Essay writing can be a stressful and laborious task, but if you keep these four tips in mind and you put into practice, you will make the essay writing a beautiful experience not only for yourself, but also for your reader.

1. A controversial topic

You need to give the reader a reason to be interested in reading your essay. You need a reason to write about this topic in your essay. If the topic is something mundane, outdated or not interesting at all, then your reader will not want to read nor will you actually have the enthusiasm to write. Controversy always guarantees interest.

Now the question is what is controversy. The term controversy usually has negative connotations, but this is not accurate. I would define controversy as anything that is against the norm. So, if the norm is positive, then the controversial topic is likely to be negative and if the norm is negative, then the controversial topic is likely to be positive. That makes sense, right? An example of a positive controversial topic would be what Dr Martin Luther King, Malcolm X or Ghandi preached. In these examples, the norm was racism, so anyone who preached or spoke against racism would be considered controversial or speaking about a controversial topic… but is this negative? To summarise, a controversial topic is anything that is current, can be challenged and discussed or debated over.

2. A confident thesis statement

This is essential for essay writing. The thesis statement is probably the single most important sentence of your whole essay. It is your one sentence answer to the essay question or stance on the debate. This sentence should be in your introduction, so, your reader will know your stance early on. It makes it easy for them to follow your line of argument from the beginning.

You must be confident in your stance. This is not the place to be moderate and cautious. Your position must be crystal clear to the reader and this is the place to do it. A key aspect of academic writing is hedging language, which is the use of safe language over confident language, but here your position must be asserted and being on the fence is not considered a good thesis statement. Especially for an argumentative essay, it is better, much better, to be on one side of the fence.

essay writing

3. A strong introduction

Introductions are important in all aspects of life, whether it is the first time meeting someone, or the opening minutes of a pitch or the beginning of your essay. The introduction contains a number of different key elements, which are unlike the rest of your essay. It prepares the reader for what is to come in the rest of the essay. Therefore, it should include brief background information to set the scene, a brief outline of the topics that will be covered in the main body paragraphs and your purpose for writing.

4. A concise conclusion

What is a gift without its wrapping? The conclusion is the wrapping of your essay. It is the place where you summarise everything that you have covered in one succinct and concise paragraph. Imagine the reader only had a few minutes to get a gist of your essay, the conclusion is what they should be able to read and know more or less the main points you covered in your essay. In addition, to make a good conclusion into a great one and therefore a good essay into a perfect essay, all you have to do is add a “call to action” sentence at the end. For example, this could be a recommendation for further research or a suggestion based on the main arguments made in the essay.

To conclude this short piece, these are my four golden tips for the perfect essay in brief. Future blog posts will cover each in further detail, so, make sure you keep an eye out for those.

Related: our Academic Writing course covers this in extensive detail.