Besides reading, speaking and listening skills, writing is one of the top criteria to assess the quality of your English ability. Many individuals have difficulty in writing English essays, even though their grammar and vocabulary are quite good. The problem is: They don’t know how to present your ideas clearly and convincingly!
In fact, writing an English essay is not as difficult as many people think. You just need to keep in mind that: With English essays, there is no right or wrong answer! What the examiner expects from you is that you can express your own opinion and make strong arguments to defend it.
In this writing, Learn English Fun Way will show you, who are struggling with writing, the key secrets to write an effective essay in English. Keep in mind these tips and you may achieve some positive changes in your writing style.
1, Create a coherent structure
Like writing other essays, establishing a structure for your English essay is the first and foremost factor. You should not start writing the introduction immediately when you do not know what you will write in the body and the end of the essay. First of all, think and make note of the important points you would like to mention and the reference sources that go with each point. An excellent essay will be coherent and logical without making nonsensical arguments.
In the introduction, questions or issues of discussion should be presented clearly to generalize what the writer is talking about. These issues will be presented and solved in the body of the essay more deeply, in the form of main points. The body will consist of two to three paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence, which is like a miniature thesis—it briefly explains the main point you are trying to make with your paragraph. Each point will be accompanied with arguments, views of the author and a few concrete examples to support your point.
In conclusion, you must summarize the content introduced and analyzed in the two above sections so that readers can get an overview of the whole essay. Two common ways to conclude are to summarize the content of the discussion or ask a question about a new but related problem. The important rule is that if readers read only the introduction and conclusion, they can also identify the main points covered in the essay.
2, Convince readers with concrete evidence and examples
To “score” the content, you should pay special attention to the body of the essay. When writing an essay, you should divide the problem into main points and the body into separate paragraphs. In this way, you will easily analyze each thesis and the readers will easily pay attention to your ideas. Avoiding the case that one thesis has not been resolved yet, but you move to another. This will make the readers feel that the problem is not solved thoroughly.
The secret in keeping the essay “in a straight line” with the main topic is that you have to frequently mention the problem or question issued. At the end of each paragraph, you should ask yourself whether what you have just presented is relevant to the topic or not. If not, you had better write the paragraph again with other suitable supporting ideas or find another totally new point for the paragraph. This will keep you on track and create a link with the next paragraph.
Using solid evidence and examples after each thesis is also a common practice of students in order to explain and make the writing more persuasive. The examples here may be some quotes in a specialized work, some updated data or interesting sayings of famous people. The more topical and unique evidence is, the more attention of readers will be attracted. For essays that require personal perspectives, “based on a true story” examples from your experience will help you stand out.
3, Re-read the essay carefully (by many people) before submitting
Grammar, spelling and sentence construction are extremely essential for an essay. In the Department of Information and Communication Sciences (Besancon University of Science and Technology, France), Expression becomes a “nightmare” subject for students because the teacher is willing to deduct 0.5 points for a spelling mistake. Students in the department often tell an anecdote that a student had 20 negative points because of too many misspellings in the essay. To overcome this drawback, the only “medicine” is to practice writing regularly. You need to re-read the essay over and over, as well as have someone else read it, because it is easier for outsiders to recognize the mistakes than the writer himself. Remember not to submit the writing immediately, as it is likely to have many errors. Give yourself a break for 1-2 days and then return to read the essay with a conscious mind, then it will be easier to find the mistake. In this way, you will also have time to ask a tutor or a friend to read your writing and check your grammar and spelling.
Another common problem of students when writing an English essay is that they often try to use the difficult words and diversify words. It is agreed that one word should not be repeated throughout the essay, but make sure to find the right word instead. There are many easily misused English words that seem to have the similar meanings; however, when putting these words in one context, they are completely different. Using the words in the wrong context will reveal shortcomings of your English writing and lose the coherence of the essay. For example, instead of simply writing “I found a new bus route this morning”, one may even write “I established a dissimilar automobile itinerary this daybreak”, making it harder to understand the sentence.
The advice is that you should not worry much about showing your readers how rich your English vocabulary is. Instead, you should focus on the main points, logical reasoning, persuasive evidence, accurate data and reasonable conclusion. These factors are the “formulas” that help you create the best impression for readers when writing an English essay.
4, Keep in mind the following pieces of advice to write an effective English essay
- Get started early. Give yourself plenty of time to think about what you will write and discuss. Your English teachers can easily recognize which essay was written in 2 days and which was prepared a week ago! Therefore, do not subjectively think that 2000 words is not a difficult task and wait until the deadline to start the writing process. Try to set yourself a goal, for example 500 words per day. In this way, you can reduce the stress burden and have more time to think carefully before start writing.
- While writing an outline to help organize your main points, you should read the materials provided by your English teachers first. Your essay will have plus points if you show that you have read the relevant documents and know how to use the evidence.
- You also need to make reference to other sources on the Internet to make your essay more interesting and appealing. Reference websites such as Voices of Youth (with multi-dimensional perspectives on the world’s top issues), Google Scholar or Online Writing Lab (specializing in providing details of citations from works, books, instructor materials and even ESL exercises), Ielts Simon Writing Task 2 (teaching IELTS writing skills and offering band 9 IELTS essay samples),etc. will help you accumulate valuable knowledge and develop your writing skills!
Here is an essay sample following all the key secrets mentioned below has a Band 9 in the IELTS writing test (copied from IELTS podcasts). Read it and note down some ideas and new vocabulary that you find interested:
Doing an enjoyable activity with a child can develop better skills and more creativity than reading. To what extent do you agree? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.
Parents throughout the world place spend time reading with their offspring to prepare them for school where their literacy skills are further developed; however, recent research suggests that focusing on reading at an early age can be detrimental, and participating in fun activities would be far more beneficial. I am a strong advocate of this approach, and the benefits of it will be covered in this essay.
A fundamental reason for this is that there is no biological age for reading, and pushing infants to acquire this skill before they are ready could have repercussions. For example, in the UK, many boys are reluctant readers, possibly because of being forced to read, and this turned them off reading. By focusing on other activities and developing other skills such as creativity and imagination, when they are ready to read, they usually acquire this skill rapidly. In addition, the importance of encouraging creativity and developing a child’s imagination must be acknowledged. Through play, youngsters develop social and cognitive skills, for example, they are more likely to learn vocabulary through context rather than learning it from a book.
Furthermore, play allows youngsters to mature emotionally, and gain self-confidence. There is no scientific research which suggests reading at a young age is essential for a child’s development, moreover, evidence suggests the reverse is true. In Finland, early years’ education focuses on playing. Reading is only encouraged if a child shows and interest in developing this skill. This self-directed approach certainly does not result in Finnish school leavers falling behind their foreign counterparts. In fact, Finland was ranked the sixth best in the world in terms of reading.
Despite being a supporter of this non-reading approach, I strongly recommend incorporating bedtime stories into a child’s daily routine. However, reading as a regular daytime activity should be swapped for something which allows the child to develop other skills.