This blog often focuses on the practical side of essay composition, but what about the style of your writing?  How can you make sure that the way you write and your choice of words isn’t letting you down?  Follow these best essay writing pointers to make sure your writing style isn’t letting you down.

Essay writing not conversation

You don’t want your essay writing language to sound like conversational speech.  Don’t write sentences with expressions such as:

“Well, I suppose the first thing that could be said about Kant is…”
“Heaven only knows how I’m going to tackle such a large topic in a 1500 word essay…”

Best essay writing tip: Avoid swear words – however mild you might think they are.  The marker will conclude that you have a poor command of the English language if you fill an essay with expletives.

Essay writing tip: Avoid exaggeration

Using exaggerated claims is often the sign of a weak essay and may show that you haven’t done enough critical reading.  A claim that “Shakespeare was the greatest playwright who ever lived” can’t be proved.  Writing that Basquiat’s paintings were  ‘astonishing’ or ‘miraculous’ makes you reader question “In what way?” or they may think “Prove it”.  Top essay help: You need to be careful about the statements you make and don’t use exaggeration.

Essay help: gender

If you are describing the actions of an individual in your essay should you use ‘he’ or ‘she’? Traditionally, ‘he’ was always used, but some readers found this annoying and politically incorrect.  Some writers now switch back and forward between using ‘he’ and ‘she’, but this can create confusion, particularly when the switch is made within a sentence.  Other writers choose to use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun:

If the tennis player sees that the ball is going out, he has no need to chase after it.
If the tennis player sees that the ball is going out, they have no need to chase after it.

It is up to you to choose which solution you prefer.

Essay Legal Issues

Although you may think that you have the right to write anything you like, you do need to be careful that you avoid lies about individuals or companies.  If you write that a particular company’s products cause cancer or that an individual was involved in criminal work and this claim is untrue then it is libel.  Libel is called slander if it is spoken rather than written.  Be careful not to write something that could harm another person’s reputation.  Although it is unlikely that you would be taken to court over something you write in an essay, you still need to be careful to avoid these errors.  What you write in an essay needs to be provable.  Careful essay editing should make sure that you don’t make this sort of mistake.

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