To many students, writing an essay offers a challenge to be relished as it provides a chance to construct intellectual arguments and apply academic research skills. Essays are a great way through which you can demonstrate understanding, intelligence, and knowledge in a way anyway you find creative. However, many students have to contend with the challenge of making each essay better than the last one. It is easy to get stuck in the rut of repeating a similar formula and since many people are answering the exact same question, improving and making your essay stand out is important. Taking your essay from great to brilliant requires that you employ practical skills that help you criticize, compare and contrast topics. To make your academic writing less tedious, we present you with features that make your essay impressive.

What is the purpose of writing an essay?

It is best to get to the basics in order to understand the purpose as to why essays are actually part of your academic curriculum. All great skills of how to effectively write an essay would be useless if you do not understand what tutors actually look for when you hand in your work for marking and grading. Regardless of the level of study, essays are built around the same ideological foundations that test various things, among them being:

  • Knowledge – the primary role of an essay is to test and help in the consolidation of skills and information acquired during the learning process. Essays form a fundamental part of subjects such as languages, literature, and humanities.
  • Essays also test your ability to absorb and internalize information from various sources. This means you are covering vast resources in a limited span of time. Appraise materials carefully to determine which are relevant and which are not.
  • Comprehension – in an essay, make sense of and explain concepts clearly on any level of issues.
  • Understanding – test your understanding of questions and ability to produce required response.
  • Argument – are you able to construct a balanced, coherent argument on topics and issues as presented in the question?
  • Language – are you in a position to articulate your points well in written language with good employment of skills?

What characterizes a perfect essay?

After understanding the purpose of writing an essay, it is now important to look at the defining characteristics of a brilliant essay. Despite many tutors having bespoke preferences on what they consider to be outstanding essays, there are generally irrefutable traits of what makes up all brilliant essays.

  • Originality – Original thinking is the hallmark of any great essay. While it is nearly impossible to write an entirely new theory, you should aim at making your essay unique by going beyond the obvious and coming up with an original scope on, for example, hypotheses and new evidence.
  • Detail – a solid, brilliant essay should demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of facts and a sound awareness of the topics being discussed and their importance. Here, you should deploy the facts and argue your points and hypotheses using a variety of materials.
  • Structure – tutors expect a perfect essay to contain an in-depth discussion of both sides of the argument, with a balanced, well thought out conclusion. You could also include your intellectual opinion drawing from the evidence discussed.
  • Succinct – a brilliant essay is brief and to the point with no superfluous information. Such essays have the sole objective of informing and persuading and does not waste the reader’s time.
  • Articulation – exceptional articulation means the reader clearly understands the sentences as laid out and the word flow is seamless. Logical arguments are well arranged and grammar and spelling are well checked.

Components and Structure of the Essay

Formulating an essay is a dreaded task among students regardless of the purpose for which the essay is being written. There are several components of the larger essay project that helps students break it down into manageable parts. The easiest way to draft an impressive essay is to follow a clear structure.

  • Topic – topics can either be assigned or you may be given the permission to write on any subject you choose. Narrowing the focus and thinking about what type of paper to produce helps when you are assigned a particular topic on which to write on. When the topic is not assigned, you have much more freedom to choose and define your purpose. Selecting a topic will be discussed further below.
  • Outline of ideas – writing a perfect essay requires you to organize your thoughts. Transferring the ideas in your mind on paper creates a more distinct connection which serves as a foundation for the essay paper. Create an outline or a diagram that demonstrates your ideas and lets you see the connections for a more organized essay.
  • Thesis statement – after identifying your topic and organizing the ideas around it, it is time to create a thesis statement. A thesis statement presents the point of your essay to the reader. Your thesis should have two parts: the first part stating the topic and the second part stating the point of the essay.
  • Body – the body is the main part of the essay that explains, ages and describes your topic in depth. The basic structure of each paragraph in the body will have an introductory sentence, statement of the supporting ideas in a sentence and giving a detailed example and explanations to support your position.
  • Introduction – The introduction of the essay should show the focus of your essay while being captivating enough to capture the attention of the reader. Presenting a strong and thought-provoking introduction tied to the thesis statement (which can be included at the end of the introduction) is important to the success of any academic paper.
  • Conclusion – The conclusion closes the topic and sums your general ideas by giving a final perspective on the topic discussed. The conclusion is made up of at least three to five key sentences that review your main points and reinforce your thesis.
  • Final touches – adding the finishing touches is important. Pay attention to little details such as the order of paragraphs, their sensibility, and correctness of order. Review the instructions when applicable and finally, review and proofread your work.

Want to make your essay stand out?

After finding out what goes into the crafting of a great essay and how they are structured, here are some of the important points that give you an edge over the competition. Below are some of the elements that could mean the difference between a good essay and a brilliant one.

  • Put more effort into the background work – wide reading and conducting a thorough background research beyond the reading list is guaranteed to impress and give you the extra knowledge and insight for making your essay stand out.
  • Have an essay plan – always know what you want to say before putting it down on paper. This is simply having a clear structure as discussed above under the outlining of ideas.
  • “Answer question asked” –a common problem with many students is that whenever they are responding to essay questions, they often mold the set question to suit the context of what they prefer to write about or are comfortable with. Be careful not to be one of them!
  • Balance the argument with opinion and interpretation – good essays consider multiple viewpoints to give impartial, two-sided information. However, try to include your intelligent opinion and interpretation to demonstrate your independence of mind concerning the evidence presented.
  • Academic citations and bibliography – at the end of your essay, include a full set of academic citations and bibliography even if not requested. This not only makes you look scholarly and organized but also demonstrates your depth of research on the essay.

So how do you choose an interesting topic for your essay?

Listen to the suggestions of the tutors. They possess the enormous experience in science and writing of similar works. They are able to help with the drafting, consult with ideas for an essay paper, tell which topic is relevant and advised by literary sources which you can immediately use. Once you have decided on the topic, you should highlight the narrow direction to which your article will be devoted to. It should be up-to-date, and the information on the chosen one must be easy to find.

When choosing a topic for writing, pay special attention to related disciplines located in the border areas of various fundamental sciences. The most important discoveries which deserve your respect have been made. In your thesis, you can revise the old ideas using modern research methods. There are cases when a new look at the old achievements of scientific thought, considered from a different angle have given the exceptional results.