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What Makes a Good Essay

One of the most difficult things for students to learn is how to write. Many believe that if they can speak they can write but unfortunately it doesn't work for essay writing. When it comes to essay writing, the students must be able to organize their thoughts and present them clearly and concisely to the reader. If students are not able to accomplish this, the message, no matter how good it could be will not be heard. The reader will be lost and most likely will not gain any benefit from the paper.

One of the first things that must be recognized is that the type of essay must be addressed first. There are at least four different types of academic essay writing that may be required. Depending on the type you’re presently working on and the goal of your paper, the core fundamentals should be addressed accordingly.

The Expository Essay

The purpose of an expository essay is to give an explanation of a specific topic, idea, or issue. The focus of this type of essay is the ‘explanation’ and not necessarily your opinion on the subject. This does not mean that your opinion cannot be expressed in the pages of your writing, but it is not the main point of the paper.

A good expository essay will have a well defined thesis statement (or statement of intent) that will clearly outline your topic. Let the reader know exactly what they will be reading about. It should also contain solid, supportable evidence to back up any statements you may have. A conclusion should clearly express your argument in a way that is clear and concise. Avoid the temptation of repetition as a way to win over readers. Support your information with verifiable facts as a way of bringing the reader over to your way of thinking.

The Persuasive Essay

In persuasive essay, the goal is to influence the reader to accept your argument on a particular issue or topic. In this type of essay your argument is the focal point of the paper. Your opinion matters so you must make it perfectly clear. Your ability to reason well will be the key factor in whether or not your essay will strike at the core of your reader. Make sure that your evidence is based on sound reasoning and that you are addressing the intended audience. The more you understand your audience and what interests them the better are your chances of winning them over to your side.

You should avoid becoming overly sentimental and passionate about your topic and stick to solid evidence to support your case. Avoid repetitive and boring prose but keep the information flowing throughout. Your conclusion should be strong and solid, bringing all the various points you mention throughout the paper together in a way that sums it all up in simple argument.

The Analytical Essay

With the analytical essay your goal is to examine and interpret an event, book, play, or some other type of art. This type of essay requires a strong introduction and presentation of your point of view. Connect your opinion throughout the paper by stating the problem, presenting your viewpoint, and then offering supporting facts.

You need to be very well organized in order to write analytical essays. Before you ever put pen to paper, plan exactly what you want to say and the order of your points of argument. While you may want to be persuasive, never sacrifice objectivity for strong evidence. Avoid writing in first person. For example, instead of writing, “I think he can’t win in politics,” write, “It seems that he can’t win in politics.” This will give you a strong and objective viewpoint that the readers will relate to.

Remember that the goal of analysis is not a summary of the story or fact but an explanation of what the writer wants us to focus on.

The Argumentative Essay

Finally, there is the argumentative essay, which focuses on providing solid evidence to support your personal opinion. Your arguments should be presented in a clear and poignant way and should be a topic that you have strong evidence to support.

Before writing an argumentative essay you need to understand both sides of the problem clearly. While your position is to support one particular side of the argument, it is necessary to present both sides in your paper. This way, the readers understand that you have considered both sides before you come to some conclusions.

Writing a good essay requires good preparation in advance. In order for the essay to be palatable to the reader you need to do research, analysis, and have your thoughts down in a clear and concise way. The more you prepare before you begin to write, the better your paper will be.

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