How to Write a Good Essay Paper

Last Updated: 20 April 2021
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Many students are struggling with academic essay writing because they do not understand how to write an essay. Some do not also know the best essay format to use or how to start an essay.

The ability to write an outstanding academic essay is a vital skill a college or university student needs. More so, the students seeking to advance their careers into the academic/scholarly field. Furthermore, those entering fields that require analytical and persuasive writing also need skills in writing academic essays.

Fundamentally, a good starting point for academic essays is prompt.  Before writing, it is quintessential to choose a good research topic and scholarly sources.

Besides, you need to organize your essay in the best essay format and support your ideas using facts, evidence, and examples.

It will help if you have an outline for your essay before beginning to write an essay. Ordinarily, the outline helps you know what falls where. Once you have a draft of the essay, consider editing and proofreading to ensure you submit the best essay.

The Different Types of Essays you will ever encounter in College

There are more than 5 different types of essays. However, the main types of essays include expository, narrative, compare and contrast, persuasive/argumentative, and descriptive essays. Now, you might only be knowing these 5 but we bet you there are more than 10 variants of essays you will encounter in your high-school, college, or university life.

Contrary to argumentative or persuasive essays, advantages and disadvantages essays explore the pros and cons of a given issue without trying to convince the audience to adopt the author’s side of argument/perspective. An example of a topic for this essay: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy sources or the pros and cons of legalizing medical marijuana.

An analytical essay presents an argument or claim on what the author is writing about. For instance, it could be involving a movie, film, play, literary work, or a piece of art. It could also entail the analysis of behavior, tendency, occurrence, or event. To write an analytical essay, the author often uses logical reasoning, critical thinking, and sound judgment to achieve some natural flow. The common analytical essays include persuasive analytical essays, analytical expository essays, analytical history essays, and analytical comparison essays. Example of a topic for an analytical essay: Why do teenagers run from home? Or why do stalkers like social media?

Argumentative essays entail the author trying to persuade the readers to adopt their perspective by immaculately presenting the pros, cons, and counterargument on a given issue. It is among the common types of essays assigned as homework in college. When it comes to written assignments, all disciplines are likely to write an argumentative essay. Example of an Argumentative Essay Topic: “Is social media a surveillance tool than a communication medium?

The primary role of a classification essay is to group and separate objects, things, events, or places according to salient characteristics. It is always advisable to find a unique approach to the classification of things. For instance, you can be asked to write about the five types of personalities.

Every year, students are required to submit a college application essay as part of their application process. In this type of essay, your role is to convince the admission board/committee on the reason they should admit you to the college or university. You could be out there wondering how to choose the best topic for a college essay or how to write it better, but when you are done reading this, it will be history. This is similar to the common APP essays.

The name lays bare what a compare and contrast essay is. It simply involves comparing the differences as well as similarities of phenomena, events, occurrences, physical features, countries, celebrities, comedies, books, vehicles, people, and etc. A good topic would be to compare and contrast communism and capitalism. 

In a critical essay, you are meant to criticize and evaluate a given piece of art, literature, or anything presented by revealing the strengths and weaknesses. It entails presenting a deep analysis of a given topic in a critical, logical, and flowing way.

The main aim of writers in a cause and effect essay is to explore the causes and consequences of a given phenomenon or event. There are methods or approaches to follow. You can begin by outlining the causes and then the effects or do a cross-comparison in paragraphs. You can choose an appropriate cause and effect essay topic from our topics for cause and effect essays.

In this type of essay, your role is to define a term, concept, idea, vocabulary, process, phenomenon, or occurrence by providing deep details. When writing one, you ought to explore the origin/genesis, meanings, applications, and maybe pros and cons, where necessary. For instance, a great topic for a definition essay would be “Explore the concept of divorce.” Or “Define the concept of social media or Hacktivism.”

Your role as an author of a descriptive essay is to describe things, people, events, or phenomena. It should be written from a personal perspective point of view and should offer your general impression. Describe the appearance, smell, and feeling, etc.

In a discursive essay, the role of the author is to offer an unbiased and reliable assessment of a given issue. It is close to an argumentative essay in that it requires choosing a controversial topic only that discursive essays present a balanced discussion on a topic. Common discursive essays include opinion essays and for and against essays.

An expository essay explores a subject or phenomenon from the author’s point of view. It is all about simplifying an explanation to a given topic without trying to prove anything. Your key role is to present the advantages and disadvantages, merits and demerits, or pros and cons to the readers. Example of Expository Essay Topic: “Explain why art therapy can be used in mental health hospitals.” Or “Explore the possibility of using laughter as medicine.”

In a narrative essay, you are always required to use first-person to tell a story about yourself. It is like writing an autobiography.

These are essays you write about yourself. It is almost similar to the narrative essay. In fact, it is a variant of a narrative essay. Examples of personal essays are essays about yourself such as scholarship essays, statements of purpose, transfer letters, appeal letters, and admission essays.

This type of essay is the extreme opposite of argumentative essays. It is meant to change the point of view of the readers so that they adopt that of the author as an axiom. Even though it sounds simple, it is one of the toughest types of essays. Write it well such that everyone who reads your essays, eventually agrees with your thoughts and reasoning. In a persuasive essay, the reader must find worth in your statements. Here is where your negotiation skills and power of conviction play a role.

Poetry essay as the name suggests entails discussing the critical components of an essay. It could explore the literary devices, themes, and the central claim in a poem. Example of a poetry essay topic: Explore the theme of heroism in the Beowulf Poem.

As the name suggests, this type of essay you offer a stepwise how-to guide to the readers. It should be loaded with comprehensive information. This article could easily be a process essay as we are exploring the essay writing process. Example of a process essay topic: “Explain the Solvay process.” Or “Explain how to choose an outstanding essay topic.”

Profile essays are essays where you describe a person, place, event, or anything in detail. It could be an essay you write about yourself or one you write about someone. For instance, you can write an essay about Elon Musk, Bill Gates, President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump, and President Vladimir Putin.

Ranked among the type of essay as an advanced level writing, a synthesis essay explores a unique viewpoint on a central idea, a topic, or a theme.

Academic Essays Writing Process

In this article, we cover some of the basics of essay writing. Our information will help you scaffold the university studies and write the best essays. The article also provides examples of essay structures for college, high school, and university essays.

This article will also cover the formats and styles of college essays, how to begin an essay, tips on writing the best academic essays, and how to write a thesis statement.

Essay Writing Rules for College and University Students

Like any other game, some guidelines guide how essays are written. Here are the rules of academic essay writing.

The Standard format of an Academic Essay

Just like with writing research papers, term papers, or reports, writing essays differ with the instructions provided. You need to thoroughly check the assignment instructions to get an insight into the formatting guidelines to use. However, most academic essays would require that you use:

The assignment rubric will also contain the instructions on the headings and subheadings breakdown. Some professors like giving the number of pages and references for academic essays.

Consider the Citation Style Requirements

The citation format depends on the subject matter. Sometimes, if left with the choice it is a matter of preference of the student. However, the most common styles used in citations include MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, and Oxford.

How to begin an essay

Writing an academic essay is intended to pursue the readers through the presentation of evidence.  The beginning of your essay is vital in the essay writing process. Establishing authority and engaging the readers to require the beginning that is focused on achieving exactly that.

Your beginning should introduce the essays, orient the leaders, and remain focused on the content.

Your introduction helps the readers connect with the topic at hand. It is an overt way of letting the readers know the context of your essay and the approach you will take in handling the essay topic.

For example, if your essay is on the First Amendment as a guarantee of the freedom of speech, you could begin by introducing a case or a legal occurrence that prompts the topic. Understand whether it is freedom of speech in schools, burning of flags, or the historical context of writing the First Amendment.

Simply, it would be best if you established the context of your essay. The introduction should also limit your topic and standing with an approach.

The introduction of an essay lets the readers know the central issue or the gist of your academic essay. It is always great to have a thesis statement that stands out. Although not much allowed, you could use questions to give directions for your essay.

Length and Order of Essay Beginnings

You could be wondering how long the beginning should be? Well, it depends on the complexity and length of the entire academic essay. When writing a 5- or 10-page essay your beginning should be about one or two paragraphs. That is roughly between 250 and 300 words. However, it should be very brief and well-composed.

Do we follow a particular order when writing the beginning of an essay? No. Nevertheless, you should ensure that your beginning has a logical flow. For instance, the statement of the focus of the academic essay should come last.

Regardless of the order of your beginning avoid having a snappy quotation to establish the gist and context of your essay. Instead, be as direct and specific as you can.

If you are wondering what words to start an essay, the above explanation can help you.

Types of Academic Essay Openings to use when writing College Essays

First, you can choose the history of the world opening approach where your context traces its relevance to past occurrences. Could be world wars, disease outbreaks, enlightenment period, or the industrial revolution, you name it.

Another approach is the funnel opening where you start with a broad explanation of the context then you narrow down to the exact issue your essay is handling. If it is an essay on Christianity, Islam, and terrorism, I will help if you begin by exploring each religion.

All the same, after having a draft of your introduction, you can now begin writing as you build ideas.

Types of Words that help Determine the Type of Essay

There are direction words that guide you on what to do to your essay.

Sample Essay Questions

Here are some of the common essay question examples. Our academic essay help online service can be beneficial. Our essay writers understand the essay writing process. Even if you need essay topics on technology, they will suggest the best topic ideas for your essay.

Write a minimum 2 1/2 page paper describing the assault on African American bodies during and after the Civil War. What is the explanation for this violence? How did the violence become embroiled in debates about slavery and reconstruction?

Critically analyze the fundamental concepts of working cross-culturally, specifically in regards to effective communication and the impact on your work practice.

Outline and analyze the key components of a framework for health professionals to engage in effective and respectful communication with Indigenous peoples, especially in regards to the delivery of health services. Describe how this could potentially be viewed as part of a strategy across some levels to lift the cultural competency of mainstream health services systematically.

Brainstorming the Academic Essay Topic

Presented with such a choice, it would help to begin by brainstorming the essay topic.  Here is an example of brainstorming for your essay. Let’s take an example of: Using personal reflection, write a 1000 word essay on how rising food prices are impacting on people’s diets. Both brainstorming pathways are valid for essays.

Brainstorming for an essay

Get more information on general essay writing on how to brainstorm for your essay.

Basic Academic Essay Structure

After brainstorming, you need to have a structure for your academic essay. Below is an example of an essay format. The essay structure example helps you break down the essay into credible parts.  The essay structure template can be used in developing different essays. Keep in mind that most of the essays follow the five-paragraph essay format.

Best Essay Outline

Check out more examples from this wonderful article on how to write an academic essay.

Components of an Essay Introduction

You should have a good paragraph when undertaking an academic essay writing. An introduction has different parts including:

Components of a good essay Paragraph

Topic Sentence: This should be the main argument of the paragraph. It comes first.

Supporting sentence using evidence: Here, you should use information from credible sources such as journals, books, government websites, and periodicals to support the topic sentence. Use the relevant transition words to bring flow to your essay.

The concluding sentence: This sentence winds up the paragraph. It should give a transition to the next paragraph for a good flow.

Academic essay writing requires patience and skills. However, there comes a time when you can use online fast academic essay writing services can help. You can also buy essays online from a trusted academic essay writing website. Gradecrest gives you the autonomy to order at any time. Request academic essay helps any time and be among the best in class.


Among all the challenges a student faces in college, essay writing can be the top of the list. The process of writing an essay that fetches the best grades is laborious, challenging, and tough for some people. Let’s just imagine you have a job on the side and a few essays to write and submit before a deadline. Of course, the pressure will mount on you if you do not understand how to write a good essay on any topic you are given.

But before even thinking of giving up, we are here to help you ace your essay. We understand that essays are a frequent assignment or homework to high school, college, and university students. Luckily, even if it is a graduate essay, MBA essay, university essay, or doctorate essay, the writing process is ubiquitous.

So, what do you first do when you are given an assignment of writing an essay? Do you wait and procrastinate until you set in a panic mode and just put together a few paragraphs in the name of writing essays? Or do you boldly begin by the first things first?  Well, the sad thing is that even if you have trouble composing an essay, you can never deny the fact that essays will always be assigned to students. And when you have the essay prompt, you either write it or forget and get a poor grade or even worse a re-sit.

In this article, we have comprehensively explored all the dynamics of essay writing. You can call it an essay writing guide for dummies, because, for all it is worth it covers everything from the components for a good essay and how to nail an essay in just a few steps.