Complete Guide on How to Write an Essay in English for Students

How to Write an Effective Essay in English?

In this post, you will find a complete guide for students on how to write an essay. Almost in all the countries, English Essay writing is a part of studies for the students of different classes. Not only for students but the art of writing a good essay is helpful for many people in the job tests. Some students find it very hard and this post is especially for those students. In many countries, students are asked to write the essay with quotations and in some classes, they are asked to draw an outline as well. This is a simple post with very easy to understand wording. I am sure you will find answers about all your questions by going through this post completely. This post will cover many parts of essay writing and at the end of the post, you will find quick tips. This post covers the following topics about essay writing:

  • What is an essay?
  • selection of subject for writing an essay
  • development of ideas
  • How to write an essay outline
  • Ideas should have a direct connection with the central theme
  • Writing an essay
  • The conclusion
  • Revision of the essay
  • Essay Writing Art
  • How to Write an Essay Introduction
  • Hand Writing Skills
  • Essay Writing Tips

What is an Essay?

An essay is, as Bacon said, “a loose sally of the mind”. It is, as such, nothing but a series of paragraphs, each dealing with a distinct aspect and so arranged as to form a connected whole. In a word, an essay is an exercise in original composition, intended to test the expression of one’s ideas in suitable words.

Selection of Subject

Selection of the essay is one of the most difficult tasks for a student. Students are generally given the option to choose one essay from a list of about five or six. They should exercise great care in making this choice, and when they have once made up their mind, they should stick to the subject selected and should not waver. They must choose such a subject about which they can gather maximum ideas.

Development of Ideas

Having chosen the subject and formed a clear idea of it, the next step will be to search one’s brain for the ideas bearing on the subject.

Try to be simple yet original. Because it is much better to be original than to put in great and high-flown ideas borrowed from others. Therefore, students must think closely and properly before having to get help from any ideas.

This will eventually lead to the development of ideas. Students should, then, link one idea to the other to form a sort of a chain. Development in ideas can be cultivated by constant practice and discussion in the classroom. In short, one should never write an essay without thinking over what one can say on the subject and without the ability to supplement one’s ideas.

How to Write an Essay Outline?

Once a student has formed a clear idea of his subject and collected in his mind more ideas to supplement the original idea, he should make the bare outline of the whole essay in his mind. He should discard irrelevant ideas and arrange the relevant ones under suitable headings. This arrangement of the headings should be logical and continuous so that the essay should give the impression of a continuous whole running like a stream from beginning to end.

Ideas should have a direct connection with the central theme

Having drawn the bare outline, the student should begin filling up with ideas bearing one each heading and having a direct connection with its central idea. Great care should be taken to put each idea under the right headings so that the logical distribution of ideas may not be destroyed. There must not be any repetition of ideas or other irrelevancies.

Writing the Essay

Having thus all your material ready, the student should set about writing the essay. The language used must be the student’s own. It should be simple, idiomatic, clear and straightforward. The expression should original except, of course, for quotations. The student should mind his spellings, punctuation and grammar as well.

This part of essay writing is very difficult. Little care is taken in schools to make students write their own language. Often teachers give dictation of essays in the class and students just memories them. Some students actually copy sentence after sentence from books and other sources. This is very wrong and Kills the initiative. To check this, students should be asked to write essays in their classroom under the teacher’s eye and never at home.

The Conclusion

The concluding paragraph of the essay must be as striking as the first paragraph. It should wind up the whole idea in a natural way. It should not end abruptly. It should give the impression that nothing else remains to be said.

Revision of Essay

Lastly comes the revision of the essay which should be through and critical so that any mistake which might have crept in, should be rectified.

Art and Style in Essay Writing

Essay writing is an art. The importance of writing an essay for the candidates who are appearing in the competitive examinations needs no exaggeration. In all the examinations held by the Union Public Service Commission and other Public Services, much importance is attached to the Essay Paper. In fact, essay writing is one of the most effective and surest test of the personality, mental development and maturity of the candidates.

According to Random House Dictionary of the English languages and the essay “is a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative or interpretative”. The Oxford Dictionary defines an essay as a literary composition.it is usually prose in nature and precise on a particular subject. According to the Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, an essay is a trial, an experiment, a written composition less elaborate than any treatise.

Still according to Ben Johnson “an essay is a thing someone does himself and the point of the essay is not the subject but the charm of personality” Again according to Dr. Iftikhar who has given one of the best definitions, “An essay is a loose sally of the mind; and irregular, indigestible piece”. Thus what Dr. Iftikhar means is that an essay can be an innocent means of literary self-expression on any subject having a vast range from kings to kites.

When one talks of essay one is immediately reminded of the great personalities in the literary field like Bacon, Hazlitt, Lamb, Stevenson, Johnson, Swift etc. All these great writers wrote highly literary essays which adorn the English literature of their age. But the type of essays which now-a-days the candidates appearing in the competitive examinations are required to attempt are quite different from the literary essays written by the above-mentioned essayists.

As far as the writing of an essay for a school examination is concerned, what the examiner wants from the students, is a clear expression of his personality and ideas in the brief that he writes during the limited time at his disposal. The examiner wants to find out the consciousness of approach and the precise nature of the subject matter which is covered in the essay. It is, therefore, advisable that a candidate should not deviate too much from his topic and beat about the bush just for the sake of the vicarious satisfaction of writing a lengthy essay. Rather his approach should be exact and to the point. Thus an essay in the school examination or even in an ordinary University examination is quite different from an essay as is understood in the literary sense.

In a school examination, the essay should be balanced, coherent and it should reflect a unified impression on the examiner. The essay should not give an impression that it is a disjointed and irregular composition of the poorly grasped ideas regarding the subject matter given in the examination. On the other hand, the essay should invariably be convincing and profound in ideas.

Naturally, the readers would by now be interested in knowing the guidelines for writing a good, well balanced and scoring essay for school examinations. First of all, the examiner wants that the essay should show the candidate’s grasp over the subject matter and whatever material the prefers should have some relevance with the title of the essay. Of course, the examiner as discussed already wants an effectively woven and logical piece of essay written is a concise manner. Naturally, the examiner will give a lot of credit to a candidate who keeps close to the subject matter of the topic chosen for his essay. The candidate must also arrange his ideas in an orderly fashion and in an effective manner of expression.

Obviously a candidate can easily choose a subject of his liking as there is a wide choice of subjects. Thus, choosing a title for an essay presents no difficulty for the candidates. But the candidate should select the topic of his essay very carefully and after much thought. He should choose only that subject over which he has complete mastery and in which he is confident to do his best. The topic should be of a subject in which he is absolutely at home or the subject in which the candidate has made a special study.

Undoubtedly nobody would expect the candidate to write an essay like a specialist or an expert on any subject. The examiner is mainly interested to see the general level of awareness of the things by the students and the ability of the students to express themselves in a lucid and effective manner. The examiner expects the students to put down their ideas and facts in a logical and orderly manner. Credit is always given for keeping close to the subject matter of the topic chosen, for the arrangement of ideas in an orderly fashion and for effective and concise expression. For this purpose, the students should first of all the essay in a very systematic manner and in a coherent and logical sequence.

It is definitely not essential for the students to indulge in verbosity and superfluity in the use of language. The best and effective style in writing a good and scoring essay is the use of simple words and economy in expression. One should always try to avoid a faulty and loose construction of sentences and ambiguity in language and expression. Obviously there is no need of writing an essay in a highly rhetoric style and use of difficult and outmoded language.

Thus, one should use a simple, straightforward and convincing style. Now-a-days, terse and idiomatic expressions are preferred. The students should write brief and small but meaningful sentences in the style of Bacon. In these small sentences naturally, there is less possibility of committing any grammatical mistake. Of course, the language should be forceful and convincing.

There is absolutely no necessity of filing an essay with a large number of unnecessary and redundant quotations, rather one should go on for a natural and leisurely walk with an idea in his essay which should compel an admiration of the examiner. Instead of burdening the essay with many quotations from all sorts of writers, it is better if the candidate can say something original in his own language and style. Too much dependence on quotations is an essay connotes a lack of expression and originality on the part of the candidate.

How to Write an Essay Introduction?

Every essay necessarily needs an introduction. The introduction should be direct and strictly relevant. The candidate should not write a lengthy introduction which may deviate too much from the main topic. Each main idea in the essay should be put in a separate paragraph. But you should make sure that your composition is well balanced and well-knit. An essayist should have a complete balance of mind, action and thought. If the students write is a balanced manner, it means that his mind, his action, his ideas and his thoughts on that particular subject are in harmony with each other. Each part of the essay should be given the high prominence which it deserves.

The conclusion is an essay be logical, convincing and natural. Without a good conclusion, a very well written essay will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the examiner. It is, therefore, highly advisable that the students must give special attention to the introduction as well as the concluding part of an essay. A student should generally not go against the title of the essay. It is always better to draw a balanced and objective conclusion, give a highly impartial and an objective picture.

Hand Writing Skills

Good handwriting, just like a pleasing personality, is always an asset in any written examination. Therefore, the students should try to improve their handwriting beforehand and write the essay in the examination hall quite legibly. It is always advisable that after you have finished writing your essay, you must read it carefully at least once, so that you are able to revise it and correct any mistakes which you may have committed regarding spellings, punctuation, construction of sentences, etc.

In reality, there are no hard and fast rules about the length of an essay. The examiner is not much impressed by the length of your essay, rather he would be more influenced by the pith and substance of your essay and the manner in which you have put it on the answer book. Of course, the essay should neither be too short nor too long. If you write an essay of 300 words it will be too short, but if you write an essay containing 3500 words it will be too long. Therefore, the middle path can be the best bet. The real thing which matters is that it should be a convincing and a personal attempt made in a pleasant manner to make it delightful reading for the examiner.
Finally, the candidates must understand properly the meaning of the title chosen for writing the essay before they actually start writing. Sometimes, it so happens that the candidates start writing the essay in a hurry without understanding properly as to what is demanded from them. And the result is just the opposite of what is required from them by the Examiner. It is only when they come out of the Examination Hall and discuss with other candidates that they realize their mistake that what they had written on the answer sheet was not at all asked in the title of the essay chosen by them.

Essay Writing Tips and Important points to remember for writing an Effective Essay

I think this post is a complete guide for the students to learn how to write an essay. Now there are some quick essay writing tips which should also be implemented to write an effective essay.

  1. Choose the title very carefully in which you are perfectly at home. Never choose a title
    about which you have only hazy and ambiguous ideas.
  2. You must jot down your points or ideas before you start writing the Essay.
  3. Arrange these points in a systematic order so that it makes a coherent and logical composition.
  4. Do not go against the title generally.
  5. The introduction should be direct and relevant. Do not beat about the bush and deviate from the title too much.
  6. Avoid burdening your Essay with redundant quotations which mar the reading and show your lack of expression.
  7. Do not use stale idioms and clichés too much like ‘leaving no stone unturned ‘ or ‘Rome was not built in a day’.
  8. Put each main idea in a separate paragraph.
  9. You must not give members to the Paragraphs nor is there any need of giving sub-headings.
  10. Avoid the use of slang and colloquial terms and try to develop a graceful, dignified and literary style.
  11. The essay should be written in a simple language. Sentences should be terse and short.
  12. Let the tone of the Essay be informal and suggestive.
  13. You are not expected to be an expert or a specialist on the subject. Remember this definition “An Essay is a loose sally of the mind, an irregular, indigestible piece”.
  14. Make your Essay a well-balanced and well-knit literary composition.
  15. Avoid the use of big and high sounding words. Also, avoid the use of those words about which you are not sure.
  16. Adopt an analytical and logical approach.
  17. Always remember that the beginning and the ending of an Essay are very important, so give them the maximum attention.
  18. Never give a categorical or one-sided conclusion. The conclusion should always be a balanced one.
  19. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the length. The essay should neither be too short nor too lengthy.
  20. Write in a beautiful and legible handwriting A pleasing handwriting is always an asset.
  21. You must completion to correct the mistakes if any.

I am sure, you will like this post. For Essay Writing Topics, you can visit the homepage of this website.

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