10 Tips to Consider When Writing an Essay

Writing essays is not easy, we struggle with perfectly getting our thoughts onto paper and writing fluidly. Whether we write for pleasure, for work, or for academia, different tones and techniques should be applied. 

1) Jumpstarting Your Essay 

Classic ways to jumpstart your essay or create a hook include:

  • quotes
  • statistics
  • personal anecdotes
  • questions
  • setting a vivid scene
  • contrasting a popular misconception with the reality

Remember that your senses include hearing, taste, touch, smell, and sight. Which is an unusual one that you think you can use? How about using metaphors?


2) Hook the Audience 

“Surprise! Surprise! Romance in the real-world is not over-the-top romantic gestures, love at first sight, or racing to the airport. Though, whether we admit it or not, deep down in each human is a hopeless romantic that wants to experience the same happy ending that is so often witnessed in romance novels.”

This is an example of a hook that I, myself wrote for a literary analysis. Notice how I began the essay in a way that draws the audience in. As you probably know, this can also be done by making a statement, posing a question, or stating a fact! That is the point of the first sentence in the essay; grab the attention and grasp it!


3) Introducing Your Topic in the Intro

“The similarity in romance plots can get very predictable and the unrealism creates misogynistic viewpoints that are ingrained in our society, therefore negatively influencing the reader’s analysis of what love and relationships are really like.”

Notice how I mention the larger issue- misogyny in romcoms and the fake image of what love should look like. I recommend mentioning some background information. The ‘why’, why is your subject important, and the reason you are subconsciously passionate about it!


4) The Best Thesis in the History of Thesis Statements 

Holly Bournes’, It only happens in the movies” challenges the unrealistic and problematic notion of rom-coms and their impractical nature by putting-forth familiar real-life situations, featuring pain, embarrassment, and confusion as well as using cliches in a positive feminist way.

A thesis statement will either make or break your essay. Here is the outline of what a thesis should look like:


XYZ should do ABC because DEF.
XYZ is a problem. ABC are some solutions.

5) Topic Sentences 

“Furthermore, the book addresses the unrealistic expectations that films have, as the protagonist, Audrey, decides to create a media project on this matter.”


My sentence starts off with a conjunction, which technically helps your fluidity and the jump from paragraph to paragraph. But, remember, too many conjunctions can clog up your writing. Topic sentences should follow with paragraph overview and transition/connection to the overall argument. Avoid inserting quotations marks or proper names in topic sentences. Topic sentences are supposed to contextualize supporting evidence. 

6) Writing Mechanics 

Sentences should average 15-20 words and making them too long can confuse your reader or cause them to feel disengaged. Also, paragraphs should average 4-6 sentences. If you go over, you don’t necessarily need to cut content. Rather, clarify and reorganize. 


Don’t ignore grammar. Your work *must* be proofread (for typos, creative capitalization, and sentence fragments, especially). Do not turn in anything without proofreading and making sure silly mistakes are taken care of.  Article titles go in quotes, publication/periodical titles go in italics. 

7) Organization 

Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence to 1) introduce the main idea, and 2) connect it to the essay’s overall topic. Supporting evidence matches the paragraph’s topic sentence and expands on the issue tackled. For instance, you may begin a paragraph intending to explore an idea. If the writing swerves into a case study or other personal anecdote, that’s fine! Adjust the topic sentence/s to accurately reflect the paragraph’s content. To best clarify complex ideas, “trim the fat.” Eliminate redundancy. Remove clunky wording like “with this being said.” 


8) Citation & Sources

 You may use popular and/or news sources. You’re not limited to items found using an academic database, explore the web, and use as many sources as you need.

See Also
Choosing to major in english versus business was a geat move for me personally, but maybe not for everyone. Check out why I chose English!


The quality of your argument matters a lot more than your word count. Don’t get bogged down in parenthetical citations. Whatever writing you chose, make sure that you have evidence to back it up. For example, when writing a persuasive piece with an imagined audience, a journalistic writing style is a good idea. Of course, thoroughly “introduce your friend” (the article or the book) inside the essay and attach a Works Cited page if needed. 

9) Conclusion

In conclusion, Holly Bourne created a story that challenged the ones usually seen in romances because she painted characters that every person in the slightest can relate to, she projected both love and heartbreak as well as embedded the cliches of romance to highlight women and gender equality.


Notice right here that I begin with a conjunction, which can easily be replaced once someone becomes a stronger/ more confident writer. This topic sentence conveys my ideas and the larger more global issue. 

10) Ending on a High Note 

Let your passion shine through and summarize your points in a different way!

 It showed the honest emergence of women into the real world. Where there are no scripts, where the motives don’t always make sense, where the light is not always flattering, where love doesn’t work out, where love is sometimes complicated and dull and flimsy rather than perfect and soulmates and kisses in the rain. It is both. Every love story is always a mixture of both, you just don’t see both in romance novels or movies.


Roll the credits…

Notice how my ending is slightly colloquial but still works because it is a sort of anecdote/relation to the story I tried to depict. 


Remember the most important point: Your thesis should make a claim about the subject you’re interested in—why is it significant? Academic research essays must demonstrate awareness of a larger conversation and stake your place in it. 

Also, remember, nothing breaks a professor’s heart like a bright student submitting an unoriginal or un-proofread paper.

Essays will become a dominating part of your academia, so make sure to share this article with fellow classmates. Thank you for reading!