Want to get a high grade on your essay? Follow these tips

Jul 03, 2013
Each course that you take at a high school or college level will require that you complete assignments outlined by the instructor. Those assignments will all have their own guidelines and rules. The purpose of any paper written in an academic setting is to prove your command of the subject and the information presented. The most important step to writing any paper is that you follow the specific assignment as outlined. Professors have a reason for the assignment and the way that they ask you to complete it, the only way to get the grade you desire is by following those requirements stringently.
There are many things that you can do to earn the grade you desire, and many things that you must avoid doing. When writing an essay there are things you can do formulate a paper that is outstanding, and pitfalls that you can fall into which will lead to a disappointing mark. Following certain tips when writing any essay will keep you on task and result in the best grade possible.

What is an essay?

An essay is a piece of work that is written by an author to express their point of view or position on a given subject. It is a non-fiction piece that is used to display the opinion of an individual on a given field. Mostly subjective, it does not take objective proof, or evidence to substantiate claims made, for the most part, it is completely subjective to the individual writing it. There are many different types of essays:
  • Persuasive
  • Argumentative
  • Book review
  • Critical
  • Informational
The reason for an essay is to express your views in a constructive, structural way.

How is an essay different than other types of papers written?

Unlike other styles of papers that will be written, essays are subjective in nature. They do not require that you substantiate proof, nor do they require research in most cases to form any arguments made. They convey feelings, attitudes and emotions, which is different than an research, or other informational, objective pieces that you will asked to write. Depending on the type of essay that you will be writing, there is a structure that must be followed in forming the essay. There are components to the essay that must be included. So, although structurally the same as many other forms of papers that you will be asked to write, the intent, and the content, will be different. Unlike other forms of papers that are required in an academic setting, essays can be informal, as well as formal. Most other types of papers written are done so in an formal voice and tone. Essays can be written in an informal voice.

What is the structure of an essay?

Each essay, no matter what type, must be structured in a certain way. There are three components to an essay:
  • Introduction - the area of the essay where you state the intention of the essay. It is the place where you will include your thesis statement for the essay
  • Body - the body is the part of the paper where you will add the content and form your argument, or form the intention for your paper. This is the section of the paper where you will present your main points
  • Conclusion - this is the area where you will reiterate the information presented, going over the main points specifically, and tying the piece together for a conclusion

What is important to remember if you want to receive a good grade

  • Know your instructor
  • Pick a subject that you are passionate about
  • Choose to write about something you already know about
  • Be specific about the intent of your essay
  • Make an outline with the main points you want to present
  • Read the instructions from your instructor very carefully
  • Reread your essay
  • Proof read your essay
  • Know who your audience is
The reason that an instructor will assign an essay form paper for you to write is to make sure that you have a command not only of what an essay is, but also what it isn't. An essay is a paper that shows your understanding of the material that is presented, or it is a way for you to walk through the steps of understanding yourself in a cohesive way. The professor is attempting to get you to reason, and to think through step by step, an argument, or a concept that you are presenting to them. Make sure you know the audience so that it is entertaining, and that they will want to read it. It is important to stay on task and to not use language that is too over the top, or switch from formal to informal, or vice versa.

What to avoid when writing an essay

  • Don't make any grammatical errors
  • Don't use hyperbolic language
  • Stick to the point - don't go off on tangents
  • Make sure it is cohesive - don't introduce information, or ideas, that are not relative to the thesis statement you have chosen
There are many things that a professor is looking for, and many pitfalls to avoid when writing your paper. The most important thing is to always follow the instructions as outlined. There is a reason why they give you instructions, because they want you to follow them. Showing that you are paying attention is very important to show not only command of the subject but a respect for the instructor.


There are many things you will be asked to do when you are in college. Undoubtedly you will be required to write an essay at some point during your academic career. Knowing what an essay is and what it is not, is a good way to stay on task when writing it. Always know your audience, and keep it light and entertaining. It is important to captivate your audience and provide them not only with information, but with something that they can take from your paper to use in the practicality of their daily lives. Avoiding many pitfalls and following the guidelines of the instructor are very important if you want to achieve the highest marks possible.
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By Martha Buckly. Martha is a good freelance writer and loves sharing posts on different topics including tips and guidelines for articles and academic writing. Her professional experience helps to create interesting and useful material.
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