick to the main points. Be brief. In the right-hand margin, write down how the keyword or topic supports the main argument.

  12. Tips for Writing Effective Essays: A Comprehensive Guide

    2. Organize your ideas: Before you start writing, outline the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas. 3. Use topic sentences: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

  13. Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs

    Strategies for Essay Writing: PDFs Strategies for Essay Writing--Complete. description. Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt. description. Asking Analytical Questions. description. Thesis. description. Introductions. description. What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common? description. Anatomy Of a Body Paragraph.

  14. Writing a great essay

    2. Define your argument. As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument. Consider these two argument statements:

  15. Great essay writing in 8 steps

    6. Quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism. Academic writing requires a careful balance between novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing a completely 'novel' essay, without drawing on a single source, indicates that you haven't made yourself familiar with what has already been published.

  16. Essay Writing: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers

    Essay writing is an essential skill for every student. Whether writing a particular academic essay (such as persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository) or a timed exam essay, the key to getting good at writing is to write.

  17. Example of a Great Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates. In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills. Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence ...

  18. How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

    Writing an essay can be a daunting task for many students, but it doesn't have to be. In this blog post, you will learn some simple tips and tricks on how to write an essay, from choosing a topic to editing your final draft. Whether you need to write an essay for school, work, or personal interest, this guide will help you improve your skills and confidence.

  19. Ultimate Guide to Writing an Essay: Tips and Tricks

    Here are some tips for writing the body of your essay: Stick to One Main Idea: Each paragraph should focus on one main idea or argument. This will help keep your essay organized and easy to follow. Use Topic Sentences: Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

  20. How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay: 2024 Guide

    A rhetorical analysis essay is a piece of writing that investigates someone else's writing and the rhetorical techniques used to influence the audience through the text in a certain way. In essays of this type you won't see much content being analyzed but rather the words, sentence structure, and other linguistic aspects.

  21. Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

    This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make effective changes in society. Even outside the political sphere, conveying a convincing message can benefit you throughout your personal, public, and professional lives. This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech.

  22. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  23. Best Writing Courses Online with Certificates [2024]

    In summary, here are 10 of our most popular writing courses. Creative Writing: Wesleyan University. Good with Words: Writing and Editing: University of Michigan. Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University. Academic English: Writing: University of California, Irvine. Writing in the Sciences: Stanford University.

  24. Mastering the Art of Essay Writing: Tips and Techniques

    Mastering the Craft of Essay Writing. Essay writing is an art that requires practice, dedication, and a mastery of various techniques to excel in the field. Whether you are a student looking to improve your academic writing skills or an aspiring writer honing your craft, there are several key strategies to help you become a proficient essayist. 1.

  25. Best Ai Essay Writer Tools in 2024

    Quillbot. Quillbot's AI-powered facilitated writing service is a one-of-kind tool with unique features. Its principal function is serving as a paraphrasing tool. It uses Artificial Intelligence ...

  26. UPSC Essays Simplified: Ideation and Brainstorming of the topics

    How to write essays for UPSC Civil Services Exams? This is one of the most popular questions among aspirants.In UPSC Essentials' special series UPSC Essays Simplified, we take you through various steps of writing a good essay.While there is no set formula or fixed criteria prescribed, Manas Srivastava talks to Ravi Kapoor, our expert, in this new series who guides the aspirants with a ...

  27. Tips for Improving Your Essay Writing Skills

    Set aside time each day to write and refine your craft. 2. Read extensively: Reading a variety of genres and styles can help you develop your own voice and improve your vocabulary. 3. Get feedback: Share your essays with peers, teachers, or writing mentors to receive constructive criticism and learn from your mistakes. 4.