Writing a Successful Essay

Many students struggle with writing a successful essay, and most of those students will procrastinate and avoid writing altogether. What’s an introduction supposed to look like? How do you organize your thoughts and ideas? If you’re struggling with structuring your essay or putting your ideas to paper, then this is the guide for you. 

Writing a successful essay

Writing a successful essay Individually

  •  Understand the given prompt (What’s the main idea?) 
  • Use synonyms so you’re not repeating yourself 
  • Break up distinct parts of the essay into paragraphs
  • Keep track of key pieces of evidence you’ll be using
  • Brainstorm ahead of time by doing a free write or try outlining
  • Refer back to your annotations they might help you if you’re stuck!
  • Include detailed analysis to back up your evidence 
  • Open with a strong hook, fact, or statistic to engage the reader 
  • Conlcude your essay by summing up your main points and thesis statement
  • Keep track of deadlines
  • Use multiple online references or sources in your essay 
  • If it’s a timed essay manage your time effectively and don’t over explain a simple idea  
  • Paragraphs should be longer than five sentences but not over 10
  • Make every sentence count–keep it relevant
  • Check for grammatical errors

Writing a successful essay in a group:

  • Break up the work accordingly between group members
  • Hold everyone in your group responsible–don’t do others’ work for them!
  • Speak to your teacher if you feel that some aren’t pulling their weight 
  • Let each group member choose what they would like to write about 
  • Offer support and guidance to your peers
  • Keep each paragraph relevant to the essay’s main idea or argument
  • Maintain fluidity between each paragraph by adding transition sentences

AP essay writing: 

  • Study material provided by the college board 
  • Address what you find to be most important about the passage early on in your first body paragraph
  • Mark all evidence you may use 
  • Incorporate more than one piece of evidence per paragraph if it strengthens your point 
  • For AP Literature focus on rhetorical elements such as tone, diction, and imagery
  • If you are almost out of time focus on wrapping up your essay
  • Don’t include your opinion 

Practice makes perfect, so get started with these writing prompts!

And check out the links below for more essay help.

Seven Essay Writing Tips

Crafting a Strong Introduction Paragraph