Essays are an essential component of your academic success. You need to know how to write an essay for exams, as part of course work, and even to get into college or university. Feeling confident in knowing how to write a good essay will help you throughout your academic life.
It can be challenging to write a good essay that stands out from the rest. Many people wonder how best to choose a topic, organize their research and clearly state their arguments.
Here are some tips for writing a good essay with some good essay examples that will help unlock that writer’s block.
Know What You Are Writing
The first thing to tackle when you are starting to work on your essay is to know what kind of essay you are writing. The type of essay your write will determine how you approach the topic, how you share the information with your audience and, in some cases, how you format your essay.
Although there are many terms for the kinds of essays out there, they fit into four main categories. It all depends on what your goals as a writer are.
- Are you telling a story?
- Are you describing an event?
- Are you convincing your reader of an argument?
- Are you conveying a personal experience?
Each goal will have a slightly different way of approaching the writing. Before you begin your essay, be sure you know what kind of essay you want to write.
Four Basic Types Of Essay
- The Narrative Essay
The focus of a narrative essay is to tell a story (often about something that happened to you). It can be challenging because it means you have to write about yourself and how this particular experience influenced you.
It helps to make the story as compelling and interesting as possible and try to involve the reader throughout the telling with a first-person narrative. Your narrative essay should also lead the reader towards a conclusion or personal statement.
Some typical themes for a narrative essay topic are:
- First day at a new school
- Road trip
- Reaching a goal
You should use descriptive language in your narrative essay, and precise details to help your story come alive. Remember — it is a story, so be sure to include story elements such as plot, location, characters, dialogue and conflict.
- The Descriptive Essay
The purpose of a descriptive essay is to paint a picture with words in the mind of your reader of a particular topic. It is close to a narrative essay, but with a descriptive essay, you don’t need to tell a story, create a vivid image of your topic in the mind of your reader.
Descriptive essays are usually short, clear and concise and use vivid, expressive language to describe their topic. Even though your goal is to paint a picture, you should begin with a thesis, develop your theme and end with a conclusion. You don’t need to do a lot of research or find quotes to back up your statements with descriptive essays. They are more like creative writing.
Start with an introduction of the topic, and be sure to mention your relationship to the person, place or object. In the main body of the essay, focus on the particular qualities of the topic and use a paragraph to go into detail for each one. Use your conclusion to talk about your personal feelings on the topic.
Your goal is to make your reader feel like the object, place or person is right in front of their eyes and that they can taste, hear it and smell it. It helps to use language that engages all five senses. The best kinds of descriptive essays appeal to the readers’ emotions and use the description of the topic to convey a deeper meaning.
Typical descriptive essay topics could include:
- Describe your favourite food
- Describe the steps for riding a bike
- Describe your childhood kitchen
- The Expository Essay
An expository essay presents an analysis of a topic in a balanced way and uses facts, statistics, quotes and examples to back up their statements. An expository essay is based on facts, not personal feelings or emotions of the writer, so it is generally not written in the first person.
Examples of expository essays can include:
- Compare and contrast essays
- Cause and effect essays
- Describing a process — ‘How To’ essay
- Analyzing a concept — exploring and describing an event or written work
Topics for expository essays can be a wide variety such as current issues, trends in politics, or questions in history or culture. Some example topics for an expository essay include:
- Explain the history of your community
- Explain the new provincial seniors’ dental plan
- Explain the history of your school
- The dangers of vaping
- The Persuasive Essay
The writer’s goal in a persuasive essay is to convince the reader of their point of view or argument. Persuasive essays use facts, examples, expert opinions, reasoning and appeals to emotion to present a case, and argue why their point of view is correct.
Good topics for persuasive essays can come from almost anywhere; typical topics for a persuasive essay include:
- Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?
- Should university education be free?
- Should companies pay for recycling or disposal of their products?
- Should college athletes be paid?
- Should children be banned from playing violent video games?
When you write your persuasive essay, think about the audience that will read your work. Build your arguments based on what your audience knows about your topic and what they will need to hear to be convinced.
Start with an introductory paragraph and thesis that clearly states your case. Develop the main points in your argument in each paragraph, and finish with a strong conclusion that restates your position.
College Admission Essays
College admission essays are one of the most commonly asked-for essays when applying to college. The purpose of this essay is not to prove you have done your homework and know your facts; it is to help the admission people get a sense of who you are as a person.
Most university and college admission websites have examples of admission essays and what they are looking for. What is most important is that your essay conveys a clear sense of who you are as a person. You can include facts and some of your academic knowledge, but these should be used to convey what is most important to you.
It can be difficult for some students to find their voice when writing college essays as most of their writing experience up to this point has been writing for assignments or using guidelines for a particular teacher or instructor. It helps to choose a topic that is interesting or matters to you, find your voice, share your personality and personal references and make sure you proofread it very well.
Essay writing can be a challenge, but with these tips and examples of good essays, you will be off to a good start. Find a topic that interests you, do your research, and essay writing can be interesting and fun.
If you are looking for help with writing a good essay, talk to us at Masters Essay. We offer essay writing assistance at any level. Call us today at (647) 436-7280 or take a look at our list of services.