Published 30 Aug 2021

7 Essential Elements Of A Perfect Essay

Elevate your essay-writing process by uncovering the seven essential elements that constitute a flawless and impactful composition.
6 min read

a girl is writing in a notebook

No matter what level of education you are currently completing, chances are you will need to write more than a few essays to pass your class and earn a degree.

An essay is a piece of writing that analyzes a prompt by comparing and contrasting ideas, looking at different angles or perspectives, and using evidence to make an argument or point.

Essays are used for a number of reasons by different people. For example, college instructors use essays as part of the class curriculum, while businesses hire freelance writers to write persuasive documents to market their products or promote the company.

There are essential elements that make an excellent essay. These elements will ensure that you receive a good grade and help you advance further in your education.

So, to get the grade you need to pass your class and earn your degree, follow these seven essential elements that will help you organize, write, and edit a perfect essay every time.

# 1 – Do your Research

To write a perfect essay, you will need to know exactly what point you are trying to prove and have enough background knowledge of the topic to convince the reader of your point, argument, or idea.

You can access this information from several different sources, including:

  • The Internet
  • Book, video, or audio lectures
  • Class notes and lecture slides created by the instructor
  • Resources from the library

Once you have all of the information you need, make sure that you put together an outline so that your essay logically flows from one point to another.

# 2 – Outline Your Essay

The next essential element to writing the perfect essay will be to create an outline. Outlines help writers make sure they cover all of the necessary points for their essay and that each point flows into one another.

Though every professor will have different guidelines for formatting, an outline should typically include:

  • An introduction with a thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs with topic sentences and supporting details
  • A conclusion with a restatement of the thesis statement

The outline does not have to be detail-heavy, but it should include critical ideas that will be covered and the order they will be covered in. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to organize your strongest points first and your weaker points at the end.

Once you have your outline complete, it’s time to start writing the first draft of your essay, starting with the introduction.

# 3 – The Introduction

The intro is considered the most challenging part of an entire essay by many students.

The first paragraph should be short and direct in its explanation of the topic being discussed. The intro sets the tone for the rest of the essay, so you must make it a strong one that will hook your reader’s attention and interest.

Begin with an interesting first sentence that states the main idea of your essay to intrigue readers immediately. For example, suppose you were writing an essay on global warming. In that case, a good first sentence might be: “The topic of global warming is one that everyone should be concerned about and taking steps to ensure doesn’t adversely affect our planet.”

Then, continue the idea of global warming into the second sentence, starting with a transition word such as “in addition.”

A good introduction also includes background information on the topic, such as historical context or information on the current climate that relates to your topic. However, be careful not to put too much information into this part of the introduction, as you will want to save that for the body paragraphs, which follow the intro.

Once you have written an intro and are satisfied with its results, you can write the actual body of your essay.

# 4 – The Body

A key element of writing a successful essay is to have strong body paragraphs that support your thesis and provide in-depth analysis. The body of an essay is the longest part, typically taking up three-quarters or more of the overall writing.

A well-formulated body paragraph contains an introductory sentence with a transition word at the beginning, three clear and logical points that support the previous sentence (and provides evidence to back up the argument), and a concluding sentence that restates the main idea of the paragraph.

Some examples of introductory sentences for body paragraphs include:

  • For example,
  • In addition,
  • Moreover.

The first logical point should be your strongest argument to support the opening sentence of the paragraph. The first point should be followed by two other lesser points that add to the discussion or enhance the point of your essay. These should also begin with a transition word and contain clear information and examples of how you came to your decision, thought, or idea.

If you are writing an informal or persuasive essay, you can choose to write in the first person or use the third person. Either way, you will want to vary your sentence structure and keep your paragraphs short and precise.

Proofread your work to check for grammar and spelling errors, an essential component of an overall well-written essay.

# 5 – The Conclusion

Just like the intro, writing a strong conclusion paragraph can be challenging at times. However, a good conclusion leaves readers with something to think about or feel inspired by after they have finished reading.

An excellent conclusion should consist of a sentence that is direct and to the point. It can also include a quote from a notable person or reference to another source you used in your essay, such as an article or book on the topic.

This section should be brief, as it is the last thing readers read before moving on to another essay or document.

Finish with a solid final sentence that states your main point to leave a lasting impression on the reader. There are many different ways to end an essay, so keep your audience in mind when deciding which one is best for your project.

The conclusion might be the last paragraph you write, but it is not your last chance to impress readers with a well-written essay! When you finally finish writing, many different things need to be done before submitting your final draft.

# 6 – Proofreading & Editing

Writing an essay free of grammatical errors or spelling mistakes may seem complicated but should be an essential part of the writing process. This is because any errors in writing will make it difficult for the reader to focus on the actual essay and its content.

Proofreading should always be done after writing the first draft before rewriting, revising, or editing. Before proofreading, read your work out loud to hear how it sounds. This will give you a better understanding of grammar, word choice, or sentence structure issues that make your essay difficult to read or follow.

After finishing your first draft is an excellent time to utilize spell check and grammar check with any one of many online editing tools. These tools are helpful in catching mistakes that may slip through the cracks while reading over your work, but they aren’t perfect! Make sure to proofread twice for each issue before moving on to other documents or essays.

Once you feel as though you have made all necessary changes and proofreading marks are correct, it is time to move on to the final steps of your essay writing process.

# 7 – Read It One More Time!

After making all the necessary changes, sitting back and reading your essay may seem like a waste of time, but it is actually an essential part of improving your writing. You can check for any minor errors that were missed the first time around due to being overwhelmed after completing your first draft, such as:

  • Spacing errors
  • Contextual inaccuracies
  • Incorrect or missing punctuation
  • Inconsistencies in diction

Now is also the time when you can bring in a friend or family member who isn’t familiar with the topic of your essay and have them read it over for mistakes.

This will help to give you a more unbiased opinion of the quality of your work and spot any typos, errors, or tonal issues that slipped through the cracks during editing.

After you are confident with how your final draft reads and looks, be sure to format the essay according to any guidelines given by your professor. These guidelines can include:

  • font size
  • where to place a title or header
  • placement of any citations
  • line spacing
  • margin size
  • paper type
  • paper size

Write The Perfect Essay Every Time!

Writing the perfect essay doesn’t have to be a challenge with the right tools and preparation. However, knowing what needs to happen before, during, and after writing is essential for creating a final quality product that impresses your readers.

In conclusion, all of the elements mentioned above are essential in crafting and writing a successful essay. Be sure to include them each time you need to write an essay or research paper for a class or publication. By following these seven steps, your writing will be clear and compelling so that it can entice readers from start to finish!

Karen Palmer Karen Palmer
I am an only child (and not spoiled, really) who spent twelve years in Catholic schools and seven more off-and-on years in college, but my education largely took place at the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Decades later, not much has changed. I again live in L.A. and I still spend a lot of time at the library — if I had to choose between reading and eating, I’d be dead in a week.
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