Essay – How to write a good essay

Time to read: 3 Minutes

Definition of an Essay

The basic intention of an academic essay is to portray a structured, informed narrative via a set of coherent ideas that are presented in linear fashion. This may include weighing up different viewpoints on your subject on route to reaching a cohesive contextual conclusion that is ultimately unique to your perspective.

Rather than being an overly casual piece of writing, academic essays tend to be personal to the writer, requiring true knowledge of the subject. Therefore, preparation through further research around the central topic and related sub-topics is essential, which should be evidenced and referenced where necessary within the essay itself.

Bearing the reader in mind, it can be helpful to put yourself in their position. It is they who will determine the overall value of your argument; ask yourself what they may be wondering about the subject, how to answer their problems, and ultimately why they should care about what you have to say.


Yes! Regardless of the type of essay that you’re writing, you always need to follow the main essay structure. Every essay will begin with an introduction, end with a conclusion, and have body paragraphs in the middle. Each body paragraph should represent a different argument.

There are four main types of essays and they are:

  1. Argumentative essays
  2. Persuasive essays
  3. Compare and contrast essays
  4. Descriptive Essays

Each one of these essay types will follow the basic essay structure with an introduction, the body paragraphs and a conclusion. However, the process for writing an essay differs with each different type, so be sure to research the requirements before you start writing.

A good essay introduction needs to start with an attention grabber to draw in the reader. Depending on which type of essay you’re writing, the attention grabber could be a rhetorical question, an anecdote or even a quote. Then, you lead the reader from your opening sentences to the thesis statement which should be towards the end of the introduction.

First, you will need to conduct some preliminary research to discover the most suitable research topic for your essay. Once you’ve chosen a topic to focus on, you write your thesis statement, conduct some further research and then outline your essay plan. The next step is to start writing!

The essay introduction should be brief and straight to the point. As a rule of thumb, your introduction should account for 10% of the total word count. So the length of your introduction is dependent upon the length of your essay.

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