Strategies for Essay Writing

Strategies for Essay Writing Explained

When developing in academic life, some people’s worst nightmares are essays which are an important part of evaluations. But you can learn to face it differently, think about it… Exams tend to be very limited, they never evaluate all the topics you’ve studied in a subject and the answers are usually short with little or no margin for you to express an opinion. 

Have you noticed? You’ve just read the very first strategy: look it in the “eyes” and face it differently. That’s a good start… to face your essay as an opportunity to express a unique perspective you might have about some topic. Though there’s more to it:

Crack the Instructions

Many students fail because they didn’t really take the time to read and understand what the teacher was demanding. So, read the headings more than once, if necessary, ask colleagues about what they’ve understood, and in case any doubt remains, ask your professor about it or go to to get some professional essay writing help


Once you’ve understood that, right down the first words that come to your mind about the topic, keywords that might be interesting to use, questions that could be interesting about it, and so on. If you have a hard time coming up with ideas, check out some headlines about that topic on the internet, in textbooks, in your notebook, and even in scientific papers.

The Thesis Statement 

It’s awesome if you’ve managed to gather a bunch of ideas, but it’s critical that you manage to order them. Though that will only happen when you’ve decided what will be your thesis statement, in other words… What will you be defending? In order to accomplish that, write down a sentence that sums up that central idea you will be developing throughout your essay. When writing, try to harmoniously transmit concepts and ideas that converge to your thesis statement. 

The Text Body 

Depending on the type of essay (argument, expository or literary) you’ll write the length and structure might be slightly different. Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended to do an introduction to the topic and the thesis in the first paragraph. In the second paragraph, you may start deepening on the subject with a question, which will make the reader ponder. Then let the answer slip through.  

It’s wise to focus on one single topic per paragraph; that makes it easier to write whilst the idea you’re trying to transmit will be clearer to the reader. Moreover, short sentences are easier to understand. Notwithstanding, don’t forget the importance of connectors when starting each new paragraph; that will give your text consistency.

Attaching the text sections altogether to strengthen your thesis statement, after all the reader must understand throughout the essay what exactly you’re exposing. Besides, you always have the last paragraph to wrap up all the most important information and say “in conclusion”.


It’s well known that quoting renowned authors or sources always gives your argument more solidity thus doing it might add some credibility to your essay as long as you do it properly:

“Quotation is the highest compliment you can pay to an author.”

(André-Marie Ampère)

  • Quote vs Quotation: the first one “is to transcribe what someone said or wrote, crediting that person” it is precise (example above) while the second one “is the transcription of what someone said or wrote, crediting that person”.  
  • Since quotes are the exact words used by someone, they must be put inside quotation marks in order (““) to make it clear. And the person must be acknowledged by name (if known).
  • André-Marie once said that quotations are the highest compliment to any author. That’s an example of how to do a quotation.
  • Depending on the academic level you’re at, you might have given instructions such as: when mentioning a paper, you must put et al in case there’s more than one author. Remember that the first strategy for a good essay writing is to attain the orientation given by your professor, which may mean you must add the date to the quote. Whatever the institution demands, hold fast to it. 
  • Long quotes (more than three lines) should be in a smaller font and with a larger left margin because you don’t want people to think you’re plagiarizing anyone, right? So here goes an example:
  • “The results of this first study make us confident that a knowledge-based approach towards important information is necessary in order to enable summarization systems to handle difficult summarization scenarios where signals for importance cannot be inferred from the source documents.”

The Conclusion Paragraph

When finishing the essay, try to wrap it all up in a maximum of five lines. To start with, look at what you’ve mentioned in the introduction, review a bit of what you’ve said in each development paragraph and conclude with a quotation of your thesis.


No matter the type of essay you’re about to write, keep in mind that “a student is a professional in development” (G. Xavier, 2008). So giving references is, on all occasions, a smart way of saying you’ve done your background research and more… you’ve used reliable sources to base that professional perspective of yours. 


Sometimes it might be strictly demanded that you use a specific type of letter/size, margin sizes and other rules. In order to keep a pattern some institutions compass in using international standards such as ISO rules. What’s the good thing about it? It’s all clearly explained, so fewer doubts lead to fewer faults and to higher notes. If you were given no instructions about it just:

  • Use the same font and line spacing throughout the essay;
  • Use short sentences, paragraphs should not belong;
  • In case you put images, use the same positioning and framing;
  • Unfailingly export it as a PDF so you won’t lose the hard work you’ve done to get it perfectly aligned;
  • Plus, never lower your guard with grammar and punctuation.

Let’s Review

Doing what we’ve mentioned above is just the starter to some bright academic writing, so remember “practice makes perfection”:

  1. Face essays as unique opportunities to express your professional perspective/opinion;
  2. Understand what the teacher really wants with that essay;
  3. Do a brainstorm;
  4. Define your thesis;
  5. Prepare a skeleton of what you’ll write;
  6. Search for renowned authors to quote;
  7. Keep a structure: introduction, Development, and Conclusion;
  8. List out your references;
  9. Format the document (letter type and size, margins, design) and export it as a PDF.