No student can successfully navigate his or her academic career without writing a multitude of essays. While essay exists as a catchall phrase, it can actually refer to a number of different types of writing styles. That’s the tricky aspect of writing an essay—there are so many different types! Whether you’re tasked with writing a narrative essay or an argumentative essay, it’s your responsibility as the student to know the differences.
Writing tip #1: know what kind of essay you need to write. Knowing is half the battle after all! While some essays allow personal pronouns, others don’t. Let’s take a look at some basic writing tips when it comes to writing an essay.
Find out: What is an Essay?
Writing tip #2: Understand how an essay is different than other kinds of writing. An essay is a piece of academic writing whose purpose can be to inform or entertain an audience.
While most essays required in academic settings tend to be the informational kind, some may be written to entertain, such as a personal narrative. All essays typically begin with an introduction, contain several body paragraphs, and end with a conclusion. However, each kind of essay can require slightly different aspects.
Types of Essays
Writing Tip #3: know what kind of essay you need to write. It’s imperative that students be clear on what format the teacher expects.
Knowing the type of essay you need to write will help define how it’s organized. Here are the guides on writing the most common essay types – covering both the complete writing process and the parts of the process separately:
- 5 Paragraph Essay
- Argumentative Essay
- Cause and Effect Essay
- Definition Essay
- Illustration Essay
- Informative Essay
- Narrative Essay
- Persuasive Essay
- Scholarship essay
Planning Your Essay
As with most writing assignments, in order to do well, students should plan ahead to experience success.
Writing tip #4: don’t procrastinate. After receiving an essay writing assignment, consider taking the following steps to enjoy success:
- Annotate the assignment, highlighting important guidelines
- Decide upon a topic
- Narrow the argument
- Research valid sources
- Take good notes
- Create an outline
- Edit and revise
- Insert citations
- Format the final draft according to the teacher’s specifications
Structuring Your Essay
In order to earn the grade you desire, you need to ensure that the essay you’re writing is structured properly. Some essays may require an abstract, appendix, works cited, or bibliography page.
- How to structure an essay
- Structure of an essay
- Sections of the Essay
It’s just a fact that some topics are easier to write about than others. Why make writing harder than it is? Check out our guides to find topics for the commonly assigned essays:
- Argumentative essay topics
- Definition essay topics
- Persuasive essay topics
- 5 paragraph essay topics
- Extended essay topics
- Informative essay topics
- Narrative essay topics
Dissertation Writing Tips
Dissertations exist as the most difficult, most comprehensive writing assignment that students will undertake during their academic career.
Writing tip #5: begin as early as possible when writing a dissertation. Dissertations typically begin around 50 pages and can be hundreds of pages long, depending on the topic being researched.
If you’ve entered a doctorate program, you’ll need some key information before you begin tackling writing a dissertation.
- Starting Your Presentation
- What is a dissertation
- How to choose a dissertation topic
- How to choose a dissertation title
- How to organize a dissertation proposal
- Dissertation Chapters
- Literature Review
- Redrafting and Polishing
Reviews are among the most fun writing assignments students write for their classes.
Writing tip #6: write a review on something you’re interested in.
Not only are they a shorter writing assignment, but students often get to choose what they’d like to write about. Common reviews include:
Presentations and Speeches
Writing tip #7: write a great speech in order to give a good speech; the better the material, the better the presentation will be.
While many students fear speeches, they shouldn’t! They can actually be quite fun to write and share.
Writing a good admission paper is crucial to gaining entry to your top college or university of choice. An excellent set of admission papers should set you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other applicants. Part of setting yourself apart is ensuring that you have everything required for admission.
- Concept paper
- Application Letter
- Cover Letter
Writing tip #8: be organized and make sure you’re on top of all the admission requirements.
Other Academic Papers
The previous academic papers cover only a few of the most assigned types of academic papers students often encounter in high school and college classes. Check out these other types of academic papers:
- Annotated Bibliography
- Capstone Project
- Case Study
- Lab Report
- Research Paper
- Research Proposal
- Term Paper
- Personal Statement
- Professional Development Plan
- Creative Writing
- Technical Writing
Sometimes, the trickiest part of an academic writing assignment involves citing the research used in the paper. Since different disciplines require different referencing guides, it’s imperative to understand the major differences required to cite research both in the paper itself as well as on the Works Cited and/or Bibliography page(s). While certain referencing guides are used primarily by one discipline, such as MLA by English classes, sometimes professors prefer a certain type over others.
Writing tip #9: always ask your teacher what reference guide he or she prefers.
Here are the most common referencing guides you may be required to use:
Several factors contribute to the academic success of all students. First, and most importantly is whether or not a student understands the writing assignment; without understanding the assignment, it’s hard to meet all of its requirements. Second, is the student’s ability to organize information and create a cohesively written piece. Third, and finally is a student’s ability to manage time. Remember: Procrastination leads to stress, not straight As!