The Ultimate Guide to Essay Writing: From Beginner to Pro

The English essay is one of the most popular assignments the students of colleges or universities get. This is the easiest way to define the competence of the students, check their creative skills, as well as an ability to do research, analyze the facts, and sum things up. The given guide aims to become an irreplaceable help for any student in essay writing. Learn what is an essay, how many types of essay people usually distinguish, and how to ensure a proper structure of the essay depending on its type. Read about the correct formatting and explore a list of handy tips that would assist you in writing an excellent essay that deserves an A+ score.

What Is an Essay (Essay Definition)?

Derived from the Latin word “exagium” that originally stands for the “presentation of the case”, the essay meaning has previously been used to define such phenomena as experience, outline, or attempt. If you approach essay definition from a scientific perspective, the essay is considered to be a piece of writing composed in prose. The essay format is selected when the students need to present and defend a certain topic that requires their personal opinion. Essays help to easily assess the students’ ability to select, critically evaluate, organize, and present the facts. However, the main objective the essay usually pursues is a reflection of the thoughts, principles, and views of the author through the description of certain issues.

Let’s take a look at the list of features that are the most typical for essay format:

  • Essay focuses on one specific topic or question. A piece of writing devoted to the analysis of a wide range of problems cannot be performed in the essay genre;
  • An essay contains individual impressions and considerations on a specific issue and certainly does not claim to provide a definitive or exhaustive interpretation of this issue;
  • Usually, an essay implies a new, subjectively colored view about something. Such a composition may have a philosophical, historical, biographical, journalistic, literary-critical, popular science or purely fictional character;
  • An essay usually resembles a casual friendly talk with the reader. The essay writer tries to make an essay content as simple and clear to any reader as possible. The complex concepts and terms are avoided. The author’s point of view is expressed in an accessible but at the same time competent style;
  • There is no definite volume for such a text. The number of pages doesn’t matter – the main goal is to fully explore the essay topics that have been assigned;
  • Essay writing structure is usually not so rigorous as opposed to the other types of papers;
  • The topic of an essay should be relevant. The most burning issues of the day are the best option. The personality of the author, as well as their personal views and assessments, should be clearly traced as the narration proceeds;
  • The educational purpose of the essay is to develop creative thinking and the ability to express one’s views in writing.

How to Write an Essay?

If you don’t know how to write an essay, you will probably deal with this type of assignment for the first time. Writing an essay is not difficult provided you have completed significant research work. Here are a few general essay writing tips that would help you in case you are struggling with writing:

  • Decide on the type of essay you have to write. This step is crucial as it affects the structure and the general tone of your paper;
  • Carry out a little brainstorming of your ideas. Write down all the main points that relate to your topic. You need to pay attention to every detail and note everything that comes to your mind. Don’t be afraid if there is too much information. You can always narrow it later;
  • While brainstorming, it is very useful to use the mapping method. You can write your main idea in the center and connect it with the related thoughts in the bubbles around the key issue. It will help you establish logical connections between the main points of your essay and develop a theme more deeply;
  • Do the research. You can always refer to online libraries, news platforms, scientific research of the scholars and experts of the field, etc. Find the essay examples that best match your subject and use it as a basis. Try your best to organize your research, as this will definitely affect the logical structure of an essay;
  • Write a thesis for your essay. This is the main phrase that explains the whole idea of your essay. All the other points of the essay should be based on the thesis statement;
  • Make an essay outline. This means that you should prepare the backbone of your future essay. The backbone is needed to make sure your paper is logically structured and flows smoothly;
  • Write your essay. Based on the outline, try to create a clear and professional essay that would successfully convey the necessary message to the readers.

In addition to the basic essay tips, here are a few extra ones that would be extremely handy if you want to stand out with a perfect essay:

  • If the essay topic has not been assigned to you, try to choose the one you are truly interested in. Before writing an essay, you would have to do a lot of preparatory work like doing the research and reading numerous publications issued by the field experts. And there is nothing worse than dedicating your time to the things you hate. Being enthusiastic about your paper will definitely bring good results. But in case you didn’t have a chance to select the topic of your essay by yourself and the assigned theme is not your cup of tea, or if you have no inspiration for writing an essay, you may buy essay from the professional agencies and be 100% sure your paper is performed brilliantly;
  • Think technically. Ask yourself questions while working on your paper, analyze the reasons and consequences that have led you to definite conclusions. This will make your essay sound innovative and personalized;
  • Writing an essay the night before a deadline is a bad idea. Try to schedule your time and split the whole work process into several parts. You will be more effective and persistant doing a particular task within a definite time frame;
  • Express your own point of view. You may share the opinion of other authors who have already described the subject you have selected. However, there is always a way to integrate some novelty into your paper. This is not an easy task that may turn out to be quite a challenge. If this is too much for you, you may always refer to the essay writing service and order a paper from the writing experts.

Essay Structure

As has already been mentioned, essay structure is more flexible than in other types of papers. However, a certain algorithm has been established and it should be followed. The essay title comes before the introduction, which is an opening paragraph of your paper. As a rule, it should contain general sentences that smoothly integrate a reader into the context of the essay. The last sentence of the introduction is extremely important, as it represents the set-up for the paper.

The main body paragraphs should convey the key message the author of an essay wants to share with the readers. The number of paragraphs usually depends on the type of essay and can constitute 3-5 clauses containing the principal points of your paper.

The conclusion is a summary of all the ideas described in your essay. It is like a destination point you have reached after careful planning of your journey.

In order to understand the principles of the essay structure better, it is necessary to focus on each structural element individually.

Introduction

The essay introduction should cover the background information that may be crucial for the reader to catch your message, as well as a brief description of the plan on how you will deal with the assigned topic. Although the introduction is the first paragraph of an essay, it is always better to write it in the end, as you should be 100% aware of the main points of your paper.

Body

The first sentence of the body paragraph should carry the topic point of the essay. Sometimes it can be a second one linked to the introductory phrase. In order to plan the body of your paper effectively, you can write down all the main points you would like to share with the readers. In such a way, you will be able to control the development of the arguments and add something in case it is needed.

After the topic sentence, add a few phrases that would support the aforementioned statement. You cannot state anything without providing enough evidence. The essay format envisages your point of view; however, you may not be an expert in the given area, which automatically means that you should back your words up.

While working on your essay, you will definitely use professional articles, publications, books, and other sources. Instead of using direct quotations, it is always better to paraphrase the thoughts and write them in your own words.

The last paragraph of your body section should reflect your own analysis of the situation and your standpoint of the topic.

Conclusion

The essay conclusion aims to bring all your arguments and thoughts that have been mentioned previously together. It should provide a reader with a sense of closure by summing up the ideas of an essay. The conclusion should contain only those issues that have already been mentioned in the essay’s body part. New ideas should not be introduced in this section.

Essay Format

Although being not so strict in terms of form and structure, essay format needs to be observed. The format of the essay implies the set of rules that should be followed in order to properly arrange your paper. The main points that need the utmost attention cover but are not limited to:

  • title page;
  • properly created essay structure;
  • capitalization of the text;
  • adequate citation;
  • hook sentences, etc.

In order to format your essay properly, you need to follow a few simple steps to elaborate on each structural point of your essay.

Title Page

It is recommended to double-space this page, use Times New Roman 12 font, mention the name of your educational institution, and of course, the title of your essay. Your name, as well as the course name, the name of your instructor, and the due date, can be indicted at the bottom of the title page

Essay’s First Page

Each page of your paper should have a heading in the top left corner, the properly centered title of the essay, and the first sentence of an essay written right beneath a title.

Text

As has already been mentioned, every essay has an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. As a rule, these structural points can be divided into 5 paragraphs: 2 paragraphs for introduction and conclusion, while the other 3 are used for the body of an essay. Just like with the first page, the essay text needs to be written in Times New Roman 12 font and its structural elements should clearly perform their functions. The transitions between the paragraphs need to be smooth and logical. If you don’t know how to conclude an essay, just try to summarize the main points of your paper and provide solutions to all the problems stated in it.

Essay citation

Citation represents a list of norms on how you should cite the sources you’ve used in your essay. There are several citation styles, namely:

  • MLA. Used in Humanities;
  • APA. Used in Psychology, Social Sciences, Education;
  • Chicago. Used in Humanities, History, Social Sciences;
  • Harvard. Used in Economics;
  • Turabian. Used in Social Sciences, Humanities;
  • OSCOLA. Used in Law disciplines;
  • Vancouver. Used in Medicine;
  • APSA. Used in Political Sciences
  • NLM, AMA. Used in Medicine
  • IEEE. Used in IT, Engineering
  • ACS. Used in Chemistry
  • AAA. Used in Social Studies, Anthropology

Each citation style has different in-text citation norms, reference lists, and is used for different disciplines.

Essay citation styles

As a rule, the type of citation style you should use is indicated in the essay assignment. However, sometimes, you are free to choose it by yourself. The citation style totally depends on the subject you are writing your essay on.

For instance, if your essay topic is related to humanities, the best option for you will be to choose the MLA style. It will allow you to avoid unnecessary interruption in the smooth flow of your paper.

If you are working on the scientific essay and have to cite a plethora of authors, you would need to pay attention to APA or Chicago citation styles. This will provide your readers with the opportunity to immediately evaluate the quality of the sources that have been used.

If you are still not sure about what citation style to use, you can always ask your instructor for directions. The crucial thing about citation is selecting one style with the purpose of sticking to it throughout your essay.

In-Text Citation Types

In case your essay contains the references to the sources of other authors in a form of quotes or paraphrasing of somebody’s thoughts, you need to use the in-text citation. There are 3 main types of in-text citations:

  • Parenthetical – the source reference is put in the parentheses directly in the text of your essay. As a rule, it contains the author’s name, publication date, and sometimes the page number;
  • Note – the source reference is put at the bottom of the page;
  • Numeric – each of the sources you have used has its corresponding number in the reference list.  The given number is used when you need to cite the source.

Reference List

The list of all the sources you have cited should be provided at the end of your paper. Each position of the list should correspond to the in-text citation for the reader to have a possibility to find a necessary source in the blink of the eye.

The naming of the list differs depending on the citation style. In the case with MLA, it is called the works cited page. If we talk about APA, it is a reference page. The bibliography is used for Chicago style.

20 General Essay Types

There are 20 types of academic essay that require different approaches. In order to structure and plan your work properly, it is necessary to focus briefly on each type. This will help you to better understand its common features and purposes:

1. Narrative Essay

This type of essay is written in a form of a personal story and focuses readers’ attention on the individual experiences, views, emotions, and feelings of the author. A narrative essay provides the students with the utmost freedom to express their ideas and thoughts by translating them in an artistic way. This type of essay writing requires the provision of convincing evidence to keep the reader interested in the personal story of the author.

2. Expository Essay

The topic of this type of essay is presented to the readers via the indication of figures and facts. Expository paper should be informative and tends to provide an objective evaluation of the assigned issue.

3. Argumentative Essay

Also known as persuasive essay, Argumentative Essay aims to convince a reader about certain ideas. Therefore, the authors should use enough facts and prove their concept in a rational and relevant way.

4. Descriptive Essay

This is one of the most widely used types of essay. Its main purpose is to reflect the sense of a certain field or subject with the help of the author’s personal views, emotions, and thoughts.

5. Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and Contrast essay deals with the similarities and distinctions of certain phenomena. Its main purpose is to showcase similar and distinct features of two things, individuals, places, or incidents.

6. Application Essay

That’s an extremely important type of essay for all students. The application essay is elaborated with the purpose to apply for different educational programs in colleges or universities. This kind of essay is not creative and requires certain stylistic norms to be strictly observed.

7. Cause and Effect Essay

Writing this type of essay means describing the situations that have caused definite reactions. The author should be fully aware of the facts and totally realize the reasons that have led to their occurrence.

8. Analytical Essay

An analytical essay requires the student to provide an in-depth analysis of some phenomena and professionally describe it. The personal analysis of the student should always be supported by the relevant arguments and facts of the experts in the given field.

9. Scholarship Essay

The purpose of this type of essay is to provide the scholarship committee with an idea about you, your life goals, and your dedication. The scholarship essay is elaborated with the aim to apply for the scholarship or obtain total or partial compensation for your educational expenses.

10. Term Paper Essay

It is almost the same as a research paper and is prepared by the student on certain disciplines followed within the span of the educational term.

11. Five Paragraph Essay

The name of this type of essay speaks for itself. It implies 5 paragraphs that are usually an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

12. Critical Essay

A prominent type of essay that tends to elucidate a critical insight into a certain phenomenon by providing an evaluation of its strong and weak points.

13. Definition Essay

A definition essay is elaborated when a student needs to provide an interpretation of a certain statement. It should combine the personal and academic definition of a subject.

14. Classification Essay

While writing this type of essay, a student has to put things into separate categories and provide extensive characteristics of each category. In order to successfully write the classification essay, students need to compile things into categories, make sure each category is formed on the basis of definite organizing principles, and present examples of each category.

15. Deductive Essay

A deductive essay implies the presentation of the deductive reasoning that is based on certain circumstances or clues. To put it in simple words, if there is enough information, the main purpose of the essay – resolving the situation or detecting a person – could be followed.

16. Informal Essay

This type of paper is the one all students love the most. It is characterized by the flexible structure and informal style. It aims to express the personality of the author and allows for the conversational writing style.

17. Exploratory Essay

This is a piece of a write-up that is used when the author needs to assess some phenomenon that has been unknown to them before. The statement elucidated in this type of essay isn’t supported. The author just assesses the idea or experience.

18. Process Essay

The process essay implies the step-by-step description of a certain process. The process essay may be either informative or descriptive.

19. Personal Essay

A personal essay may cover various topics and requires the discussion of the author regarding a particular situation, concept, life period, or individual. It usually implies descriptive writing.

20. Case Study Essay

The main goal of this type of essay is to provide the readers with an authentic and detailed evaluation of a certain concept, situation, or phenomenon. A case study essay requires accurate data, so get ready to do a lot of research.

Essay Topics

If the essay topic has not been assigned to you by your instructor, you are extremely lucky to choose one by yourself. However, when the professor provides the students with the possibility to select the theme, they can feel even more disappointed. It can happen because of the vast number of offered topics that can make any student feel frustrated and embarrassed. Knowing all the secrets of how to choose the topic is crucial. A brief guide on how to do it properly is provided below:

  • Rely on what you consider to be interesting. If nothing makes your heart skip a beat, try to select the topic that at least seems more interesting than the others;
  • Analyze the topic. At this stage, you should define how broad or narrow the chosen theme is. It is recommended to deal with the narrow topics, as you will definitely have an idea of what you will write about. General topics can be too complicated to elaborate them properly;
  • Make sure there are a lot of sources you can take the information from. Even if you have chosen a narrow topic, you can face problems if there is no material on it;
  • Mind your qualifications and knowledge. Before choosing the topic, ask yourself how professional you are in the given field. Even the most interesting topic could become a challenge if you know nothing about it;
  • In case you would like to take a topic you have already written a paper on, don’t hesitate to do it. You can always approach it from a different angle;
  • Brainstorm. If you can come up with several ideas for the topic, it is worth your attention;
  • Even if the topic seems easy to write about but you consider it boring, take some other theme. Boredom in writing will result in a boring essay.

Essay Examples

In order to write a brilliant essay, it is necessary to have at least one essay example that can be used as a basis for your future paper. However, if you have several tasks to write various types of essays, you may significantly improve your creative writing skills. When checking the papers of other students, you have an opportunity to pay attention to style, manner of writing, vocabulary, and structure. In such a way, you have a clear picture of how to write.

Here are the benefits of checking the essay examples before you start writing your own paper:

  • You can enrich your vocabulary and learn how to avoid common phrases and expressions by replacing them with the advanced vocabulary;
  • You can check the proper usage of complex grammatical structures that would make your text sophisticated;
  • You can make a style of your essay more dynamic by integrating the proper word combinations and expressions into the text.

Essay Writing Tips

Writing an essay may be a challenge no matter whether you like that type of assignment or not. A lot of students who suffer from an enormous workload tend to ask for help that can be provided by write my essay online agencies. Professional writers who are real experts in the various fields can help you elaborate a brilliant essay that deserves the highest grade.

In case you have decided to work on your paper by yourself, here are a few useful tips on how to start an essay, express your points, and sum things up:

  • Read carefully the topic of your essay and define the main idea you would base your paper on. This is the key stage, as it will affect all your next steps. The type of essay also depends on the topic and the task assigned. Essay type can be easily determined if the assignment contains such words as “describe”, “classify”, “compare”, “evaluate”, “explain”, etc.;
  • As has already been mentioned, you need to choose both interesting and narrow topic that is widely discussed. You should come up with at least several ideas as to the assigned theme before you pick it.
  • Creating an outline before writing your essay will significantly simplify the task. List the main ideas of your topic, note all your thoughts. Make sure all your ideas are logically connected and transitions are smooth.
  • Pay special attention to the introduction essay. The introduction gives the reader the first impression of your paper. It doesn’t only represent the topic of your essay but also demonstrates how you are going to talk about it.
  • The concluding paragraph is your last chance to impress and/or convince the reader. Use the conclusion section to present your statement as obvious – the reader will believe it and would be more inclined to share your point of view.

Professional Essay Writing Help from PhD Writers

There may be a myriad of reasons for ordering essay help from true professionals. For example, you can be under too much stress because of too many assignments that should be completed urgently. In case you have a part-time job, it would be hard for you to elaborate a brilliant essay, as it requires a lot of time spent doing research, making an outline, analyzing your topic, writing an essay, editing, and proofreading it.

If the theme has been assigned to you by your instructor, it may seem boring or too difficult. This can deprive you of motivation and inspiration and put you at risk of getting a low grade.

There are a couple of significant benefits of getting your essay done by the professional Ph.D. writers, namely:

  • You will get 100% professional work performed by the experts in their niche. The in-depth research will be done perfectly, so you will save a lot of time for other assignments of yours;
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  • Proper formatting. Formatting usually takes a lot of time. Let the professionals do it instead of you;
  • If you order a paper, be sure it will be properly edited and proofread. There will be no misspellings, illogical sentences, and punctuation mistakes;
  • All the main points of your essay will form a logical flow with smooth transitions throughout the text;
  • The parts of your essay will be well outlined and performed according to the academic writing norms.

The practice of ordering essays from online writing agencies has become quite common. Nowadays, students don’t have to struggle with the topic they don’t like, be under stress because of too many assignments, or write their paper overnight due to the lack of time. Professional PhD writers are always available to rescue those who cannot cope with their writing assignments for various reasons. Earning a high grade is totally possible, even if you don’t have a possibility or inspiration to elaborate your essay by yourself.