How to Improve English Essay Writing

Improve your essay writing skills by playing to your audience.

When you know how to improve the way you write English essays, you can write papers your teachers will appreciate. You can state your case better than ever before. If you learn early, you will be better prepared for your academic future all the way through college and graduate school. Don't just wait for your writing to get better unaided. Improve your essay writing skills by making your writing stronger, playing to your audience, using solid structure and writing with style.

Write a strong thesis statement. According to Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services, strong thesis statements define one precise main idea. Take a position that will spark discussion. Make the statement one or two sentences long.

Consider what you want to accomplish with your essay. Choose an entertaining, an informative, an analytical or a persuasive tone, which Grossmont College Writing Center identifies as the four main purposes for writing an essay. Keep your aim in mind as you structure and write your essay.

Remember that the essay is meant to have an audience. Picture that audience, and figure out what they would want to know about your topic and how you would answer their questions. According to Southern Oregon University's History Department, writing essays is always about expressing a viewpoint. The same holds true for English essays. Write to persuade or inform your audience of your viewpoint in a manner that is most compatible with what you know about their beliefs.

Write the essay with an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Invite your readers into your essay by using a hook to pique their interest. Put your thesis statement in the introduction, and write this introduction in one paragraph. Use the body to break down your argument piece by piece, and explain each part in its own paragraph. Write the conclusion in one final paragraph to wrap up the essay. Restate succinctly what you have said in the body in this paragraph, and leave the audience with a parting thought.

Write the first draft without judging it until you are finished. According to Villanova University, the first draft is just the beginning. Write and revise until your work is polished. Make grammar and spelling corrections, but also be brave enough to make major revisions if you see a better way of expressing your thoughts.

Use strong and effective words. According to Grossmont College, you can improve your essay writing by learning to choose words wisely. Use action verbs whenever you can. Look in a thesaurus if you need a word that is more intense or interesting or if you find that you are using the same word over and over. Avoid contractions, and use the third-person perspective in most formal essays.

Julia Thomas started her professional writing career in 1991 writing poetry for "Potpourri" magazine. Thomas studied secondary English education and creative writing at Wichita State University, where she earned honors. Thomas has written short stories and started a novel since 2002, and has done Internet writing since 2006.