Essay Writing 101: A Guide to Getting Straight A’s

There are many different types of essays that you will have to write at school. However, good essays most often have certain characteristics regardless of the subject matter. 

You do not necessarily need the innate talent for writing to get straight A’s. Instead, it has to do much more about getting better with practice. So, in this article, we offer you a complete guide on getting started on your college paper and how you can come up with a foolproof way to make it sound excellent and persuasive. 

Types of Essays

In order to know how to handle an essay, you need to know what the topic demands. Choosing the right style that best suits the needs of the subject can be crucial in deciding how you approach it. 

In case you are unsure which category your essay falls into, reach out to a professional. For instance, you can ask academic platforms to do my paper to get a rough idea of how to tackle the topic. You can then refer to this as inspiration to come to your own conclusions. 

Here are the most common essay styles that you are likely to attempt in school:

  • Critical analysis essay: This is often a literature-based essay where you have to break down a piece of writing or topic to make an argument about what the author is trying to communicate. 
  • Persuasive/ Argumentative essay: Similar to critical analysis, here you take a stand on an issue and persuade readers to understand and agree with your point of view. You need to provide reasoning and evidence to back up your arguments. 
  • Expository essay: This is the most basic type, where you try to explain a concept. There is no need to make an argument; instead, you will simply answer a question directly. 
  • Analytical essay: Similarly to an expository essay, you explain a concept but take it one step further by listing more arguments to provide an objective analysis. This requires you to present both advantages and disadvantages of the topic. 
  • Narrative/ Personal/ Reflective essay: This type of essay combines personal storytelling with academic argument. For instance, you might be imparting a lesson through your personal experience. You can classify college application essays and personal statements into this category. 
  • Descriptive essays: This essay aims to provide sensory details of an incident and is more creative. 
  • Compare and Contrast essay: This type of essay compares two points to point out the similarities and distinctions. Here, you will be dividing the body paragraphs into two for comparison and contrast. 
  • Cause and Effect essay: This essay also aims to consider the relationship between things, as in how one thing has impacted something else. For instance, you could be writing about how a governmental policy led to unemployment or civil unrest. 

Once you know which type of essay best fits the subject matter, you can move on to develop a structure.

Academic Writing - Essay

How to Structure an Essay?

One of the common errors made by students is to get started with writing right away. However, without a clear idea of how you are structuring the essay, you might find it difficult to find the best point of view. This can be demotivating, thus making essay writing a frustrating process. 

Instead, the most practical way is to figure out the outline by laying out the main points and tone of the essay. Take a look at the basic structure of an essay below:


The introduction is where you offer the topic sentence of your essay that states the main or controlling idea. This is what will hook the reader’s attention and even help them decide whether they want to read further. However, you will want to avoid opening with famous quotes and other cliches and form a unique connection with the audience. 

Body Paragraphs 

The body of your essay is perhaps the most important part, where you include the main points and evidence. However, how you outline this part can vary widely depending on the type of the topic. For instance, if you are writing a personal essay, you will be discussing how an incident shaped your perspective. 

On the other hand, for analysis or an argumentative essay, you will also have to focus on evidence that supports your point. You will also have to provide the significance or impact of your argument in the body paragraphs. 


In the conclusion section, you will reinstate your point and provide a quick analysis of the evidence. You also need to tell the reader why this essay matters and what you need them to take away from the paper. 

Tips to Write an Essay 

Even with a proper outline, many students might struggle with different areas of essay writing. So, in this section, we have put together some tips that will help you with the most common problems that arise when working on a term paper. 

  1. Do research: No matter what the topic is, there is a need for some solid research, be it to find some inspiration or evidence. The first step would be to organize all the information you have collected so that it is easily accessible when you sit down to write. 
  2. Start anywhere: Often, students find it challenging to get the introduction right. However, there is no rule that you should attempt the essay in this particular order. One trick is to save this part for last. Once you have completed the body paragraphs  and conclusion, you will have a better idea of what you intend to communicate through the essay. 
  3. Come back to the topic: It is also possible for the writer to get carried away and lose sight of the topic sentence. It would be a good idea to keep the subject written somewhere you can see it, so you do not lose track.
  4. Narrative flow: Make sure that there is a logical flow from one paragraph to another. To ensure this, you can use the last sentence of one paragraph as an introduction to the next. For instance, ‘This argument is valid for the following reasons.’
  5. Be specific: No matter whether you are writing a personal or narrative essay, it is crucial that you practice brevity. Only provide the necessary details. If a sentence does not add value to the text, it need not be there at all. 
  6. Write now, edit later: It is common for the writer to get stuck on one part of the essay because it just doesn’t fit well with the rest. But if you are strapped for time or cannot seem to work your way around this part, focus on completing the word count. You can come back to it later with a fresh set of eyes. 
  7. Proofread: you are sure to have come across this point in virtually every essay guide, and yet many students fail to dedicate time for proofreading their work. It is important to avoid spelling mistakes and even find obvious errors that you might have missed in the first place. 

Lastly, before handing over the essay, make sure you read it out loud. This is because you might have written the essay in the way you talk, which might not be preferred for academic essays. This tactic will also help you spot mistakes and ensure that the content flows. 

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