how to write better essays

How to Write Better Essays to Earn Higher Scores

Tired of staring at the blank page document again? Have a hard time starting your essay?

Don’t worry, you are not alone! Even professional writers get stuck on staring at a blank document and have a hard time starting their papers as well. 

As a student, you might have landed here on this page because you do not how to start the essay assignment that your teacher gave to you. After all, an essay is one of the most common types of homework that teachers often give. So it is no longer a surprise why you are out here on the web, looking for tips on how to write the best essay or even searching for a professional do my essay for me service to do your essay for you.

If you still have not found the latter yet, then read further to learn more about the craft of writing a perfect essay, how to write better, and what makes an essay great.

The Perfect Essay

We like to preface that there is no perfect essay. However, you can make the entire essay writing process perfect and more bearable.

How to Write Better Essays

Pick a Theme You Are Passionate About

If you have an opportunity to select a topic yourself, you should get the best out of it and choose something you are passionate about. When you add a personal touch to your paper, you create something truly unique and outstanding. It can be about your experience, interests, or anything that has affected your life one way or another.

After all, it is you who would be doing all the research, data gathering, outlining, and writing essays, so might as well make the entire process a lot more fun and exciting.

Essay Topic Examples

Since not all essay assignments are free-ranging and your teacher might have already picked the theme for you to write, then you can simply refer to the examples below for reference or inspiration. You can expound on it and use it as the main idea for your next essay.

Here are a few history topic sentences that we found on the TIME magazine website.

  • Thomas Jefferson Writes to the Baptists (Jan. 1, 1802)
  • The 12th Amendment Is Ratified (June 15, 1804)
  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade Is Abolished (Jan. 1, 1808)
  • The First Electric Telegraph Message Is Sent (May 24, 1844)
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Is Signed (Feb. 2, 1848)
  • Women’s Rights Activists Meet in Seneca Falls, N.Y. (July 19, 1848)
  • The 13th Amendment Is Ratified (Dec. 6, 1865)
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act Is Approved (May 6, 1882)
  •  Workers Strike for an Eight-Hour Day (May 1, 1886)

Here are a few topics from the University of Michigan’s website that you can further research about and discuss in your essay:

  • The invisible roles of color
  • What we eat plays a huge role in climate change
  • Bats and diseases, what’s the deal?
  • Snowy owls don’t need fuzzy slippers
  • Mighty Mites
  • Why do zebras have stripes?

Follow the Rules

There is never really a hard rule when it comes to essay writing. However, as a student, there are norms that you have to follow in order to score higher on your essay.

Generally, every academic essay needs to have a structure: introduction, thesis statement, body paragraph, and conclusion. Devote each paragraph to a new idea and don’t make them too clogged. Otherwise, your target audience or teacher would just be confused and have no idea what it is you are trying to tell them.

Other than that, you should be aware of the word limit as well. Your teacher would generally inform you about the word limit along with the essay theme or topic that you have to write about.  If you have never written within a certain word number, it can be hard to get what “500 words” look like in reality.

Keep in mind that 250 words represent one typed double-spaced page, so you should write two pages to meet the requirement. You can take any written paper and utilize the Microsoft Word function to count such elements to get a feel for it. When your teacher assigns a word limit, it is important to stick to it.

Otherwise, your teacher might mark down your score. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to write exactly within the word limit, but you should do your best to get as close to it as much as possible.

Include Anecdotes

Since you are writing something that you are passionate about, try to include anecdotes and do your best to really assimilate yourself in the writing process. This way, you would only have additional content for your essay, but the reader (or your teacher) can tell that you fully understand your chosen topic as well

How to Write Better

If you are a seasoned writer and only write whenever your teacher told you to, then best believe you to do a few preps before you can actually start writing.

Even if you managed to open a Word document and immediately start writing your paper, best believe that once you proofread it at the end, it would not be as good and your teacher would not be impressed.

So to write a better essay, here are some key preps that high-achieving students do

Research

There are zero chances that you would have a high score in your essay if you have no clue what your main argument is and you made no effort to research about it.

As you probably already know, almost all academic papers are heavily researched. Your teacher would greatly appreciate it if your essay is well-thought-of, well-crafted, heavily researched, and properly cited. 

You cannot achieve all of these things if you made zero progress on your research. For instance, if you want a well-crafted and properly cited paper, you need to go to the library or research credible articles/journals online. There would be no one to cite if you do not have any reference or resource material in the first place. 

Thankfully, the internet is a great starting for research (but only if you use it well). It bears repeating that while the internet is a great place to start your research, not everything you find in it is credible.

When you use make use of the internet for your research, make sure to only cite trusted websites and resources.

Bonus tip: Use several search strings to filter out sketchy websites and non academic writing. Our favorite search strings are “site:.edu” and “site:.gov”.

Plan ahead

A winning essay stands out if it is easily understandable. That said, you should structure your essay properly so that it would have smooth and better. Doing this would make your essay easy on the eye and not cluttered.

One of the best ways to do this is to break your content into digestible paragraphs. Given that your teacher would have to read a lot of essays from you and your classmates, you have to make it easier for him/her to read them.

For example, submitting big blocks of paragraphs like the ones below are not really pleasant to look at. It looks too boring and tedious to read.

How to Write Better Essays

Whereas the essay below is easier on the eye and a lot more pleasant to read

So to achieve an essay like the one above, we highly advise you to create an outline first before writing. This way, you would not jumble up your thoughts and your essay would have a better flow.

When you determine your paper’s focus, you can proceed to outline it. Many students turn a blind eye to it, believing it is a waste of time. However, it is the complete opposite. Creating an outline simplifies the drafting process and guides you in the right direction where to move on next. It also makes the essay writing process a lot easier because you have a better idea of what to write next.

Read other peoples essay

When we say read other people’s essays, we meant find sample essays similar to your theme and then read it.

Luckily doing this is now made easy thanks to the internet. You can just Google the theme of your essay and find something similar online.

Keep in mind that there are several types of essays such as

  • Persuasive essay
  • Argumentative essay
  • Informative essay
  • Expository essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Narrative essay;
  • And so on

It is important to know and understand these different types of essays when you are reading other people’s work or assignments as your reference.

Because while your subject statement is the same or related, their attack on the topic might be different to your essay. For instance, your teacher might have assigned a topic about Former President Nixon’s resignation for your expository essay. However, most of the stuff and papers you read online are mainly descriptive and narrative essays.

Once you know and understand the different types of essays, you can easily reframe the information you got from your research. After that, you can now write your paper based on the type of essay your teacher assigned to you.

What makes an essay great

We have mentioned earlier that there is no perfect essay. However, you can still earn a high score and make an essay that would impress any reader (especially your teacher).

How to Write Better Essays

 Stick to the Essay Prompt

If your ultimate goal is to impress your teacher with your essay, then it is worth reading the prompt a few times to be 100% sure that you know what you should write about.

If it has been written in an affirmative manner, for example, your teacher’s instruction may sound like, “Think about the fundamentals of eco-friendliness and your role in its maintenance.”

Should that be the case, then you should rephrase it as a question instead. Doing this would make the brainstorming as well as the research process a lot easier.  For instance, “What are the key principles of eco-friendliness and how can I support it?”

It may help reveal the essence of the topic since the goal of an essay prompt is to check your ability to address a specific theme. Try not to get carried away too much during the brainstorming process and do not stray from the actual topic during the research process.

With the rigorous research process before writing, some students often veer away from the topic because of the overwhelming information that they get. So as much as possible, read the essay prompt a few times and stick to the initial outline you created.

Show Instead of Telling 

Every great writing piece takes the reader on a journey worth remembering. Whether it is an academic paper or an informal essay, your reader (teacher needs to have an enjoyable experience so that they can remember it after.

So rather than explicitly stating your topic, take your reader on a journey and make sure that after reading it, they know more about the topic than before.

Going back to the Former President Nixon writing prompt example, rather than explicitly state why Nixon resigned without any context, you can further expound on it and narrate the chain of events that led to his resignation. Doing this would help take you on an exciting and enjoyable journey.

Conclusion

We hope that these tips are enough to help become a better writer. You can always reread and refer to some of the topics that we have covered:

All in all, the key takeaway here is to pick a great topic, do a lot of research, and always stick to the writing prompt every time you are writing an essay for your teacher.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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