Tips on Writing a Winning Essay

Research

Conduct an online search for resources on the topic.

Sources

Look for reputable sources, such as scholarly journals and published papers. Primary sources are preferred over secondary sources (i.e., rather than quoting from a newspaper article that quotes a research study, quote directly from the study itself.)

Writing

Draft Checklist

An essay with strong content can lose its effectiveness if filled with spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Use this checklist to ensure a clean and easy-to-read copy.

  • Thesis clearly presented
  • Paragraphs well organized
  • Effective transitions between paragraphs
  • Argument follows a logical progression
  • Strong evidence used to support thesis
  • Sentence structure
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Page numbers
  • Bibliography and parenthetical references or footnotes follow a consistent style (see a teacher or librarian for a reference guide)
  • Cover includes required information
  • First page with title and no name

Footnotes/Bibliography

Use footnotes or parenthetical references for all direct quotations and important facts. See your teacher for a guide on how to format your footnotes and bibliography. Be sure to include citations of interviews.