How to write essays: rules, tips and examples

14 Steps to Write an Outstanding Essay

How to write essays in English: Tips for students

The ability to write essays in English is not only a key element of learning the language, but also an important step in preparing for university admission. What is an essay and why is it so important?

An essay is a form of written expression that allows you to express your own thoughts, analyze ideas, and argue your views on a particular topic. For students, especially those aiming for university admission, the ability to write essays becomes an important skill that demonstrates their capacity to express their thoughts clearly and argue their views persuasively.

In this article, we will examine why the essay is an essential element of learning English and find out how the ability to write essays can help you in further education and when applying to university or for IELTS, or to receive a scholarship. We will then look at the main types of essays, their structure, and provide useful tips for successfully writing these texts.

What is an Essay in English?

An essay is a short literary composition on a particular topic or question, written in a free form. Essays are primarily used to present the author’s personal reflections, analysis, arguments, and critical evaluations of various phenomena. In English, the essay is an important tool for academic writing and is widely used in schools, colleges, and universities around the world.

Essays help develop critical thinking skills and the ability to express thoughts in a reasoned manner, which are key to academic and professional growth. Characteristics of the English essay include:

  • Structure: Typically an essay has a clear structure, including an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The introduction presents the main topic or question, the main body discusses arguments or ideas, and the conclusion summarizes the discussion and reinforces the author’s position.
  • Themes: Topics can be diverse and cover literary analysis, personal memoirs, scientific research, social issues, and many others.
  • Style: Despite a relative freedom of form, the English essay requires adherence to certain academic standards, including clarity, coherence of argument, and grammatical correctness.
  • Language Style: Expressiveness and a rich vocabulary help make an essay not only informative, but also interesting to read.

The main types of essays in English

The main types of essays in English include:

  • Opinion Essay: The author expresses their opinion on a particular issue or problem, arguing it and providing support with examples.
  • Discussion Essay: The author discusses both sides of a particular issue or problem, analyzing them and expressing their own perspective on the situation.
  • Problem and Solution Essay: The author identifies a particular problem and proposes possible ways to solve it.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages Essay: The author evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of a particular situation, technology, idea, etc.
  • Double Question Essay: The author answers two related questions within one essay, exploring them from different perspectives.

Each type of essay has its own particularities regarding structure and approach to argumentation, but the overall goal remains the same: to clearly express one’s thoughts and substantiate one’s arguments.

Structure of an Essay in English

An essay in English has a certain structure that helps organize the author’s thoughts and convey them to the audience clearly and logically. The main components of an essay’s structure include the introduction, body, and conclusion.

1. Introduction:

The introduction is the first section of the essay, aimed at engaging the reader and defining the topic or issue to be discussed. The main elements of the introduction are:

  • Title: A short and clear formulation of the topic or issue to be considered.
  • Context: An overview of the topic or issue that will be discussed in more detail. This may be a brief introduction to the general state or history of the topic.
  • Thesis Statement: One or more sentences expressing the main idea or position of the author on the topic. The thesis should be clear and specific.

Example Introduction:

“The impact of social media on teenagers is a topic of increasing concern in today’s digital age. With the pervasive use of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, questions arise regarding the effects of social media on mental health and interpersonal relationships among adolescents. This essay will explore both the positive and negative aspects of social media use among teenagers, ultimately arguing that a balanced approach is essential for healthy digital engagement.”

2. Body:

The body of the essay includes the detailed argumentation, examples, and evidence that support the author’s thesis. The body can be organized in a certain sequence or structure, depending on the type of essay. The main elements of the essay body include:

  • Paragraphs: Each paragraph contains a separate aspect or proof that supports the main thesis. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that defines the main idea of the paragraph, and is then supported by arguments, examples, or data.
  • Arguments: The logical presentation of thoughts and support for the author’s thesis.
  • Examples: Specific examples illustrating or confirming the author’s arguments.

Example Body Paragraph:

“One of the main advantages of social media is its ability to connect people across distances, allowing for instant communication and information sharing. For instance, a teenager in the United States can easily interact with peers in Europe or Asia through platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp. This interconnectedness fosters cultural exchange and global awareness among young people.”

3. Conclusion:

The conclusion is the final section of the essay, in which the author summarizes and affirms their thesis based on the arguments presented in the body. The main elements of the conclusion include:

  • Summary: Reiterating the main ideas and results of the analysis.
  • Restatement of Thesis: Repeating the thesis with new arguments or affirmation.
  • Call to Action or Final Thought: A concluding statement or call for further research or action.

Example Conclusion:

“In conclusion, while social media offers numerous benefits in terms of connectivity and information sharing, its impact on teenage mental health requires careful consideration. By promoting responsible digital habits and fostering open communication, both parents and educators can help teenagers navigate the digital landscape more effectively.”

The overall structure of an essay helps organize thoughts and convey one’s position to the reader clearly and logically.

14 basic rules for writing an essay in English

Writing an essay requires the author not only to clearly express thoughts but also to follow certain rules and standards to make the text understandable, persuasive, and logical. Here are 14 main rules for writing essays:

  1. Limit the Length: Try to keep within 1-2 pages. It’s better to write less but higher-quality text – this approach allows you to focus on the main ideas.
  2. Coherence of Idea: Your idea should be presented clearly and understandably. The essay should be perceived as a coherent text that clearly reflects your position or thoughts.
  3. Brevity and Clarity: Avoid unnecessary details and use only the information necessary to express your position or ideas.
  4. Clear, Logical Structure: The essay structure should be clear, logical, and consistent. From introduction to conclusion, the text should logically progress.
  5. Thesis: Formulate a clear thesis or main idea that expresses the essay’s main content. The thesis should be defined and reflect the author’s position.
  6. Logicality: Ensure that each argument supports and develops the thesis. Maintain a sequence between arguments and examples.
  7. One Idea – One Paragraph: Each paragraph should contain only one main idea or argument. This helps maintain clarity and readability of the text.
  8. Argumentation: Use persuasive arguments and examples to confirm your thoughts. Remember the need for balance between “for” and “against” arguments (depending on the essay type).
  9. Grammar and Style: Follow proper grammar, punctuation, and writing style. Avoid unjustified use of complex terms or convoluted phrasing.
  10. Examples: Use specific examples, quotes or statistics to support your claims. This will make your essay more persuasive and authoritative.
  11. Introduction and Conclusion: Pay special attention to the introduction and conclusion. The introduction should capture the reader’s attention and state the main thesis, while the conclusion should summarize and reaffirm the essay’s main ideas.
  12. Use of Terms and Concepts: Demonstrate your understanding of theoretical concepts and terms by using them in appropriate contexts.
  13. Paraphrasing: Avoid directly copying texts or plagiarism. If you use ideas or data from other authors, be sure to cite the source and paraphrase.
  14. Editing and Revising: After writing the essay, be sure to edit and revise the text. Ensure your essay is logical, clear and free of grammatical errors.

Tips for writing essays

Writing an essay requires a systematic approach and careful consideration of key aspects. Here are some useful tips for successfully writing essays:

Choose a Clear and Specific Topic

  • Select a topic that interests you and that can be effectively discussed within your essay. Try to narrow a broad topic down to a specific question or problem that can be thoroughly explored.

Planning: Creating an Outline

  • The first step in writing an essay is to create a detailed plan. Develop a logical structure, including an introduction, body with argumentation, and conclusion. Identify the main ideas you want to express and the sequence of presenting them.

Organize Your Thoughts Effectively

  • Use visual aids such as diagrams or outlines to systematize your ideas before writing. This will help ensure the structure and logical development of your essay.

Avoid Repetition

  • Use diverse vocabulary, such as synonyms and antonyms, to avoid monotony in the text. Additionally, illustrate your thoughts with examples, making your essay more persuasive and interesting for the reader.

Edit and Review Your Text

  • After writing, review your essay to ensure clarity, logic, and conciseness. Check for errors in grammar and spelling, and make sure your arguments support your position.

Example of writing a simple and short essay in English

Let’s look at an example structure and sample of an essay on the topic “The Importance of Education”:


Education plays a crucial role in shaping individuals and societies. It empowers individuals with knowledge and skills, leading to personal growth and societal development. In this essay, I will discuss the significance of education and its impact on individuals and communities.


Paragraph 1: Importance of Knowledge Acquisition Education provides individuals with essential knowledge and information. Through education, people acquire literacy, numeracy, and various subject-specific skills. This knowledge enables individuals to navigate the complexities of modern life and make informed decisions. For example, educated individuals are more likely to access higher-paying jobs and contribute meaningfully to the economy.

Paragraph 2: Development of Critical Thinking Skills Beyond knowledge acquisition, education fosters critical thinking and analytical skills. Students learn to evaluate information critically, distinguish facts from opinions, and develop logical reasoning abilities. These skills are essential for problem-solving and decision-making in both personal and professional contexts. For instance, educated individuals are better equipped to address complex societal challenges and propose innovative solutions.

Paragraph 3: Social and Economic Benefits Education promotes social mobility and reduces inequalities. It opens doors to opportunities and enhances social inclusion. Moreover, educated individuals tend to have higher earning potentials and contribute more to economic growth. Countries with higher levels of education generally experience lower rates of poverty and improved overall well-being among citizens.


Essay writing skills are highly important for further education and success in international tests such as IELTS or for university admission. Mastering these skills helps develop critical thinking, the ability to analyze information, argue one’s views, and effectively express thoughts in writing. A key advantage of possessing these skills is the ability to create clear, consistent, and persuasive arguments that can influence the decisions and views of others.

Essay writing skills are especially important for exams like IELTS, where applicants need to demonstrate their ability to clearly and logically express thoughts in English. A well-written essay can significantly improve one’s overall score.

Regular practice of writing will help develop your abilities and gain confidence in your knowledge and skills. Study various topics, argue your thoughts, experiment with structure and language. The more you practice, the more confident you will become in essay writing and will be able to achieve great success in your education and career.

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