19 Crucial Essay Writing Tips for University Students

What is an Essay?

An essay is a form of writing that is commonly assigned to students in the college level for analyzing of particular subjects that are crucial in their learning programs. The essay is used by students to examine previous analyses of subjects by scholars in the field while introducing an objective perspective in the content. A good essay will, therefore, present a case for analysis and support the objective viewpoint by giving evidence organized in a procedural writing structure. When writing a good essay it is essential to become familiar with the varying forms of essay genres that instructors could require students to compose.

Essay genres

A. Expository Essay

In this essay the student is expected to;

  • Identify a particular topic
  • Explore scholarly material on the topic
  • Discuss the evidence presented
  • Present the topic through an original viewpoint
  • Compound the existing ideas in the final paragraph

When writing an expository essay, the following pointers will generate a great written material:

  1. Treat every idea and information as data to be explored for credibility, relevance and accuracy including those materials that are found to be agreeable and suitable to the writer’s viewpoint.
  2. Explain every information obtained from the scholarly materials even if it seems obvious for the purpose of clarity and concision required in the essay.
  3. Employ simple language to break down complex ideas being analyzed in the essay for the purpose of remaining relevant with any obscurity emerging from the use of difficult vocabularies.
  4. Leave no evidence unexplained since it could be crucial in altering the expository viewpoint of the reader or the writer.

The expository essay applies the following design throughout the writing:

  • An introduction paragraph that reveals the topic to be explored as well as the thesis statement, which forms the final sentence in the paragraph. The thesis should highlight the subject of the paper as well as the viewpoint to be explored by the writer.
  • The body part should begin after the statement of the thesis using a clear structure that explores every idea obtained systematically. Scholarly evidence is presented and explained in the body evidence to support the original viewpoint of the writer. Each paragraph in this part should discuss different evidence gained from the scholarly material.
  • The final part should be the conclusion paragraph that restates the thesis statement while re-addressing the evidence presented in the body paragraphs. There should be no new information presented in this paragraph since a comprehensive summary is given in the conclusion part.


B. The Descriptive Essay

In this essay genre, a writer is given the task of developing a vivid image of an event, person, item or circumstance by compiling various thoughts on the particular account. The student is expected to;

  • Describe a particular topic assigned by the instructor
  • Discuss the main ideas in the subject matter
  • Give an account of how the event is significant to the writer
  • Brainstorm through important details of the topic
  • Use a systematic flow that is consistent and easy to follow

Some of the pointers that a writer can use during this part include;

  1. Develop an essay hook to capture the readers’ attention from the point they begin reading the descriptive essay.
  2. Retain the readers’ attention by writing in continuous Prowse from the initial point of description to the relevant end of the subject being described.
  3. Try to answer any question that may arise during the description and clarify incidents that require vivid explanation for the correct meaning to be obtained.
  4. Include interesting facts in the essay to strengthen the description with correct and informative details that enhance learning at the end of the writing.
  5. The scene of the event or the topic being described in this essay should be well developed using elaborate and precise language.

The structure of the descriptive essay should be as follows:

  • The introductory paragraph reveals the exact event to be discussed while the thesis statement in this case highlights the reason for covering the specific topic. Relevance is drawn from beginning the description using informative facts that prepare the readers for the rest of the information to be included in the essay.
  • The body part of the essay simply describes the main points of the event as the writer understands them from the material provided. At this point, the writer is allowed to brainstorm on ways that will improve the description of the content being researched. Plenty of research should be conducted in order to identify relevant pieces of information to be presented.
  • The final part is the conclusion that presents a summarized account of the main points covered in the body of the paper. The summary is necessary for merging all the information presented in the essay into one paragraph that highlights the importance of the topic.

C. The Narrative Essay

In this type of essays, the writer is allowed to present a subjective account of events where their personal display of creativity is appreciated. The writer gives a narration from their point of view and illustrates the personal feelings and emotions associated with the topic. In this type of essay the student is required to;

  • Present their point of view
  • Highlight the elements of the narrative
  • Provide adequate details
  • Give the purpose of the narrative

When writing a narrative essay, the student should take note of the following key tips:

  1. The writer is allowed to use the first person viewpoint when giving personal experiences on the selected topic.
  2. Other viewpoints can be used in the narrative to deliver the chosen narrative as long as it enhances the clarity of the story.
  3. The writer must maintain consistency in the essay.
  4. Specific details should be included in the narrative to engage the reader by appealing to their sensory and emotional self.
  5. The purpose of the narrative must be clear to every reader for a lesson to be imparted at the end of the essay.

The main components of the narrative essay include:

  • The introduction paragraph that presents the story to be narrated in the essay. Unlike other essays, narrations have elements such as characters, a defined setting, and the plot of the story, and the moral of the narration that should be mentioned in this part. The writer also demonstrates their point of view in the introduction.
  • The body segment of the narrative essay explores the varying characters and settings of the story while retaining the author’s viewpoint. The paragraphs in the body can highlight the story as it occurs, giving focus to areas of interest that indicate the purpose of the essay. The strength of the paper in this part is based on the ability of the writer to engage the reader in a way that they feel part of the plot in the narrative.
  • Towards the conclusion segment of the paper, the writer is expected to have convinced the readers to support their perspective using evidence presented in the body. A summary of the main points highlighting the need for the reader to agree with the view of the writer form a suitable conclusion.

D. Argumentative Essay

In this essay genre, the writer obtains a debatable topic that splits opinions of scholars and weighs the evidences presented to ascertain the most suitable standpoint. The writer is required to display objectivity in conducting research to obtain the most suitable conclusion. The topic of discussion is often controversial and bias must be avoided to compose a good argumentative essay. Towards the end of the essay, the writer can select one side of the argument that appeals to them after exploring all the evidence presented by previous scholars. The student composing this type of essay is required to;

  • Explore scholarly evidence supporting each side of the debate.
  • Analyze the credibility and relevance of the arguments provided by previous studies.
  • Remain objective through the comparison of facts and observations in the essay.
  • Merge their original ideas with information presented in the essay to form their final perspective on the topic.

When writing an argumentative essay, the following pointers are essential in composing a great paper:

  1. Students should rely on facts and statistical data to develop accurate arguments.
  2. There should be a logical transition from the arguments to the counter arguments presented in the paper.
  3. The information presented should be evidential and not subjective opinions of other people.
  4. The writer should be careful of publication bias in the materials examined to obtain evidence for the arguments.
  5. The original standpoint of the writer can be stated at the last paragraph after examining all available data on a subject.
  6. The student should rely on wide research to compose a factual essay.


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