How to write a good essay?

During your academic career, sooner or later you will surely come into contact with the essay type essay. In some cases, you need to be able to write an essay (the noun can be masculine or neuter) in school – if not in German, then perhaps in English. Because many students need to write essays in English.

Maybe you have to learn how to write good essays at university (provided that you go to university at all and choose a humanities subject).

No matter how, as for any other type of essay (z.B. (e.g., writing a summary), there are also certain principles and rules for this form of written expression that you should follow in order to deal with the task satisfactorily and to be able to deliver a good text.

What you should keep in mind when writing write an essay for school or university you should be able to do in this article. A lot of fun!

















What is an essay?

Unlike essay forms such as the table of contents, it is not so easy to deduce from the name what exactly the essay is about.

Unless, of course, you know that the word not only describes a type of essay, but (like the French essai) also simply "Try can be called. But even then, the name does not mean as much as "characterization", or?

Well, the attempt in this case refers to a Thought experiment, a thought experiment. And this is exactly what an essay is in the context of the literary genre founded by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).

What is an essay?

Essay comes from the word essay or. essai, what "try means. | Source: Unsplash

The purpose of an essay is to reflect on a certain topic, to pose a question or a thesis, or to. -and then deal with them in the course of the essay in a way that is comprehensible to the reader.

In contrast to other forms of the essay resp. a term paper, it is not about proving that you can do methodical/scientific work, but it is a more subjective kind of writing.

There are different types of essays:

  • comparative essay
  • argumentative essay
  • explanatory essay
  • analytical essay

What form you need to write is usually determined by the teacher or. the lecturer specified. However, you may have to identify for yourself what type it is based on the assignment (z.B. if signal words and phrases such as "Compare . ", "Discuss . ", "Explain . ", "Classify . " Etc. occur).

And even if you have to hand in an essay in English, there are not only general words in the assignment like write, but also certain key words like discuss, examine, compare Etc., which will give you an indication of what is required.

By the way: At university you usually write a sog. scientific essay. This is the generic term for having formed scientifically resp. to deal with a topic in writing within a certain field of study. But the scientific essay can also be argumentative, comparative, analytical, or explanatory be.

In short, an essay is a short paper (usually 4-12 pages) on a topic in which you put your own thoughts, ideas, and arguments on paper. The essay is not about gaining new insights, but about, a new perspective on what you already know present!

Essay writing – how to prepare

Now you might be wondering how you can best prepare yourself. Well, this is in comparison to the preparation for a poem analysis z.B. Not so easy, because you don’t have a concrete source text to orient yourself by and to mark important passages in.

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The essay is more about being familiar with a particular topic and perhaps having already formed your own point of view or viewpoint. To have formed an opinion or point of view.

If you are allowed to decide for yourself on which topic you want to edit an essay, it is of course a bit easier, because then you can choose an area you are interested in anyway, on which you have recently read an interesting article or listened to a podcast.

If, on the other hand, the topic is given to you by the teacher, it can happen that you don’t know that much about it and haven’t formed your own opinion yet.

In this case, of course, you should first learn about the topic: Enter the topic in the search engine of your choice, look for articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.

Even if you express your own point of view in the essay, and do not simply "parrot" it, you can still use it for your own purposes If you want to know what others have to say about it, it can be helpful to listen to different points of view and the argumentation of others in order to get inspired by them and then to drawing your own conclusions.

You feel like everything has already been said about the topic, and you don’t know how to bring a new perspective to it? Of course, this can happen quickly with daily topics, v.a. if it is an argumentative essay.

Perhaps you can find a similar topic to contrast with this one, or new questions that are a little further away from the mainstream discourse. Or you can recombine different arguments and draw different conclusions from your own argumentation accordingly.

But let’s not kid ourselves, this is not a simple elementary school essay: writing a good essay on paper is an art, and compared to other essay forms such as the report, you can’t just follow the same pattern. You have to do your own thinking and, if possible, present something clever in an interesting way.

But don’t worry, depending on your grade level or semester in college, more or less is expected, and proving that you’ve done a little research on the topic and understand what’s expected of you can go a long way toward earning you a good grade.

So much for the general, so to speak, the mental preparation or. Get in the mood for the topic. But of course there are also concrete steps to consider before writing such a paper.

Read the assignment carefully:

  • What kind of essay is it?
  • Is there a given number of pages or words??
  • Are there any guidelines for the layout (e.g.B. Font size, references, etc.)?
  • Is there anything else to consider?

Does your university have an essay style guide?

Be sure to read any essay writing guides you may have! | Source: Unsplash

And if you are at the university, it may well be that your faculty/Your department has its own guidelines or. Style guide for writing essays has. Depending on the discipline, you may be asked to do a number of different things. Be common practice. If this is the case, read the guidelines carefully and pay attention to all the points mentioned!

Because there is nothing more annoying than to get points deducted and therefore a lower grade because of formal mistakes .

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The right essay structure


In contrast to an interpretation, where you only briefly discuss the original text in the introduction, an essay introduction is a bit more demanding: You explain why you are concerned about this topic and pose a thesis or a question, with the reference that you want to pursue this in the following.

Since this is already quite an important part of your text (z.B. term paper), you should write the introduction only after the main part! Because often in the course of the argumentation a new point of view or a slightly modified thesis arises, or the focus shifts.

By the way: Even if the topic is given, you should give a reason in the introduction why you are interested in the topic. you want to write about it. Because even if you only write the essay because you "have" to, of course, your work should not show this at the end.

You can refer to current events, cite a famous quote, or describe an event that happened to you recently (or was told to you) and made you think about the topic, etc.

For example, if the topic is Fairtrade and pollution in the textile industry, you can start by telling how you were recently in the city center and the question came to you in the clothing store how it can be that a T-shirt only costs 3€.

Such little stories as an introduction do not have to be true, of course, it is simply a matter of finding a suitable hook and that Arouse the interest of the reader, so that they feel like reading on.

Main body

This is – as the name suggests – the core of your paper. Here you take your readers on a journey of thought and explain step by step how you came to your opinion.

The much-mentioned red thread is particularly important here. Don’t just string your arguments or ideas together at random, but present them in such a way that they are easy to follow and logically connected.

However, you are quite free in the design, there is no typical essay structure – unlike z.B. to the classical discussion, with the different pro-contra-models. However, if you want to write argumentative essays, the methodology of alternating pro and con arguments can be useful.

How to write an essay in English?

You need to write an essay in English? Good luck! | Source: Unsplash

Overall, it’s hard to make a blanket statement about the layout of the main body, because of course, it depends a lot on the type of essay (different forms s. above). The important thing is simply to express your own point of view and logically state how you came to it. So you present not only facts resp. Final results, but lets those who read your text share in your mental journey.

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The conclusion will round up your work. One way to do this is to summarize what you’ve covered in the main section, but that runs the risk of being unnecessarily repetitive and boring those who have to read your text.

Instead – depending on the question/problem – it is more interesting to offer a solution or outlook or to open up further questions.

Because this way the reader is stimulated to think, and that should be the goal! Your interest should be aroused so that you make them want to look into the subject further.

Tips& Tricks approximately around the topic essay write

As you probably noticed in this article, it’s not that easy to write a good essay. But if you remember the following tips& If you can keep up with all the tricks, you’re already well on your way to a convincing text – your thought processes and linguistic skills will then do the rest!

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