essay types

An effective writing strategy for creating an outstanding academic essay

When you set out to write your academic essay, use these effective writing strategy tips below to create an outstanding one. You can apply these tips to any paper you are given.

When you start writing, you want to set up a structure that best presents your argument before you delve right in. You want to present the thesis and supported evidence, but the manner in which you do this might vary based on the type of assignment. For example:

  • You can present your arguments in a chronological structure
  • You can present your arguments in a thematic structure
  • You can present your arguments by context
  • You can present your arguments by comparative

For something that is a bit more complication, you might:

  • Maintain a chronological structure overall, but within it break down the structure according to elements within your thesis
  • Maintain a thematic structure overall, but within it break down the structure by sub-themes
  • Maintain a comparative structure overall, but within it break it down by context.

In addition, you might want to focus on ideas such as differing theories, practice, case studies, evidence, policy, debate, or examples.

Iterative Processes

Planning and writing your essay does not have to be linear. It can be an iterative process, where some of the early stages are repeated as you revise. You might start by:

  • Analyzing your title
  • Brainstorming ideas which are relevant to the title
  • Reading around your title and making any necessary notes
  • Preparing your first draft
  • Looking back over your instructions
  • Critically reviewing your first draft
  • Reading more information to fill in any argumentative gaps
  • Preparing your final draft
  • Critically editing your final draft
  • Submitting your final essay

It is important to help your readers as you are writing. Remember that if your argument is difficult to follow, it will be difficult for the reader to understand. They might want an explanation in one paragraph, but they won’t find it until the next. During that time they might become frustrated and maintain that frustration throughout the remainder of your paper. This will make it much more difficult for them to appreciate your argument or your efforts.

The best way to help this process is to make the effort to ensure your readers can follow what you have written. The reader should not have to investigate undercover in order to understand all of the points you made.


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