How To Write A Good Essay
Essays and uni go hand in hand like curry with rice or pineapple on pizza (don’t @ us). Since you’re more than likely going to write more than your share of essays during your time at uni, we thought we’ll try and make life easier for you by sharing some tips on how to write a good essay that will get you those HDs you want with something on essay of our own.
Look, we know there’s temptation to put off your essay until the very last minute, which in turn results in a few frenzied hours of rabid typing and panicking. So try to avoid all that stress by starting early. Not only will you give yourself enough time to research, read, and write, your essay will be far better than had you started it the night before it was due.
Planning the structure of the essay
First thing to do when starting an essay is figuring out what the essay question is asking you to do. Writing everything you know about a topic doesn’t make for a good uni essay. What’s more important is understanding what is being asked by identifying the question’s key words – like “discuss” or “analyse”.
The general structure for an essay is usually: introduction, followed by the body, and then a conclusion to wrap everything up.
So you’ve got your early essay plan ready, but what’s next? What are you supposed to write in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay? Let’s break it down into easy-to-understand terms.
This is where you start your essay by introducing the topic area before providing an overview of what your essay is going to be about. It is important for your introduction to have the following two bits:An answer to the essay question with your “thesis statement” or point of view; and
A brief but concise summary of your arguments backing up your answer to the essay question.
The body is the main part of your essay where you put all your ideas, research, thinking into arguments that answers the essay question.
This is where the bulk of the work – and marks – happen so make sure the body of every essay you write has:
- Discussions of the essay question.
- Development of your argument by showing your knowledge about the topic.
- Evidence, sources, and quotes to back up your arguments and answers. Make sure you always acknowledge your research with in-text referencing.
- Now if the essay question has more than one part, just structure your essay body into separate sections that answers each part of the question.
The last bit of your essay and it basically involves:
- Re-stating and confirming your answer/thesis statement to the essay question.
- Summing up the main points of your argument.
- A final broad statement about recommendations, future directions, or implications. This depends on the type of essay question that’s being asked.
It may be tempting but make sure you don’t ever introduce any new information or ideas in the conclusion. After all, the conclusion is here to wrap things up. New ideas should go in the body.
Structure of paragraphs
Okay, so we’ve dissected how to approach an essay and its overall structure. But how about writing good essay paragraphs? These make up the most important part of your essay after all as this is where you outline your arguments and evidence. Each paragraph should follow the following structure:
- Topic sentence – This introduces the main idea or argument relating to the essay question.
- Supporting sentences – This fleshes out your idea/argument.
- Evidence – A reading, source, or example that supports your idea/argument.
- Analysis – A critical conclusion you’ve come to about the impact or significance of the evidence in relation to your idea/argument.
- Concluding sentence – Pretty self-explanatory, this restates your idea/argument before transitioning to your next paragraph.
Effective essay writing techniques
We’ve covered how to answer an essay question, how to structure your essay, and how to structure your paragraphs so you should almost be ready to start writing your essay.
But before you get started, we’ve got a few extra tips and techniques that will help give your writing and your essay that final bit of polish.
- Always keep the essay question in mind and don’t lose track. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing several paragraphs that don’t do anything other than pad out your word limit.
- Don’t write your essay from start to finish. It’s best to go at it bit by bit before putting it together. Start with a few sentences or bullet points, then build those into paragraphs.
- Write your introduction and conclusion last. It may seem a bit odd but after you’ve done all the work for your essay’s body, you’ll know everything about the essay question so that’ll make the introduction and conclusion much easier.
- Always reference correctly and integrate your evidence carefully.
- Always revise your first draft. Make sure those ideas flow logically and everything is in proper order.
- Put your essay away for a couple of days. You’ll have a fresh perspective on things when you come back to it for another round of editing.
We can give you all the advice and tips on how to write an essay, but at the end of the day you need to find out what works best for you. So get scribbling and get those HD-worthy essays written!