How to Write a Successful Essay

Writing guide
Posted on January 22, 2008

A successful essay requires a specific purpose, core idea or subject, and writing skills. When you are starting to write your essay, define what is your main purpose for writing it.
You will write most effectively when you will be “writing with a purpose.” Inexperienced writers have difficulty writing with a purpose, because they see many purposes such as to complete the assignment, to earn a good grade, to publish their writing. These “purposes” are outside the writing situation, but they certainly influence the way you think about your purpose. For most students, the main purpose will be to write a successful essay and to receive a good grade. Guiding by this purpose in your essay, you will define it in terms of your teacher’s writing assignment. After you determine the purpose, you will know what kind of information you’ll need, how you want to organize and develop it, and why you think it is important. This informative guide explains how to write a successful essay to earn the highest grade and meet your writing purpose.

Use the following guideline in order to determine the purpose of your successful essay:

  • What are the requirements of my essay?
  • If I am writing to fulfill an assignment, do I understand that assignment? If I am writing on my own, do I have definite expectations of what I will accomplish? As I proceed in this project, what do I need to know?
  • Do I have a good understanding of my subject, or do I need more information? Have I considered the possible audiences who might read my writing? What hypothesis can I use as my working purpose?
  • How many hypotheses can I formulate about my subject? Which of them seems to direct and control my information in the most effective manner? What purpose have I discovered for this essay?
  • Has my purpose changed as I learned more about my subject and audience? If so, in what ways? Have I discovered, by working with a hypothesis or hypotheses, what I want to do in my writing? What is my thesis?
  • How can I state my main idea about my subject in a thesis sentence? Does my thesis limit the scope of my writing to what I can demonstrate in the available space? Does it focus my writing on one specific assertion? Does it make an exact statement about what my writing intends to do?

The next step is to define your subject and the main idea of the essay. Sometimes that problem seems less complicated because the subject is named in the writing assignment. But assignments vary in how they are worded, what they assume, and what they expect. When you have a free choice of subjects, your problem may appear more complicated. No one is helping you find or focus your subject. On the other hand, no one is telling you what to do or how to do it. You are free to make your own decisions.

In order to choose your subject and clarify your main idea:

  • Select a subject you know or can learn something about. The more you know about a subject, the more likely you are to make it your own, shaping it according to your own perspective.
  • Seek a subject you can restrict. Divide your subject into small and more specific subjects, the more you can restrict your subject, the more likely you are to control your investigation, identify vivid illustrations, and maintain a unified focus.
  • Before you select a subject, you need to ask yourself three questions: Is it significant? Is it interesting? Is it manageable?

Finally, use a critical thinking approach in order to form your essay. Apply different writing techniques to compose a successful essay and receive a good grade. Learn those techniques if you don’t know them, and constantly practice. It will help you to succeed in your future essay writings.

Additional Tips for Successful Essay Writing

There are a few vital things that must be stated here before we finish this guide. Successful essay writing consists of several stages. We have already clarified the importance of having a “purpose inside an assignment”. We have also discussed how to find the subject and idea. Now, it’s necessary to clarify things you should do to finish your writing properly. Make allowances for the next essentials:

  • Do in-depth research;
  • Use only official sources of information;
  • Refine your notes;
  • Create a reasonable and detailed outline;
  • Craft a strong thesis statement;
  • Write at least two working drafts;
  • Revise your essay twice or thrice;
  • Apply various revising techniques;
  • Use learning apps to define your drawbacks.

You should give close heed to the readability of your text. You should not cram several points into a single paragraph. Be sure to cover one point per paragraph. Check the lexicon you use. Your essay should exclude:

  • Technical terms;
  • Clichés;
  • Jargon;
  • Slang, etc.

Do not overuse the passive voice. Be sure you make logical transitions. By following these tips, you’ll craft a readable essay.

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