You may love or hate essay writing. But how you feel about writing essays in college doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is the grades you earn and the skills you develop. Everyone wants to see more As. But not everyone’s willing to do the work required. Do you want different results? Learning how to craft essays that shine is a must. That’s why you are here: to learn how to write an essay that deserves an A.

An Effective Essays: What does it Look like?

An effective essay earns you a grade you’re proud of — an A. But an essay that shines never writes itself. It takes great effort to craft an essay you teacher reads and thinks “This essay deserves an A. Jim has delivered real substance clearly and interestingly. He’s convinced me of the validity of his argument. I wish all my students were like him.”

That lucky student could be you. However, there’s a little price to pay. You must develop your skills; you must do the work. An effective essay strives to express a specific idea clearly, succinctly, and compellingly.

Such an essay features a well-fermented argument. You must use facts, analysis, and clear explanations to support your argument. You must master the specific referencing style your department or professor prefers. That might be APA, MLA, Oxford, Vancouver, Harvard, Chicago, or OSCOLA.

An effective essay follows a structure that presents its message in a way that’d make the most sense to the audience. Such an essay uses words the same way “mean” accountants use money. Finally, an effective essay uses formal English that has passed through a rigorous editing and proofreading process.

Choose Your Essay Topic Right

The topic you choose depends on the kind of paper your professor asks you to write. Where they need you to consider a general question, selecting a general topic is all right. Such a paper focuses on nothing specific, though. It’s a general overview, and a general topic such as “The United States” suffices.

Your teacher might request you to do a specific analysis, instead. In that case, pick as narrow a topic as you can find. That could be “Whitehouse Politics: The Past, Today, and the Future.” That’s a bit more specific than just “The United States.”

A topic such as “Diseases” is way too broad. You should consider, instead, a topic such as “Diseases Affecting Children in the United States: Fifth Disease.” Broad topics are hard to do justice to; you won’t focus. You end up saying too little about too much.

Understand What Your Professor Requires You to Do

There are as many as ten different types of essays. How do you know the kind of paper you should write? Look at the ACTION VERB your teacher has used. The verb used determines the approach you should adopt.

Maybe they want you to “Discuss, Explain, Describe, Analyze, Compare and Contrast, or Criticize.” Each of these verbs requires you to handle your topic somewhat differently. Be sure you fully grasp the exact meaning of the action verb used. That gets you closer to scoring an A than you’d imagine.

Outline Your Ideas or Use a Diagram

Brainstorming is critical to your essay’s success. So, find a quiet place. Let thoughts and ideas about your topic freely flow. You could list the ideas down. Or, you could visualize them using a simple diagram called an idea map.

Listing is pretty straightforward. Simply write down the main topic at the top of your MS Word page. Then, write down every idea that relates to the main topic.

An idea map is also easy to develop. Start with a circle placed at the center of your page. Then, draw smaller circles all around the central circle.

The central circle carries your topic. Each small circle contains a key point that supports or expands the main question. Brainstorming ends when you’ve established a clear pattern between the points. Developing a tentative thesis statement during this process could be an important goal.

Write Your Essay

Present a captivating intro, an absorbing body, and a memorable conclusion. Your introduction should quickly grab your professor’s attention. The substance in the body should keep them interested. Restate the thesis statement. The conclusion should strongly impress your professor.

Summarize the key points from your essay’s body. The conclusion should clearly state your essay’s implication. Choose your words carefully. And don’t announce the end of your piece. Don’t use phrases such as “In conclusion..” or “To conclude…”

Use short, precise, and “sweet” sentences. Finally, correctly format your paper. Then, edit, edit and edit your essay. Proofread the piece. Now, your composition is ready for submission. You’ll always get the grade you deserve. Will it be an A? Only you can decide that.

Final Thoughts

Writing an essay that wins an A is hard work. Choose the topic right. Don’t go too broad. Instead, focus. Ensure you fully understand the question. Look at the action verbs. These could be “analyze, describe, compare, contrast, explain, criticize, evaluate, or analyze.” Find a quiet place. Brainstorm; encourage your brain to remind you of all the facts and ideas you know about your topic.

Write an outline. Follow your teacher’s format or the standard essay structure: Introduction, body, and conclusion. Every claim your essay makes must present supporting evidence. Use simple sentences that communicate in the most direct manner possible.

Always use formal English. Finally, make the essay read right — edit it, edit it, and edit it one more time. Proofread the piece. Submit it for grading.

Hopefully, you’ll see the letter A on the face of your paper when your professor returns the essays. Did we forget to mention something important?