Published on October 16th, 2021
Essay writing comes naturally to many people, while it can be a tedious and daunting task for others.
Understanding the best ways to approach essay questions and form answers is a skill that can be practised and improved over time.
To achieve high marks, there are many writing techniques and tips that can be applied in most writing pieces.
For those of us who struggle with essay writing, it often helps break the task down into smaller steps. Below are four essential elements to writing an excellent essay.
1. Take Time To Understand The Essay Question And Carry Out Relevant Research
Give yourself time to understand what you are being asked in the question – highlight keywords and use a dictionary to help you understand difficult words if need be.
Once you’ve got to grips with the question, you can carry out more extensive reading and research to help you understand the topic and form your own opinions—the more research you do, the more avenues of interest you will discover.
You can look out for interesting facts and surprising information, which will make great topic sentences and help build upon paragraphs in the body of your essay.
2. Quoting, Paraphrasing And Plagiarism
If you have managed to carry out comprehensive research, you will more likely be able to strike a balance between your own opinion and those formed by others you’ve read.
You will have a better understanding of existing ideas in literature and ways you can develop and offer your new ideas on the subject.
While writing your essay, you must note all the resources of information you have used and reference them correctly in your essay.
Using proper citations for these sources will mean you’ll be less likely accused of plagiarism. Many online plagiarism checker tools can help you with this part of essay writing.
3. Plan Your Essay Structure
As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Indeed, this is one of the most accurate quotes when it comes to essay writing.
Once you have completed your research and have a solid idea of how you would like to answer the essay, it’s essential to plan the essay structure to ensure readability and fluidity in your writing.
Gather your ideas and arrange them in a logical sequence that makes sense. Usually, essays are broken down into the following sections.
- Main body: split points into paragraphs and provide supporting evidence, especially for evidence-based arguments.
Introduction: Summarises the essay at the beginning and is best written last.
- Conclusion: Provides a concise summary of the main points discussed and demonstrates how you answer the question.
4. Time To Edit And Get Critical To Producing The Final Piece
After you have completed your essay, spend time checking and reviewing your work. This will help you scan for small mistakes like punctuation and spelling mistakes you may have missed.
It’s normal for essays to go through a few reviews before being submitted. This phase of self-checking and assessment allows you to reflect on how you’ve answered the question and whether you feel there is room for improvement.
Once you break an essay down into smaller steps, the task becomes much more approachable to manage and complete. It can also help us feel more confident in the process.