Essay Writing Dos and Donts: Essay Writing Tips That Make Your Papers Perfect

by Sidney Thompson 9 min read
A person using their PC to write
A person using their PC to write

Tips on writing an essay are often vague and too general. So, Eduboard specialists prepared tips for writing an essay that will work and bring students real results.

So, how to write a good essay? Here is how to effectively write an essay! Just remember what you must prioritize and avoid. 

Starting with Green Flags 

A person showing thumbs up
A person showing thumbs up

This part of the essay writing guide focuses on what you MUST DO to achieve good results and ensure your academic papers win you the best grades. Now, how to do a good essay? A student is better to...

✅ Understand what your instructors demand

Many essay "genres" exist, and each helps students develop various skills. The four basic essay types are

1. Argumentative is when you build a convincing argument to prove a point. The skills you must demonstrate here are researching, opinion forming with evidence, and building argumentation. Bias is not allowed. To structure your argument effectively, consider following an argumentative essay outline.

2. Descriptive papers demand vivid, engaging, and dynamic presentations of an object, person, or event. Sentimentalism is allowed. You are tested for language use, creativity, and sensory detail descriptions.

3. Expository — this type of essay explains the cause-and-effect relationships between certain events or ideas. That tests you for clarity of explanation and checks your knowledge. Bias is not allowed.

4. Narrative — this type of writing narrates an event, providing detailed anecdotes and scenes. The skills you demonstrate are how to write an engaging story and immerse your reader in it with the power of creativity.

Knowing what your instructor wants to see, you can use that as a prism for writing about something.

✅ Choose a narrowly-focused topic

Regarding tips for writing a good essay, choosing a topic is one of the most challenging. Using general topics for essay writing is like diving into the ocean over its deepest point; both are daunting and limiting.

Instead of tackling a broad topic, narrowing the focus and writing about something specific is best. A narrowly-focused topic allows you to use your knowledge and expertise in a way that will provide answers to a particular question. Moreover, finding evidence (if needed) or putting a focal point will be easier when you have a one-thing-centered theme.

For instance, compare the following:

1. What the Holy Roman Empire created. That is such a general topic you will have to sit for years over scientific articles and books trying to elucidate every single invention of that empire. The instructor will also ask you how you have selected the inventions and might take points away for ignoring something relevant because that shows you have not researched enough to pinpoint this fact. So, this topic is a big NO.

2. Via Imperii: The legendary trade route created by the Holy Roman Empire. Now that is working essay writing material. You have one object of observation and can now focus on it.

Here is another example!

1. The impact of mobile phones. Too general. What are we talking about? Impact good or bad? Also, impact on what, bestie? Our productivity because we're scrolling TikTok instead of doing our HW?

2. How mobile phones help us with health checks. Yes-s-s! You have a specific field and a positive connotation. So, your goal here is to explain how mobile technologies ARE GOOD because they let us monitor our health, take tests, keep track of regular things like periods, have better communication with healthcare specialists, etc.

✅ Write an outline

A person using their PC for writing after several unsuccessful ideas
Create an outline, or else you might have to redo the same thing if unsuccessful

How to write a good essay? First, deal with how to plan a good paper. Writing an outline before starting the composition is a good way to structure your text and ensure you do not miss out on anything vital. An essay outline organizes your thoughts, know what information goes into each paragraph, and ensures you hit all points required for a good paper.

Essay outline writing consists of three main parts:

1. Introduction — here, you introduce your essay topic, explain why it is essential, and how you will approach it. You should also provide a thesis statement at the end. The intro must be short, concise, and catchy to ensure your readers do not skip your paper instantly (even though your instructor must read it).

2. Main Body — that part includes 3-7 sections that will keep your main points, evidence, and arguments. All stories, anecdotes, descriptions, quotes, and stuff go here.

3. Conclusion — the last and most influential part of your essay should restate the thesis statement and summarize all points you have discussed. Note that your thesis must change because it has overgrown with facts! Furthermore, ensure your conclusion gives your readers food for thought and contemplation, as they must continue the communication act by processing your message and giving their verdict. 

✅ Start your draft with the body of your text!

One of the essay tips is that the introduction can wait. You may change your mind while writing because you need to check something and see a fact that alters how you perceive the topic. 

Moreover, new findings might change how you interpret what you have already said. Hence, start with the body of your text, proceed to the conclusion, and only then come up with those three intro sentences that will win your instructor's attention.

✅ Choose one tone and stick to it

Tone and formality are what make your essay look good. Your general tone should be serious, appropriate, and formal, with no slang or conversational language unless specified in the instructions.

Learn more about tones and styles of academic writing here. 

✅ Use reputable sources for facts and stats

The black lady staring irritated meme
Your instructor looking at references to trashy sources

How to effectively write an essay? Get solid facts that nullify counterarguments. Refer to something proven many times; add information close to being axiomatic.

To better understand this tip for essay writing, let us look at what a fact is!

A fact — factum in Latin, which means "deed, act, achievement," and "done" — is a piece of knowledge that states something has happened. That "something" can be an event, an action, or any other thing, but the main point is that it has been spotted, observed, and described; that knowledge is recorded in any manner. So, you can use other texts, photos, videos, sculptures, and other materials to back your arguments and stories up.




Thus, all students must research and sustain information hygiene. Moreover, facts are objective; you should never mix thoughts or opinions with factual info. And remember that your interpretations are facts too.

What is the best way to avoid misinformation and misleading knowledge? Students may use scientific databases like

  • Google Scholar
  • Scopus
  • Web of Science
  • DOAJ
  • Science Direct
  • Cite Seer
  • Scholarpedia
  • Microsoft Academic
  • Also, your college/uni library or repository defo has good articles you can refer to.

Referring to the news is another option, but note that many informational dumps may publish propaganda, falses, interviews with fake experts, "sensations," etc. Avoid yellow press if you want to use some materials from mass media channels.

✅ Write clearly

Clarity of your text ensures delivery, and it must be speckless. Your essay is a significant part of communication, and your messages will be perceived by a demanding audience (of your instructor, who gets tired daily). Hence, ensure you cut the useless sentences, never repeat what you have already said, and write everything concisely. Avoid unnecessary words and cut on adverbs if they have no emotional effect.

Writing concisely will also improve essay writing skills eventually. Even though that is not stated in the rules of writing an essay, the clarity component must remain. Tips for writing essay papers regarding clarity can also be useful in daily life because clear communication is everything.

✅ Make your conclusion three-five short sentences

... or a single paragraph depending on the length of your essay. Summarize all points, arguments, and facts you have discussed in the main body; do not add any new information here. Also, do not repeat anything you have stated. Let that be in the body of your text.

✅ Revise, edit, and proofread

After finishing your paper, it is time to revise and edit. Ensure the plot of your essay structure is well-developed and that all sections deliver their messages without redundant fragments. Then, proofread your text for any typos or spelling errors; check if there are some facts you can omit — too much information may be too much. Use online tools like Grammarly or Hemingway App to review your essay and ensure it looks perfect.

What Shouldn't You Do?

The Gru meme
The Gru meme

Our tips for writing essays now take a turn! The following essay writing guide focuses on what students must not do if they want a good grade.

❌ Intentional plagiarism

There is no need for essay writing guidelines regarding this. Plagiarism is

  • intellectual theft and you can get punished by the law for that
  • unneeded because instructors and professors want to evaluate YOUR skills, not someone else's.

Unintentional plagiarism can still be a problem, but you can deal with that easier. But note that unintentional plagiarism is still a serious problem when submitting research papers, dissertations, and other big works.

No more comments. On to the next tips for essay writing.

❌ Rely on Wikipedia

Wikipedia logo + a crying cat meme (he is alright, thats' Photoshop)
Wikipedia logo + a crying cat meme (he is alright, thats' Photoshop)

All tips for writing essay papers should have this point. Wikipedia IS NOT A RELIABLE SOURCE. That website is supreme and helpful but not the hub of truth. Furthermore, it can be edited by anyone! Check how a man once fooled security by editing a Wiki page about a band and writing he was a family member of one of the singers.

Wikipedia can be your last resort for finding good analytical materials, articles, and other media pieces in the references. Yet, a reference to Wikipedia and Wiki-like sites only shows that you have not researched properly.

❌ Leave inconsistencies in writing and formatting

All tips for writing essays must include this one: revise the format and style of your essay before handing it in. Ensure that all sentences are written perfectly, according to grammar and punctuation rules, and that the style is consistent. Check if you have not mixed US or British English in one sentence; double-check the spelling of proper nouns and other words.

Also, check the MLA/APA/Harvard formatting style accuracy because your paper will also be graded according to these requirements. Ensure all sources are referenced properly!

❌ Thinking that whatever you have written without revising is a ready essay

Finally, the last of our writing essay tips: never think that whatever you wrote is ready to be handed in. Re-read, revise, and check your paper several times before giving it to the instructor! Ensure that your grammar, punctuation, spelling, style, and formatting are all excellent — no matter how much time you spend on writing, the grade will be lower if it has technical issues.

Final Words

You have reached the end of tips for writing good essays. Now, get to writing and leave your mentor with no choice but to give you an A++. If you need any further assistance, remember that there are professional essay writers for hire at EduBoard who can help you craft an outstanding essay. You can do it!

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