How To Write An Essay 8 Practical Tips For Students

How to write an Essay is very important question for all students.The essay is an expression and opinion on a matter.Ability to write perfect academic essay has become a fundamental need in the world of education. We need to know how to write a good essay for a successful academic study in high school or college. Here are some practical tips about effective essay writing.

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It is but to meet that a book of essays should begin with this subject. Whatever reflection, conviction or impression a subject evokes in the mind of a writer its methodical, harmonious, well-balanced and personal presentation in writing remains the chief purpose of an essayist. We cannot define it as a short piece of prose because prose is of different kinds and then many essays are anything but short. But the essay must express the writer’s personal opinions about something. This strikes the key-note. It may thus aptly be called the subjective literature of self-expression. But generally the students are shy.

They never express their original ideas but only content themselves with ‘borrowings. It is just the point where the shoe pinches. Minds differ as fingerprints and every independent personal opinion is many times more valuable than the repetition of others, views. A new approach is , always desirable. It is always possible to say an old thing in a new way and with a new gusto. In an essay the personality of the writer counts most and it must reflect itself thoroughly in his writings. The writer feels strongly influenced by his treatment of the subject. As such an essay is an attempt at correct and personal writing. It must have lightness, grace and ease.

Importance and Scope

It occupies an important place as a form of literature. The world can never forget the contributions of Montaigue, Aristotle, Bacon, Cowley, Swift, Johnson, Ruskin, Addison and Steele. The most famous essayists of the last century were Charles Lamb, Macaulay, Emerson, Hazlitt, De Quincey and Sidney Smith. They rendered valuable services in reviving this branch of literature. It is adaptable to all subjects, imposes no restrictions and conveys information in a clear, easy and pleasant manner.

Its importance from the examination point of view is also significant. It is the crucial test of a student’s ability. Then again it encourages thoughtfulness and serves to form a habit of reasonableness, fairness and of lucid writing. Its scope is unlimited. Anything from the stars to dust will serve an essayist. He may even attempt an essay on “Nothing”. The subject does not matter, but what matters is clear thinking, vivid exposition and an individual mode of presentation, or expression.

Always Stay Focus on your Subject.

Some students start writing an essay and find themselves lost in the subject. There are others who always complain about lack of material and ideas and can hardly tackle half the points on the subject. An essay must reveal the mental discipline of the writer and the thoughts must be put down in an orderly manner. The essay should have artistic unity, design and proportion of parts like a well finished work of art. The subject for an essay must be thought over a number of times.

The best side should be put foremost in the introduction which will win the interest of the reader. Haste often makes waste. Therefore careless handling of the subject often results in failure. Having carefully understood the subject, the necessary material should be gathered. Human memory, contains more things than one is conscious of and study of several books by different authors on the subject may be found to be useful. Consultation of standard books is always desirable. One must write often to write well Practice alone will make him a good essayist.

Then comes the most important stage in essay-writing, namely, planning. All the thoughts, ideas, arguments, etc., should be given a definite and systematic form and a skeleton should be set up. Everything written must have some bearing on the subject. There should be no wandering into outside matter no beating about the bush and no uncalled for digression. The arrangement should be made carefully and thoughtfully. Exaggeration indicates bad tastes and must* not be indulged in. Plannings is of much importance. It is more than half the battle. To do this facts are to be collected. They are to be properly arranged.

The right word is to be used in the right place. It is always advisable to write from one’s knowledge observation, reflection and imagination. Once the outline or the skeleton of the essay is formed, the task is facilitated enormously. In writing an essay it must always be attractive and convincing. Well begun is half done, and similarly if the essay is not well concluded it may not appeal to the reader. The conclusion should be brief striking and natural. Clarity and precision are as essential as originality.

There should be unity of structure in paragraphs as well as on the whole. All parts should be properly linked to one another like the links of a chain. Repetition of words and ideas should be avoided. To sustain interest in the composition it is essential that the meaning should be expressed clearly and plainly. Unnecessary words and phrases should not be introduced. Some variety in ideas and words is essential to create a lasting impression on the reader.

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Essays may be divided in many ways according to subject- matter or style. We have roughly divided them into three classes:

  • Descriptive essays describe the size, appearance, growth or uses of any given object, place or material.
  • Narrative essays narrate a story, an event or the life of a person in logical sequence.
  • Reflective essays express the ideas or reflections of the writer on any subject, even an abstract one.

This classification is neither rigid nor conventional, because there is much room for reflection even in descriptive and narrative writings. Rather it is mostly arbitrary. Convenience, simplicity and ease are at the bottom of this division.

Practical Hints

Select the essay which suits you best.

  • Think before writing, raise questions.
  • Put down on a piece of paper the principal ideas that suggest themselves to you.
  • Arrange them in a proper order.
  • Develop them and let every principal idea have a harmonious paragraph to itself.
  • Add fresh details if found necessary.
  • Provide an introduction and a conclusion.
  • Set a limit to your essay.
  • Cut down irrelevant stuff and stick carefully

In descriptive writings:

  • Long descriptions should be avoided.
  • Accuracy must be the primary consideration.
  • Important features and details must not be overlooked.
  • The details should be so arranged as to present a clear picture to the reader’s mind.
  • Comparisons, if used properly, can produce satisfactory results.
  • The description should read as interesting and realistic as possible.
  • Persona’ method is preferable to the objective method of expression.

In narrative writing:

  • Make sure about the plot.
  • Make a direct beginning. Link up the points in a natural manner.
  • Do not have a lengthy introduction.
  • Never write a long story.
  • The narration should have a crisis, should be developed to a logical conclusion and should be brief.
  • Conversation can also be introduced with advantage.
  • A title is necessary, but a moral should be avoided.
  • While narrating historical events, causes, incidents, results and reflections should be given under clear heads.

While attempting a biography, date and place of birth, parentage, early life and education career and achievements, circumstances of death, estimate of character are relevant points, to be borne in mind.If a phenomenon of Nature is to be described, its causes and effects should be clearly brought out.  It is sometimes desirable to end a biographical or natural narration with a quotation?

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In reflective writings

  • Exact scope of the essay should be clearly understood.
  • Do not exceed due limits. Bring out all the points for and against clearly.
  • Truths should be established.
  • Their application or otherwise to life should be explained.
  • Conclusions should be justified.
  • Give instances.
  • Short and appropriate quotations may be used.
  • Points should be illustrated by examples, references and quotations.
  • The essay should bring forth original thoughts and attractive ideas.

The essay must not start anywhere and end nowhere

  • It must have a proper beginning, a main part and an end.
  • There should be method in treatment.
  • Haphazard reflections are to be avoided at all cost:
  • Every idea should grow out of the previous one and paragraphs should be joined together in a logical manner.
  • A sense of proportion and balance is necessary.
  • Each idea should be developed in a paragraph under a subheading.
  • The length of an essay depends on its

An essay devoid of the personal touch and without a  proper and well-determined scope is worth nothing.

  • Be as frank and sincere as you can.
  • The language used should be direct, lucid and forceful.
  • The essayist must decide for himself what he has lo say and how.
  • He should use the minimum number of words lo convey the maximum meaning.
  • Capital must not be made of triviality and importance should not be slighted over.

Each point should have its due in the treatment.

  • We can have a relevant and attractive beginning cither by taking up the subject directly.
  • But it should not be too long.
  • The main body of the essay 
  •  It should consist of appropriate facts, reflections and arguments.
  •  The end also should be short and natural.
  •  It should not exhibits signs of haste or want of time.
  • A few striking sentences, a climax or a brief summary would provide an effective conclusion.
  •   It should be like    the last taste of a  mango.
  •  It is good to end     with a quotation.
  • Do not try to adopt an impressive style
  • Such attempts are often disappointing because when the real substance of what you write is known, the impression formed is more damaging than appreciative.
  • Let your expression be simple, natural and unaffected.


by Abdullah Sam
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