In your work life- you will find yourself ‘writing’ many a time. People around you will be silently noting & checking your written presentation skills. These could be through the reports, formal emails, even hate letters & anything that you draft and send. “How to Write an Essay” shall help you in your essay writing endeavors for all times to come.

As a young student you are very likely to get formally evaluated on this skill. Many exams test you on Essay writing & presentation skills. Recently- B-schools & other good colleges (when you apply abroad) make you write an essay for the following reasons:

– They are looking for your ability to be logical.
– They want to check your focus & rationality.
– They are, of course, testing your language & writing skills.
– They are also looking at your spontaneous content generation skills.

You are of course, not expected to know it all. But, a decent & well structured representation can still make you stand out. Below are 5 things you can do to improve your essays & make them stellar (should you practise these points):

  1. Always follow a structure :

Remember that you cannot afford to babble in your essay. It has to have a proper chain of thought. Start with an introduction where you brief the examiner about your stand about the topic.

In the following paragraphs, follow a routine. If you are tracing a history, make sure you start from the beginning. If you are making a general commentary, ensure that the paragraphs are distinct and each of them has distinguishable content. Similarly, if you are making an analysis, keep the flow in the same way in which you arrived at the result.

Different kinds of topics will need different treatment. But always, have a structure & stick to it.

It will be a good idea to spend the first 2-3 minutes in rough drafting & adding skeleton structure to your points. You may also abbreviate in rough the analogies, the examples & the supporting logics that come to your mind. Then begin writing the formal thing.

  1. Keep it clean :

Imagine your newspapers without Headlines? No one will want to read them. Similar goes for your essays. It is advisable to follow the similar headline approach in the essays. I am not saying that you actually put a headline. I mean –begin every paragraph with an interesting line which positively eggs the reader to dive further. Have catchy headlines for each paragraph if you can. Depending upon your exam/ situation you may choose to highlight them / underline them too; so that they also catch the examiner’s easy eye.

Using bullets is a good way too. The more your essay looks clean and organized, the more you convey that even if you know very little about the topic (which might happen at times), you are a candidate who likes to be organized & proper with information.

Underlining important parts of the essay also helps. The examiner will surely read them! But, don’t overdo it. If you underline every second line, he will simply trash your essay.

  1. Use of language :

You are not expected to use very hi-fi language but they would be looking for conviction, similar to that of an SOP. It is advisable that you use simple but impactful words.

Your vocabulary need not be very expansive or thesaurus like. Simply reading articles on various topics on the newspaper / internet can help you build the required set of words. I would suggest that you read a few essays and go through topics that have generally been asked. Reading for a week or two and then starting to write two essays a day can do wonders to the repertoire of your words. Practise makes a man perfect. Oh wait! Women too :)

  1. Extra runs:

It is not very difficult to score them in an essay, to be very honest. Remember your hindi essays during school time. Weren’t you told to start with a bang? Same gets applied here. Begin your essay with one of the following if you can :

– A quote.
– An example
– A short story
– A comment
– A question

If placed well, these can do wonders to your essay. You can strategically place them anywhere in your essay. Underline / highlight them & score those extra runs.

Again, having them on your fingertips might be a problem. However, those who have had a habit of reading can sail through this very well.

  1. Conclusion :

The conclusion is a crucial part of the essay. More often than not, the introduction & the conclusion are the only parts that get read. Even if you put really great content in between, always make sure these two sections sum up your essay very well.

You may end with a quote or a provocative note (as mentioned above). Going through the editorials of some of the reputed national dailies for a week or two can really help you spruce up your essay-abilities.

Last but not the least, have a genuine tone to your writing. The examiner will always find a bit of your character in what you write & in the way you write. Saying more in fewer & powerful words, is an art that gets tested in an essay.

Very importantly- Practice it well. Write at least 10-12 essays (& get them checked from someone who can); before you finally get tested for your final essay. Trust me- It ain’t rocket science :)

Strongly recommend you to definitely read the following four blogposts:-

Work cleverly to become an awesome Communicator & a smart presenter. It will take you very far in life. Perceptions matter!

Cheers!

Akash Gautam

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About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • Saras_Arya

    What about grammar?? It plays an important role too tense jump etc. How to cope with that??

    • AkashGautam

      Hi ! Saras,

      Do not worry. I have compiled an array of Blogs on Grammar at http://akashgautam.com/category/english/

      Further, if you are looking for that one place where you find ‘All that YOU need to help you clear the English section of competitive exams’, you are at the right place. In view of the constraints of time that a student / learner of English faces today, I believe that it will be all the more useful that fundas / rules on Grammar & English be given as briefly as possible to make a point succinctly.

      Not all is intended to be covered, nor all is intended to be
      explained. What is covered in these blogposts should be enough for you to go ahead and attempt correctly 8 out of 10 questions on English, Grammar & related in any competitive exam – be it CLAT, CSAT,
      UGC-NET, Bank PO, CAT, GRE, SSC, NDA etc.

      I’ve seen these exams very closely and can confidently aver that- ‘Should you do these Blogposts very well’ – You shall have done the very best that exists on internet about English, Grammar & all related; that gets asked in competitive exams.

      Cheers !

      Akash

  • Siddharth sharma

    Sir i too want to become a motivational speaker. Just dont know where should i place my feet first. Please help. I doubt if any one else would be of a better help than you when it comes to motivational speaking.
    Thanks and regards
    Siddharth

    • Rohan

      Same here. Akash please help us.

  • Maani

    Sir tussi great te vi great ho!

  • Anuj Dwivedi

    Sir… Actually I want to become an author, write a book. But I dont understand where to start. It always happens that i start with a story but after sometime i get too bored with it and leave it. Could you please suggest how to become a bestselling author.

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