logo (1)

Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

How To Write An Essay # Beginner Tips And Tricks

Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.

When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay. 

No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.

Ink pen on paper before writing an essay

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Types of Essays

Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic. 

When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals. 

For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay. 

Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.

Descriptive Essay

This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event. 

Argumentative Essay

In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Expository Essay

Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.

The Main Stages of Essay Writing

When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case. 

There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.

So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:

Preparation

Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.

Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).

In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.  

The Five-Paragraph Essay

We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use. 

The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.

Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.

Introduction

As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more. 

Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. 

You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.

Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic. 

In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.

That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.

Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work. 

You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement. 

Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument. 

student writing an essay on his laptop

Photo by AMIT RANJAN on Unsplash

Steps to Writing an Essay

Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.

Understand Your Assignment

When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.

Research Your Topic

Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay. 

Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.

Start Brainstorming

After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:

  • Think about what you found during your research that interested you the most
  • Jot down all your ideas, even if they’re not yet fully formed
  • Create word clouds or maps for similar terms or ideas that come up so you can group them together based on their similarities
  • Try freewriting to get all your ideas out before arranging them

Create a Thesis

This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise. 

Write Your Outline

Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline. 

In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look. 

A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph. 

If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step… 

Write a First Draft

The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward. 

Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward. 

Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did. 

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete. 

However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.

After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc. 

Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style . 

Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in. 

A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.

Essay Writing Tips

With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Start your essay early. This is the first tip for a reason. It’s one of the most important things you can do to write a good essay. If you start it the night before, then you won’t have enough time to research, brainstorm, and outline — and you surely won’t have enough time to review.
  • Don’t try and write it in one sitting. It’s ok if you need to take breaks or write it over a few days. It’s better to write it in multiple sittings so that you have a fresh mind each time and you’re able to focus.
  • Always keep the essay question in mind. If you’re given an assigned question, then you should always keep it handy when writing your essay to make sure you’re always working to answer the question.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. In order to improve the readability of your essay, try and make clear transitions between paragraphs. This means trying to relate the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one so the shift doesn’t seem random.
  • Integrate your research thoughtfully. Add in citations or quotes from your research materials to back up your thesis and main points. This will show that you did the research and that your thesis is backed up by it.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.

If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary. 

Related Articles

Privacy overview.

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game New
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing

How to Write an Essay

Last Updated: February 1, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 7,906,370 times.

An essay is a common type of academic writing that you'll likely be asked to do in multiple classes. Before you start writing your essay, make sure you understand the details of the assignment so that you know how to approach the essay and what your focus should be. Once you've chosen a topic, do some research and narrow down the main argument(s) you'd like to make. From there, you'll need to write an outline and flesh out your essay, which should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. After your essay is drafted, spend some time revising it to ensure your writing is as strong as possible.

Understanding Your Assignment

Step 1 Read your assignment carefully.

  • The compare/contrast essay , which focuses on analyzing the similarities and differences between 2 things, such as ideas, people, events, places, or works of art.
  • The narrative essay , which tells a story.
  • The argumentative essay , in which the writer uses evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view.
  • The critical or analytical essay, which examines something (such as a text or work of art) in detail. This type of essay may attempt to answer specific questions about the subject or focus more generally on its meaning.
  • The informative essay , that educates the reader about a topic.

Step 2 Check for formatting and style requirements.

  • How long your essay should be
  • Which citation style to use
  • Formatting requirements, such as margin size , line spacing, and font size and type

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Christopher Taylor, Professor of English, tells us: "Most essays will contain an introduction, a body or discussion portion, and a conclusion. When assigned a college essay, make sure to check the specific structural conventions related to your essay genre , your field of study, and your professor's expectations."

Step 3 Narrow down your topic so your essay has a clear focus.

  • If you're doing a research-based essay , you might find some inspiration from reading through some of the major sources on the subject.
  • For a critical essay, you might choose to focus on a particular theme in the work you're discussing, or analyze the meaning of a specific passage.

Step 4 Ask for clarification if you don't understand the assignment.

  • If you're having trouble narrowing down your topic, your instructor might be able to provide guidance or inspiration.

Planning and Organizing Your Essay

Step 1 Find some reputable sources on your topic.

  • Academic books and journals tend to be good sources of information. In addition to print sources, you may be able to find reliable information in scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.
  • You can also look for primary source documents, such as letters, eyewitness accounts, and photographs.
  • Always evaluate your sources critically. Even research papers by reputable academics can contain hidden biases, outdated information, and simple errors or faulty logic.

Tip: In general, Wikipedia articles are not considered appropriate sources for academic writing. However, you may be able to find useful sources in the “References” section at the end of the article.

Step 2 Make notes...

  • You might find it helpful to write your notes down on individual note cards or enter them into a text document on your computer so you can easily copy, paste , and rearrange them however you like.
  • Try organizing your notes into different categories so you can identify specific ideas you'd like to focus on. For example, if you're analyzing a short story , you might put all your notes on a particular theme or character together.

Step 3 Choose a question to answer or an issue to address.

  • For example, if your essay is about the factors that led to the end of the Bronze Age in the ancient Middle East, you might focus on the question, “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?”

Step 4 Create a thesis...

  • One easy way to come up with a thesis statement is to briefly answer the main question you would like to address.
  • For example, if the question is “What role did natural disasters play in the collapse of Late Bronze Age society?” then your thesis might be, “Natural disasters during the Late Bronze Age destabilized local economies across the region. This set in motion a series of mass migrations of different peoples, creating widespread conflict that contributed to the collapse of several major Bronze Age political centers.”

Step 5 Write an outline...

  • When you write the outline, think about how you would like to organize your essay. For example, you might start with your strongest arguments and then move to the weakest ones. Or, you could begin with a general overview of the source you're analyzing and then move on to addressing the major themes, tone, and style of the work.
  • Introduction
  • Point 1, with supporting examples
  • Point 2, with supporting examples
  • Point 3, with supporting examples
  • Major counter-argument(s) to your thesis
  • Your rebuttals to the counter-argument(s)

Drafting the Essay

Step 1 Write an introduction...

  • For example, if you're writing a critical essay about a work of art, your introduction might start with some basic information about the work, such as who created it, when and where it was created, and a brief description of the work itself. From there, introduce the question(s) about the work you'd like to address and present your thesis.
  • A strong introduction should also contain a brief transitional sentence that creates a link to the first point or argument you would like to make. For example, if you're discussing the use of color in a work of art, lead-in by saying you'd like to start with an overview of symbolic color use in contemporary works by other artists.

Tip: Some writers find it helpful to write the introduction after they've written the rest of the essay. Once you've written out your main points, it's easier to summarize the gist of your essay in a few introductory sentences.

Step 2 Present your argument(s) in detail.

  • For example, your topic sentence might be something like, “Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are among the many literary influences apparent in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels.” You could then back this up by quoting a passage that contains a reference to Sherlock Holmes.
  • Try to show how the arguments in each paragraph link back to the main thesis of your essay.

Step 3 Use transition sentences between paragraphs.

  • When creating transitions, transitional phrases can be helpful. For example, use words and phrases such as “In addition,” “Therefore,” “Similarly,” “Subsequently,” or “As a result.”
  • For example, if you've just discussed the use of color to create contrast in a work of art, you might start the next paragraph with, “In addition to color, the artist also uses different line weights to distinguish between the more static and dynamic figures in the scene.”

Step 4 Address possible counterarguments.

  • For example, if you're arguing that a particular kind of shrimp decorates its shell with red algae to attract a mate, you'll need to address the counterargument that the shell decoration is a warning to predators. You might do this by presenting evidence that the red shrimp are, in fact, more likely to get eaten than shrimp with undecorated shells.

Step 5 Cite your sources...

  • The way you cite your sources will vary depending on the citation style you're using. Typically, you'll need to include the name of the author, the title and publication date of the source, and location information such as the page number on which the information appears.
  • In general, you don't need to cite common knowledge. For example, if you say, “A zebra is a type of mammal,” you probably won't need to cite a source.
  • If you've cited any sources in the essay, you'll need to include a list of works cited (or a bibliography ) at the end.

Step 6 Wrap up with...

  • Keep your conclusion brief. While the appropriate length will vary based on the length of the essay, it should typically be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
  • For example, if you're writing a 1,000-word essay, your conclusion should be about 4-5 sentences long. [16] X Research source

Revising the Essay

Step 1 Take a break...

  • If you don't have time to spend a couple of days away from your essay, at least take a few hours to relax or work on something else.

Step 2 Read over your draft to check for obvious problems.

  • Excessive wordiness
  • Points that aren't explained enough
  • Tangents or unnecessary information
  • Unclear transitions or illogical organization
  • Spelling , grammar , style, and formatting problems
  • Inappropriate language or tone (e.g., slang or informal language in an academic essay)

Step 3 Correct any major problems you find.

  • You might have to cut material from your essay in some places and add new material to others.
  • You might also end up reordering some of the content of the essay if you think that helps it flow better.

Step 4 Proofread your revised essay.

  • Read over each line slowly and carefully. It may be helpful to read each sentence out loud to yourself.

Tip: If possible, have someone else check your work. When you've been looking at your writing for too long, your brain begins to fill in what it expects to see rather than what's there, making it harder for you to spot mistakes.

how to write essays with

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

You Might Also Like

Plan an Essay Using a Mind Map

  • ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-types
  • ↑ https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills/resources/essay-writing/six-top-tips-for-writing-a-great-essay
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/tips-reading-assignment-prompt
  • ↑ https://library.unr.edu/help/quick-how-tos/writing/integrating-sources-into-your-paper
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/researching/notes-from-research/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/developing-thesis
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-a-counter-argument.html
  • ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Intros-Conclusions.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/writingforsuccess/chapter/8-4-revising-and-editing/
  • ↑ https://writing.ku.edu/writing-process

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

If you need to write an essay, start by gathering information from reputable sources, like books from the library or scholarly journals online. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As you're taking notes, look for a central theme that you're interested in writing about to create your thesis statement. Then, organize your notes into an outline that supports and explains your thesis statement. Working from your outline, write an introduction and subsequent paragraphs to address each major point. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that briefly explains the main point of that paragraph. Finally, finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up the most important points. For tips from our English Professor co-author on helpful revision techniques, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Muhammad Talha Javaid

Muhammad Talha Javaid

Feb 7, 2019

Did this article help you?

Gabrielle Mattijetz

Gabrielle Mattijetz

May 8, 2017

Shahzad Saleem

Shahzad Saleem

Jun 20, 2018

Barbara Gonzalez

Barbara Gonzalez

Aug 6, 2016

Kniziel Sanders

Kniziel Sanders

Oct 17, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Get Started in Standup Comedy

Trending Articles

How to Take the Perfect Thirst Trap

Watch Articles

Wrap a Round Gift

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Level up your tech skills and stay ahead of the curve

Oxford Summer School 2024 – Final Places Left

Oxford Scholastica Academy logo

How To Write The Perfect Essay

Jan 12, 2024 Blog Articles , English Language Articles , Humanities Articles , Law Articles , Politics Articles , Writing Articles

If you decide to study English or a subject within Arts and Humanities at university, it’s going to involve a lot of essay writing. It’s a challenging skill to master because it requires both creativity and logical planning, but if you ensure you do the following whenever you write an essay, you should be on the way to success. This skill is also a key focus in our Oxford Summer Courses , where essay writing is honed to perfection.

Table of Contents

This may sound time-consuming, but if you make a really good plan you will actually save yourself time when it comes to writing the essay, as you’ll know where your answer is headed and won’t write yourself into a corner. Don’t worry if you’re stuck at first – jot down a few ideas anyway and chances are the rest will follow. I find it easiest to make a mind map, with each new ‘bubble’ representing one of my main paragraphs. I then write quotations which will be useful for my analysis around the bubble.

For example, if I was answering the question, ‘ To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ? ’ I might begin a mind map which looks something like this:

An example mind map for writing an essay

Y ou can keep adding to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the different bubbles when you spot connections between them. Even though you won’t have time to make such a detailed plan under exam conditions, it can be helpful just to sketch a brief one, including a few key words, so that you don’t panic and go off topic when writing your essay. If you don’t like the mind map format, there are plenty of others to choose from: you could make a table, a flowchart, or simply a list of bullet points.

2. Have a clear structure

Think about this while you are planning. Your essay is like an argument or a speech – it needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question. Start with the basics: it is best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs is a good number for an exam essay, since you will be under time pressure. Organise your points in a pattern of YES (agreement with the question) – AND (another ‘YES’ point) – BUT (disagreement or complication) if you agree with the question overall, or YES – BUT – AND if you disagree. This will ensure that you are always focused on your argument and don’t stray too far from the question.

For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question as follows:  

‘To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men?’

  • YES – descriptions of her appearance
  • AND – other people’s attitudes towards her
  • BUT – her position as the only woman on the ranch gives her power as she uses her femininity to advantage

If you wanted to write a longer essay, you could include additional paragraphs under the ‘YES/AND’ category, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife reveals her vulnerability and insecurities and shares her dreams with the other characters; on the other hand, you could also lengthen your essay by including another ‘BUT’ paragraph about her cruel and manipulative streak.

Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question: as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense.

3. Back up your points with well-analysed quotations

You wouldn’t write a scientific report without including evidence to support your findings, so why should it be any different with an essay? Even though you aren’t strictly required to substantiate every single point you make with a quotation, there’s no harm in trying. A close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners.</spanWhen selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. For example, you could discuss Curley’s wife’s use of a rhetorical question when she says, ‘An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs’:

The rhetorical question “An’ what am I doin’?” signifies that Curley’s wife is very insecure; she seems to be questioning her own life choices. Moreover, the fact that she does not expect anyone to respond to her question highlights her loneliness.

Other literary techniques to look out for include:

  • Tricolon – a group of three words or phrases placed close together for emphasis
  • Tautology – using different words that mean the same thing, eg ‘frightening’ and ‘terrifying’
  • Parallelism – ABAB structure; often signifies movement from one concept to another
  • Chiasmus – ABBA structure; draws attention to that phrase
  • Polysyndeton – many conjunctions in a sentence
  • Asyndeton – lack of conjunctions; can speed up the pace of a sentence
  • Polyptoton – using the same word in different forms for emphasis, eg ‘done’ and ‘doing’
  • Alliteration – repetition of the same sound; different forms of alliteration include assonance (similar vowel sounds), plosive alliteration (‘b’, ‘d’ and ‘p’ sounds) and sibilance (‘s’ sounds)
  • Anaphora – repetition of words; often used to emphasise a particular point

Don’t worry if you can’t locate all of these literary devices in the work you’re analysing – you can also discuss more obvious effects, like metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. It’s not a problem if you can’t remember all the long names – it’s far more important to explain the effect of the literary techniques and their relevance to the question than to use the correct terminology.

4. Be  creative and original right the way through

Anyone can write an essay using the tips above, but the thing that really makes it ‘perfect’ is your own unique take on the topic you’re discussing. If you’ve noticed something intriguing or unusual in your reading, point it out: if you find it interesting, chances are the examiner will too.

Creative writing and essay writing are more closely linked than you might imagine; keep the idea that you’re writing a speech or argument in mind, and you’re guaranteed to grab your reader’s attention.

It’s important to set out your line of argument in your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but don’t forget to keep something back for the conclusion, too. Yes, you need to summarise your main points, but if you’re just repeating the things you said in your introduction, the essay itself is rendered pointless.

Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff.

To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here is an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:

Introduction:

In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , Curley’s wife is portrayed as an ambiguous character. She could be viewed either as a cruel, seductive temptress or a lonely woman who is a victim of her society’s attitudes. Though she does seem to wield a form of sexual power, it is clear that Curley’s wife is largely a victim. This interpretation is supported by Steinbeck’s description of her appearance, other people’s attitudes, her dreams, and her evident loneliness and insecurity.

Conclusion:

Overall, it is clear that Curley’s wife is a victim and is portrayed as such throughout the novel, in the descriptions of her appearance, her dreams, other people’s judgemental attitudes, and her loneliness and insecurities. However, a character who was a victim and nothing else would be one-dimensional and Curley’s wife is not. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity – a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.

Both refer back consistently to the question and summarise the essay’s main points; however, the conclusion adds something new which has been established in the main body of the essay and yet complicates the simple summary which is found in the introduction.

To summarise:

  • Start by writing a thorough plan
  • Ensure your essay has a clear structure and overall argument
  • Try to back up each point you make with a quotation
  • Answer the question in your introduction and conclusion but remember to be creative too

Next Steps for Aspiring English Students

  • Challenge yourself and test your writing skills by signing up for top essay writing competitions , like the annual OxBright essay competition .
  • Start a book club or joining an existing one. This can provide a platform to discuss and analyze writing styles, themes, and authors, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of literature. It’s also a great way to get different perspectives on the same work, which can be invaluable in developing critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Want to write for a living? Read our blog post on How to Become a Writer
  • Prepare for university and experience what it’s like studying on the Oxford University campus in one of our Oxford Summer Schools , like our Oxford writing program .

Want to learn more skills for academic success?

Summer Courses at the Oxford Scholastica Academy combine hands-on learning experiences with stimulating teaching and masterclasses, for an unforgettable summer amongst students from around the world.

Hannah Patient

Hannah Patient

Literature Editor

Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. She thinks literature is a crucial way of developing empathy and learning about the wider world, and is excited to be Scholastica Inspires’ Literature Editor! When she isn’t writing essays about 17th-century court masques, she enjoys acting, travelling and creative writing.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Essay Writing

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help.

The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.

Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.

Before delving into its various genres, let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay.

What is an essay?

Though the word essay has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English, its origins provide us with some useful insights. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English; tracing it back further, we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere , which means "to examine, test, or (literally) to drive out." Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.

Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition. As is evidenced by this list of attributes, there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing.

The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from his or her purpose; the writing must be deliberate and interesting.

This handout should help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres.

This handout includes a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing:

  • Expository essays
  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Argumentative (Persuasive) essays

Student sat writing at a table. Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

Systems & Services

Access Student Self Service

  • Student Self Service
  • Self Service guide
  • Registration guide
  • Libraries search
  • OXCORT - see TMS
  • GSS - see Student Self Service
  • The Careers Service
  • Oxford University Sport
  • Online store
  • Gardens, Libraries and Museums
  • Researchers Skills Toolkit
  • LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)
  • Access Guide
  • Lecture Lists
  • Exam Papers (OXAM)
  • Oxford Talks

Latest student news

new twitter x logo

CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?

Try our extensive database of FAQs or submit your own question...

Ask a question

how to write essays with

How to Write Your College Essay: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Getting ready to start your college essay? Your essay is very important to your application — especially if you’re applying to selective colleges.

Become a stronger writer by reviewing your peers’ essays and get your essay reviewed as well for free.

We have regular livestreams during which we walk you through how to write your college essay and review essays live.

College Essay Basics

Just getting started on college essays? This section will guide you through how you should think about your college essays before you start.

  • Why do essays matter in the college application process?
  • What is a college application theme and how do you come up with one?
  • How to format and structure your college essay

Before you move to the next section, make sure you understand:

How a college essay fits into your application

What a strong essay does for your chances

How to create an application theme

Learn the Types of College Essays

Next, let’s make sure you understand the different types of college essays. You’ll most likely be writing a Common App or Coalition App essay, and you can also be asked to write supplemental essays for each school. Each essay has a prompt asking a specific question. Each of these prompts falls into one of a few different types. Understanding the types will help you better answer the prompt and structure your essay.

  • How to Write a Personal Statement That Wows Colleges
  • Personal Statement Essay Examples
  • How to Write a Stellar Extracurricular Activity Essay
  • Extracurricular Essay Examples
  • Tips for Writing a Diversity College Essay
  • Diversity Essay Examples
  • Tips for Writing a Standout Community Service Essay
  • How to Write the “Why This Major” Essay
  • How to Write a “Why This Major” Essay if You’re Undecided
  • How to write the “Why This College” Essay
  • How to Research a College to Write the “Why This College” Essay
  • Why This College Essay Examples
  • How to Write The Overcoming Challenges Essay
  • Overcoming Challenges Essay Examples

Identify how each prompt fits into an essay type

What each type of essay is really asking of you

How to write each essay effectively

The Common App essay

Almost every student will write a Common App essay, which is why it’s important you get this right.

  • How to Write the Common App Essay
  • Successful Common App Essay Examples
  • 5 Awesome College Essay Topics + Sample Essays
  • 11 Cliché College Essay Topics + How to Fix Them

How to choose which Common App prompts to answer

How to write a successful Common App essay

What to avoid to stand out to admissions officers

Supplemental Essay Guides

Many schools, especially competitive ones, will ask you to write one or more supplemental essays. This allows a school to learn more about you and how you might fit into their culture.

These essays are extremely important in standing out. We’ve written guides for all the top schools. Follow the link below to find your school and read last year’s essay guides to give you a sense of the essay prompts. We’ll update these in August when schools release their prompts.

See last year’s supplemental essay guides to get a sense of the prompts for your schools.

Essay brainstorming and composition

Now that you’re starting to write your essay, let’s dive into the writing process. Below you’ll find our top articles on the craft of writing an amazing college essay.

  • Where to Begin? 3 Personal Essay Brainstorming Exercises
  • Creating the First Draft of Your College Application Essay
  • How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay
  • What If I Don’t Have Anything Interesting To Write About In My College Essay?
  • 8 Do’s and Don’t for Crafting Your College Essay
  • Stuck on Your College Essay? 8 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Understand how to write a great hook for your essay

Complete the first drafts of your essay

Editing and polishing your essay

Have a first draft ready? See our top editing tips below. Also, you may want to submit your essay to our free Essay Peer Review to get quick feedback and join a community of other students working on their essays.

  • 11 Tips for Proofreading and Editing Your College Essay
  • Getting Help with Your College Essay
  • 5 DIY Tips for Editing Your College Essay
  • How Long Should Your College Essay Be?
  • Essential Grammar Rules for Your College Apps
  • College Essay Checklist: Are You Ready to Submit?

Proofread and edited your essay.

Had someone else look through your essay — we recommend submitting it for a peer review.

Make sure your essay meets all requirements — consider signing up for a free account to view our per-prompt checklists to help you understand when you’re really ready to submit.

Advanced College Essay Techniques

Let’s take it one step further and see how we can make your college essay really stand out! We recommend reading through these posts when you have a draft to work with.

  • 10 Guidelines for Highly Readable College Essays
  • How to Use Literary Devices to Enhance Your Essay
  • How to Develop a Personalized Metaphor for Your College Applications

Celebrating 150 years of Harvard Summer School. Learn about our history.

12 Strategies to Writing the Perfect College Essay

College admission committees sift through thousands of college essays each year. Here’s how to make yours stand out.

Pamela Reynolds

When it comes to deciding who they will admit into their programs, colleges consider many criteria, including high school grades, extracurricular activities, and ACT and SAT scores. But in recent years, more colleges are no longer considering test scores.

Instead, many (including Harvard through 2026) are opting for “test-blind” admission policies that give more weight to other elements in a college application. This policy change is seen as fairer to students who don’t have the means or access to testing, or who suffer from test anxiety.

So, what does this mean for you?

Simply that your college essay, traditionally a requirement of any college application, is more important than ever.

A college essay is your unique opportunity to introduce yourself to admissions committees who must comb through thousands of applications each year. It is your chance to stand out as someone worthy of a seat in that classroom.

A well-written and thoughtful essay—reflecting who you are and what you believe—can go a long way to separating your application from the slew of forgettable ones that admissions officers read. Indeed, officers may rely on them even more now that many colleges are not considering test scores.

Below we’ll discuss a few strategies you can use to help your essay stand out from the pack. We’ll touch on how to start your essay, what you should write for your college essay, and elements that make for a great college essay.

Be Authentic

More than any other consideration, you should choose a topic or point of view that is consistent with who you truly are.

Readers can sense when writers are inauthentic.

Inauthenticity could mean the use of overly flowery language that no one would ever use in conversation, or it could mean choosing an inconsequential topic that reveals very little about who you are.

Use your own voice, sense of humor, and a natural way of speaking.

Whatever subject you choose, make sure it’s something that’s genuinely important to you and not a subject you’ve chosen just to impress. You can write about a specific experience, hobby, or personality quirk that illustrates your strengths, but also feel free to write about your weaknesses.

Honesty about traits, situations, or a childhood background that you are working to improve may resonate with the reader more strongly than a glib victory speech.

Grab the Reader From the Start

You’ll be competing with so many other applicants for an admission officer’s attention.

Therefore, start your essay with an opening sentence or paragraph that immediately seizes the imagination. This might be a bold statement, a thoughtful quote, a question you pose, or a descriptive scene.

Starting your essay in a powerful way with a clear thesis statement can often help you along in the writing process. If your task is to tell a good story, a bold beginning can be a natural prelude to getting there, serving as a roadmap, engaging the reader from the start, and presenting the purpose of your writing.

Focus on Deeper Themes

Some essay writers think they will impress committees by loading an essay with facts, figures, and descriptions of activities, like wins in sports or descriptions of volunteer work. But that’s not the point.

College admissions officers are interested in learning more about who you are as a person and what makes you tick.

They want to know what has brought you to this stage in life. They want to read about realizations you may have come to through adversity as well as your successes, not just about how many games you won while on the soccer team or how many people you served at a soup kitchen.

Let the reader know how winning the soccer game helped you develop as a person, friend, family member, or leader. Make a connection with your soup kitchen volunteerism and how it may have inspired your educational journey and future aspirations. What did you discover about yourself?

Show Don’t Tell

As you expand on whatever theme you’ve decided to explore in your essay, remember to show, don’t tell.

The most engaging writing “shows” by setting scenes and providing anecdotes, rather than just providing a list of accomplishments and activities.

Reciting a list of activities is also boring. An admissions officer will want to know about the arc of your emotional journey too.

Try Doing Something Different

If you want your essay to stand out, think about approaching your subject from an entirely new perspective. While many students might choose to write about their wins, for instance, what if you wrote an essay about what you learned from all your losses?

If you are an especially talented writer, you might play with the element of surprise by crafting an essay that leaves the response to a question to the very last sentence.

You may want to stay away from well-worn themes entirely, like a sports-related obstacle or success, volunteer stories, immigration stories, moving, a summary of personal achievements or overcoming obstacles.

However, such themes are popular for a reason. They represent the totality of most people’s lives coming out of high school. Therefore, it may be less important to stay away from these topics than to take a fresh approach.

Explore Harvard Summer School’s College Programs for High School Students

Write With the Reader in Mind

Writing for the reader means building a clear and logical argument in which one thought flows naturally from another.

Use transitions between paragraphs.

Think about any information you may have left out that the reader may need to know. Are there ideas you have included that do not help illustrate your theme?

Be sure you can answer questions such as: Does what you have written make sense? Is the essay organized? Does the opening grab the reader? Is there a strong ending? Have you given enough background information? Is it wordy?

Write Several Drafts

Set your essay aside for a few days and come back to it after you’ve had some time to forget what you’ve written. Often, you’ll discover you have a whole new perspective that enhances your ability to make revisions.

Start writing months before your essay is due to give yourself enough time to write multiple drafts. A good time to start could be as early as the summer before your senior year when homework and extracurricular activities take up less time.

Read It Aloud

Writer’s tip : Reading your essay aloud can instantly uncover passages that sound clumsy, long-winded, or false.

Don’t Repeat

If you’ve mentioned an activity, story, or anecdote in some other part of your application, don’t repeat it again in your essay.

Your essay should tell college admissions officers something new. Whatever you write in your essay should be in philosophical alignment with the rest of your application.

Also, be sure you’ve answered whatever question or prompt may have been posed to you at the outset.

Ask Others to Read Your Essay

Be sure the people you ask to read your essay represent different demographic groups—a teacher, a parent, even a younger sister or brother.

Ask each reader what they took from the essay and listen closely to what they have to say. If anyone expresses confusion, revise until the confusion is cleared up.

Pay Attention to Form

Although there are often no strict word limits for college essays, most essays are shorter rather than longer. Common App, which students can use to submit to multiple colleges, suggests that essays stay at about 650 words.

“While we won’t as a rule stop reading after 650 words, we cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention for as long as you’d hoped it would,” the Common App website states.

In reviewing other technical aspects of your essay, be sure that the font is readable, that the margins are properly spaced, that any dialogue is set off properly, and that there is enough spacing at the top. Your essay should look clean and inviting to readers.

End Your Essay With a “Kicker”

In journalism, a kicker is the last punchy line, paragraph, or section that brings everything together.

It provides a lasting impression that leaves the reader satisfied and impressed by the points you have artfully woven throughout your piece.

So, here’s our kicker: Be concise and coherent, engage in honest self-reflection, and include vivid details and anecdotes that deftly illustrate your point.

While writing a fantastic essay may not guarantee you get selected, it can tip the balance in your favor if admissions officers are considering a candidate with a similar GPA and background.

Write, revise, revise again, and good luck!

Experience life on a college campus. Spend your summer at Harvard.

Explore Harvard Summer School’s College Programs for High School Students.

About the Author

Pamela Reynolds is a Boston-area feature writer and editor whose work appears in numerous publications. She is the author of “Revamp: A Memoir of Travel and Obsessive Renovation.”

How Involved Should Parents and Guardians Be in High School Student College Applications and Admissions?

There are several ways parents can lend support to their children during the college application process. Here's how to get the ball rolling.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

Have a language expert improve your writing

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • College essay

How to Write a College Essay | A Complete Guide & Examples

The college essay can make or break your application. It’s your chance to provide personal context, communicate your values and qualities, and set yourself apart from other students.

A standout essay has a few key ingredients:

  • A unique, personal topic
  • A compelling, well-structured narrative
  • A clear, creative writing style
  • Evidence of self-reflection and insight

To achieve this, it’s crucial to give yourself enough time for brainstorming, writing, revision, and feedback.

In this comprehensive guide, we walk you through every step in the process of writing a college admissions essay.

Table of contents

Why do you need a standout essay, start organizing early, choose a unique topic, outline your essay, start with a memorable introduction, write like an artist, craft a strong conclusion, revise and receive feedback, frequently asked questions.

While most of your application lists your academic achievements, your college admissions essay is your opportunity to share who you are and why you’d be a good addition to the university.

Your college admissions essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s total weight一and may account for even more with some colleges making the SAT and ACT tests optional. The college admissions essay may be the deciding factor in your application, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.

What do colleges look for in an essay?

Admissions officers want to understand your background, personality, and values to get a fuller picture of you beyond your test scores and grades. Here’s what colleges look for in an essay :

  • Demonstrated values and qualities
  • Vulnerability and authenticity
  • Self-reflection and insight
  • Creative, clear, and concise writing skills

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

It’s a good idea to start organizing your college application timeline in the summer of your junior year to make your application process easier. This will give you ample time for essay brainstorming, writing, revision, and feedback.

While timelines will vary for each student, aim to spend at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing your first draft and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Remember to leave enough time for breaks in between each writing and editing stage.

Create an essay tracker sheet

If you’re applying to multiple schools, you will have to juggle writing several essays for each one. We recommend using an essay tracker spreadsheet to help you visualize and organize the following:

  • Deadlines and number of essays needed
  • Prompt overlap, allowing you to write one essay for similar prompts

You can build your own essay tracker using our free Google Sheets template.

College essay tracker template

Ideally, you should start brainstorming college essay topics the summer before your senior year. Keep in mind that it’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic.

If you want to write about a common essay topic, such as a sports injury or volunteer work overseas, think carefully about how you can make it unique and personal. You’ll need to demonstrate deep insight and write your story in an original way to differentiate it from similar essays.

What makes a good topic?

  • Meaningful and personal to you
  • Uncommon or has an unusual angle
  • Reveals something different from the rest of your application

Brainstorming questions

You should do a comprehensive brainstorm before choosing your topic. Here are a few questions to get started:

  • What are your top five values? What lived experiences demonstrate these values?
  • What adjectives would your friends and family use to describe you?
  • What challenges or failures have you faced and overcome? What lessons did you learn from them?
  • What makes you different from your classmates?
  • What are some objects that represent your identity, your community, your relationships, your passions, or your goals?
  • Whom do you admire most? Why?
  • What three people have significantly impacted your life? How did they influence you?

How to identify your topic

Here are two strategies for identifying a topic that demonstrates your values:

  • Start with your qualities : First, identify positive qualities about yourself; then, brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities.
  • Start with a story : Brainstorm a list of memorable life moments; then, identify a value shown in each story.

After choosing your topic, organize your ideas in an essay outline , which will help keep you focused while writing. Unlike a five-paragraph academic essay, there’s no set structure for a college admissions essay. You can take a more creative approach, using storytelling techniques to shape your essay.

Two common approaches are to structure your essay as a series of vignettes or as a single narrative.

Vignettes structure

The vignette, or montage, structure weaves together several stories united by a common theme. Each story should demonstrate one of your values or qualities and conclude with an insight or future outlook.

This structure gives the admissions officer glimpses into your personality, background, and identity, and shows how your qualities appear in different areas of your life.

Topic: Museum with a “five senses” exhibit of my experiences

  • Introduction: Tour guide introduces my museum and my “Making Sense of My Heritage” exhibit
  • Story: Racial discrimination with my eyes
  • Lesson: Using my writing to document truth
  • Story: Broadway musical interests
  • Lesson: Finding my voice
  • Story: Smells from family dinner table
  • Lesson: Appreciating home and family
  • Story: Washing dishes
  • Lesson: Finding moments of peace in busy schedule
  • Story: Biking with Ava
  • Lesson: Finding pleasure in job well done
  • Conclusion: Tour guide concludes tour, invites guest to come back for “fall College Collection,” featuring my search for identity and learning.

Single story structure

The single story, or narrative, structure uses a chronological narrative to show a student’s character development over time. Some narrative essays detail moments in a relatively brief event, while others narrate a longer journey spanning months or years.

Single story essays are effective if you have overcome a significant challenge or want to demonstrate personal development.

Topic: Sports injury helps me learn to be a better student and person

  • Situation: Football injury
  • Challenge: Friends distant, teachers don’t know how to help, football is gone for me
  • Turning point: Starting to like learning in Ms. Brady’s history class; meeting Christina and her friends
  • My reactions: Reading poetry; finding shared interest in poetry with Christina; spending more time studying and with people different from me
  • Insight: They taught me compassion and opened my eyes to a different lifestyle; even though I still can’t play football, I’m starting a new game

Brainstorm creative insights or story arcs

Regardless of your essay’s structure, try to craft a surprising story arc or original insights, especially if you’re writing about a common topic.

Never exaggerate or fabricate facts about yourself to seem interesting. However, try finding connections in your life that deviate from cliché storylines and lessons.

Admissions officers read thousands of essays each year, and they typically spend only a few minutes reading each one. To get your message across, your introduction , or hook, needs to grab the reader’s attention and compel them to read more..

Avoid starting your introduction with a famous quote, cliché, or reference to the essay itself (“While I sat down to write this essay…”).

While you can sometimes use dialogue or a meaningful quotation from a close family member or friend, make sure it encapsulates your essay’s overall theme.

Find an original, creative way of starting your essay using the following two methods.

Option 1: Start with an intriguing hook

Begin your essay with an unexpected statement to pique the reader’s curiosity and compel them to carefully read your essay. A mysterious introduction disarms the reader’s expectations and introduces questions that can only be answered by reading more.

Option 2: Start with vivid imagery

Illustrate a clear, detailed image to immediately transport your reader into your memory. You can start in the middle of an important scene or describe an object that conveys your essay’s theme.

A college application essay allows you to be creative in your style and tone. As you draft your essay, try to use interesting language to enliven your story and stand out .

Show, don’t tell

“Tell” in writing means to simply state a fact: “I am a basketball player.” “ Show ” in writing means to use details, examples, and vivid imagery to help the reader easily visualize your memory: “My heart races as I set up to shoot一two seconds, one second一and score a three-pointer!”

First, reflect on every detail of a specific image or scene to recall the most memorable aspects.

  • What are the most prominent images?
  • Are there any particular sounds, smells, or tastes associated with this memory?
  • What emotion or physical feeling did you have at that time?

Be vulnerable to create an emotional response

You don’t have to share a huge secret or traumatic story, but you should dig deep to express your honest feelings, thoughts, and experiences to evoke an emotional response. Showing vulnerability demonstrates humility and maturity. However, don’t exaggerate to gain sympathy.

Use appropriate style and tone

Make sure your essay has the right style and tone by following these guidelines:

  • Use a conversational yet respectful tone: less formal than academic writing, but more formal than texting your friends.
  • Prioritize using “I” statements to highlight your perspective.
  • Write within your vocabulary range to maintain an authentic voice.
  • Write concisely, and use the active voice to keep a fast pace.
  • Follow grammar rules (unless you have valid stylistic reasons for breaking them).

You should end your college essay with a deep insight or creative ending to leave the reader with a strong final impression. Your college admissions essay should avoid the following:

  • Summarizing what you already wrote
  • Stating your hope of being accepted to the school
  • Mentioning character traits that should have been illustrated in the essay, such as “I’m a hard worker”

Here are two strategies to craft a strong conclusion.

Option 1: Full circle, sandwich structure

The full circle, or sandwich, structure concludes the essay with an image, idea, or story mentioned in the introduction. This strategy gives the reader a strong sense of closure.

In the example below, the essay concludes by returning to the “museum” metaphor that the writer opened with.

Option 2: Revealing your insight

You can use the conclusion to show the insight you gained as a result of the experiences you’ve described. Revealing your main message at the end creates suspense and keeps the takeaway at the forefront of your reader’s mind.

Revise your essay before submitting it to check its content, style, and grammar. Get feedback from no more than two or three people.

It’s normal to go through several rounds of revision, but take breaks between each editing stage.

Also check out our college essay examples to see what does and doesn’t work in an essay and the kinds of changes you can make to improve yours.

Respect the word count

Most schools specify a word count for each essay , and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit.

Remain under the specified word count limit to show you can write concisely and follow directions. However, don’t write too little, which may imply that you are unwilling or unable to write a thoughtful and developed essay.

Check your content, style, and grammar

  • First, check big-picture issues of message, flow, and clarity.
  • Then, check for style and tone issues.
  • Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

Get feedback

Get feedback from 2–3 people who know you well, have good writing skills, and are familiar with college essays.

  • Teachers and guidance counselors can help you check your content, language, and tone.
  • Friends and family can check for authenticity.
  • An essay coach or editor has specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and can give objective expert feedback.

The checklist below helps you make sure your essay ticks all the boxes.

College admissions essay checklist

I’ve organized my essay prompts and created an essay writing schedule.

I’ve done a comprehensive brainstorm for essay topics.

I’ve selected a topic that’s meaningful to me and reveals something different from the rest of my application.

I’ve created an outline to guide my structure.

I’ve crafted an introduction containing vivid imagery or an intriguing hook that grabs the reader’s attention.

I’ve written my essay in a way that shows instead of telling.

I’ve shown positive traits and values in my essay.

I’ve demonstrated self-reflection and insight in my essay.

I’ve used appropriate style and tone .

I’ve concluded with an insight or a creative ending.

I’ve revised my essay , checking my overall message, flow, clarity, and grammar.

I’ve respected the word count , remaining within 10% of the upper word limit.

Congratulations!

It looks like your essay ticks all the boxes. A second pair of eyes can help you take it to the next level – Scribbr's essay coaches can help.

Colleges want to be able to differentiate students who seem similar on paper. In the college application essay , they’re looking for a way to understand each applicant’s unique personality and experiences.

Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

While timelines will differ depending on the student, plan on spending at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing the first draft of your college admissions essay , and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Don’t forget to save enough time for breaks between each writing and editing stage.

You should already begin thinking about your essay the summer before your senior year so that you have plenty of time to try out different topics and get feedback on what works.

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.

You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.

If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

Is this article helpful?

Other students also liked.

  • What Do Colleges Look For in an Essay? | Examples & Tips
  • College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines
  • How to Revise Your College Admissions Essay | Examples

More interesting articles

  • Choosing Your College Essay Topic | Ideas & Examples
  • College Essay Examples | What Works and What Doesn't
  • Common App Essays | 7 Strong Examples with Commentary
  • How Long Should a College Essay Be? | Word Count Tips
  • How to Apply for College | Timeline, Templates & Checklist
  • How to End a College Admissions Essay | 4 Winning Strategies
  • How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out | Tips & Examples
  • How to Research and Write a "Why This College?" Essay
  • How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples
  • How to Write a Diversity Essay | Tips & Examples
  • How to Write a Great College Essay Introduction | Examples
  • How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example
  • How to Write About Yourself in a College Essay | Examples
  • Style and Tone Tips for Your College Essay | Examples
  • US College Essay Tips for International Students
  • Academic Skills
  • Reading, writing and referencing

Writing a great essay

This resource covers key considerations when writing an essay.

While reading a student’s essay, markers will ask themselves questions such as:

  • Does this essay directly address the set task?
  • Does it present a strong, supported position?
  • Does it use relevant sources appropriately?
  • Is the expression clear, and the style appropriate?
  • Is the essay organised coherently? Is there a clear introduction, body and conclusion?

You can use these questions to reflect on your own writing. Here are six top tips to help you address these criteria.

1. Analyse the question

Student essays are responses to specific questions. As an essay must address the question directly, your first step should be to analyse the question. Make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you.

Generally, essay questions contain three component parts:

  • Content terms: Key concepts that are specific to the task
  • Limiting terms: The scope that the topic focuses on
  • Directive terms: What you need to do in relation to the content, e.g. discuss, analyse, define, compare, evaluate.

Look at the following essay question:

Discuss the importance of light in Gothic architecture.
  • Content terms: Gothic architecture
  • Limiting terms: the importance of light. If you discussed some other feature of Gothic architecture, for example spires or arches, you would be deviating from what is required. This essay question is limited to a discussion of light. Likewise, it asks you to write about the importance of light – not, for example, to discuss how light enters Gothic churches.
  • Directive term: discuss. This term asks you to take a broad approach to the variety of ways in which light may be important for Gothic architecture. You should introduce and consider different ideas and opinions that you have met in academic literature on this topic, citing them appropriately .

For a more complex question, you can highlight the key words and break it down into a series of sub-questions to make sure you answer all parts of the task. Consider the following question (from Arts):

To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?

The key words here are American Revolution and revolution ‘from below’. This is a view that you would need to respond to in this essay. This response must focus on the aims and motivations of working people in the revolution, as stated in the second question.

2. Define your argument

As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument.

Consider these two argument statements:

The architectural use of light in Gothic cathedrals physically embodied the significance of light in medieval theology.
In the Gothic cathedral of Cologne, light served to accentuate the authority and ritual centrality of the priest.

Statements like these define an essay’s argument. They give coherence by providing an overarching theme and position towards which the entire essay is directed.

3. Use evidence, reasoning and scholarship

To convince your audience of your argument, you must use evidence and reasoning, which involves referring to and evaluating relevant scholarship.

  • Evidence provides concrete information to support your claim. It typically consists of specific examples, facts, quotations, statistics and illustrations.
  • Reasoning connects the evidence to your argument. Rather than citing evidence like a shopping list, you need to evaluate the evidence and show how it supports your argument.
  • Scholarship is used to show how your argument relates to what has been written on the topic (citing specific works). Scholarship can be used as part of your evidence and reasoning to support your argument.

4. Organise a coherent essay

An essay has three basic components - introduction, body and conclusion.

The purpose of an introduction is to introduce your essay. It typically presents information in the following order:

  • A general statement about the topic that provides context for your argument
  • A thesis statement showing your argument. You can use explicit lead-ins, such as ‘This essay argues that...’
  • A ‘road map’ of the essay, telling the reader how it is going to present and develop your argument.

Example introduction

"To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?"

Introduction*

Historians generally concentrate on the twenty-year period between 1763 and 1783 as the period which constitutes the American Revolution [This sentence sets the general context of the period] . However, when considering the involvement of working people, or people from below, in the revolution it is important to make a distinction between the pre-revolutionary period 1763-1774 and the revolutionary period 1774-1788, marked by the establishment of the continental Congress(1) [This sentence defines the key term from below and gives more context to the argument that follows] . This paper will argue that the nature and aims of the actions of working people are difficult to assess as it changed according to each phase [This is the thesis statement] . The pre-revolutionary period was characterised by opposition to Britain’s authority. During this period the aims and actions of the working people were more conservative as they responded to grievances related to taxes and scarce land, issues which directly affected them. However, examination of activities such as the organisation of crowd action and town meetings, pamphlet writing, formal communications to Britain of American grievances and physical action in the streets, demonstrates that their aims and actions became more revolutionary after 1775 [These sentences give the ‘road map’ or overview of the content of the essay] .

The body of the essay develops and elaborates your argument. It does this by presenting a reasoned case supported by evidence from relevant scholarship. Its shape corresponds to the overview that you provided in your introduction.

The body of your essay should be written in paragraphs. Each body paragraph should develop one main idea that supports your argument. To learn how to structure a paragraph, look at the page developing clarity and focus in academic writing .

Your conclusion should not offer any new material. Your evidence and argumentation should have been made clear to the reader in the body of the essay.

Use the conclusion to briefly restate the main argumentative position and provide a short summary of the themes discussed. In addition, also consider telling your reader:

  • What the significance of your findings, or the implications of your conclusion, might be
  • Whether there are other factors which need to be looked at, but which were outside the scope of the essay
  • How your topic links to the wider context (‘bigger picture’) in your discipline.

Do not simply repeat yourself in this section. A conclusion which merely summarises is repetitive and reduces the impact of your paper.

Example conclusion

Conclusion*.

Although, to a large extent, the working class were mainly those in the forefront of crowd action and they also led the revolts against wealthy plantation farmers, the American Revolution was not a class struggle [This is a statement of the concluding position of the essay]. Working people participated because the issues directly affected them – the threat posed by powerful landowners and the tyranny Britain represented. Whereas the aims and actions of the working classes were more concerned with resistance to British rule during the pre-revolutionary period, they became more revolutionary in nature after 1775 when the tension with Britain escalated [These sentences restate the key argument]. With this shift, a change in ideas occurred. In terms of considering the Revolution as a whole range of activities such as organising riots, communicating to Britain, attendance at town hall meetings and pamphlet writing, a difficulty emerges in that all classes were involved. Therefore, it is impossible to assess the extent to which a single group such as working people contributed to the American Revolution [These sentences give final thoughts on the topic].

5. Write clearly

An essay that makes good, evidence-supported points will only receive a high grade if it is written clearly. Clarity is produced through careful revision and editing, which can turn a good essay into an excellent one.

When you edit your essay, try to view it with fresh eyes – almost as if someone else had written it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Overall structure

  • Have you clearly stated your argument in your introduction?
  • Does the actual structure correspond to the ‘road map’ set out in your introduction?
  • Have you clearly indicated how your main points support your argument?
  • Have you clearly signposted the transitions between each of your main points for your reader?
  • Does each paragraph introduce one main idea?
  • Does every sentence in the paragraph support that main idea?
  • Does each paragraph display relevant evidence and reasoning?
  • Does each paragraph logically follow on from the one before it?
  • Is each sentence grammatically complete?
  • Is the spelling correct?
  • Is the link between sentences clear to your readers?
  • Have you avoided redundancy and repetition?

See more about editing on our  editing your writing page.

6. Cite sources and evidence

Finally, check your citations to make sure that they are accurate and complete. Some faculties require you to use a specific citation style (e.g. APA) while others may allow you to choose a preferred one. Whatever style you use, you must follow its guidelines correctly and consistently. You can use Recite, the University of Melbourne style guide, to check your citations.

Further resources

  • Germov, J. (2011). Get great marks for your essays, reports and presentations (3rd ed.). NSW: Allen and Unwin.
  • Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students in Higher Education [online]. Retrieved January 2020 from http://www.uefap.com
  • Williams, J.M. & Colomb, G. G. (2010) Style: Lessons in clarity and grace. 10th ed. New York: Longman.

* Example introduction and conclusion adapted from a student paper.

Two people looking over study materials

Looking for one-on-one advice?

Get tailored advice from an Academic Skills adviser by booking an individual appointment, or get quick advice from one of our Academic Writing Tutors in our online drop-in sessions.

Get one-on-one advice

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

Guest Essay

The Most Important Writing Exercise I’ve Ever Assigned

An illustration of several houses. One person walks away from a house with a second person isolated in a window.

By Rachel Kadish

Ms. Kadish is the author of the novel “The Weight of Ink.”

“Write down a phrase you find abhorrent — something you yourself would never say.”

My students looked startled, but they cooperated. They knew I wouldn’t collect this exercise; what they wrote would be private unless they chose to share it. All that was required of them was participation.

In silence they jotted down a few words. So far, so good. We hadn’t yet reached the hard request: Spend 10 minutes writing a monologue in the first person that’s spoken by a fictitious character who makes the upsetting statement. This portion typically elicits nervous glances. When that happens, I remind students that their statement doesn’t represent them and that speaking as if they’re someone else is a basic skill of fiction writers. The troubling statement, I explain, must appear in the monologue, and it shouldn’t be minimized, nor should students feel the need to forgive or account for it. What’s required is simply that somewhere in the monologue there be an instant — even a fleeting phrase — in which we can feel empathy for the speaker. Perhaps she’s sick with worry over an ill grandchild. Perhaps he’s haunted by a love he let slip away. Perhaps she’s sleepless over how to keep her business afloat and her employees paid. Done right, the exercise delivers a one-two punch: repugnance for a behavior or worldview coupled with recognition of shared humanity.

For more than two decades, I’ve taught versions of this fiction-writing exercise. I’ve used it in universities, middle schools and private workshops, with 7-year-olds and 70-year-olds. But in recent years openness to this exercise and to the imaginative leap it’s designed to teach has shrunk to a pinprick. As our country’s public conversation has gotten angrier, I’ve noticed that students’ approach to the exercise has become more brittle, regardless of whether students lean right or left.

Each semester, I wonder whether the aperture through which we allow empathy has so drastically narrowed as to foreclose a full view of our fellow human beings. Maybe there are times so contentious or so painful that people simply withdraw to their own silos. I’ve certainly felt that inward pull myself. There are times when a leap into someone else’s perspective feels impossible.

But leaping is the job of the writer, and there’s no point it doing it halfway. Good fiction pulls off a magic trick of absurd power: It makes us care. Responding to the travails of invented characters — Ahab or Amaranta, Sethe or Stevens, Zooey or Zorba — we might tear up or laugh, or our hearts might pound. As readers, we become invested in these people, which is very different from agreeing with or even liking them. In the best literature, characters are so vivid, complicated, contradictory and even maddening that we’ll follow them far from our preconceptions; sometimes we don’t return.

Unflinching empathy, which is the muscle the lesson is designed to exercise, is a prerequisite for literature strong enough to wrestle with the real world. On the page it allows us to spot signs of humanity; off the page it can teach us to start a conversation with the strangest of strangers, to thrive alongside difference. It can even affect those life-or-death choices we make instinctively in a crisis. This kind of empathy has nothing to do with being nice, and it’s not for the faint of heart.

Even within the safety of the page, it’s tempting to dodge empathy’s challenge, instead demonizing villains and idealizing heroes, but that’s when the needle on art’s moral compass goes inert. Then we’re navigating blind: confident that we know what the bad people look like and that they’re not us — and therefore we’re at no risk of error.

Our best writers, in contrast, portray humans in their full complexity. This is what Gish Jen is doing in the short story “Who’s Irish?” and Rohinton Mistry in the novel “A Fine Balance.” Line by line, these writers illuminate the inner worlds of characters who cause harm — which is not the same as forgiving them. No one would ever say that Toni Morrison forgives the character Cholly Breedlove, who rapes his daughter in “The Bluest Eye.” What Ms. Morrison accomplishes instead is the boldest act of moral and emotional understanding I’ve ever seen on the page.

In the classroom exercise, the upsetting phrases my students scribble might be personal (“You’ll never be a writer,” “You’re ugly”) or religious or political. Once a student wrote a phrase condemning abortion as another student across the table wrote a phrase defending it. Sometimes there are stereotypes, slurs — whatever the students choose to grapple with. Of course, it’s disturbing to step into the shoes of someone whose words or deeds repel us. Writing these monologues, my graduate students, who know what “first person” means, will dodge and write in third, with the distanced “he said” instead of “I said.”

But if they can withstand the challenges of first person, sometimes something happens. They emerge shaken and eager to expand on what they’ve written. I look up from tidying my notes to discover students lingering after dismissal with that alert expression that says the exercise made them feel something they needed to feel.

Over the years, as my students’ statements became more political and as jargon (“deplorables,” “snowflakes”) supplanted the language of personal experience, I adapted the exercise. Worrying that I’d been too sanguine about possible pitfalls, I made it entirely silent, so no student would have to hear another’s troubling statement or fear being judged for their own. Any students who wanted to share their monologues with me could stay after class rather than read to the group. Later, I added another caveat: If your troubling statement is so offensive, you can’t imagine the person who says it as a full human being, choose something less troubling. Next, I narrowed the parameters: No politics. The pandemic’s virtual classes made risk taking harder; I moved the exercise deeper into the semester so students would feel more at ease.

After one session, a student stayed behind in the virtual meeting room. She’d failed to include empathy in her monologue about a character whose politics she abhorred. Her omission bothered her. I was impressed by her honesty. She’d constructed a caricature and recognized it. Most of us don’t.

For years, I’ve quietly completed the exercise alongside my students. Some days nothing sparks. When it goes well, though, the experience is disquieting. The hard part, it turns out, isn’t the empathy itself but what follows: the annihilating notion that people whose fears or joys or humor I appreciate may themselves be indifferent to all my cherished conceptions of the world.

Then the 10-minute timer sounds, and I haul myself back to the business of the classroom — shaken by the vastness of the world but more curious about the people in it. I put my trust in that curiosity. What better choice does any of us have? And in the sanctuary of my classroom I keep trying, handing along what literature handed me: the small, sturdy magic trick any of us can work, as long as we’re willing to risk it.

Rachel Kadish is the author of the novel “The Weight of Ink.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , X and Threads .

Chrome gets a built-in AI writing tool powered by Gemini

how to write essays with

Google Chrome is getting a new AI writing generator today. At its core, this Gemini-powered tool is essentially the existing “ Help me write ” feature from Gmail, but extended to the entire web and powered by one of Google’s latest Gemini AI models. The company first announced this new tool in January and it remains in its “experimental” phase, meaning you must explicitly enable it.

To get started, head to the Chrome settings menu and look for the “Experimental AI” page. From there, you can easily enable the new writing feature, as well as Google’s new automatic tab organizer (which I haven’t found particularly useful or smart so far) and the new Chrome theme manager). For now, the AI writer is only available in English on Windows, Mac and Linux. After that, right-click on any text field and select “Help me write.” You can use this to write something completely new and Gemini can also rewrite existing text.

how to write essays with

Image Credits: Google

If you’re subscribed to Gemini Advanced, this new tool will not give you access to an enhanced writing model, a Google spokesperson told us. It’s very much meant for short-form content like emails or support requests and a bigger model may not even be of much help there anyway.

One nifty feature here is that the tool will take into account the site you are on when it makes its recommendations. “The tool will understand the context of the webpage you’re on to suggest relevant content,” Google engineering director Adriana Porter Felt writes in today’s announcement . “For example, if you’re writing a review for a pair of running shoes, Chrome will pull out key features from the product page that support your recommendation so it’s more valuable to potential shoppers.”

As with the “Help me write” feature in Gmail, it’s easy enough to change the length and tone of the results, too.

It’s important to note that the text, content and the URL of the page you are using the service on will be sent to Google under its existing privacy policy. Google explicitly notes that this information “is used to improve this feature, which includes generative model research and machine learning technologies,” which includes a review process with humans in the loop. Caveat scriptor.

how to write essays with

Google’s Duet AI can now write your emails for you

WTOP News

Loudoun Co. student gives back to middle school that sparked her interest in writing music

Scott Gelman | [email protected]

February 23, 2024, 11:00 PM

  • Share This:
  • share on facebook
  • share on twitter
  • share via email

how to write essays with

Bored of the music she was working with, Addison Miller started learning how to write her own as a student at Blue Ridge Middle School in Loudoun County, Virginia.

She played the cello, and started recording herself playing different melodies. For fun, she recorded multitrack song covers. Sometimes, she’d look up sheet music of the baseline, then the melody line and the harmony line.

Miller wondered if that was something she could do with her own music. That curiosity prompted her to write her first piece, called “Forest,” and show it to her teacher, who inquired whether it should be played at the spring concert.

Miller conducted while her teacher played the cello, marking the first time she got to conduct her own piece.

how to write essays with

Now a senior at Loudoun Valley High School, Miller is writing music for school plays and leading her peers. She’s auditioning for colleges, and still figuring out whether she wants to take the composition path, write music for movies or be a private teacher and performer simultaneously.

“Composing has taught me to always jump at the opportunity, even if I’m unsure,” Miller said.

When Miller was 4 years old, her parents bought her a toy piano, which sparked her interest in music. She started taking piano lessons soon thereafter, but said she quit, because she didn’t like the teacher telling her what to play.

She decided to start playing the cello in the third grade, and has stuck to it ever since. After she finished writing her first piece, she had an itch to continue.

“I just wanted to keep writing and keep experimenting,” Miller said.

As an eighth grader, she wrote “Marvel’s Backup Song,” but it was never performed because the pandemic hit. That changed late last year.

Jennifer Galang had Blue Ridge Middle’s orchestra learn the song, and invited Miller back to conduct. The students had been practicing and enjoying it, Galang told Miller.

how to write essays with

So in December, with her sister playing violin in the orchestra, Miller returned to the school that gave her the chance to capitalize on her creativity.

“It was kind of surreal,” Miller said of the experience. “I mean, just being back on that stage where I first conducted anything, and it was the same podium, and I was conducting kids that were my age when I wrote that piece. It was a lot to wrap my head around.”

Miller has always been advanced, playing with the seventh grade orchestra as a sixth grader and with the eighth grade orchestra as a seventh grader.

As a junior, she wrote 20 to 30 minutes of a piano score for the spring play. Miller wrote more music for a different play, and most of the critics at the show mentioned her music in their reviews.

Kelly Holowecki, director of choirs and orchestras at Loudoun Valley, said Miller stood out during her audition at the high school. Now, she’s catching the attention, and ears, of her peers.

“They eat up everything that she says and puts in front of them,” Holowecki said. “They love her music. She’s a great leader for the orchestra. And when she’s in front of them, you can see the attention, and they’re very ready.”

Miller also plays field hockey, and is in the top 5% of her class. But still, it’s her love of creating music that motivates her every day.

“I really couldn’t imagine myself not doing music full time,” Miller said. “I couldn’t really see myself being happy doing anything else.”

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here .

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

Related News

Preliminary investigation into deadly Loudoun Co. explosion: Leaking 500-gallon propane tank, $2.5M in damage

Preliminary investigation into deadly Loudoun Co. explosion: Leaking 500-gallon propane tank, $2.5M in damage

After pandemic child care shortage, Loudoun Co. seeks input from parents, providers

After pandemic child care shortage, Loudoun Co. seeks input from parents, providers

2 selfless jobs: Still-hospitalized firefighter after Sterling home blast is Loudoun Co. teacher

2 selfless jobs: Still-hospitalized firefighter after Sterling home blast is Loudoun Co. teacher

Recommended.

Howard U. poll shows good news for former President Trump

Howard U. poll shows good news for former President Trump

Medical aid-in-dying legislation teetering as undecided Md. senators deliberate how they’ll vote

Medical aid-in-dying legislation teetering as undecided Md. senators deliberate how they’ll vote

Suspect in Manassas barricade hospitalized with gunshot wound

Suspect in Manassas barricade hospitalized with gunshot wound

Related categories:.

how to write essays with

  • Artificial Intelligence

Google Chrome’s new AI can finish your sentences for you

The experimental ai feature is available in english for us-based chrome users, providing suggestions for completing online reviews, forms, messages, and more..

By Jess Weatherbed , a news writer focused on creative industries, computing, and internet culture. Jess started her career at TechRadar, covering news and hardware reviews.

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Illustrations depicting aspects of Google’s “Help me write” tool for Chrome.

Google has started rolling out “Help me write” — an experimental Gemini-powered generative AI feature for its Chrome browser that aims to help users write or refine text based on webpage content. Following the stable release of Chrome M122 on Tuesday, the new writing assistant is now available to try out on Mac and Windows PCs for English-speaking Chrome users in the US.

“Help me write” focuses on providing writing suggestions for shortform content, such as filling in digital surveys and reviews, enquiring about product information, or drafting descriptions for items being sold online. Google says the tool can “understand the context of the webpage you’re on” to pull relevant information into its suggestions — for example, highlighting key features mentioned on the product page for items you’re leaving a review on.

An example screenshot of Google Chrome’s “help me write” feature showing a message requesting to return a faulty bike helmet.

The “Help me write” feature has undergone some visual changes since it was first announced for Gmail during Google’s I/O event last May , now appearing as a floating application window beside the webpage text fields that are being filled with separate options to adjust length and tone. The Chrome release offers similar functionality to what Microsoft released for Edge and Bing search last year .

Users in the US will need to enable Chrome’s Experimental AI to use the feature, which can be found by clicking on Settings within the three-dot drop-down menu on Chrome desktop and then navigating to the Experimental AI page. From there, click on “Try out experimental AI features” and select “Help me write” and then “relaunch.” Users can then navigate to a webpage on Chrome and right-click on an open text field to use the writing assistant feature.

The Google support page includes a disclaimer that tells users not to provide personal information like their name, phone, address, social security number, or credit card information to the feature and that the tool shouldn’t be used on websites that contain personal or sensitive information. But if you do input such information, Google says that “Chrome will not use it for model training purposes.”

An example screenshot of Google Chrome’s “help me write” feature showing an ad for a used air fryer.

I’m not convinced the “Help me write” tool will prove very useful for most people — it’s not exactly a must-have feature driving the adoption of Edge and Copilot over the last year. The use cases provided by Google seem reasonable if the feature spits out the exact copy you need, but any time spent writing the prompts and adjusting the resulting text to suit your needs diminishes any time-saving benefits it may have provided. I can see some benefits for disabled users or people who aren’t completely fluent in English, but there’s also plenty to be concerned about — the ease with which this tool could be used to leave fake or disingenuous product reviews being one of them.

A former Gizmodo writer changed his name to ‘Slackbot’ and stayed undetected for months

The ais are officially out of control, google pay replaced google wallet — now it’s going away to make room for google wallet, spotify hifi is still mia after three years, and now so is my subscription, google apologizes for ‘missing the mark’ after gemini generated racially diverse nazis.

Sponsor logo

More from Google

A leaked render that appears to show the Google Pixel Fold 2

New Google Pixel Fold 2 leak points to redesigned camera

3D illustration of a robot holding two bags of money on fire.

Artificial investment

Four images generated by Gemini AI that show a racially and gender diverse collection of German soldiers from 1943.

Google pauses Gemini’s ability to generate AI images of people after diversity errors

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in-hand with AI icon show on screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series will get AI features in late March

an image, when javascript is unavailable

Brian Dietzen on Co-Writing an ‘NCIS’ Episode Honoring David McCallum: ‘The Ritual of a Memorial Is Something I Wanted Everyone to Be Able to Share’

The actor who plays Jimmy Palmer talks about giving Ducky his due... and also how things might shake out as his character enjoys an inter-office love interest.

By Chris Willman

Chris Willman

Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic

  • Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts Tour: The Full 22-Song Setlist From Opening Night 13 hours ago
  • Roni Stoneman, ‘First Lady of the Banjo’ and ‘Hee Haw’ Cast Member, Dies at 85 2 days ago
  • Jelly Roll to Embark on Arena Tour in Late Summer and Fall, Hitting 37 U.S. Cities 2 days ago

ducky farewell episode died jimmy palmer

Brian Dietzen ‘s Jimmy Palmer is now the chief medical examiner on “ NCIS ,” having taken over that function as the character’s mentor, David McCallum ‘s Ducky character, slid into an emeritus role a few seasons ago. When McCallum died in September, it fell into Dietzen’s real-life lap to become something of a grief examiner, as he took on the duty of co-writing a farewell salute to Ducky — and to David — along with one of the series’ longtime executive producers, Scott Williams.

As McCallum’s primary scene partner for 20 seasons, Dietzen had a vested interest in celebrating Ducky for the third episode he has co-written for the show. (He talked about his writing debut for his series in an extensive interview with Variety almost exactly two years ago.) In this catch-up, he discusses wanting to provide both the audience and himself some catharsis with the double-duty on this episode… and what’s up for Jimmy Palmer beyond the current grief, with the show having the formerly bumbling character as one of its most solid rocks two decades into a historic run.

What was it like for you, to be co-writing a tribute episode, so soon after the death of the man you’d worked so closely with for 20 years?

You know, when you lose a friend, and then you process your grief by writing something immediately, that’s to be consumed by the masses — not writing and journaling about what you’re feeling, but writing something for performance, for public consumption… it was very strange in a way. But also very cathartic.

How quickly did the show move toward thinking about how to handle the death, and how did you come into the writing part?

You have some clips in the episode, but there are only so many you can work into 42 minutes when you also have to spotlight the team’s emotional responses… and have a crime, which no “NCIS” episode is ever going to go without, as a rule.

God knows we could have done a show where it was just clip after clip of David, and these wonderful, long diatribes that he’s had. But we wanted to make sure that there was something that brought the team together one last time with Ducky, and so we found a way to have this be something that Ducky had left undone, and that the team felt a need to honor their fallen friend by finishing something for him. You know, when you lose someone, it can sometimes feel like, “What do I do? What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my body right now?” And you can feel jittery, because this is a part of grief. And so our team actually gets to go into action, and not just sit in their distress but actually affect change in someone else’s life, and by proxy fulfill a wish of Ducky’s.

Was there anything that you specifically wanted to channel into the remembrance of the person or the character?

One of the biggest things that I wanted to talk about and explore had to do with the loss of any friend or a loved one, but that really works really hand-in-glove with the character of Ducky: He told so many stories, over the course of the last 20 years at NCIS, and that I think is what a lot of people remember that character for. I certainly will; me playing Jimmy Palmer, I listened to so many of those stories, some of them long, some of them very short and quippy. Ducky had a lot of those, and David had a lot of those over the course of his almost 70 years in Hollywood. The name of this episode is “The Stories We Leave Behind.” So that’s what I wanted to do to honor him, to recognize that those stories are earned and meaningful. You add ’em up altogether and you have a very full life, and that very full life is all we really leave behind to affect people; once we’re gone, those stories become our legacy.

You and your lab partner, Kasie (Diona Reasonover), have an interesting scene, where you discuss guilt that comes after a death over not having fully expressed feelings. And then that scene ends with an “I love you.” It’s like you’re telling the audience that we should feel good about actions having proved love… but hey, maybe we should be going beyond that with words.

Yeah. I’ve experienced that before and I have loved ones that have experienced that before, where you lose someone and you go, “Oh, man, did they know?” When my mom passed away, did she know how much I loved her? And of course she did, but still the question persists, and it still nags at you. And I think there is that moment for Kasie of saying, “You know what? I do love you.” It doesn’t hurt to say. There’s an “Our Town” sort of thing that happens there where it’s like: “Why are these people not saying they love one another every moment of every day? If I were able to go back and do it again, I would be doing that in a heartbeat.” And I love that idea that if if your eyes are open to (learning from) that, then maybe you savor that moment a bit more when you get to connect with someone on a Saturday morning, or the sandwich tastes a little better, and there’s something about life that you will look at and appreciate more than before you had lost anyone.

What were some of your thoughts about David, observing him up-close for almost 20 years? He had huge fame at an early age with “Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” then fell out of sight, then seemed to have a very casual relationship with the limelight when it came back to him, less intensely, in his career’s third act.

A lot of us would marvel at how young he seemed. You know, he was cast in this show when he was 70 years old, and everyone said, “Oh, he looks like he’s in his late 50s” when we started this show. And the guy had it figured out. He knew what stressed him out, and he avoided that. I remember saying, what’s the secret to the longevity and that sort of stuff, and he said, “I try not to stress myself too much. You know, if I find things that do stress myself out, I try not to do those things, or I try to get help with those from other people.”

But I think that some of the balance that you’re kind of alluding to — that he didn’t crave to be some rocketing, huge superstar — was that he loved his family more than anything. And I think that’s where his heart was a lot, and I’m so glad that over the past five, six years, he was able to spend a lot more time not just in California but in New York with all of his grandkids. He had a wonderful grounding that way.

David had been pretty much full-time with the show through the 15th season, and then he got on a semi-retirement path, it seemed, cutting his workload down to being on just half the episodes in a season, then six, then three, remotely. From the outside we didn’t necessarily know whether that was being realistic about what he could do health-wise, or whether that was just wanting to enjoy life. But fans did appreciate that he didn’t leave the show outright.

And what was incredible was that he was largely a very, very healthy person, keeping himself well. I mean, he was doing Pilates. And he still just hit the scenes hard. I mean, the scene that keeps being shown for these promos is a scene from a show where the character of Gibbs has just left (in the opening stretch of the 2021-22 season), and Jimmy is having a tough time with that and says, “We just lost Gibbs. Bishop just left, and I lost Breena last year, and I’m just about ready for people to stop leaving. I’m having a tough time here.” And David says — or sorry, Ducky says — “Change is the essence of life, and our pain is a small price to pay for his peace.” That scene, when we filmed that, that was probably one of the last handful of scenes that he and I got to film in person together. He just knocked it out of the park. And that was him at 88 years old, and just tremendous.

So, as far as him pulling back and wanting to do less, I think it had very, little to do with health or ability or anything like that, and much more to do with “what’s smart for my life, what’s good for me — but I never want to stop doing this, because it feeds my soul, it feeds my creative energy.” He always had been and always will be an actor. But he also wanted to just spend time with family. And he was so encouraging of me in my journey in taking over the role of medical examiner on the show. He couldn’t have been more supportive and more kind.

As someone who was his primary scene partner, you had a great introduction to the public, since an audience that had watched him for decades was going to be riveted to the few scenes they got with David every week, but with you as foil, he was not going to be sucking up all the oxygen.

To focus on Jimmy for a minute, the character has been considerably elevated over the years. His personal life has been highlighted. What do you foresee for any of that this season or going forward?

Jimmy’s been on on such a ride. Over the course of the last few years, Jimmy certainly has seen some tough stuff between obviously the biggest event of his life, which is the loss of his wife during COVID, and then his team shifting. And then, with the addition of Gary Cole and Katrina Law, there’s a very different team dynamic that this show has right now, and I absolutely love it. Being able to have Jimmy actually fall in love is great to play — not to mention, I get to do more scenes with Katrina Law, who’s an absolutely fantastic actor, and we work very well together. So we will definitely see some advancement of the Jimmy and Jessica storyline. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything’s smooth sailing all the time. He loves her enough that he blurted out “I love you” in front of an entire bullpen full of people, and she was kind enough to say it back, later in the episode. But, yeah, there’s gonna be some stuff that they’re gonna go through that maybe is some growing pains, and maybe even some bigger stuff than that.

I’ve also already shot some stuff this season that is just some terrific, classic NCIS comedic stuff that I love digging my teeth into. Our writers have really given ussome incredible scenes to do. We have this truncated season of only 10 episodes, so everyone kind of feels like, “Oh, I get one at-bat, basically, this year,” and everyone swings hard and swings for the fences. Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but when I read these scripts, I’m like, man, it’s just banger after banger. So, yeah, the comedic bits have been fantastic, the Jimmy and Jessica stuff has been great, and then, of course, you know, the crimes… There’s always the crimes.

It’s still a little surprising to see an inter-office romance treated comfortably on “NCIS,” for anyone who remembers the Tiva years, when the romantic tension between Tony and Ziva was always paramount and those lines into clear consummation wouldn’t be crossed. Then the audience got a real romance on the sister show, “NCIS Los Angeles,” and it seemed the franchise got a little friendlier with the idea that this doesn’t have to be played purely as torture. You can see why for a lot of years the show did not lean into anything like that, but at the same time, maybe the audience enjoys some contentedness.

No one can appreciate more than you the irony that, as a former bit player, you are one of the rocks of “NCIS” — along with Sean Murray, a year-one anchor the show’s O.G. viewers depend on.

Oh, I called it from day one! I got this one-day guest star role that I was gonna go audition for and I was like, “If I play my cards right, this is gonna turn into over two decades’ worth of work.” No, of course I couldn’t know, but I’m just happy and blessed to still be playing a character that’s changed and evolved quite a bit. And people keep enjoying the stories that we’re telling, and if we keep telling good ones, then I think hopefully they’ll keep ordering some more.

More From Our Brands

Sza’s songs, taylor’s jets and drake’s ‘missile:’ the case for celebrity privacy, wilt chamberlain’s groovy l.a. home sells to a crypto entrepreneur for $9.7 million, the mlb-nike uniform uproar: finding transparency and a good fit, the best mattress protectors, according to sleep experts, is final blue bloods season setting the stage for danny’s romantic endgame, verify it's you, please log in.

Quantcast

an image, when javascript is unavailable

site categories

Vice news chief subrata de leaves amid layoffs, breaking news.

  • ‘The Foundation’ Replaces Line Producer, Brings Skydance EP To Set Ahead Of Season 3 Production Restart

By Nellie Andreeva

Nellie Andreeva

Co-Editor-in-Chief, TV

More Stories By Nellie

  • ‘Blue Mountain State’ Sequel Series With Alan Ritchson Being Shopped
  • Nicole Brydon Bloom, ‘This Is Us’ Alum Gerald McRaney Among 5 Cast In Dan Fogelman’s Hulu Series

'Foundation' Season 2 Premiere Date & Trailer

Foundation , the  Apple TV+  series from  Skydance TV , is making more changes ahead of resuming production on its upcoming third season following a delay due to budgeting/physical production issues. As Deadline reported, filming is slated to begin March 6 in the Czech Republic capital Prague and four Polish cities, the capital Warsaw as well as Kraków, Lublin and Katowice.

Related Stories

Mati Diop

Berlin Film Festival Winners Announced -- Follow Live 

how to write essays with

'Bob Marley: One Love' Smokes Competition; Reggae Legend Biopic Hits High Note With $100M+ Global Cume - Saturday Box Office Update

Additionally, Foundation executive producer Bill Bost will be moving to Prague for the duration of principal photography. Bost oversaw the launch of Foundation as President of Skydance Television and before that the series’ development as SVP of Television. He remained an executive producer on the show after stepping down from his TV President post in November 2022, segueing to a producing deal with the indie studio.

As Deadline reported , Foundation co-developer/executive producer/showrunner David S. Goyer will continue to write and executive produce the series from Los Angeles. He is believed to have rendered directing services during earlier Season 3 production but will not be helming further Season 3 episodes as previously planned. His directing replacement(s) are still being finalized.

Foundation  filmed for several weeks in spring 2023 before shutting down due to the strike. About half of the third season is in the can, sources said.

As  Deadline previously reported , re-start of production on Season 3, originally scheduled for February, was postponed earlier this month, with issues related to budgeting and physical production prompting the delay. Cast and crew who had already convened for the shoot, were told to return home while the problems were addressed.

That process was completed, with the budget brought down.

Jared Harris and Lee Pace lead the cast of  Foundation , which also stars Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, Laura Birn, Cassian Bilton, Terrence Mann, Isabella Laughland, Kulvinder Ghir, Ella-Rae Smith, Holt McCallany, Rachel House, Nimrat Kaur, Ben Daniels and Dimitri Leonidas.

Foundation  is produced for Apple by Skydance Television. Goyer, Alex Graves, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Bost, and Robin Asimov serve as executive producers.

Must Read Stories

Ryan murphy reveals ‘grotesquerie’ fx horror drama & sets stars; watch teaser.

how to write essays with

Oscar Voting Panic Sets In As Awards Races Hit Homestretch

‘bob marley: one love’ keeps it together, crosses $101m ww, daniel dae kim on john hughes movies: the film that lit my fuse.

Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.

Read More About:

Deadline is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2024 Deadline Hollywood, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Quantcast

IMAGES

  1. Step-By-Step Guide to Essay Writing

    how to write essays with

  2. HOW TO WRITE ESSAYS by karen.porter

    how to write essays with

  3. Step-by-Step Guide How to Write Narrative Essay (2023 Update)

    how to write essays with

  4. College Essay Format: Simple Steps to Be Followed

    how to write essays with

  5. How to Write an Essay

    how to write essays with

  6. How to write a good academic essay. 💣 Good academic essay. Short

    how to write essays with

VIDEO

  1. How to write and develop critical essays

  2. GUIDE TO WRITING AN ESSAY📝

  3. How to write essays, thesis and research

  4. How to Write the BEST UC Essays (pt. 4)

  5. WRITING AN ESSAY

  6. Tips for Essay Writing

COMMENTS

  1. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion. Revision: Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.

  2. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    you write an essay should not be only to show readers what you know, but to learn more about something that you're genuinely curious about. For some assignments, you'll be given a specific question or problem to address that will guide your thought process. For other assignments, you'll be asked to identify your

  3. Essay Writing: How to Write an Outstanding Essay

    The basic steps for how to write an essay are: Generate ideas and pick a type of essay to write. Outline your essay paragraph by paragraph. Write a rough first draft without worrying about details like word choice or grammar. Edit your rough draft, and revise and fix the details. Review your essay for typos, mistakes, and any other problems.

  4. How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

    How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career.

  5. How to Write an Essay (with Pictures)

    1 Read your assignment carefully. The style, structure, and focus of your essay will vary depending on the type of essay you are writing. If you've been assigned to write an essay for a class, review the assignment carefully and look for information about the nature of the essay. A few common types of essays include: [1]

  6. How to Write an Essay: 4 Minute Step-by-step Guide

    There are three main stages to writing an essay: preparation, writing and revision. In just 4 minutes, this video will walk you through each stage of an academic essay, and show you how to...

  7. How To Write The Perfect Essay

    2. Have a clear structure Think about this while you are planning. Your essay is like an argument or a speech - it needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question. Start with the basics: it is best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs.

  8. How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for a Knockout Essay Introduction

    Intriguing ways to start an essay. There are many different ways to write an essay introduction. Each has its benefits and potential drawbacks, and each is best suited for certain kinds of essays.Although these essay introductions use different rhetorical devices and prime the reader in different ways, they all achieve the same goal: hooking the reader and enticing them to keep reading.

  9. Essay Writing

    This handout should help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres. This handout includes a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing: Expository essays; Descriptive essays; Narrative essays; Argumentative (Persuasive) essays; Resources

  10. Essay and dissertation writing skills

    A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.. Short videos to support your essay writing skills. There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing ...

  11. How to Create a Clearly Structured Essay Outline

    An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. In just 3 minutes, this video will show you how to organize your ...

  12. How to Write Your College Essay: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

    Unit 1 College Essay Basics Unit 2 Types of College Essays Unit 3 Writing Your Common App Essay Unit 4 Supplemental Essays Unit 5 Essay Brainstorming and Composition Unit 6 Editing and Polishing Your Essay Unit 7 Advanced College Essay Techniques Unit 1 College Essay Basics Just getting started on college essays?

  13. 12 Strategies to Writing the Perfect College Essay

    Don't Repeat. If you've mentioned an activity, story, or anecdote in some other part of your application, don't repeat it again in your essay. Your essay should tell college admissions officers something new. Whatever you write in your essay should be in philosophical alignment with the rest of your application.

  14. How to Write a College Essay Step-by-Step

    Step 2: Pick one of the things you wrote down, flip your paper over, and write it at the top of your paper, like this: This is your thread, or a potential thread. Step 3: Underneath what you wrote down, name 5-6 values you could connect to this. These will serve as the beads of your essay.

  15. How to Write a Short Essay, With Examples

    2 Generate ideas. Jot down key points, arguments, or examples that you want to include in your essay. Don't get too wrapped up in the details during this step. Just try to get down all of the big ideas that you want to get across. Your major argument or theme will likely emerge as you contemplate.

  16. How to Write a College Essay

    How to Write a College Essay | A Complete Guide & Examples The college essay can make or break your application. It's your chance to provide personal context, communicate your values and qualities, and set yourself apart from other students. A standout essay has a few key ingredients: A unique, personal topic A compelling, well-structured narrative

  17. Writing a great essay

    2. Define your argument. As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument. Consider these two argument statements:

  18. How to write an essay

    Using evidence. Evidence is the foundation of an effective essay and provides proof for your points. For an essay about a piece of literature, the best evidence will come from the text itself ...

  19. Opinion

    Ms. Kadish is the author of the novel "The Weight of Ink." "Write down a phrase you find abhorrent — something you yourself would never say." My students looked startled, but they ...

  20. What Are AI Text Generators? 8 Best Tools To Improve Writing

    Robot typing on keyboard. AI text generators. getty. Writer's block might be a thing of the past thanks to a wide variety of AI text generators that can research works, help find the right ...

  21. Chrome gets a built-in AI writing tool powered by Gemini

    After that, right-click on any text field and select "Help me write." You can use this to write something completely new and Gemini can also rewrite existing text.

  22. Loudoun Co. student gives back to middle school that sparked her ...

    Now a senior at Loudoun Valley High School, Miller is writing music for school plays and leading her peers. She's auditioning for colleges, and still figuring out whether she wants to take the ...

  23. Grammarly vs. QuillBot—How to Pick an AI Writing Partner

    How you write affects your success. If you're a professional, writing persuasive emails, organized project plans, and engaging marketing copy will help you get ahead. If you're a student, producing well-written essays, research papers, and more will improve your grades. The benefits of good writing also extend to your reputation.

  24. Google's 'Help me write' tool can now finish your sentences in Chrome

    "Help me write" focuses on providing writing suggestions for shortform content, such as filling in digital surveys and reviews, enquiring about product information, or drafting descriptions ...

  25. Brian Dietzen on Co-Writing 'NCIS' Farewell Episode for David ...

    Brian Dietzen talks about co-writing an 'NCIS' farewell episode for Ducky in honor of David McCallum, a few months after the actor's death at 90.

  26. Foundation , the Apple TV+ series from Skydance TV, is set ...

    Foundation, the Apple TV+ series from Skydance TV, is making more changes ahead of resuming production on its upcoming third season following a delay due to budgeting/physical production issues.