20 Basic Rules for Writing an Essay


So what are the basic rules for writing an essay? This guide will explain everything you need to know to write a great essay, from structuring your essay to crafting a killer conclusion.

The mere mention of the word “essay” often makes students break out into a cold sweat. The very thought of having to write one can be daunting, and many students feel they don’t even know where to start.

But don’t worry – essay writing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a little organization and planning, it can be a lot of fun.

How many Paragraphs is an Essay?

There are usually five paragraphs in a high school or college essay. If you’re writing a longer paper, you may need six, seven, or eight paragraphs. The goal is to develop each paragraph to support your thesis effectively. 

The first paragraph introduces your topic and explains why it’s important. It also sets the tone for the rest of the paper. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs develop your three main points. 

These body paragraphs provide evidence to support your thesis. Depending on your paper’s length, these could be really short (just a few sentences) or really long (several hundred words). 

The fifth paragraph is your concluding paragraph. It should cover your main points and leave the reader with a strong impression of what you’ve argued. 

Sixth, seventh, and eighth paragraphs are only needed if you have more than three main points to support your thesis. If that’s the case, you might want to consider revising your thesis so that it can be adequately supported in five paragraphs.

Ultimately, how many paragraphs you include in your essay will depend on its length and complexity. If you’re unsure how long each paragraph should be, talk to your teacher or refer to the guidelines for the assignment.

If you know how long your paragraphs should be but just struggling to write a good essay, consider essay help from well-known sites like Essay on Time. These services provide expert guidance from experienced writers who can help you get the grade you want.

What are the Three Basic Structures of a Good Essay?

A good essay usually has three basic structures: an introduction, a body of several paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction should briefly state the essay’s main point, and the conclusion should briefly summarize the main points.

The body of the essay is where you develop your argument or discussion. Each paragraph in the body should begin with a topic sentence that states one of the main points, followed by support for that point.

A good essay will also have a clear thesis statement, which is a sentence or two that states the essay’s main point. Finally, a good essay will be well-organized and logical, making it easy for the reader to follow.

The 20 Basic Rules for Writing Essays that Everyone Should Know

Even though there is no one correct way to write an essay, there are some general rules you can follow to make your writing more effective. Most importantly, remember that essays are meant to be convincing, so make sure your argument is clear and well-supported.  Here are 20 basic rules for writing essays that everyone should know:

  • Use of Simple Sentences

Simplicity is key when it comes to writing a top essay. You want to ensure that your message is clear and to the point. Using unnecessarily complicated language will confuse your reader and muddle your message.

By keeping your sentences simple, you can avoid these problems and ensure that your essay packs a powerful punch. In addition, simple sentence construction can make your writing more eloquent and persuasive.

By carefully choosing your words and effectively phrasing your sentences, you can create beautiful and impactful writing. So don’t be afraid to keep things simple – it could be the key to penning a truly great essay.

  • Use of Quotations

Quotations can be a great way to add weight to your argument and to back up your claims with evidence. However, you want to be sure that you’re using quotations sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.

If you over-use quotations in your essay, it will not only make your writing less convincing, but it will also make it appear as though you’re trying to hide behind the words of others. So be sure to use quotations only when absolutely necessary and only when they add value to your argument.

  • Paragraphs

To keep your writing organized and easy to read, you want to ensure that your ideas are clearly divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on one main idea, and you should make sure to indent each new paragraph so that the reader knows when you’re starting a new thought.

If your essay is well-organized and flows smoothly from one paragraph to the next, it will be much easier for your reader to follow and will make for a more enjoyable reading experience.

  • Transitions

Transitions are words or phrases that help to connect one idea to the next. They can signal a change in topic or introduce a new idea in the essay.

By using transitions, you can help your reader to follow your train of thought and to understand the connections between your ideas. For instance, if you are discussing the history of the American Revolution, you might use the transition “however” to introduce a new point about the war.

Or, if you are comparing and contrasting two different characters in a novel, you might use the transition “on the other hand” to explain how they differ from each other. Transitions can also be helpful when transitioning between paragraphs.

For example, if you are discussing the causes of the American Revolution in one paragraph and the effects of the war in another, you might use the transition “therefore” to show how the two paragraphs are connected.

  • The use of Words that Matter

When you’re writing an essay, every word counts. This means that you want to choose your words carefully and use precise and unambiguous language.

You also want to avoid using filler words or unnecessarily complicated language.  Using simple, direct language is usually the best way to ensure that your reader understands your argument. In addition, using specific and concrete language can actually make your writing more persuasive. So choose your words wisely and ensure they add value to your essay.

  • Active Voice

In active voice it is the subject of your sentence that does the action. For example, “The boy kicked the ball.” Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence is being acted upon. For example, “The ball was kicked by the boy.” 

Using active voice in your writing will make it more concise and easier to read. It will also make your argument more convincing as it will be clear who is responsible for what is happening.

  • The Use of First Person

The first person point of view is when the author writes about himself or herself. For example, “I went to the store.” The second person point of view is when the author writes directly to the reader. For example, “You should go to the store.” 

The third person point of view is when the author is writing about someone else. For example, “John went to the store.” The first-person point of view is more personal and can be more effective in persuasive writing. However, you want to be careful not to overuse it as it can make your essay sound self-centered.

  • Use of Sources

When writing an essay, it’s important to use sources to support your claims. However, you want to make sure that you’re using credible and reputable sources. Otherwise, your argument may not be as strong as it could be.

There are a few different ways to find credible sources for your essay. One way is to look for scholarly journal articles or books written by experts in the field. Another way is to search for reliable websites that contain information about your topic.

Once you’ve found some good sources, you want to cite them properly in your essay. Failure to do so can result in plagiarism, a serious academic offense. 

  • Expressions Matter

The expressions you use in your essay can make a big difference in the overall tone and effect of your writing. For example, using formal language will make your essay sound more serious and convincing.

On the other hand, using informal language will make it sound more personal and friendly. You also want to be careful with the words that you choose. Some words may have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used.

  • Editing

Once you’ve finished writing your essay, it’s important to proofread and edit it. This will help to ensure that there are no grammar or punctuation errors and that your essay is clear and concise. Editing can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to ensure that your essay is the best it can be.

  • Get Feedback

One way to improve your essay is to get feedback from others. You can ask a friend or family member to read it and give you their opinion. Alternatively, you can hire a professional essay reviewer to review your essay and give you feedback.

  • Follow the Instructions

When you’re writing an essay, it’s important to follow the instructions given to you. This means you must ensure that your essay is the right length, has the required formatting, and contains all the required information. If you don’t follow the instructions, your essay may not be accepted or may receive a lower grade than it otherwise would have.

  • Context is Important

When writing an essay, it’s important to keep the context in mind. This means you need to consider who will be reading your essay and what they expect to see. For example, if you’re writing an essay for a class, you will need to ensure that it meets the assignment’s requirements. If you’re writing an essay for a scholarship, on the other hand, you will want to focus on making it as impressive as possible.

  • Topic Selection

The topic of your essay is one of the most important factors in determining its success. You want to choose a topic that is interesting and relevant to the assignment. However, you also want to make sure that you can find enough information about the topic to write a convincing essay.

  • Do Your Research

Once you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to start doing research. You’ll need to find reliable sources of information about the topic and take careful notes. Be sure to document where you found each piece of information so that you can easily reference it later.

  • Take Your Time

Writing an essay can be a time-consuming process. But it’s important not to rush through it. Your essay will improve if you take the time and do it right. So start early and give yourself plenty of time to write a great essay.

  • Create an Outline

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to start planning your essay. An outline will help you structure your thoughts and ensure that all the information you’ve gathered is included. A good outline will also help you stay on track while writing and make sure that your essay flows nicely.

  • Write a First Draft

After you’ve created an outline, it’s time to start writing your first draft. This doesn’t need to be perfect – just get your thoughts down on paper. You can always go back and edit it later. 

  • Limit Jargon

When you’re writing an essay, it’s important to use language that is clear and concise. This means avoiding jargon or using too many technical terms. If you need to use jargon, make sure that you explain it so that the reader will understand.

  • Avoid ambiguity

It’s important to be clear and concise in your writing. This means avoiding ambiguity or ensuring the reader knows what you mean. For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of abortion,” you could say, “I’m going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of abortion.” This will make it easier for the reader to understand your essay.

In Closing

These are just a few basic tips for writing an essay but if you follow them, they’ll help you to write a successful essay. So get started early, do your research, and take your time.


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