How to write English essays

An individual can use English essays to produce many books or literature material of different topics such as genres, poems, novels, and different stories.

It is important to identify a focus of the essay, although in many cases this area is provided in the English essay question including the reference material to be used.

It is necessary that you do adequate reading on the reference material, which offers analysis of the author or a piece of work in discussion. Before writing the essay, allocate enough time to read the material, taking note as you progress through. High marks in an English essay are awarded to a paper, which the writer has demonstrated the ability to relate what was read in a book to the topic question, instead of just summarising the texts by presenting reasoned evidence, why the author of the book used a theme or style to present a point.

It is important to be aware of the different writing styles, which include APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard. This is forms the basis for acknowledging the source of research material or works of another author using in-text citations, quotations, and bibliography. The choice of outline is important in an English essay. Use an easy format, which includes an introduction, essay body made up of various paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Online sources like Google Scholar and Questia contain reliable sources to assist in writing a quality essay. After writing the essay, proofread it to correct grammar, and spelling mistakes to ensure that it follows all the instructions before submitting it.

Many students joining Universities do not know how to write essays. The importance of writing good English essays is evident in many Universities offering courses for essay writing alone to equip students with the basic skills in writing essays. This guide provides useful information on how to write a high quality English essay.


Writing an English essay is easy when you spend a lot of time organizing how you will present your ideas and points.


The response to a topic question determines the quality of an essay. Knowing the essay’s topic is important before writing it.

Understand the text:

Read and remain focused on the text by understanding it.

Make notes:

Make relevant notes, and related them to the discussion topic. Use facts like theories, dates, and names to support points. Methods suggested in The Cornell System provide useful information on how you can make good notes.

Developing essay ideas:

The library provides a great place to source good research points. You can ask your course tutor to provide a list of secondary reading to assist you develop your points as you write your essay. Critical response from peer review discussions or feedback from your tutor are important because they direct you on the right track when writing a quality essay.


Planning involves identifying your points, reason for intending to use them, and organizing these ideas in a logical structure. Creativity is important because it determines how you will develop a style in presenting your ideas. It is advisable that you try a lot of planning methods before choosing your technique.

The following are some of the planning methods, that you can use:

Rewriting and consolidating points:

Allows you to develop various ideas, omit the weak ones, and organizing the strong points in an essay format. You can read our guide to rewriting essays here.


Helps you develop good points by freely writing your ideas.

Mind mapping:

Helps you plan your points, supporting points, and reasoning.

Index cards:

Note your points on labels or cards, then you can decide the logical way of presenting them in the essay.

Writing your English essay – the structure of an essay


It is important that you write it after finishing the other parts of the essay. This section explains the topic question, and introduces the reader to the ideas discussed in the essay.


This is the main section of an essay that discusses the main points relating to the topic. This is the part where you develop your ideas in the plan into a discussion in an essay format.


When finishing your essay, go back to the main points discussed in the body and comment on the relevance to the topic.

Tips on how to write a high quality English essay:

  • Content
    • Use reasoning to support the points used in the essay
    • Remain focused on the question/topic by ensuring that all your points are relevant to the discussion
  • Style
    • Use double spacing between the lines to make it easy for the reader to go through your essay.
    • Indent all the paragraphs in the essay. Use the ‘Tab’ key to indent paragraphs.
    • Discuss each point in a different paragraph.
  • Grammar and punctuation
    • Ensure that your English grammar is of the highest standard.
    • Learn about grammar, and punctuation using an English grammar guidebook.
    • Ask a friend to proofread your essay.
  • Quotations and references
    • Ensure that direct quotations in the essay are short, and include in-text citations.
    • Develop ideas using quotations, and not to prove your argument.
  • Bibliography
    • At the end of an essay, include a list of sources used in the essay paper.
    • Ask your course tutor to provide you with the required reference style to use when writing the essay. Examples of reference styles include; APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard style.

Final Tips

Proofread your work by reading the essay aloud to identify errors before submitting it. Above all, remain focused on the question, and avoid using irrelevant material in the essay.

We hope you gained a lot from reading our free ‘how to write English essays‘ guide.