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How to nail the perfect essay- every time

How to nail the perfect essay- every time

It’s nearly time for your first essay to be submitted, and the nerves are undoubtedly high.

Not to worry though- follow these handy tips to ensure that all the key aspects of your first essay are up to scratch.

These are simply main points on structure and key aspects to include in your essay, yet, there are also important factors to consider before writing. Firstly, read, read and read some more! Ensure you have full knowledge on your subject before starting your argument. Also, plan! Make sure that before following these tips and getting down to writing, you have a clear and concise plan.

#1 The importance of a good introduction

Start strong! A good introduction will set you up for a good essay. Outline your argument, make it glaringly obvious. State your main points, the amount of which will vary depending on your essay length, and practically explain what you are about to do.


#2 Starting sentences

These will really help you to glide through your essay. Sentences such as ‘a further point to be explored is’ ‘when looking into …., it is important to explore’ ‘Concerning…’ ‘a major point to analyse’

There are also plenty of sophisticated connectives to link your work together, ‘in a nutshell’ ‘furthermore’ ‘as a consequence of’ ‘in addition to’ ‘moreover’.

Phrases such as these will help you to conclude each main point, meaning that your argument remains clear and precise throughout.

Concerning stating key points, try not to use ‘I’, it is far too informal and not really expected at university level.

#3 Link everything!

Make sure that you are linking everything, such as all of your main points, back to the question, this will remind the marker of your main argument, inform them that you have not strayed from that argument, and will also provide your essay with a strong structure.

#4 Structure and presentation

A key point! A well-presented essay will mean that it is much more clear and easier to follow. Clearly sectioned paragraphs, double spacing, page numbers and a header with your name and university number all work to make it look professional and concise.

Concerning structure, follow this handy guide here

-Introduce your point

-Explain this point and give an example/quote, analyse this

-Mini conclude your point, what does it mean/signify

-Link your findings back to your main essay question/argument

#5 Conclusion

Finally, a good conclusion! Start this with a strong phrase, such as ‘in conclusion’ ‘to conclude’ ‘ultimately’

Follow this up with your main argument/answer to the essay question

For example,

‘In conclusion it is apparent that MAIN ARGUMENT’

Then, follow this up with your main points that you have explored in the essay, and which have all helped you come to this conclusion, you may wish to mention any counter arguments in this, before overriding these with your evidence.

Finally, end the essay with a concise and clear answer to the essay question, remember, you need to make you argument glaringly obvious to the marker.

Finally, good luck!

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.