Learn English » Essay Writing Tips and Sample Essays
Essay writing poses a challenge for most students. Teachers also find themselves at a loss, when faced with teaching essay writing. The following tips will be useful, to learn about essay writing.
Read the question carefully
Reading the question or the topic carefully is important. Read it and understand what it means.
This is the thinking step. Jot down whatever you know about the topic. Think deep and wide. Jot down what you have heard or read about the topic, what you know about the topic, and what you think about the topic. Jot down in note form, not full sentences.
Once you have your ideas written down, organize them into groups. For example, if the topic is ‘the advantages and disadvantages of the internet’, group your ideas into 1) general information about internet 2) what is good about the internet 3) what is not good about the internet 4) what your experience or your relatives’/friends’ experience on the internet is, and 5) what you think about the internet.
This is the most daunting stage for many students. However, it can be easy if you know that the essay should have three major sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
- The introduction should have general information about the topic, a definition if needed, and a few words on what you understand by the topic.
- The body of the essay is where you will explain the topic in detail. Make sure that you explain only one idea in one paragraph. Each paragraph should have its first sentence as the main idea for that paragraph. This important sentence is often called the ‘topic sentence’ or the main point of the paragraph. After the topic sentence, you should write your reason for giving the topic sentence. After giving the reason, you give the evidence that proves your reason. This is called a PRE (Point-Reason-Evidence) pattern. The following paragraph gives this pattern clearly.
The internet can be an educational tool (POINT) Students can access sites that give information and videos, that assist in their studies (REASON). For example, www.kidsworldfun.com gives excellent material for English learning (EVIDENCE).
- Your conclusion will be a summary of your main ideas, and a clear answer to the question in a nutshell. Do not introduce new ideas in the conclusion. However, it is acceptable to include implications or future trends.
Be clear in your writing. Avoid slangs, colloquialisms and abbreviations. Do not use obscure and very complex words just for the sake of it. Vary your sentence types, and lengths. Do not be wordy: be concise.
There should be connection between the different sections of your essay. Use connecting words such as ‘therefore’, ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’, ‘moreover’, ‘furthermore’ and ‘also’.
Editing and proofreading
Once you have written the essay, go back and read from the beginning, looking for mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Correct them, as you read.
The more you read books, magazines and newspapers, the better your writing will be, in content, style, and language.
Click on the sample essays below to read them.