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How to Write The Perfect Essay in English

No matter what you’re studying, essay writing is a fundamental part of student life. Most essay assignments award you marks for following the correct essay structure, so it’s important to learn how to write one properly.

What is an essay?

An essay is a piece of writing that analyses an idea or argument and explores it in further detail using supporting evidence. Essays usually range from 1,000 to 2,500 words and can take a variety of different formats. 

For example, a compare and contrast essay will identify similarities and differences between two or more items, such as books, countries or companies. A persuasive essay, meanwhile, is a piece of writing that presents a compelling case either for or against a controversial issue. When writing an argumentative essay, not only do you need to persuade your readers to agree with you, but you need to convince them why they shouldn’t agree with the opposing argument.

Essays are typically made up of three parts: an introduction, body and conclusion. It is important to note that an essay is not the same as a report, despite having some similarities. 

An easy way to tell the difference is that reports include tables, graphs and diagrams and use headings, subheadings and dot points to organise information. Be sure not to include any of these in your essay unless instructed by your tutor! 

Steps to write the perfect essay

Once you have selected a topic for your essay, you can break down the writing process into just a handful of steps. 

Preparing: How you prepare for your essay will determine the quality of your finished essay. The more background information you read about your topic, the easier it will be for you to reinforce your argument. It’s also vital that you spend time understanding the essay question, as this will determine how to structure your argument.

You can find resources to support your argument through Google Scholar, ProQuest, and even your university library. Make sure to research and take lots of notes when preparing your essay!

Writing: Break down the question and make sure to abide by the correct essay structure. This includes writing an introduction, at least two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Don’t forget to use examples to support your ideas!

Referencing: any time you write about an idea that wasn’t originally yours, you must cite where you found that information. Your education provider will be able to provide you with specific details on referencing, as referencing requirements differ between schools and courses. 

If you run into any issues while writing your essay, seek support from your education provider. Most institutes have a writing centre, which can help you access lots of great resources. 

Extra tips 

Start early: The earlier you begin the writing process, the more time you will have to work on your essay.

Keep a vocabulary notebook: When researching, note down any keywords and phrases important to your topic. 

Use a thesaurus: This will help you add variety to your language choices!

Make use of software: There are plenty of tools available to help you with writing and grammar, such as Grammarly and Readable.

Before submitting

  • Check for accidental plagiarism.
  • Step away for an hour and then reread.
  • Get another peer to read over your essay, and return the favour if you can!