How to Write a Great Essay

Essays are part of school, college and sometimes life. Plenty of people hate putting proverbial pen to paper, but if English is on the curriculum or you are applying to college, writing essays is a necessary evil. Who knows, you might even enjoy composing your thoughts and giving your imagination a workout?

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If, however, you are one of the millions of people whose mind goes inexplicably blank when they have to write an essay, read on for some tips.

All Your Own Work

First of all, let’s tackle the issues of essay writing services. Google “essay writing” and dozens of writing factories will pop up on your screen. How they work is simple. You pay a fee and an anonymous writer produces an essay to suit the prescribed brief. If you are lucky, a cash-poor grad student will pen your essay and it will be so amazing that you’ll score top marks, much to the surprise if your tutor. But, what is more likely to happen is someone with a poor grasp of English and the subject at hand will email you a terrible essay a few hours before its due and you’ll be left high and dry.

Think twice before you pay for essay writing services. They often sound like a great deal on paper, especially when you are up against the wall and you don’t have a clue what to write, but paying someone to write your essay for school, college, or any other type of application, is a high-risk strategy. Unless you are truly desperate, don’t go down this route. Instead, speak to your tutor and see if you can have a deadline extension. As long as you have a legitimate reason for falling behind, it should be okay.

Getting Started

Good essays are not just a stream of consciousness in the style of James Joyce. You could try writing an essay this way, but it isn’t recommended. Instead, plan your essay. Select a suitable topic and draw up an outline. Put your ideas down on paper. Link them together and figure out what angle you want your essay to take. The very act of writing your ideas down can often stimulate new trains of thought, which in turn leads to other avenues of research. Do not skip this stage; it’s very important.

Next, write a synopsis that outlines your ideas and what you are trying to prove, disprove, or discuss. Is your topic worthy of an essay? Do you have enough facts and figures available to formulate ideas? If not, go back to the drawing board and start again.

Begin writing the main body of the essay. Use bullet points to give your essay structure. Fill in the gaps and flesh out your ideas. If you refer to other texts or research, make a note of your source, as these will need to be included at the end.

Finishing Touches

Once you have written the main body of your essay, write the introduction and conclusion. Fact check the entire essay and make sure what you have written makes sense and is logical. Go through the essay and make sure you have linked to all references. Run your essay through a grammar and punctuation checker if you are not confident about the technical aspects of writing.

Lastly, put your essay to one side for a day and then go back and re-read it. Look for typos and missing words or phrases. Does it all make sense? Is there any repetition of words or phrases? Is this the absolute best you can do?

When you are happy, ask someone else to read the essay as one final sanity check. Now you’re done!