Essays can either be seen as an exciting challenge or a daunting task, depending on what type of student you are. Whether you love or hate essays, we have the top ten tips on how to write a perfect essay every single time.
Incorporate Original Thinking
One of the most important factors of a great essay is the use of original thinking. While this doesn’t mean you need to think up a new theory, nearly everything has been covered already, you can do the following things:
- Take a different approach
- Think of another hypothesis
- Introduce new insights or evidence that are not in the course materials
Use Exceptional English Skills
This is especially important for a successful essay. You want to make sure your writing is easy to read and understand for the reader. Avoid jumping from topic to topic without smooth transitions. You should also ensure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are flawless.
Follow the Structure
Essays are typically structured in a five-paragraph style. This five-paragraph outline is as follows:
- Introduction: attention-grabbing line, statement of the thesis, and three sentence outline
- First Paragraph: topic sentence for the first sub-topic to discuss that opens with a transition, supporting evidence or examples, followed by an explanation
- Second Paragraph: topic sentence for the second sub-topic to discuss that opens with a transition, supporting evidence or examples, followed by an explanation
- Third Paragraph: topic sentence for the third sub-topic to discuss that opens with a transition, supporting evidence or examples, followed by an explanation
- Conclusion: transition to close the essay, rephrase your main topic, create a call to action or global statement
Put in the Extra Effort
Going the extra mile will not only help your essay stand out, it can help your overall score too. You can put extra effort into your essay by:
- Reading beyond the assigned texts
- Exploring other publications by the same author
- Learning the background history of the author- why did they write what they did?
- Searching for literary criticisms- you may find your opinion changes and you can use the evidence to support your arguments
While it might seem like a lot of extra reading, you don’t need to read the full texts. Just get the main ideas so you can implement the information in your essay.
Know Your Message Before You Write
While this might seem obvious, often students start writing before they have a clear message in mind. You should know exactly what you want to say before you begin and you can map it out in a brainstorming session or a document that you can easily reference.
Answer the Right Questions
A common mistake among students is answering the questions they want to answer instead of answering the question that they have been assigned. Avoid molding the questions to suit your comfort zones!
Balance the Argument
While it is just fine to be on one side of an argument, if you can balance the argument with evidence, your essay will have a well-rounded structure. One sided arguments are unimpressive. When you can show evidence from both sides, it will demonstrate that you have given serious consideration to the essay question.
Use Correct Citations
Make sure to cite any used works in the correct format. You can even go so far as to use a bibliography at the end to show how much research you’ve done to write your essay.
Take Time to Proofread
Always proofread your essay before turning it in. Read it out loud to yourself to make sure the message is clear and coherent. This is also the chance to catch any spelling or grammar errors.
Use Quotes – But No Too Much!
Inserting quotes that make sense to your arguments will further strengthen the evidence of the argument. Just be sure not to use quotes too often or it will seem that you don’t understand the argument.