If you’re considering studying English or a related subject in Arts and Humanities at university is likely to require plenty of essay writing. It’s a skill that is difficult to master as it requires both creativity and thinking logically. If it is your intention to adhere to the following whenever you write an essay, you’ll be well on your way towards success:

1. Plan

This may sound time-consuming, however, if your plan is an effective plan, you will actually save yourself time when writing your essay. Because you’ll be able to see where your answer will lead and you won’t write yourself into an uncharted area. Do not fret if you’re stuck at first – jot down your thoughts anyway, and it’s likely that the rest will follow. It’s easier for me to create a mindmap that has each new „bubble‘ representing one of my principal paragraphs. After that, I create quotes that will help me in my study of the bubble.

For instance, if I were answering the question „How far is the wife of Curley depicted as a the victim of Of Mice and Men? Then I could create with a mental map that looks something like this:

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The plan can be reworked by adding more to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the various bubbles when you can see relationships between them. While you might not have time to make such elaborate plans during exams, it may be helpful just to sketch out a sketch which includes a few key words, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and wander off-topic in your essay. If you’re not fond of the mind-map format There are many alternatives to choose from: You can design a table as well as a flowchart. Or simply making a list with bullet points.

2. Maintain a clear structure

Be aware of this when you are planning. The essay you write is similar to an argument or speech – it needs to have a structure that is logical, by bringing all your ideas together to address the question. Begin with the basics. it is suggested to pick only a handful of major points, which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs are a good number for a test essay in the sense that you will be working under pressure. Make sure you organize your arguments in a sequence that is“YES“ (agreement with the question) + (another „YES“ point) AND (disagreement or complicated) If you are in agreement with the question overall, or YES BUT AND if you disagree. This helps ensure that you’re always focused on your argument and you do not wander away from the topic.

You could, for instance, form this Of Mice and Men sample problem as follows:

„To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a character in Of Mice and Men?‘

  • Yes, description of the appearance
  • AND – other people’s attitudes towards her
  • But, her position as the sole female on the ranch gives her influence when she utilizes her femininity to benefit herself

If you wanted to write a long essay You could add additional paragraphs that fall under the ‚YES/AND‘ category, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife shares her vulnerability and insecurities and shares her hopes and fears with other characters; on the contrary, you could additionally lengthen your essay including another paragraph with the word ‚BUT‘ about her cruel and manipulative streak.

Of of course, this isn’t necessarily the best way to answer this essay question so long as you back up your arguments with evidence from the text, you can use any argument that makes sense.

3. Back up your points with well-analyzed quotes

You would never write a science report and not include evidence to back up your conclusions Why should it be any different when writing an essay? While you’re not bound to prove each assertion you make by an example, there’s no reason not to try. A close reading of your quotations can enrich your understanding of the question and can impress examiners.

When selecting the best quotations for your essay, be sure to keep an eye for literary strategies that are specific to the author. For instance, you could look at Curley’s wife’s choice of rhetorical question in the sentence: writes, „What am I doin‘? I’m here, talking to an entire group of stiffs from bindle‘:

The question „An“What am I doing?“ signifies that Curley’s wife is very anxious She appears to be contemplating her choices in life. In addition, the fact she does not want anyone to answer the question is a sign of her isolation.

Other literary techniques to look out for include:

  • Tricolon A group of three phrases or words arranged close to one another to emphasize
  • Tautology – using various words that are all the same such as ‚frightening‘ or terrifying.
  • Parallelism – ABAB structure. It is usually a sign of change from one idea to another
  • Chiasmus Chiasmus ABBA structure. It draws attention to this phrase
  • Polysyndeton is a term used to describe many conjunctive words in an expression
  • Asyndeton – a lack of conjunctions which can increase the speed of sentences.
  • Polyptoton is the use of the same term in different forms for specific emphasis, like „done,“ and „doing.“
  • Alliteration : repetition of the similar sound. Different types of alliteration are assonance (similar vowel sounds) and plosive (‚b'“, „d,“ and „p noises) along with sibilance (’s‘ sounds)
  • Anaphora is the repetition of words. It is often used to emphasize a certain point

Don’t be concerned if you’re unable identify all of these literary techniques in the work you’re analysing – you can also discuss more obvious effects like simile, metaphor and onomatopoeia. There’s no problem if you can’t remember all the long names , but it’s important to clearly explain the significance of these literary techniques and their importance in the context of the inquiry than to utilize the proper terminology.

4. Be innovative and original all the way through

Anyone is able to write an essay using the tips above, but the part that makes it ‚perfect‘ is your own personal perspective on the subject you’re discussing. If you’ve noticed something that’s interesting or unusual in your reading make sure to mention it: if you find it fascinating and interesting, the reader will too.

Creative writing and essay writing are more inextricably linked than you might imagine; keep the notion of writing a talk or an argument in mind, and you’re likely to get your readers‘ attention.

It’s essential to define your argument within your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but be sure to include something in the end of your essay also. Yes, it’s important to summarise your main points, but if it’s just a repetition of the same things you mentioned in your introduction, the paper itself is meaningless.

Consider your conclusion as the high point of your talk, the one that all of the other stuff has been leading towards, not boring, boring, and at the conclusion of all the exciting stuff.

To get back to Of Mice and Men once more, here is an illustration of the ideal distinction of an intro and an ending:


In the novel by John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men, the wife of Curley is shown as a conflicting character. It is possible to view her as a cruel beautiful, seductive lover or an isolated woman who is in the grip of her social beliefs. Though she does appear to have a sexual power, it’s clear that Curley’s wife is largely being viewed as a victim. This interpretation is confirmed by her description of appearance in the novel, other characters‘ behavior, their dreams and the sense of feeling of insecurity and loneliness.


In the end, it’s clear that Curley’s spouse is a victim. She portrays it as such throughout the book, through details of her look, dreams and others‘ judgmental views as well as her loneliness and insecurities. But a character that was a victim and no other thing would be unreal which is what Curley’s spouse isn’t. Even though she’s suffering in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through manipulation of her femininity – a small rebel against the oppression she experiences.

Both references are consistent to this question, and also summarize the main points of the essay but the conclusion is something entirely new to the ideas established in the first part of the article, and creates more complexity than the simple summary that is in the Introduction.

How to Write the Perfect Essay

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