Writing A Good Essay, How To

Writing A Good Essay, How To

An essay is a piece of writing leading to a specific argument or opinion. Essays are common in any course. They are assigned after almost every topic of the course. The following are some of the key elements you need to understand before you write the essay.

  • Essay Title
  • Planning the Essay
  • Note-taking
  • Writing the Essay
  • Essay Review

Essay Title

The essay discussion is guided by the title. This is why it should be something you have interest in. An essay title is developed from an issue of interest. A title can also be developed from a give question. It is important to understand the question in detail. There are instructions which should guide the writer. In an essay, some key terms are used including whey, how, what, and when. These terms should be an important part of the essay writing. Other terms used in essays include contrast, discuss, compare, assess, or evaluate. It is important to know what is expected when each of these terms are used in an essay question.

Planning the Essay

When you have an understanding of what is expected in the essay, you need to come up with a plan. The plan is a defined structure and guideline on how the essay will be completed. A plan supports the organization of ideas. It also guides you in collecting the relevant information. It is advisable that you identify some of the main points that will guide the essay. However, always allow some level of flexibility in your planning. The plan may change depending on the collected ideas or opinions.


An essay requires adequate information to complete. This information has to be sought from the different sources. Reading through the collected information allows you to identify the main points to be used in the essay. You should come up with a list of these ideas, which is referred to as note-taking. The listing of points is also important for future referrals. Reading through the list helps you to digest the ideas. It also guides you on how to discuss and answer the question.

Writing the Essay

When writing the essay, you should first come up with a structure. The structure presented below is the most common for an essay.

Essay structure

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraphs
  • Conclusion

five paragraph of an essay


When writing the introduction of the essay, the research question should be the main guide. You should provide content which explains the direction of the essay. The reader should be able to understand the argument of the essay right from the start. The introduction firmly identifies the position of the writer. It some cases, the first line of the introduction is referred to as, the “thesis” or “argument”. The introduction should also have what is referred to as the ‘hook’. This is a statement which captures the interest of the reader. It develops the interest of the reader to go through the content. The thesis normally follows the hook.

After the thesis, a mini-outline of the essay is presented. The main idea is to tell the reader more about what is contained in the other paragraphs of the essay. The reader also gives a few examples that will be used to support the argument of the essay. Finally, the introduction should include the final statement. When writing the final statement it should give a seamless transition to the next section. The reader needs to be on board in understanding what is contained in the body. However, you should make sure that the transition sentence is as short as possible. It is good to avoid preempting all the information to be discussed in the body.

Body paragraphs

A good essay should have all ideas presented in different paragraphs. The thesis should be used as the main guide for identifying the paragraph headers. For instance, when writing about developing technologies as resulting to an increase in cyber crime. The body paragraphs could contain types of new technologies, types of cyber crimes, how technology knowledge impacts crime, among other body paragraphs. Under each body paragraph, the thesis statement should be emphasized. Examples should be provided to support the thesis statement. It is also advisable to present the strongest argument within the first paragraph. Each paragraph should also be started using a topic sentence. The topic sentence allows the reader to understand the contents of the paragraph. It is good to avoid so many sections within the body. The ideas should be summarized in a few sections to avoid monotony. The reader also loses focus when too many sections are presented in the body. It is also very important to use facts when discussing the different arguments in an essay. Facts improve on the quality of your essay. Remember that institutions give additional marks for clarity and creativity in essay writing.


A conclusion is an afterthought of what was discussed in the body paragraphs. However, it should be guided by the thesis statement. You should know that the conclusion is the final paragraph which needs to convince the reader of the position of the essay. You need to make your case clear to the reader. Therefore, there is need for a rigid format when writing the conclusion of an essay. A good conclusion should have well-crafted sentences. It should have a concluding transition. The thesis should also be restated in the final statement of the conclusion. You should note that this is like the third or fourth time of restating your thesis. It is called the echoing effect in an essay. The effect ensures that the reader understand the argument of the essay. It emphasizes on the main argument which is good in an essay. The conclusion of an essay should also present the “call to action”. This is a global statement which shows the reader that the discussion has ended.


It is good to note that some external sources may be sought when writing an essay. This is through external reading which allows you to get adequate information. It also provides supporting evidence for your essay. All these sought readings should be clearly presented in the bibliography section. An alphabetical order should also be followed. Remember that you should always adhere to the recommended format and type of referencing for your essay.

Essay Review

When you write an essay, the first write-up is considered as a draft. An essay contains content, grammar, and structure which should be reviewed. Reviewing the essay ensures that everything is in order. These are some of the guides when reviewing an essay. It is good to ensure that the main question has been answered. It is also good to make sure that the argument is strengthened.  Additional facts may be added during the review to improve on the quality of an essay. Essay review should also involve grammar and spell-check. The punctuations should also be in order. It is also good to note that some evidence may be removed if deemed unnecessary for the argument in the essay. Double-check the length of the essay to make sure that it meets the expected word count. You should note that institutions penalize essay which do not need meet or exceed the word count. Finally, it is good to stick to the deadline. Always ensure that you submit the essay in good time to avoid any unnecessary penalties from your institution.

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