How to Write an Effective Essay: 7 Essay Writing Tips with Examples

essay writing tips

Writing essays is one of the most common assignments in high school and college. For some students it’s an easy task. Some don’t have enough time for it, as they have a part-time job or are overloaded with assignments and exams. Others are just not good at writing. The way out is either to look for professional writing service or learn how to write effective essays. If you choose the second option, read on to learn the essay writing tips. This essay guide will give you all the necessary tips to write a perfect essay fast.

What Is an Essay?

An essay is a short piece of writing that provides some information or writer’s opinion on a given topic, persuades readers of some point, narrates some story, or describes some things, people, or situations based on knowledge, facts, personal perception or experience of the writer.

7 Tips for Writing a Perfect Essay

The essay length, structure, and content depend on the assignment and the chosen topic. If you have never written an essay before, are bad at writing, or just need some guide or advice to create an effective essay, read on our guide.

1. Understand the Assignment and Choose the Essay Type

There are different types of essays, with each having its peculiarities. Thus, the first thing you have to do is to read your assignment carefully and understand what type of essay you need to write.

There are 5 most common types of essays: expository, descriptive, narrative, argumentative/persuasive, compare and contrast essays, and rogerian argument.

Expository essay is a type of writing that presupposes investigation of a topic and providing facts, arguments, and explanations to make that idea or topic clear for the reader.  Examples of expository essay:

  • How to prevent bullying at school
  • Can computer games provoke violence
  • How does 3D printings contribute to medicine?

Descriptive essay is a type of writing that requires a student to describe a person, thing, object, feeling, or emotion. The main task is to describe the subject in such a detailed and specific way that a reader can understand and feel  that emotion or picture that object. Examples of expository essays:

  • My first day in college.
  • The happiest day in my life
  • My perfect vacation.

Narrative essay, often referred to as a personal essay, tells a reader a story. The main aim of this type of essay is not only to describe a story but also explain what influence it had on the author, what experience it had given. Examples of narrative essay:

  • The main values in your life
  • The importance of not giving up
  • Surviving high school.

Argumentative or persuasive essay is a type of writing in which the author takes a side regarding a controversial issue/topic and persuades reader to accept this stand. The author provides arguments and reasons as well as uses logic to convince the reader. Examples of argumentative/persuasive essay:

  • Should students wear a uniform?
  • Distant learning should be prohibited
  • Is medical testing on animals legal?

Compare and contrast essay presupposes explaining similarities (compares) and differences (contrasts) between two or more things, qualities, or characteristics. Examples of compare and contrast essay:

  • Marvel vs DC
  • Become a freelancer of work in the office?
  • Video games or computer games

2. Choose the Topic and Make a Research

After you have understood which type of the essay you need to complete, it is time to choose the topic. If it is assigned, it’s great. But if it is not, and you have to do it by yourself:

  1. Brainstorm and write down all the topics you would like to write on
  2. Narrow the topic. Make it more specific
  3. Choose your angle for writing. Take the perspective from which you will highlight the topic

When the topic is already chosen, make a research on it. You can look for some information in your textbook or search online. When making a research, take some notes. You will include some of those ideas in your essay.

3. Develop Thesis Statement and Create an Outline

The next step is to develop a strong thesis statement. It is a sentence that expresses the main idea of your essay and serves as a road map to your paper. Make sure it is clear, debatable, and essay-specific.

After the main idea of your essay is written down, it is high time to create your essay outline. In fact, it is very helpful.  An outline serves as a backbone of an essay. You only have to explain the main topics. Outlines can be formatted in different ways.

4. Mind Essay Structure

When it comes to actual essay writing. Myriad questions might appear in your head. Like, What is the essay structure? What are the parts of an essay? How do I begin an essay? What should I include in an introductory or conclusion part? Do not worry! Here is the answer!

The essay consists of 5 main components: introduction, 3 main body paragraphs, and conclusion. Thus, the classical essay consists of 5 parts. Each of them should provide specific information. Here is the essay structure.

How Do I start My Essay?

Introduction is an important part of an essay. It should include a hook to catch the reader’s attention and spark interest.

  • Start with an interesting or unknown fact
  • Start with a relevant quote
  • Start with a provoking question
  • Read works by people that inspire you and try to start in a similar manner.

Paragraphing Tips

To write balanced paragraphs in the body of the paper, follow such tips:

  • Start a paragraph with a topic sentence
  • Discuss only one idea per each paragraph
  • Support the thesis statement in each paragraph
  • Develop ideas within the paragraphs logically


A good essay should be easy to read and coherent. For smooth transitioning between the ideas in your paper:

  • Add linking words between sentences
  • Develop and present ideas in a logical order
  • Add linking sentences between paragraphs

What Should I Not Include in the Concluding Part of an Essay

Conclusion is the final part of an essay that summarizes the whole paper. Thus, Do Not

  1. Repeat Ideas from the Essay. You should summarize the main points but not copy paste them.
  2. Introduce New Ideas. As it is the concluding part, it should summarize what has already been said.
  3. Contradict the Arguments and Evidence You Have Provided in an Essay. If the concluding remarks undermine the content of the main body, then it is a bad essay.

5. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious issue that should be avoided in academic papers. Thus, if you add  directly or paraphrase information from some sources, you should properly cite it. If not, you risk to receive an F for your essay or even face more serious consequences.

6. Properly Format the Paper and the Reference List

Make sure to format your paper and bibliography according to the assigned formatting style. Each style has its peculiarities in terms of title page, in-text citations, and reference list. The most common formatting styles are:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Chicago

7. Proofread and Revise

When the paper is complete, it’s time to revise it.

  1. Ask a friend to read your essay and give a feedback on it
  2. Check whether ideas are clear and logically developed
  3. Proofread paper for grammatical  and stylistic mistakes
  4. Proofread paper for typos

Look through the effective essay checklist to make sure you have written a perfect essay.

How to Improve My Essay Writing Skills?

If you are not good at writing papers, it is not a big problem. You can easily improve your skills.

  • Read other people’s works
  • Understand your assignment
  • Organize your ideas
  • Create an outline
  • Be clear, specific, and concise
  • Avoid repetitive ideas
  • Use appropriate vocabulary
  • Proofread your essay

How Long Should an Essay Be?

Classical essay should consist of five paragraphs: introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. It is the college essay format. However, the body part may contain much more than three paragraphs.

The length of an essay depends on your specific assignment. You should be attentive to the essay instructions and clarify the length with your teacher if needed.

Why Writing Essay Is so Hard and Long?

Some students find completing essays a really challenging task. There might be several reasons for it.

  • You’d rather be watching Netflix or going out with friends
  • Lack of practice
  • You are not good at writing
  • You don’t like writing

 How Can I Write My Essay Fast?

You cannot write a good essay in 10 minutes. But, creating an outline will help complete the work faster. Also, you can turn to a writing assistance company. It will save you a lot of time.

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