How to write a good essay in English?
The question of how to write a good essay in English spends sleepless nights not only on students in the so-called IB (international baccalaureate program), but also “ordinary” high school students and – probably above all – people of different ages, preparing for various types of language exams (TOEFL, IELTS, FCE, CAE).
It should be assumed that we will encounter the form of an essay in all years and levels after primary school: it is not only the bane of high school graduates, but also one of the most common possibilities of writing assignments during studies (not only language!)
It is obvious that advice like: just like in your native language, gives them nothing, because:
1. processing does not work in the same way for them
2. They also often don’t know how to write a good essay at all.
The key aspect here is also the form – what we often call an essay, especially during exams such as FCE, IELTS, or even CAE, is simply a form of a fairly short essay – often a variation around an essay (the names of these forms are sometimes even interchangeable), a critical sketch or a longer commentary.
The proverbial fuel is filled with subjectivism and a certain compositional freedom of this species.
We also remember that when writing any work, we rely on basic guidelines:
tips on how to write a good English essay
So what should a good essay contain?
The word essay itself comes from the French essai for trial. It is not really about presenting a solution to a dilemma or a solution to a problem, but about the process of arriving at it. The essayist, therefore, opens the way of his own journeys to the recipient. Therefore: the author himself is the speaking person – we try to present OUR OWN LOOK on a given topic.
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How to bite it without closing yourself in five sentences?
We have several options. Let’s try to look at the essay from different angles:
loose, sometimes very loose, associations and references, thoughts, reflections – interjections, digressions, dragging out certain elements, mental shortcuts, examples and comparisons.
there is no obligation to maintain the chronological or hierarchical order of the arguments and examples cited.
the essay talks about real events and phenomena (or sometimes: presented as real), so we do not need to build up the story excessively, we do not need a hundred heroes or even deeper lessons from the story being cited.
The most common types of essays written while learning English
Attention! I will not deal with purely academic essays here. Although they are based on the types that I will mention in a moment, they are associated with certain specific guidelines that, unfortunately, this post has no place for, but I will certainly introduce the topic in the future.
At the extended matura exam, during studies or when taking a language exam, we most often meet with written statements such as:
a) opinion and discursive opinion
b) for and against – the most argumentative option,
c) solution to problems.
Of course, individual types require specific solutions. But let’s get back to the general problem for a moment.
Thanks to the three guilds presented above, we have quite a lot of lexical possibilities. However, we should remember that our statement should be (!) Coherent, logical and understandable for the recipient – after all, we do not write a work of life, but a work, after all, a final work, for which you get points according to a special key.