How To Write An Effective Essay


how to write an effective essay

If you want to get the best grades on your essay, it needs to be effective in what you’re trying to get across. Are you not sure how to be effective in your essay writing? Here’s what you need to know.

What Makes An Essay Effective?

First of all, what makes an essay effective? It’s all about how you structure your essay and how you get your point across. In an effective essay, you’ll have thought about the point you want to make, before you even start writing. As such, everything you write into that essay will be serving that point.

If an essay can clearly communicate your ideas, and show how you formulated those ideas, then you’ve written an effective essay that can get you top marks.

How To Write An Effective Essay

So how do you write a truly effective essay? It’s easier than you’d think.

Pick your topic: Firstly, you need a topic if you’re going to write an essay. In some cases, your professor will give you the topic, or give you a range of topics to pick from. In other cases, you’ll need to pick the topic yourself.

If you’re picking the topic itself, then you need one that works with the type of paper you’re about to write. If you’re writing an overview, then a general topic like “The USA” would work. However, if you’re writing an analysis, then you need something more specific. As such, you’d pick a topic like “Current political structure in the USDA” or “Racial diversity in the USA”.

Understand the type of essay you’re writing: You’ll also need to have a good grip on the kind of essay that you’ll be expected to write, too. If you understand what the essay’s purpose is, it will be more effective when you write it.

For example, if you’re asked to write an argumentative essay, then you’ll need to be able to argue a specific point in your essay. As such, you’ll need to be able to give evidence and make arguments that support the claim that you’re making.

Create an outline: Now you know what kind of paper you’re writing and what you’re writing it about, it’s time to plan it out. You won’t go into writing the essay right away. Instead, you’ll create an outline that gives you the structure to write the essay into.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to write down all the main points that you’ll want to make in your essay. List them out, and underneath them all write all the evidence and arguments that you want to make to support that point. You can then place them into a document in the order you want to use them, so you have the bare bones of your essay.

Write your thesis statement: At the planning stage, you will want to create your thesis statement. Simply, this is what the essay is about, and what points you’re making. As you already noted down the main points in the previous step, you should be able to do this quite easily. This will then be used in your introduction, to show the reader what the essay will do.

Write your essay: Now you have the basics to write your essay, so you can get started. You can start with your introduction, and then cover point by point as you planned out earlier. It’s best that these points link to each other, so you can make a cohesive argument. Once you’re at the end, write a conclusion that sums up these points and wraps up the essay.

Effective Essay Example

So if you’re going to write an effective essay, you’ll need an example to see what it would look like. Let’s consider an argumentative essay, on the topic of race relations in the USA. You may decide to make your argument The death of George Floyd was a turning point in US race relations. Once you have that topic, you’ll want to create your main talking points.

In this case, they may be points such as:

  • Floyd died after a police officer used excessive force in arresting him
  • Global protests erupted after the arrest and death of Floyd, showing frustration with how police treated people of color
  • Media picked up the story, showing a real interest in the issue on a global scale
  • Legal changes started to be made, due to advocacy from groups such as Amnesty International
  • Following these events, there has been a real shift in how the public consider the police when it comes to race relations

You have your points, so now you’ll need to make your thesis statement. In this example, it will be something like this:

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody, there has been a real shift in public perception of the police in general, especially when it comes to how they treat people of color.

With the outline and the thesis, you’ll be ready to start writing your essay.

Now you have all the basics you need to start writing an effective essay. If you spend time planning and considering what you want to say, you’ll be able to write a top graded essay easily.

written by Mary Watson

editor and tutor, 12 years experience

Mary, our exceptional editor and online tutor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With her extensive expertise in academic writing, she guides and mentors aspiring students, providing them with constructive feedback that propels their essays to the next level.