How to Write a Successful Essay: 8 Easy Steps

As you already know, a successful essay means hard work and effort. It’s not just professional essay writers who will tell you this, you will know this from your own experiences, no doubt. For many of us, it is easy to write an essay, however, some of us may find it more challenging and not always sure how to tackle an essay question to ensure that you obtain the best marks possible. The best advice that we can provide is that learning how to write a successful essay is an art and something that needs lots of practice. The good news is that once you learn how to write a successful essay,  you’ll be able to use these tips and apply them to any writing that you need to complete i.e. a dissertation, coursework or even a thesis.

We will outline 8 easy steps for you to think about to help you to ensure that the next essay you write is a successful one.

The question

This may sound obvious but it’s crucial that you fully understand the question of your essay. If you fail to properly understand the question, then do not be surprised when you don’t achieve the result you are after. Consider the following:

  • Is the question asking you to compare and contrast?
  • Is the question asking you to critically evaluate?
  • Is the question asking you to evaluate something?

An essay question usually asks one of the above, and which one of these, it determines what your essay needs to contain.

Have a schedule and plan properly

Once you have mastered the first aspect of understanding the question you now need to make sure you plan and use your time correctly. Quite often, it is easy to underestimate the amount of time and work that is required in order to write a successful essay. If you underestimate then it will probably result in a poor grade and lots of late-night studying. To write a successful essay and achieve the grade you are looking for, start planning your essay as soon as you receive it. It may be worth considering the below steps when it comes to planning your essay and deciding on a specific date as to when you will achieve these steps:

  • Understand the question
  • Outline your essay chapters
  • Research other articles
  • Read articles and make notes
  • Begin writing
  • Complete the first draft
  • Proofread the first draft and ask a friend to do this to
  • Hand in your completed essay


As much as writing is important when it comes to an essay, it is also important to do plenty of reading for research purposes. You also need to know how to read through a large amount of information speedily but effectively.

Think critically

It’s very rare to have a theory that’s clear as most theories have a flaw. In order to achieve a good grade, you need to be able to think critically.  For instance, consider what limitations any theories have and how they affect the argument that you are presenting.


Your viewpoints in your essay are very important, but so is the way that you present them. Your essay needs to have a logical structure and if you have a structure in place, it will mean your essay stays on track and doesn’t deviate from the question.


When it comes to writing a successful paper in university you need to be able to create a balance between what you are arguing and arguments that have already been put forward by others. If you go ahead and write an essay based on your own argument, it will show that you have not done any research on the subject. However, if you write an essay based on arguments that have already been made by others, you will fail in the sense that you don’t introduce a new idea yourself.

Work with somebody else

Although you may not think it, it is worth working with somebody else. That said, this does not mean you should write your essay together and agree on the same argument, as this could result in plagiarised work. What you should do, however, is look over each other’s work when you have completed your first draft. This is because it’s very hard to actually prove your own work over and over again. If you ask a friend to prove your work, they may see aspects that need to be improved that you may have missed.

Academic language

Another common issue when it comes to writing it is the lack of academic language. This is the case for students who are new to writing essays. An academic essay needs to include language that is formal, unbiased and concise.

Written by nikola

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