If you’re striving to write an A+ essay, there are 2 main components you need to work on: content (what you say) and structure (how you say it). Both are as important as the other. Whilst we can’t really help you with the content, we can give you advice on how to structure your content. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to getting that A+ result before you know it!
Here’s how to do it:
1. In the first sentence, directly answer/respond to the essay question/topic. This is where you state your main argument/position.
- E.g. Students are required to plan for their career at an age where they lack the experience and wisdom to make such a decision.
2. If necessary, you may also wish to define any key terms used in the essay question.
- E.g. When writing about a tragic hero from a Shakespearean play, briefly define your understanding of ‘tragic hero.’
3. Outline what the essay will be about (scope) and the specific points you will discuss, providing a ‘road map’ of your essay.
- E.g. If you were being asked to discuss the validity of climate change, your introduction might include points like greenhouse gases, ocean temperatures, rising sea levels and the depletion of polar regions.
4. The body of your essay will typically consist of a series of paragraphs relating to your main argument.
5. Each paragraph should follow the points listed in your introduction.
- E.g. In the climate change example, paragraph #1 greenhouse gases, paragraph #2 ocean temperatures, and so on.
6. Each paragraph should cover one topic or point that serves to prove, support or ‘back up’ your main argument.
7. When writing your paragraphs:
- Begin each paragraph with a sentence/statement that links the specific point you are making to your main argument.
- Next, elaborate on the specific idea you have chosen to discuss in this paragraph.
- You will need to explain your point in detail and provide a critical analysis on how your opinion upholds or refutes the essay question.
- You should also include any evidence (such as quotes, references and examples) to support your statement.
8. Finish your paragraph with:
- A sentence that summarises your key point and relates this back to your main argument.
- A final sentence that serves to link your current point to the idea you will be discussing in the next paragraph.
- Repeat this structure for all of your remaining paragraphs.
9. Remember: All of your paragraphs should match the ‘list of points’ or ‘outline’ you provided in the introduction. If you’ve added any new paragraphs or points, make sure you revise your introduction to include these.
10. Begin your conclusion with a re-statement of your main argument or response to the essay question.
11. Summarise the key points you have made throughout your essay body and describe how these support your main argument.
12. End your conclusion with a reiteration of your main argument and mention briefly what the greater implications might be in relation to the topic or theme.
13. Conclusions can be hard to get right. When writing your conclusion, avoid these common errors:
- Never start your conclusion with ‘In conclusion’ or label it with a heading like ‘Conclusion’.
- Never introduce any new ideas or evidence in the conclusion.
- Never make your conclusion about something else other than the essay question or topic.
Final Essay Tips
14. Spend some time planning your essay outline or ‘road map’ before you begin writing.
15. Develop your essay points so that they flow clearly from one to the other; this ensures your essay flows logically and is not ‘disjointed’.
16. Revise your essay after you finish writing.
- Make sure that your introduction reflects your paragraphs and vice versa.
- Check that the conclusion accurately sums up your points and main position.
17. Finally, proofread your essay before submitting it! Errors and sloppy writing can detract from your marks considerably.
Follow this guide for all of your essays, focus on creating strong arguments and you’ll reach that A+ in no time!