5 Essay Writing Skills You May Lack But Can Develop Quickly

“I wish someone could help me write my essay”. This is what many frustrated and tired students think when they stare at the blank page and don’t know how to start an essay or are afraid that they can fail again. At school, you may have occasional essay assignments but at university, you have to face essay writing in practically all classes. And the truth is that no matter what your major is, the success of your academic career depends on how good you are at writing essays. Unfortunately, not all students cannot boast of being good writers. There are 12 signs that you are a writer at heart and 3 signs you are not. If you are not still sure that you are high-trained for the productive essay writing process, it is better to read this article to the end and find out what skills you may lack but can develop quickly.

So is it possible to improve essay writing quickly? Certainly, it is possible – various guides, handbooks, and how-to platforms exist today for helping people around the world. Howtowrite.CustomWritings.com is one of these online platforms where you can get all the practical information on how to write and what to write.

What Essay Skills You Need to Write Well?

Academic essay writing is a complex task that requires many component skills, some of which you may lack completely, especially if English is your second language and some of which you may have mastered only partially. Such essay writing skills include:

  • Planning a writing strategy,
  • Developing a reasoned argument,
  • Organizing ideas effectively,
  • Using appropriate evidence from credible relevant sources,
  • Writing mechanics such as correct grammar, sentence structure, and spelling,
  • Creative thinking skills, etc.

The problem is that writing skills can’t miraculously get better on their own if you just keep having a go. They need hard work and a lot of time practicing. A good option is to look for reliable online writing services where you can buy a well-written sample essay on your topic, analyze what key features make it perfect, and use it as a template for your own projects. Many today’s students consider buying cheap paper samples written by experienced professional writers on a website of a reputable essay writing service to be the best and the easiest solution of their writing problems that can also help them build the necessary skills and prepare for entrance exams, for example.

But we have good news for you – everyone can learn effective techniques required for writing a strong college-level paper. You only have to figure out what is not working and why, learn the basic principles, and apply the new ways of doing things. Be sure to succeed in improving your essay writing skills if you practice a lot. Wondering how you can do that? Here are 5 top essay writing tips that can help you understand what essential skills you need to write better essays.

Structuring an Essay to Support Your Argument

Before you actually start writing, you need to plan your essay and decide upon its structure and the arguments. If your instructor criticizes your essays for poor structure, chances are that you need to improve your planning skills. First of all, you need to know exactly what you want to say. When you have taken notes, brainstormed the key points, created a thesis statement, you need to make an outline of your future essay that will help you stay focused on your thesis and develop a clear argument. Different types of essays may differ in format but all of them need strong and clear structure. The relevant structure is important because it helps you present an effective argument in the way when the parts are logically connected with each other and form the comprehensive content.

There are several generic essay structures, for example, chronological, comparative, topical, etc. You can combine these types of structures in your essay to make a more complex way of presenting your essay ideas. Don’t be afraid of making your essay structure flexible. Pay attention to signal words that can help you adhere to a particular essay structure – ‘first’, ‘during’, ‘next’ and ‘finally’ for a linear order or ‘however’, ‘conversely’, ‘but’ for a compare-contrast pattern. You can start with the basic essay outline which includes the introduction with the thesis statement, the body which discusses the evidence that supports your thesis, and the conclusion that actually ties everything together. Let’s briefly discuss the essential parts of the basic essay structure.

  • Introduction. You need to write a powerful introduction that will engage your readers and serve as a road map to them. You should keep in short – about 10% of the essay. In this part, you need to introduce the subject of your essay, explain how you interpret the question and outline the key points that you are going to address in your essay.
  • Main body. In the central part of your essay, you have to present an argument and discuss the issues that you have outlined in your introduction. Besides, here you have to support your final conclusions. If you fail to do this, your reader will be irritated and you will show that you lack self-critique. The body of your essay should be organized and you may use a logical or chronological approach to do it. Your argument should be explicit and it’s important to use transitions to link each paragraph to the previous paragraph and the next one. If your essay is long, you may divide it into sections and subsections.
  • Conclusion. Your ending part should support your research and prove your thesis statement. You have to briefly remind your readers about the key points you have addressed in the body of your essay, evaluate your arguments, and emphasize the most important aspects. Don’t include any new material here. You can also tell your audience why your conclusions are important. Make this section short – not more than 10% of the paper.
  • References. Your essay is based on research so you have to include a bibliography or a references list to avoid plagiarism. You must reference all sources you quoted or referred to. You may also be required to make a list of all the sources you consulted. You must organize your references page according to the requirements of a specific style (APA, MLA or other).

Being a Critical Writer to Look at the Problem More Critically

The main goal of writing an academic essay, a term paper or a dissertation is developing a convincing argument. Your task is not just to describe something but to provide a critical analysis of all possible data. So if you want to succeed in writing college essays, you need to be confident in critical writing. What is critical writing and how does it differ from descriptive writing?

  • When writing critically, you need to evaluate the arguments and evidence of other writers before you accept their conclusions.
  • You need to present reasons why you accept the conclusions of other writers or treat them with caution.
  • You need to clearly present your own argument leading to your conclusion.
  • You have to recognize certain limitations of your argument, evidence, and conclusion.

With descriptive writing, you only report some idea and present information but don’t transform it. When you write critically, you are actually participating in the academic debate. Critical writing is more challenging because you need to evaluate the quality of argument and evidence you have read in relevant sources and identify the main positive and negative aspects to comment on. Besides, you need to determine if these aspects are useful and relevant to your debate and decide how you can include them in your own argument. As you see, critical writing requires a much higher level of skills but if you master it, you can get better marks for your papers.

Wondering how you can practice critical writing? When you provide an argument and include a quote or a piece of data, you should always explain why you have included it. Besides, you should try to present one idea in a single paragraph, support it with evidence or a quote, and comment on it to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. Another way to do it is to present your idea in a paragraph and explain its relevance in the subsequent paragraph.

Solid Understanding of Basic Grammar, Style, and Punctuation to Write Properly

If you want your research to be taken seriously, you must use an appropriate academic style. Your academic essay should be written in a formal, impersonal style to sound objective. Your style should be clear and precise. You should use specific words and longer, complicated sentences but where appropriate, you should use simple language and avoid jargon. It’s better to use a variety of sentence structures – long and short.

Grammar and punctuation are incredibly important as well because they help your readers understand your text. No matter how good your essay is in content and in style, poor grammar and punctuation mistakes make your essay harder to read and can have a bad impact on your overall mark. So you have to learn basic grammar rules about sentence parts and structures, use of articles and pronouns, and verb and subject agreement. You should avoid using the passive voice too often and use the active voice instead where it is possible to make your essay stronger. Besides, you need to follow basic punctuation rules and know how to use commas and semi-colons.

Using the Right Academic Vocabulary

A very important aspect that determines the success of any writing assignment is using the right vocabulary. Your academic essay has to be clear and concise so you need to build specific skills to express exactly what you mean. In academic writing, you have to persuade other people that you are an expert on a certain topic and that you can develop an intelligent argument. That’s why it’s important to use precise words to convey your message. You should never use any word if you don’t know its exact meaning. Always consult a good dictionary and a thesaurus to avoid using big words just for the sake of it. Review all your sentences and remove words that don’t add anything to your argument.


Editing is a crucial step in the writing process because only at this stage you can see if the argument of your essay hangs together, flows logically, and is expressed clearly and concisely. Editing helps raise the overall academic standard of your essay using an iterative process of revision and critique. You need to review your essay and check overall logical structure, clarity of explanation, the coherence of your argument, etc. Finally, you need to check your writing for typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes. It’s important to spot issues and make an improvement to ensure that you finish your essay makes a positive impression on your reader. That’s why you need strong editing and proofreading skills.

But editing and proofreading of your own writing can be tough due to the writer’s blindness so you’d better separate the processes of writing and editing. You should take a break after you finish your essay and return to it with fresh eyes. A good idea is to print your essay and do editing on hard copy. Besides, you should learn techniques that make editing and proofreading easier.

Now you know what aspects you should consider writing better essays on different topics if you want to get high grades and what skills you should develop to become a strong writer. Use our tips to master these important essay writing skills and you are sure to take your essays to the next level. Good luck!

photo credit: John Beans MacBook Air on brown wooden table – Credit to https://myfriendscoffee.com/ via photopin (license)

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