In this article, we’ll present a practical guide for writing an English essay. You’ll find helpful tips for foreign students and others who want to improve their writing.
An essay is a short paper that expresses the author’s subjective point of view on a given topic. To write such high-quality work in English, you need not only to know the language at the proper level but also to understand the principles for writing an essay.
In 2021, an essay is assessed in accordance with the volume, content, structure, accuracy of the choice of words, and grammar. The length of the essay should range from 180 to 275 words. However, essays with more or fewer words are also possible.
- Stick to the format
Essay formatting may not be as fun as selecting a topic to write on or carefully crafting sentences, but it is an important part of essay writing. Style formats were created as a way to standardize the appearance of papers and lists of used works. You should know in advance what format style you need to write an essay in: APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. By the way, if you need help with using APA format in Google docs, this article will help with English essay. You can find a similar article for setting up MLA format in your doc.
- Stick to the structure
To write the paper correctly, it must comply with a certain structure.
- Introduction (introductory part). In the introduction, it is necessary to identify the problem. This can be done by reformulating the topic.
- Main part. This is the most meaningful part, in which the author must express his or her opinion while relying on the points of view already stated.
- This part contains conclusions from the presented argumentation and the whole text in general.
Using this method, you can prepare a plan not only for any topic but also for any type of essay. All that needs to be done is to prepare an outline, two opposite opinions, your arguments, and summarize. Despite this, it is also necessary to know the possible types of essays, since they still allow for some peculiarities in the structure of the paper.
- Learn to find the right arguments
Tips for choosing arguments for an essay in English:
- On numerous sites for universities, there are many approximate topics for essays. Study them, try to come up with two-three arguments corresponding to your point of view for each statement and two-three arguments refuting it.
- Personal experience is not enough to write an essay. You need to be erudite, understand modern problems, and have an opinion on many important issues. Get involved in self-development: read more news and popular science articles. You can use English-language sources such as Time and the BBC.
- Prepare arguments on different topics yourself. Remember what sections you studied at school: culture, family, sports, caring for nature. Think about what questions might be related to them. An example would be the influence of the family on the success of its members or the contribution that each of us makes for the environment. Thus, you will learn to reason within the given topic and gain a base of arguments.
- Learn how to express an opposing opinion
The third paragraph of the essay in English is to express the opposite opinion. You can start with the phrase, “but some people have a different opinion, they think that …” To confirm the opposite point of view, it is also necessary to give two-three arguments. The fourth paragraph of the English essay is very important: in it, you refute the opposite point of view. The first thing to say is that you disagree. You can use the phrase, “I see what they mean; however, I cannot agree with them,” or, “They may be right to some extent, but I still disagree.” After that, you need to explain why your opinion is different. It is necessary to give one weighty argument, which will simultaneously refute the words of your “opponent” and confirm yours.
- End your essay powerfully
The conclusion is the sum of all the reasoning. It consists of two-three sentences. You can use phrases such as to conclude, to sum up, in conclusion, all in all. There are two ways to complete an English essay:
- Repeat your arguments, but shorten them by highlighting the main point. Example: “I believe libraries are needed because they save money and help students learn.”
- Rewrite the arguments using other words. This method is viable only if you are confident in your vocabulary.
- Stick to the formal style
The rules for an English essay indicate that it is written in a formal style. A few tips on how to keep it in the text:
- Do not use abbreviations.
- Do not write rhetorical questions.
- Do not use personal pronouns. It is better to write in passive voice or use general terms (students, schoolchildren).
- Use neutral adjectives that are not evaluative.
- Do not write in short sentences – use at least seven words.
- End the sentence with a period, not an exclamation mark or ellipsis.
- Prepare for writing in advance
Here are some tips on how to prepare for writing an essay in English:
- Read a lot in English. It is better to concentrate not on fiction but on popular science articles and news.
- Write out unfamiliar words and memorize them. You can use ready-made lists for the upper-intermediate level. In them, you will find a lot of vocabulary that will be useful for an essay.
- Play games like Alias in English. The bottom line is that you need to guess the word from the description. This will teach you to use vocabulary, not just memorize it.
- When studying English, write by hand, as it improves memorization. You will learn the spelling of words faster.
- Write at least one essay per week. Use topics from various collections.
- Read other people’s essays and find mistakes. If the essay is bad, try to correct it yourself according to the rules of the English language.
Now you know how to write an essay in English. Theory is not enough, however, so you need to constantly practice. You should not only write but also read other people’s essays and point out mistakes, which will help you better prepare for writing. We hope the best for your essay writing.