How to write an essay

How to write an essay

So, if you are here, then you need to write an essay. Well, or soon it will be necessary. 

In fact, writing essays is a rather painstaking and time-consuming process. Writing an essay may be required in many cases that relate to study or work. Researchers usually distinguish several types of essays, depending on the given topic, however, the plan for any essay can be called universal, since the components will be the same regardless of the topic. 

There are many articles on the Internet about how to write an essay correctly. However, many of them contain already slightly outdated information, because the requirements and topics can change every year. This does not mean that you need to immediately look only at the latest articles, it suggests that it would be better to trace such changes in requirements in order to identify the entire chain of changes and be ready for anything. That is why we first consider the types of essays. 


Essay types 

A well-known researcher and author of many textbooks, Virginia Evans, in her book talks about three types of essays. 

1. For and against essays 

Everything is quite simple here, and you have probably come across this at least once. Arguments for and against should be given to this topic of the essay, and it is better to adhere to the plan, where in the introduction there is an introduction to the topic, in the main part - disclosure of the essence (in this case, arguments for or against), and in the conclusion write your own opinion on the issue under consideration. 


2. Opinion essay

This type of essay should not only reveal your point of view on the situation, but also reflect its vision from different angles. Considering several aspects of the issue will be a key point in writing this type of essay. The introduction indicates the topic of reasoning, after which, in the main part, your opinion is directly expressed, which must be supported by arguments (quotes, or life experience). You can also explain why you have such a point of view on the described situation. The conclusion contains a summary and a final brief statement of your opinion. 


3. Suggesting solutions to problem essays 

An essay type that is used to propose solutions to global problems. 

Often applicants to universities, or, conversely, their graduates, are asked to describe what they would do if they could do something global for the world that would literally turn life upside down and back. 

In this case, your direct task will be to propose a solution to the question posed to you. Schemes and calculations are not necessary, only text. Only theory. 

The introduction should indicate the problem, as well as its possible consequences and the reasons that led to its occurrence. The main part should contain information about possible ways to solve the problem, and what they will eventually lead to. Arguments should be clear and concise, describing the specific step and its outcome. In the conclusion, as usual, the results of your judgments are summed up. 

We figured out the types of essays, now it’s worth talking about the general scheme for writing an essay of any kind. 


General outline for an essay 

We can say that it is universal and adaptable at the same time. It can be used for any topic and type of essay, but it is worth remembering that minor changes may be necessary depending on the situation. 

First, we note that the volume of the essay is set in the task. Most often it is 250-300 words for any exam. In some cases, the scope is not set, or will have a different scope. 

First, an introduction 

The introduction contains a commentary on the topic of the essay. Already the first sentence should make you want to read your writing further, so remember that an essay is not a novel, and we write briefly and concisely. 

You can write the key factors of the issue under consideration, as well as list which points you will consider. Only 3-4 sentences containing specific information about what you will write next. 

A good introduction has: 

  • a clear demonstration of the intention to reveal the topic; 
  • demonstrating that you understand the topic; 
  • the structure of the answer and the main aspects considered in the essay; 
  • a link to a source that helped you with research on a particular topic. 

Begin an essay with one of the key phrases: 

  • This essay deals with... 
  • This assignment will examine... 
  • This report will analyze... 

You can add some specifics by describing what and where you will be considering. 


The main part is the meaning of the whole essay 

Here you must provide and disclose arguments, describe a course of action, or provide your own opinion on the topic. It is important to structure the information and make sure that there is a logical lead to the conclusion. 


Summary - conclusion 

The conclusion always sums up. In other words, there should be a conclusion, an answer to the question formulated in the topic, or the problems and prospects of the work in question. You can mention similar topics worthy of further consideration, or briefly express your opinion. 

A good conclusion should not just contain dry arguments or conclusions, its structure is important, since the impression of the ending can be imprinted on the entire text of the essay. It should be a continuation of the main part and at the same time a good ending. 

The conclusion should not contain new ideas or arguments, an exculpatory tone, or overemphasis on unnecessary details. Also avoid refuting previous arguments, as this will render your essay useless. 

Most teachers consider the conclusion to be the most important part of the essay. In it, you must show that you are good at reasoning and able to thoughtfully analyze the topic at hand. 

Also note that the conclusion should be slightly longer than the introduction. No need to devote a separate chapter to it, just add one sentence to the volume of the introduction - that will be enough. 


Important to remember 

Since writing an essay requires a fairly high level of knowledge of English, you cannot get caught by small mistakes that will lead to an unsatisfactory grade. To do this, always remember the following points: 

1. You always need to prepare in advance.

Read texts on various topics in both languages. Not all at once, but gradually. Sufficient preparation time is a determining factor. 

2. Try to learn more new words.

The ability to operate with high-level words will attract the attention of the inspector. 

3. Sketch.

Don't be afraid to spend time at home writing drafts. Make an outline, and after that continue to develop the theme. You'll be surprised how little it takes to get started and how much easier it gets down the road. 

4. The main thing is to start. 

 There is such a thing as "fear of a clean slate." This is exactly the moment when you stare at the paper, feeling that all the knowledge from your head has simply sunk into the abyss. Vacuum. Just start, one or two words. Then an offer. Don't be afraid to start with different paragraphs. 

5. Always check your writing for errors and abbreviations.

Neither of these should be there. Read the finished text two or three times, checking each word. Check all grammatical structures and tense agreement. 

6. Follow the style.

This is not a non-fiction article or fiction. The essay should not contain reduced vocabulary, curses, vernacular and colloquial vocabulary. 

7. Keep the volume.

Here we are talking about both the number of words in general, as well as the number of words in a separate block: introduction, main part and conclusion. 

8. Learn key phrases and introductory words.

Most often, having a ready-made skeleton of the future text greatly simplifies the task of writing, since you will only be required to insert a few words into a sentence. 


We hope that in this article you have learned useful information on how to write an essay in English. We have not given unnecessary examples, because they can be easily found in the public domain on the Internet. 

We only recall that practice is important in learning English, no matter whether you remember the next time, or learn to write an essay in your senior year.