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Understanding the Basic Essay Writing Strategies

The basic essay writing strategies are related to different stages of your writing work. Find each of them explained below.


  • Determine your submission date.
  • Make a list of essay writing tasks, such as writing a thesis statement, research, and creating your first draft.
  • Estimate the time for completion of each task.
  • Set a deadline for each task. If possible, allow for each stage half as much again time as your initial estimate. Essay writing work can take longer than it seems, especially if you are new to it.

Understanding the question

  • Read your assignment thoroughly.
  • Find out the purpose and type of your essay (whether it should be persuasive, descriptive, or narrative), the exact word or page count, and any specific requirements to the content. For example, you may be required to use and quote particular sources.
  • If you are free to choose your essay topic, brainstorm for ideas.
  • Choose the one which you like and with which you can meet the paper requirements. Make sure that you can find the necessary material to write on it. If in doubt, consult your instructor on whether this topic is appropriate.
  • Write a thesis statement.
  • It should clearly state the purpose of your essay and be as specific as possible

Initial research

  • Look through the literature on your topic. Make a list of sources that are rich in relevant material so you can return to them later.
  • Determine three main arguments you will use to prove your thesis statement.


  • Write an essay outline.
  • The first point should be your introduction and the last your conclusion. Between them, list your main arguments. Leave room for elaboration.


  • Look for the pieces of evidence that support your arguments.
  • The sources you may use books, academic journals, your class notes, radio and TV broadcasts, and trustworthy websites.
  • Check all information for relevance.
  • Do not waste your time on reading anything that takes you away from your topic.
  • Take notes.
  • If you are going to use direct quotes, keep track of page numbers where they are found.
  • Add your pieces of evidence and explanations as sub-points of your outline.


  • Look at your outline.
  • Your main arguments will become your essay paragraphs. Write a topic sentence for each one.
  • Write the sentences that include your evidence and explanations.
  • Write without a stop. Remember that it is just a draft that will be revised. It does not have to be perfect.


  • Read your draft aloud. Fix awkward sounds.
  • Check your draft for logical flow and consistency. Add transition sentences where necessary.
  • Remove unnecessary words or sentences. Replace vague wordings with more specific ones.
  • Check grammar and spelling.