How to write a good academic essay

Writing an essay is an essential part of academic course or programme, be it for a Master's or PhD degree.

To write a good essay that will please your tutor or supervisor and get you a high grade, you have to follow best practice and guidance on essay writing.

Below are a few practical tips as to how you can make your essay a well-written academic manuscript.

1-   Organisation 

A good essay must be propery organised. This means the content you want to put in writing must be written in a coherent and connected manner. 

Putting blocks of writing next to each other without any appropriate linking and coherence makes it very difficult for your supervisor or tutor, let alone an average reader, to make any sense of your essay. 

So, rule number one is: make sure your essay is tidy, organised and well-structured.

2-   Clarity 

Again, a good essay must be clear. The very core of the concept of an essay is fundamentally explanatory. In other words, essays are essentially written to shed light on or explain a specific subject. 

For this reason, it is imperative that your essay‚Äôs content is clear. Vague content is not going to help explain your subject to your reader. It will in fact only confuse them further. 

Ask yourself: Is what I have written clear enough? If yes, then you are on the right track. 

3-   Depth 

Do not write a shallow essay that is lacking in insight and depth. When you write an essay, you are expected to conduct extensive research and collect evidence and information.

Failing to do proper and in-depth investigation for your essay is only going to result in you producing a piece of writing that is quite superficial and not sufficiently insightful.

You really need to extensively research the specific topic or subject you are going to write the essay about, unless you are guided by your supervisor or tutor to look at certain books, theories etc. The depth and breadth of your content is of paramount importance. 

4-   Language  

Once you have completed your investigation and collected your information and are ready to put all this in writing, you need to bear the following points in mind:

  • Write your essay in academic, idiomatic English language up to a high standard
  • Avoid any grammatical, punctuation or spelling mistakes or using non-academic expressions
  • Ensure your language flows and is not complicated or unnecessary complext to understand
  • Get a friend who is good at English to take a look at your essay
  • Read it aloud once you have completed the writing

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