Top-Notch Essay Writing Tips From Professional Writers

Liza M.
Publication date:
July 26, 2023
essay writing tips

Essay writing plays a tremendous role in the learning experience. It pushes students to think outside the box, apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom, develop their research skills, and learn how to build their arguments. But handling it is never easy.

Although this assignment is one of the most common types of academic writing, it’s also one of the assignments students tend to struggle with the most. There are plenty of challenges associated with it. But we have a list of expert tips from professional essay writers for essay writing that will help you overcome these challenges and nail this type of task like a pro!

What Is an Essay?

The origin of the word “essay” comes from the French influence on Middle English. If you trace it further, the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb “exigere,” which translates as “to examine or test”. The word’s etymology hints at the true essence of the academic essay - it encourages learners to examine/test their ideas and opinions on a given topic.

In the common understanding, an essay is a short piece of writing that reflects the author’s own stance on a particular topic, overlapped with proven facts, arguments, and examples. There are four main types of this piece by purpose:

  • Expository;
  • Descriptive;
  • Narrative;
  • Argumentative (Persuasive).

By its nature, essay writing is very concise and requires a lot of clarity in direction and purpose. Thus, it gives no space for wandering away from the topic. Instead, it must be compelling, sharp, and logical, yet engaging.

The core reason why this form of writing is used in education so widely is that it fosters a wealth of skills. Namely, this kind of assignment hones your reading, analysis, critical thinking, clarity, conciseness, exposition, persuasion, and many other skills.

One way or another, such papers are commonly assigned in schools and colleges and have a significant impact on students’ GPAs. That’s why knowing how to handle this task well is a must.

How to Write an Essay?

Before we move on to good essay writing tips collected by pros, it’s crucial that you grasp the general procedure behind this task.

Basically, the process of crafting a paper like this can be divided into seven steps:

  1. Either decide what kind of paper you want to write or carefully study the given guidelines.
  2. Take time to brainstorm topic ideas.
  3. Use valid sources to collect enough data on your topic.
  4. Develop a clear thesis statement.
  5. Make a logical outline.
  6. Write your paper.
  7. Proofread and edit the draft.

This is a brief overview of what you need to do. And now, let’s move on to actionable tips.

Essay Writing Step by Step: Top 12 Tips From Professionals

Now that you know what it is and what general steps you need to take to handle the task, let’s move on to the most important part.

Essay writing is a time-consuming and meticulous process that can make you feel rather overwhelmed. Luckily, handling it isn’t too hard if you approach it one step at a time.

In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to craft a brilliant paper step by step and share some winning tips.

Take the Time to Properly Read the Prompt

Before writing an essay, you should take enough time to study the prompt. It’s the key to understanding the assignment. There are several things to keep an eye on:

  • Paper type;
  • The question to be answered;
  • Word count;
  • Formatting recommendations.

Additionally, you should pay attention to specific keywords that define the goal of your assignment. The most common keywords are:

  • Analyze;
  • Describe;
  • Summarize;
  • Explain;
  • Agree/disagree, etc.

When reading the prompt, highlight the key details and phrases in color to keep them in mind as you write. And don’t hesitate to clarify with your teacher anything that you find confusing.

Look for Interesting Topics

The perfect topic must be something that you care about, something you are already familiar with, and something you are interested in exploring further.

When evaluating different ideas, ask these questions:

  • Is this idea appropriate and relevant to my audience?
  • Does it interest me?
  • Does it correspond with the direction and purpose of the task?
  • Can I research and develop it fully?

And here’s an extra essay writing tip - consider picking a topic that you have a strong reaction to. You will likely find more to say about such topics. So don’t be afraid to choose something that’s inspiring, puzzling, etc.

Don’t Forget About the Research

Research is the foundation of your work. It must be in-depth and valid to let you create an A-level paper.

Here are a few simple tips on writing an essay that’s perfectly researched:

  • Do primary research first to gain a general understanding of the topic and only then delve deeper.
  • If you were given a reading list, work through it in the first place.
  • Try using different types of resources, including digital and non-digital.
  • Always check the credibility of the source and double-check every piece of data.
  • Take plenty of notes as you do your research, and note down the sources you’ve used.

Define Your Argument

An argument is your stance on the topic and the main idea of your paper. It’s also often called a claim or thesis statement. And it must be supported with evidence in your paper.

A great argument shouldn’t be superficial and obvious. So instead of simply stating, “William Shakespeare was a brilliant poet,” you need to explain what caused his “brilliance.” 

And here’s one of the best tips for writing an essay we have for you - before you start, define a general argument and then refine it as you complete your paper. Take more time to develop a thesis, and you will make it truly powerful.

Improve Your Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation Skills

When grading your papers, a teacher will assess not only how well you developed the topic but your writing skills as well. Thus, among all the rest tips for essay writing, we want to emphasize this one - hone your skills continuously to reach the best results.

Excellence in academic writing comes through practice. So read and write more on a daily basis. Use grammar manuals and different handy resources like Purdue OWL. And otherwise, work your way to impeccable grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Also, don’t hesitate to use editing tools like Grammarly to improve your skills. But don’t rely on them blindly.

Organize a Coherent Essay

Proper organization in your paper also plays a crucial role in your final grade. Your task is to make your text flow logically and coherently so that it is easy to read and comprehend.

The easiest way to follow a proper organization is to make a detailed outline prior to starting your work. Outlining will help you stick to the set structure in your paper and organize your arguments in the most logical way. Besides, an outline will help you save more time during the writing process, which is why it’s also one of the most important essay writing tips.

Keep the Structure

As you already know, proper organization and, hence, the structure of your paper are among the primary evaluation factors that teachers consider when grading you. Thus, one of the most important tips to writing a good essay is to stick to the proper structure.

A standard assignment consists of three main components:

  • Introduction;
  • Body;
  • Conclusion.

Let’s take a close look at each part of this paper and discover what must be included in them.

The Introduction

Its core purpose is to introduce your topic, gain the reader’s attention, and make them want to read further.

Typically, a great intro provides the following information in the same order:

  • A hook that can include a quote, rhetorical question, shocking fact, statistics, or anything else that instantly captures the reader’s attention;
  • General background information about the selected topic that provides a clear context for your argument;
  • Your main argument (thesis statement) that tells the readers what you are going to focus on in your paper.

Pro tip: Introduction might be one of the hardest elements in essay writing because your thesis still might change in the process. Thus, consider writing it after the body of your text.

The Body Paragraphs

The body is the main part of your paper through which you develop the topic and elaborate your argument. It consists of two or more paragraphs, depending on the given word count. Every paragraph must be concise, focused, and logically linked to other parts of your text.

The general structure of a body paragraph looks like this:

  • A topic sentence that states the primary claim discussed in the paragraph;
  • Evidence, facts, and examples that support the argument;
  • A logical transition to the next paragraph.

Here is one of the most important tips for writing an essay - focus on one specific claim in every body paragraph. Stating multiple ideas in one paragraph makes your text more confusing and harder to read.

The Conclusion

A conclusion is a brief summary of everything you’ve discussed in your paper that links the given claims to the main argument stated in the introduction. Also, this paragraph must restate your thesis statement for a stronger impact of your essay.

Additionally, the conclusion can provide the following information:

  • The significance of your findings;
  • Other factors that must be considered outside the scope of your paper;
  • The need for further research;
  • A link of your topic to the wider context in your area of study.

Generally, there are two crucial conclusion tips to keep in mind when writing a good essay. First, don’t simply repeat your claims but logically summarize them. And secondly, never provide new material in the conclusion.

Use Transitions Between Paragraphs

The use of transitions has always been one of the good essay writing tips, though commonly overlooked. Transitions serve as connectors between your paragraphs: they help you add logic to your essay and make it clear, easy to navigate, and more readable.

Here are a few of the most widespread transitions that you can add to your text:

  • However;
  • In contrast;
  • On the contrary;
  • On the other hand;
  • Nevertheless/nonetheless;
  • Also;
  • Besides;
  • Besides that;
  • In addition to that;
  • Moreover;
  • Furthermore;
  • Therefore;
  • Hence;
  • Thus;
  • For this/that reason;
  • In that case, etc.

Be sure to use words and phrases like this to link your paragraphs.

Use Advanced Vocabulary

In literary essays, an advanced vocabulary and unexpected, poetic metaphors can help you create memorable imagery and get your readers engaged. In more scientific papers, an advanced vocabulary helps showcase your knowledge of the subject matter and enhances the depth, richness, and impact of your paper.

One way or another, expanding your vocabulary can help you communicate your ideas more effectively and, at the same time, make your piece much more engaging and memorable.

To use this tip, try these hacks:

  • Read more;
  • Practice advanced vocabulary in your papers;
  • Use a thesaurus;
  • Get essay writing help if you need a clear example.

Choose the Right Language

When it comes to the language you use in your writing, it must be perfectly suited to the purpose of your work and the chosen topic. Here are some of the key essay writing tips for using the right language:

  • Keep your language clear and concise;
  • Stick to a formal or semi-formal style;
  • Keep a positive tone of voice;
  • Avoid using jargon, slang, and idioms;
  • Don’t use advanced vocabulary for its own sake (just to make your paper sound smarter or more impressive);
  • Avoid using biased or offensive language;
  • Stay logical and clear in all your statements to ensure excellent readability.

Use Simple Sentences

By its essence, an essay is a clear and concise piece of writing. To keep it like this, you must avoid confusing your readers. Thus, sticking to simple sentences must be one of the best tips to writing a good essay.

When you need to express a specific thought or emphasize your claims - don’t be wordy and write simple sentences instead. Using long sentences with complex constructions can overwhelm your reader.

However, don’t use solely simple sentences too. Ideally, your paper should alternate long and short sentences for better readability. You can use a Hemingway app to find a perfect balance.

Don’t Forget to Proofread Your Essay

A flawless, A-worthy essay can never contain typos, grammar, spelling, or other mistakes. Instead, it must be perfect in structure and content, which is why proofreading is one of the most responsible stages in essay writing.

Ideally, you should never proofread your work right after you finish writing it. Give yourself at least a few hours (or better days) to rest and get back to your assignment with fresh eyes. Then, carefully reread your work multiple times to detect any mistakes that might be there. And edit your work until it looks perfect.

Pro tip: Let someone else proofread your piece as well.

Key Takeaway

Crafting a perfect essay might seem uneasy at first. However, it doesn’t have to be like that.

After reading this guide, you have the ultimate list of essay writing tips carefully selected by professionals to help you tackle this task easily and achieve the best results. Use the knowledge you gained from this article to take your essay writing to the next level!