How To Write An Effective Essay From Scratch

Writing essays can be challenging, but with an effective strategy, the task is simple. This guide provides best tips on essay writing and looks at ways you can develop your essay writing practices. This ultimate essay writing guide walks you through every step of the essay writing process, from getting in the right state of mind through to polishing and handing in your essay to your tutor. Simply click ‘Introduction’ below and follow the easy walk through to become an essay writing expert!

Determine the Type of Essay That is Appropriate

When you have a particular topic for your essay, one of your critical initial tasks is to choose which type of essay is appropriate. In some cases, this decision might be difficult but in most cases the choice is obvious from the topic provided. The four main types of academic essays are expository essays, persuasive essays analytical essays and argumentative essays.

The expository essay usually characterizes one specific theme or idea. When should you use this type of essay? As an example, you have heard a story or seen an event and want to comment on a particular political news item, sport event, or give your personal opinion about something in particular – in these cases you need to write an expository essay.

The persuasive essay is appropriate when you have to convince someone to believe your statement or point of view on a given topic or issue. The most important parts of this type of essay are your body paragraphs as you present your arguments there, so be ready to provide strong arguments to persuade your readers of the truth of your statement. However, the introduction and conclusion remain important because they do what they need to do: introduce and conclude the essay respectively.

The analytical essay is different in that you do not need to persuade, express your opinion etc. Your main task when you write an essay of this type is to analyze an event, a particular thing, movie, book, publication, piece of art etc. Your analysis should be presented in your body paragraphs, so it will definitely be the biggest part of your essay. Beside the analysis, your own response to the issue is also important, but you do not have to convince anybody why you think you are right.

The forth kind of essay is an argumentative one. It is one of the most popular types of essays. It has a lot in common with a persuasive essay; however, you have to prove that your opinion is better than the others, so opposing points of view should also be presented. Besides, the pros and cons are essential in this type of essay. Use a strong concluding sentence to end your essay stating that you have proven your thesis.

How to Start an Essay

If you are looking for a basic understanding of an essay and how to approach it, this section covers this problem. The section breaks down the differences in writing techniques, skills, and expectations at all levels of university and explains the concept of essays, how the general essay writing process should work, and what types of traits define the successful essay writer. 

Even people, who do not face difficulties, with writing essays sometimes do not know how to begin their composition. In this case you can use standard solutions. Here are some advises. It is a very important moment every time our writers start some creative writing assignment. The beginning will influence the whole work.

You can start your introduction with a statement, which interests and orients the reader, often referred to as the hook or attention grabber. The attention grabber statement that you make should be true and verifiable, make sure the reader doesn’t get any doubts about its authenticity. Try elaborating your attention grabber to prolong the interest of the reader.

Also you can look up for an suitable anecdote, but only in case it is affordable for the general sense. For more effective impression begin your essay with an anecdote which is a story that illustrates a point. It should be short, relevant to the topic, highlighting the main point you wish to make. If you have serious topic, even dramatic, anecdote is not the best variant.

If you start your essay from the dialogue, you should know that an appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.

Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration.

On more idea for beginning is a quote from some literature, historical event, proverb, idiom, etc.

If your work covers analysis of a book or it is about a famous writer, there is no better beginning than a citation. It will take your readers close to the book or to the person you dedicate your work to. A book may cover a lot of themes and lines. Your citation is to deal with the particular line you will deal with.

Interesting, shocking and intrigue fact, which will capture attention of reader and make him reading further.

Remember to have all the supporting materials before you start your work. They will prompt you what kind of beginning you need. Impress and address to the readers is what you need to remember every time you think how to start an essay!

The beginning of every works is both difficult and pleasant. You need to find the most appropriate and creative approach to introduce the topic to your readers.

Keep in Mind the Level of Study

Although the general approach remains largely the same, the level of study has some implications for the rigor involved in writing an essay. An essay at the university level requires more rigor than a high school one. You may not be sure how an essay differs from other types of writing you may have done, such as a story, diary, letter, email or even text message! Writing at the university level is entirely different – not to scare you or anything, but it is! You will have lectures and you will need to take notes from these discussions and from your reading. You may be part of online discussions and seminars where you will also be writing and collecting information.

Most importantly, you will be receiving course assignments at the university level that involve writing over many weeks and that count as a large chunk of your final grade for each class that you take. Much of your notes from lectures and reading suddenly become very important because they often become the foundation for these course assignments. And, not to create any stress for you, but all of that is important but not as critical as the final product you actually turn in and that gets the mark that often determines your grade for that particular class. No pressure, right?!

And, while it might seem like since it is so important, you, as a student, would have been given all the tools and know-how to do it correctly, most students do not have a clue how to approach or do essay writing. That is because the type of writing you did as a student leading up to that point was entirely different and not structured to lead you toward what was ahead at the university level, unfortunately. All your writing has been to this point has basically been about how to read words, form sentences, and put together a story or a brief composition. Everything you wrote was more about encouraging you to use your imagination and express ideas on paper as a discovery process versus an analysis or critical thinking process.

Toward the end of your school career prior to university, you may have started to explore how to analyse topics and argue a particular point, but once you arrive at university, you then experience the ‘sink or swim’ option when it comes to writing essays and taking care of this major part of your coursework. Here’s how it changes.

Observe the Characteristics of the Perfect Essay

Now that we know why we’re asked to write essays, what are the characteristics that define the essays that impress? The tutors marking your essays may have their own preferences and things they look for in outstanding essays, but let’s take a look at a few of the irrefutable traits of the best.

Original thinking

The hallmark of the truly brilliant essay is original thinking. That doesn’t have to mean coming up with an entirely new theory; most of, if not all, the topics you’ll be studying at GCSE, A-level or even undergraduate level have been thought about in so much depth and by so many people that virtually every possible angle will have been thought of already. But what it does mean is that the essay stands out from the those of other students in that it goes beyond the obvious and takes an original approach – perhaps approaching the topic from a different angle, coming up with a different hypothesis from what you’ve been discussing in class, or introducing new evidence and intelligent insights from material not included on the reading list.

Solid, in-depth knowledge and understanding

It goes without saying that the brilliant essay should demonstrate a strong knowledge of the facts, and not just knowledge but sound comprehension of the concepts or issues being discussed and why they matter. The perfect essay demonstrates an ability to deploy relevant facts and use them to form the basis of an argument or hypothesis. It covers a wide range of material and considers every point of view, confidently making use of and quoting from a variety of sources.

Clear structure with intelligent debate

The perfect essay provides a coherent discussion of both sides of the story, developing a balanced argument throughout, and with a conclusion that weighs up the evidence you’ve covered and perhaps provides your own intelligent opinion on how the topic should be interpreted based on the evidence covered.

No superfluous information

Everything written in the perfect essay serves a purpose – to inform and persuade. There’s no rambling or going off at tangents – it sticks to the point and doesn’t waste the reader’s time. This goes back to our earlier point about sorting the relevant facts from the irrelevant material; including material that isn’t relevant shows that you’ve not quite grasped the real heart of the matter.

Exceptional English

The words in the perfect essay flow effortlessly, and the reader feels in safe hands. Sentences need never be read more than once to be understood, and each follows logically on from the next, with no random jumping about from topic to topic from one paragraph to the next. Spelling and grammar are flawless, with no careless typos.

Put in extra background work

Committed students always read beyond what the reading list tells them to read. Guaranteed to impress, wide reading gives you deeper knowledge than your peers and gives you the extra knowledge and insights you need to make your essay stand out.

If you’re studying English, for example, don’t just read the set text! Here are some ideas to widen your reading and give you a good range of impressive quotes to include in your essay:

  • Other works by the same author – how do they compare with your set text?
  • Works by contemporary authors – does your set text fit into a wider movement, or is it very different from what was being written at the time?
  • Works by the author’s predecessors – what works inspired the author of your set text? How do you see them shining through in the text you’re studying, and how have they been developed?
  • Literary criticism – gauge the range of opinions about your set text by reading what the literary critics have to say. Whose opinion do you most agree with, and why?
  • Background history – so that you can appreciate and refer to the context in which the author was writing (we’ll come back to this last point a little later).

It sounds like a lot of extra work, but you don’t necessarily have to read everything in full. It’s fine to dip into these other resources providing you don’t inadvertently take points out of context.

Know what you want to say before you start writing

You’re probably sick of hearing this particular piece of advice, but it’s important to start out with a clear idea in your mind of what you want to say in your essay and how you will structure your arguments. The easiest way to do this is to write an essay plan. This needn’t be a big deal, or time-consuming; all you need to do is to open a new document on your computer, type out the ideas you want to cover and drag and drop them into a logical order. From there, you simply start typing your essay directly into the plan itself. Your essay should include an introduction, a series of paragraphs that develop an argument rather than just jumping from topic to topic, and a conclusion that weighs up the evidence.

Answer the question you’ve been set, not the question you want to answer

A common problem with students’ responses to essays is that rather than answering the question they’ve been set, they try to mould the question to what they’d prefer to write about, because that’s what they feel most comfortable with. Be very careful not to do this! You could end up writing a brilliant essay, but if didn’t actually answer the question then it’s not going to be well received by the person marking it.

Give a balanced argument…

Good essays give both sides of an argument, presenting information impartially and considering multiple points of view. One-sided arguments won’t impress, as you need to show that you’ve thought about the evidence comprehensively.

…but your opinion and interpretation matter too

Show that you’ve made your own mind up based on your weighing up of the evidence. This shows that you’re not just hiding behind what other people say about the topic, but that you’ve had the independence of mind to form your own intelligent opinion about it.

Quote liberally

Use quotations from academic works and sources to back up points you want to make. Doing so strengthens your argument by providing evidence for your statements, as well as demonstrating that you’ve read widely around your subject. However, don’t go too far and write an essay that’s essentially just a list of what other people say about the subject. Quoting too much suggests that you don’t have the confidence or knowledge to explain things in your own words, so have to hide behind those of other people. Make your own mind up about what you’re writing about – as already mentioned, it’s fine to state your own opinion if you’ve considered the arguments and presented the evidence.

Context matters

As we’ve already touched on, if you can demonstrate knowledge of the context of the subject you’re writing about, this will show that you’ve considered possible historical influences that may have shaped a work or issue. This shows that you haven’t simply taken the essay question at face value and demonstrates your ability to think beyond the obvious. An ability to look at the wider picture marks you out as an exceptional student, as many people can’t see the wood for the trees and have a very narrow focus when it comes to writing essays.

If you’re an English student, for instance, an author’s work should be considered not in isolation but in the context of the historical events and thinking that helped define the period in which the author was writing. You can’t write about Blake’s poetry without some knowledge and discussion of background events such as the Industrial Revolution, and the development of the Romantic movement as a whole.

Include images and diagrams

You know what they say – a picture speaks a thousand words. What matters in an essay is effective and persuasive communication, and if a picture or diagram will help support a point you’re making, include it. As well as helping to communicate, visuals also make your essay more enjoyable to read for the person marking it – and if they enjoy reading it, the chances are you’ll get better marks! Don’t forget to ensure that you include credits for any images and diagrams you include.

Use full academic citations and a bibliography

Show you mean business by including a full set of academic citations, with a bibliography at the end, even if you haven’t been told to. The great thing about this is that it not only makes you look organised and scholarly, but it also gives you the opportunity to show off just how many extra texts you’ve studied to produce your masterpiece of an essay!

Make use of the footnote feature in your word processor and include citations at the bottom of each page, with a main bibliography at the end of the essay. There are different accepted forms for citing an academic reference, but the main thing to remember is to pick one format and be consistent. Typically the citation will include the title and author of the work, the date of publication and the page number(s) of the point or quotation you’re referring to.


Before you ask, no, a spell check isn’t good enough! How many times have you typed “form” instead of “from”? That’s just one of a huge number of errors that spell check would simply miss.

Your English should be impeccable if you want to be taken seriously, and that means clear and intelligent sentence structures, no misplaced apostrophes, no typos and no grammar crimes.

Include your name at the top of each page of your essay, and number the pages. Also, make sure you use a font that’s easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Arial. The person marking your essay won’t appreciate having to struggle through reading a fancy Gothic font, even if it does happen to match the Gothic literature you’re studying!

Meet the deadline

You don’t need us to tell you that, but for the sake of being comprehensive, we’re including it anyway. You could write the best essay ever, but if you deliver it late, it won’t be looked upon favourably! Don’t leave writing your essay until the last minute – start writing with plenty of time to spare, and ideally leave time to sleep on it before you submit it. Allowing time for it to sink in may result in you having a sudden brilliant revelation that you want to include.

So there we have it – everything you need to know in order to write an essay to impress. See more tips on how to write a good college essay. If you have any further great tips to add, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Top Ten Tips for Writing a College Application Essay

  1. Start early. The more time you have, the less stress you’ll have. You’ll have plenty of time to give the essay your best effort.
  2. Be yourself. Take a moment to think about what interests you, what you love to talk about, what makes you sit up and take notice if it’s mentioned in class or on TV. Then write about it. One of the biggest mistakes students make is “writing what they think others want to hear, rather than about an issue, event, or person that really had significance for them,” says an admission and financial aid official at a New York college. An essay like that is not just boring to write, it’s boring to read.
  3. Be honest. You’re running late (see #1), you can’t think of what to write, and someone e-mails you a heartwarming story. With just a tweak here and there, it could be a great essay, you think. It’s what you would have written if you’d just had enough time. Don’t be fooled! College admission officers have read hundreds, even thousands of essays. They are masters at discovering any form of plagiarism. Adapting an e-mail story, buying an essay from some Internet site, getting someone else to write your essay, admission people have seen it all. Don’t risk your college career by taking the easy way out.
  4. Take a risk. On the other hand, some risks can pay off. Don’t settle for the essay that everyone else is writing. Imagine an admission officer up late, reading the fiftieth essay of the day, yours. Do you want that person to nod off because he or she has already read ten essays on that topic? “The danger lies not in writing bad essays but in writing common essays, the one that admission officers are going to read dozens of,” says an associate director at a Pennsylvania high school. “My advice? Ask your friends what they are writing, and then don’t write about that!”
  5. Keep focused. This is your chance to tell admission officers exactly why they should admit you. Unfortunately, some students try to list every single reason, their stellar academic record, their athletic prowess, their community service, all in a page or two. When that happens, the essay looks like a grocery list. Even though the Common Application main essay has a suggested minimum of 650 words, with no limit, every admission officer has a big stack to read every day; he or she expects to spend only a couple of minutes on the essay. If you go over 700 words, you are straining their patience, which no one should want to do. Instead, read the essay question carefully and jot down a few ideas. Then choose the one that looks like the most fun to write about. Stick to that main theme throughout the essay. You don’t have to list all your achievements, that’s what the rest of the application is for. Use the essay in a creative way to help the admission officers get to know you as a person.
  6. Write and rewrite. Don’t try to write a masterpiece on your first try. It’s not possible, and all that pressure is likely to give you writer’s block. For your first draft, write anything that comes to mind about your topic. Don’t worry too much about grammar or spelling. Just get it down on paper (or computer screen). Then let it “rest” for a few hours or a few days. When you come back to the draft, look for ways to make it more focused and better written. Some people are “fat” writers: they write long, wordy first drafts that need to be shortened later. Others are “skinny” writers: they write short and simple first drafts and then need to add details or examples to “flesh out” the skeleton. Either way, don’t be afraid to make major changes at this stage. Are there details that don’t really relate to the topic? Cut them. Do you need another example? Put it in.
  7. Get a second opinion. Even best-selling novelists ask other people to read their manuscripts before they’re sent to the publisher. When you’ve rewritten the essay to your satisfaction, find someone who can give you advice on how to make it even better. Choose a person you respect and who knows something about writing, a favorite English teacher, a parent, or a friend who writes for the school paper. Ask them to tell you what they like best about your essay, and what you can do to improve it. Criticism of your writing can be tough to hear, but try to listen with an open mind. You don’t have to make every change suggested, after all, it’s your essay and no one else’s, but you should seriously consider each suggestion.
  8. Proofread. Finally, you’re ready to send your essay. Not so fast! Read it over one more time, looking for those little errors that can creep in as you write or edit. If you’re using a computer, also run a spell check. Sometimes, it can be difficult to catch minor typos—you’ve read the essay so many times that you see what should be there rather than what is there. To make sure you catch everything, try reading your essay out loud or having someone else read it out loud to you. Another strategy is to read the essay backward, from the last sentence to the first. That makes it just unfamiliar enough for errors to stand out.
  9. Be accurate. Applying online may feel like you’re sending email, but you’re not. An Oregon director of admission warns against using informal email language, incorrect capitalization or abbreviations such as BTW or “thanx,” which are not appropriate to a formal document. Make sure your online essay represents the best of you. ​
  10. Don’t expect too much from an essay. The application essay is important, but it’s not the only thing that is considered. “Can [the essay] make a difference in getting the ‘thin versus thick’ envelope? Absolutely,” says the New York director. “But that is the exception rather than the rule.” That’s because admission officers look at the whole package, your academics, extracurricular activities, standardized tests, and other factors. A great essay rarely makes up for a weak academic record. On the other hand, a mediocre essay won’t necessarily consign your application to the “deny” list. So make your essay as well-written as you can, but don’t put so much pressure on yourself that the rest of the application fades in importance.

Other Secrets of Writing a Good Essay

When you have a lot of homework to do at college or university, you definitely start to think about all possible ways to cope with your tasks. The first one is obvious – do it on your own. The second one – apply for help. In the age of Internet getting online essays is easy: you simply ask a professional writer from a custom writing service to create one for you. As a result you get a high quality, written from scratch essay, and stop worrying about sleepless nights full of studying. But before you start searching for the best custom writing service; let us remind you of the main rules of “essays writing”.

Writing Essay Step By Step: Online Essays Help
First of all, look at your topic. If you see, that you do not have enough information on it, use the Internet and libraries to get it.
The second step demands a brief analysis of all sources that you have found on your topic. If you have found essay samples on the web, you can analyze them in order to avoid possible mistakes when you start your own process of “essays writing”.
The third step is brainstorming. Take a pen and write down all the ideas on the topic which come to mind. Then cross out those you do not want to use in your essay and underline those you want.
Create your thesis statement. This is going to be the key idea of your essay, so make sure it is worth writing about. After that, start writing your introduction. Remember this part of the essay is short, but very important. If it is not interesting, your readers may not want to read your essay to the end.
Develop your essay by writing between three to five body paragraphs. When the topic is fully discussed write the conclusion. This should be clear, logical, and interesting.
Well, probably, that is all of our brief “online essays” help… But wait a minute! There is one more thing to keep in mind: make sure your potential reader can understand the main message of your essay, if not – do all necessary changes to achieve this goal.

Where to Get Help with Essays Writing?
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