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How to Write an Essay: 10 Productive Hints

Writing an essay can be a real challenge, but there are some handy tips that you can keep in mind that will see you through each and every one. So follow these hints and you’ll smash them out in no time:

  • Pick the Right Topic
  • Brainstorm
  • Plan
  • Source First
  • Three Points
  • The Ws
  • Goals
  • Rewards
  • Read Out Loud
  • Get A Friend to Read It

Pick the Right Topic

Picking the right topic is your first port of call. If you pick something you’re not interested in or have no knowledge about you’ll find writing all the harder. Pick a topic that you want to do.


Before you start writing make sure to brainstorm. Get some friends around for coffee and chats and put all those ideas on paper.


Make sure you hone your brainstorming session down into a coherent, cohesive plan with a good beginning, middle and end. This will be the backbone to your essay.

Source First

Make sure you read all the relevant articles and books on your topic before you start writing. Have your argument clear in your head.

Three Points

Pick three main points that you want to discuss. More than that is too much and less is too little. But three is the goldilocks number: just right.

The Ws

Make sure you ask and answer Who, Where, What, When, Why and How. These questions flesh out any good essay.


Set yourself little goals. It doesn’t have to be monumental, maybe a couple of hundred words a day or even to flesh out an idea. Make a list of what you want to achieve and when, then stick to it.


Once you hit a goal for the day, reward yourself. Buy a coffee or go for a picnic, anything to get your out from behind the desk for a few hours.

Read Out Loud

When you’re finished, read the whole thing out loud and see if it flows nicely. This will help you to catch the little mistake you might otherwise miss.

Get A Friend to Read It

Nobody’s perfect and we all make mistakes, but sometimes seeing them for ourselves is impossible. Get a trusted friend to go over your essay when you’re done and see what they have to say about it.

Top educational resources

These websites will help you improve your writing skills.

Have found an amazing academic portal that can help students write or edit their papers? Perhaps a great online library or plagiarism-checker? Let us know.