4 Tips to Writing an Essay That is Effective

Essay writing is difficult, and a lot of students shy away from writing them. While a person may write their first essay in elementary or middle school, the person often doesn’t understand the value of learning from their essay mistakes.

But when an essay is part of a contest, a requirement to get into a university or even to get a scholarship, these individuals scramble to learn the right way to write an essay.

These tips will help you write an effective essay that lands you a scholarship or helps you get noticed by the university that you’re applying to.

1. Choose a Topic That is Effective

Your topic will matter as much as the content that you write. When you’re given an overview of the essay that you’re meant to write, take your time to:

  • Brainstorm ideas on which topics to choose
  • Jot down any ideas that you may have for your essay
  • Narrow down the focus of the article and start formulating the final topic

A lot of teachers will help you with your topic of choice, too. When coming up with a topic is too difficult or you’re not sure which topic to choose, ask a professor for help. The professor will be more than willing to help you find a topic that has substance and relevant sources to help strengthen your writing.

2. Outline Your Essay

Yup, it’s basic, but you need to start to outline your essay. The essay will flow much better when you put time and energy into it, but it does take time. For example, if you’re going to write an essay and don’t have an outline, your ideas may be jumbled and not flow properly.

Every essay writing professional in the world will recommend that you outline your essay properly.

What a lot of people will do is:

  • Write the topic in the middle of the paper and circle it
  • Draw branches or lines from the topic to jot down ideas
  • Find sources for all of your ideas

You need to have sources to backup all of your information. These sources will help strengthen your essay’s argument.

You’ll want to make sure these four sections are included:

  1. Thesis statement
  2. Intro paragraph
  3. Body
  4. Conclusion

3. Refine the Key Points of Your Essay

Every essay has its key points, as outlined above, and you should be trying to refine these points. The main issue that we see is that people don’t understand these key points very well.

The key points should be very well understood, and this means:

  • Thesis. Your thesis statement should be dictated by the topic chosen and the ideas that you have. The main ideas will be what the thesis statement consists of as a whole, and there should be two main parts: the topic and point of the essay.
  • Body. The body describes your topic and also explains it. The main idea of your outline will come to life in the body of the essay.
  • Conclusion. A strong conclusion will wrap up all of your points, and this should be done in three to five sentences.

Of course, you’ll also need a strong introduction, and it’s highly recommended that this introduction comes after the rest of the essay is written. Why? You can use all of your research and strong points to make the introduction stronger.

4. Sprinkle in the Finishing Touches and Continue Editing

The finishing touches should come during your editing and revision phase. Even the best writers in the world start with a draft that is continually refined until it’s perfect. You’ll need to follow the same approach with your essay, editing it first and adding in the finishing touches to make a strong argument.

When editing, a few tips can go a very long way. Harvard has a lot of tips to follow, but a few should be:

  • Read your essay aloud
  • Make sure words work together to have a purpose
  • Remove jargon or phrases that may seem pompous
  • Eliminate repetitive sentences and structure
  • Eliminate clichés that may exist

And don’t be afraid to ask others for help. The opinion of others, especially someone that is well-versed in essay writing, can help strengthen your essay a lot.