Tips for essay writing

Writing an essay on the English language

You are waiting for the international exam TOEFL, IELTS or others, where one of the stages is writing an essay? Or maybe you are applying for entry to a university and you need to tell about yourself, your achievements and plans in your essay? In any case, your goal is to write a great essay in English. This is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance, and we will help you to figure it out.

The formal style of narration is one of the peculiarities of the English essay, which distinguishes it from free essays to which we are accustomed in the other languages. The British are serious about the style of presentation of thoughts in the essay, so it is not recommended to use abbreviations and generally allow yourself frivolity in the text. Also, any essay, regardless of the topic, has a certain structure. But first things first.

Plan for writing: in the introduction, you lead the reader to the problem; in the main part, neutrally describe the arguments “for and against”, without expressing your own opinion; in conclusion – express your opinion about the problem and make a conclusion.

Opinion essay (essay-opinion)

In contrast to the pros and cons, the essay-opinion is intended to express their thoughts on the topic. Feature of opinion essay is that you need not only to express your own opinion on the problem, but also reflect other points of view in the essay. So say, look at the topic from different angles.

Plan of writing: in the introduction specify the topic of reasoning; in the main part, you express your opinion on the problem, reinforcing it with confident arguments, and also describe what other points of view are there; Finally, you summarize the results that support your opinion on the issue.

Suggesting solutions to a problem essay (problem solving essay)

Usually in such essays you are given some kind of global problem, and your task is to suggest the most possible and relevant ways to solve it.

Plan for writing: the introduction describes the problem and the reasons for its occurrence; in the main part, you need to offer several solutions to the described problem and the possible consequences of each of them; the conclusion summarizes the final decision or recommendations.

Typically, the type of essay depends on the chosen topic and is often indicated directly in the task. If there are no recommendations on the type, then use any that you think is best suited to the given topic.

The above types of English essays are the most common, but there are others. Sometimes you need to write about your achievements and plans for the future (for example, when entering a university or college), and sometimes – a free-form essay about what excites you right now (that is, without a given topic).

At the end you need to summarize all the thoughts revealed in the main part of the essay.

A good conclusion is not just a dry enumeration of all the above facts, but a well-reasoned conclusion on the topic. It may overlap with the introduction or refer to it, but in other formulations. In conclusion, you should not put forward completely new ideas or refute those already expressed, as well as use an apologetic tone for your opinion. Be sure of your point of view and simply formulate it again. Acceptable text volume in the conclusion – 10-15%.

Recommendations, tips

If you have an exam on the horizon, then our recommendations and tips on how to write an English essay will be useful to you.


1. Sketch a draft

If the time for writing is limited, then use the draft. Throw a plan on it and write down the main ideas. This will help to write an essay faster and not make a mistake in the final version.

2. Stick to the structure

Follow the general guidelines for structure and do not exceed the volume of each section.

3. Be concise

Express your thoughts briefly, without delving into the arguments.

4. Argue

Give clear confirmation of the words when expressing your or someone else’s point of view on the topic. Based on these arguments, make a conclusion and a conclusion.

5. Stick to the formal style.

The official presentation style is the best option for an essay, unless otherwise specified. Do not use abbreviations, slang and colloquial expressions.

6. Use link words

Special words will help you to consistently express thoughts, lead the reader to the conclusion and build the correct structure in the text.

7. Diversify vocabulary and grammar

Despite the fact that the essay is written in a formal style, it does not hurt to add a bit of brightness to it in order to give the text individuality. If appropriate, use synonymous and beautiful words. As for grammar and compound sentences, use them only if you are confident in your knowledge. Otherwise, mistakes or incorrect use of time will not play into your hands.

8. Be correct

Often the topics for the essay become acute social issues, the opinion on which can be sharply polar. When expressing your thoughts on ambiguous reasons, it is worth being as correct as possible and not forgetting about elementary delicacy, tolerance and politeness.

9. Check for errors

Obvious, but extremely important advice. Go over your finished essay to check for all sorts of errors and typos.

Recommendations for the text of the essay:

Remember that you are writing an essay for another person who is not your friend or colleague, which means that you stick to neutral expressions, use standard speech patterns, write essentially and do not deviate from the topic.

Do not abuse the adjectives, exclamation marks and avoid common words (all, any, every). Also, you do not need to use phrasal verbs (put it, get off, etc.) and abbreviations (can’t instead of cannot, don’t instead of don not, etc.). Adhere to the academic and informational style in the presentation: avoid personal pronouns (I, my, we, our) and give preference to active voice instead of passive.

To give objectivity to the text, express an opinion on the topic using impersonal constructions (It is believed that …; It cannot be argued that … etc.) and non-categorical verbs (suggest, suppose, claim, etc.). Correctly expressing your opinion on the question will help you such words as apparently (obviously), arguably (probably) and other adverbs.

Divide the main part of the text into paragraphs by meaning, which can be interconnected and complement each other. Do not overload paragraphs with sentences and make them all approximately equal in volume. At the beginning of the paragraph it is better to use the word-bunch, which will help to continue the idea expressed earlier.

If you give examples or quotes in the texts, refer to the source and date of publication and quotation. This can be done in parentheses, indicating the author and year.

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