How to Write an Effective Essay


An essay is a form of writing that requires careful planning, organisation and research. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your creativity and personal perspective. An essay must answer the question set and present a well-supported position, and should include an introduction, body and conclusion.

Start Early

This may seem like a no-brainer, but starting your essay early can help you avoid procrastination and develop a clearer perspective on the topic as you write. It can also help you clarify your ideas and make sure that they are logically ordered.

Conduct Research

Research is essential for academic essays, as it helps you find the evidence that supports your argument. You can use a range of sources, including books, academic journals and online databases. It’s important to read widely and consider the different perspectives on your subject when conducting research. It’s also a good idea to cite your sources when writing an essay.

Structure your Essay

The type of essay you choose will depend on the topic and question, but most essays follow a simple beginning-middle-end format. For example, if your essay is about a specific event in history, you might decide to take a chronological approach. However, this isn’t the only way to structure an essay – you can also use a problem-solution or cause-and-effect approach. You might even choose to analyse a theory or method and then present a solution.

Regardless of the type of essay, you should always aim for clear, concise and persuasive language. This means avoiding excessively long or complex sentences, using plain English and limiting the number of jargon words you use. It’s also a good idea use signposting to guide your reader through your essay. This means using phrases such as ‘First,’ ‘Next,’ ‘Simultaneously,’ ‘Alternatively,’ and ‘After that’ to indicate how your ideas are connected.

Review and Revise

Once you have a first draft, it’s worth taking some time away from the essay to give yourself a fresh perspective. Then, once you’re happy with the general flow of your essay, it’s a good idea to check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Use a tool such as Grammarly, which uses machine learning to catch common errors and provide instant feedback.

Finally, if you can, it’s a good idea to have someone else read your essay before you submit it. This can help you spot errors that you’ve overlooked when you’ve been looking at your work for too long. Having another set of eyes can also help you understand how your essay might be perceived by your readers.