3 Tips to Improve Your Essay Writing (And 3 Mistakes You Might Be Making)

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You will write so many essays throughout your time in school that it is essential to your success to be able to write a good one. Understanding what goes into a good essay and how to avoid bad essay habits can not only get you better grades but also make essay writing easier for you.

In this article, we’ll break down what makes a good essay. We’ll also give you our favorite tips and tricks to help you improve your essay writing skills. Don’t worry; we’ll have you writing outstanding essays in no time!

What Makes a Good Essay?What Makes a Good Essay?

Understanding what makes a good essay is the first step to writing a good essay. If you know what you are shooting for, it will be much easier for you to figure out how to improve your writing skills.

Good essays do several things. First, they answer the question asked or respond to the prompt given in an engaging and informational way. They are easy to follow, and the reader can get all the information you wanted them to get out of them.

A good essay has a clear introduction and conclusion that are not simply restatements of one another. A good introduction will provide the reader with some broad facts they will need to understand the essay’s context and content. Think of an introduction as building a foundation for the rest of the essay to sit on.

A good conclusion will wrap up any point you as the writer are trying to make. If your essay is trying to prove something or leave the reader feeling a certain way, having a solid conclusion is one of the best ways to help leave your reader feeling convinced. It ties the essay to its context and brings all the threads that you were weaving throughout the essay back together.

What are the Different Types of Essay?

What are the Different Types of Essay?

There are lots of different types of essays that teachers and professors might ask you to write, and each one will need to be approached slightly differently. Here are some of the most common types of essays you will be asked to write:

Argumentative or Persuasive

An essay where you are asked to prove something or express why your view on a particular topic is what it is would be called an argumentative essay or a persuasive essay. Both essays are aimed at proving a point, and although they differ slightly in how they go about doing that, they are very similar.

These essays tend to have a relatively rigid structure and are easy to focus on since you will need to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. This essay writing style is expected at all levels of schooling and is often relatively easy to write, so long as your point of view or assigned point of view has evidence to back it up.

Descriptive

A descriptive essay is an essay that is simply describing the way something is or was. A descriptive essay can be short, long, or anything in between. The structure of these essays will vary based on the subject you are writing it for but are relatively straightforward and allow a good amount of creative wiggle room.

An example of a descriptive essay topic might be “observe the subject and write an essay describing what you saw.” You might also have essays where you have to describe something that has happened in the past or how a particular process works. This is a very open-ended style of essay.

Narrative

Narrative essays tell a story or a narration. These essays are often personal and relate to your own life but could be about some other event. Narrative essays are often the least formal of the essay types but are also some of the most engaging to read.

Narrative essays are often written in the first person or from the narrator’s point of view, but not always. A narrative essay has no clear structure since it can vary greatly. These essays can be any length and can often be fun to write since they can feel a little more creative than other essay types.

What Does an Essay Consist Of?

What Does an Essay Consist Of?

Essays contain three distinct parts, which we’ll be breaking down here. One of the best easy writing tips is learning and understanding the parts of an essay so you can better focus on each part.

Introduction

An introduction, as we mentioned before, is there to build a foundation for the rest of your essay to sit on. Think of it as a way to hook your reader in and make them want to read the rest of your essay. To do this, you will need to provide them with any background information they will need to make your essay seem both relevant and engaging. A good introduction leaves the reader wanting more.

Body

The body of the essay is the most significant part and can range in length from a few paragraphs to pages and pages. This is the main part of the essay and is where you will describe or argue whatever the essay is about. Make sure you have some kind of flow or organization to your essay body since this is the part of the essay that can easily get off track or wordy if you aren’t careful.

Conclusion

The conclusion of your essay should bring all your ideas together in one place and help the reader understand how everything you discussed in your essay ties together. The conclusion should leave your reader feeling satisfied and like they got the information or answers, they were promised in the introduction.

What are the Steps to Essay Writing?

What are the Steps to Essay Writing?

The best way to write an essay is to break it down into steps that are easy to follow. Here are our favorite essay writing steps.

Brainstorm

The first step to writing a good essay is to brainstorm what it is you want to write about. This step depends on what type of essay you will write. During this step, you might do some preliminary research to narrow in on a topic you want to write about, or you might just be jotting down ideas that you think will be good in your essay.

Outline

One of the essential steps in writing an essay is to write an outline. An outline will act like a map of your essay and give you some structure to follow as you start writing. Here you can fill in the details with bullet points, so you know what you need to include in each section of your essay. This step makes writing an essay go so much faster and feel a lot smoother. Skipping the outline is one of the most significant essay mistakes to avoid.

Write

Finally, it is time to sit down and write your essay. By this point, you should have all of your information organized in front of you so you won’t need to do any while you are writing. You now have to sit down and follow your outline. It is as easy as following a map if you’ve made a good outline.

Take a break

Once you have finished writing your essay, it’s time to take a break. The best timeframe here is to write your essay one day, go to sleep for the night, and then proofread your essay in the morning. This might sound silly, but it can be hard to proofread an essay that you just wrote, so make sure to take at least a few hours away from your essay.

Proofread

Proofreading is a crucial step in writing an essay and is one of the best essay writing tips we can give you. Make sure you have taken some time away from your essay before you proofread it since you will be more likely to find mistakes that way. If you find proofreading challenging, try reading your essay out loud to yourself and see how it sounds. This is a great way to catch sentences that just don’t sound quite right.

How to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills: 3 Techniques

How to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills: 3 Techniques

Improving your essay writing skills is easy if you follow our three techniques!

Don’t rush yourself

Writing a good essay takes time. If you think that you will be able to sit down and write an amazing essay in an hour, you will be in for a shock. Writing and editing a good essay will take at least some time over multiple days since proofreading should ideally be done on its own day. Rushing yourself and your essay is a sure way to turn in a less-than-ideal essay and is one of the simplest essay writing mistakes to avoid.

Review basic grammar rules if you need to

One of the biggest challenges with writing a long essay is making it read smoothly, and having good grammar is one of the best ways to do that. If you aren’t able to understand and follow most basic grammar rules, you will need to go back and review those in order to write a good essay. Think about investing in a good grammar book to keep with you while you are writing essays.

Practice creating useful outlines to follow

Creating a helpful outline is super important to writing a good essay. It might seem silly when you’re only writing a short essay, but the longer your essays get, the more essential outlines become. Make sure you practice writing outlines for all your essays, so you get comfortable. That way, when it comes time to write a long essay, you’ll be ready to do so and have the skills to get it done well.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Essays

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Essays

There are so many things to avoid when writing essays, but here are the main three:

Bad grammar

We’ve touched on this before, but it is worth discussing again. Reading an essay with lousy grammar is exceptionally hard and is a super easy essay writing mistake to avoid. If you need help improving your grammar, try talking to your teacher to see what they can do to help you.

Extra words

Teachers know that when you fill an essay with random, superfluous words just to meet a word count, they don’t like it. Sentences that are packed with words they don’t need are also harder to read, so try to minimize the amount of flowery language you use when writing your next essay.

Random information

Make sure that your essay stays on topic and is focused. Going off on tangents that don’t matter to the topic or including irrelevant information is a great way to confuse your reader. If this is a challenge for you, make sure you work on your outlining skills since this will help eliminate random information.

Wrapping Things Up: 3 Tips to Improve Your Essay Writing (And 3 Mistakes You Might Be Making)

Writing a good essay doesn’t have to be scary. We know your essays will be great if you stick to our simple tips and tricks! Writing a good essay will take practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first few essays feel rough to write or don’t get you the grade you wanted. Keep trying, and we know you will be writing stellar essays in no time!

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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