What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

how to correct essays in english

15 Tips for Writing, Proofreading, and Editing Your College Essay

What’s covered:, our checklist for writing, proofreading, and editing your essay, where to get your college essays edited.

Your college essay is more than just a writing assignment—it’s your biggest opportunity to showcase the person behind your GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities. In many ways, it’s the best chance you have to present yourself as a living, breathing, and thoughtful individual to the admissions committee.

Unlike test scores, which can feel impersonal, a well-crafted essay brings color to your application, offering a glimpse into your passions, personality, and potential. Whether you’re an aspiring engineer or an artist, your college essay can set you apart, making it essential that you give it your best.

1. Does the essay address the selected topic or prompt?

Focus on responding directly and thoughtfully to the prompt. If the question asks about your reasons for choosing a specific program or your future aspirations, ensure that your essay revolves around these themes. Tailor your narrative to the prompt, using personal experiences and reflections that reinforce your points.

  • Respond directly to the prompt: It’s imperative that you thoughtfully craft your responses so that the exact themes in the prompt are directly addressed. Each essay has a specific prompt that serves a specific purpose, and your response should be tailored in a way that meets that objective.
  • Focus: Regardless of what the prompt is about—be it personal experiences, academic achievements, or an opinion on an issue—you must keep the focus of the response on the topic of the prompt .

2. Is the college essay well organized?

An essay with a clear structure is easier to follow and is more impactful. Consider organizing your story chronologically, or use a thematic approach to convey your message. Each paragraph should transition smoothly to the next, maintaining a natural flow of ideas. A well-organized essay is not only easier for the reader to follow, but it can also aid your narrative flow. Logically structured essays can guide the reader through complex and hectic sequences of events in your essay. There are some key factors involved in good structuring:

  • A strong hook: Start with a sentence or a paragraph that can grab the attention of the reader. For example, consider using a vivid description of an event to do this.
  • Maintain a thematic structure: Maintaining a thematic structure involves organizing your response around a central theme, allowing you to connect diverse points of your essay into a cohesive centralized response.
  • Transitioning: Each paragraph should clearly flow into the next, maintaining continuity and coherence in narrative.

3. Include supporting details, examples, and anecdotes.

Enhance your narrative with specific details, vivid examples, and engaging anecdotes. This approach brings your story to life, making it more compelling and relatable. It helps the reader visualize your experiences and understand your perspectives.

4. Show your voice and personality.

Does your personality come through? Does your essay sound like you? Since this is a reflection of you, your essay needs to show who you are.

For example, avoid using vocabulary you wouldn’t normally use—such as “utilize” in place of “use”—because you may come off as phony or disingenuous, and that won’t impress colleges.

5. Does your essay show that you’re a good candidate for admission?

Your essay should demonstrate not only your academic strengths. but also the ways in which your personal qualities align with the specific character and values of the school you’re applying to . While attributes like intelligence and collaboration are universally valued, tailor your essay to reflect aspects that are uniquely esteemed at each particular institution.

For instance, if you’re applying to Dartmouth, you might emphasize your appreciation for, and alignment with, the school’s strong sense of tradition and community. This approach shows a deeper understanding of and a genuine connection to the school, beyond its surface-level attributes.

6. Do you stick to the topic?

Your essay should focus on the topic at hand, weaving your insights, experiences, and perspectives into a cohesive narrative, rather than a disjointed list of thoughts or accomplishments. It’s important to avoid straying into irrelevant details that don’t support your main theme. Instead of simply listing achievements or experiences, integrate them into a narrative that highlights your development, insights, or learning journey.

Example with tangent:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five. That was also the year I lost my first tooth, which set off a whole year of ‘firsts.’ My first play was The Sound of Music.”

Revised example:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five, marked by my debut performance in ‘The Sound of Music.’ This experience was the first step in my journey of exploring and loving the stage.”

7. Align your response with the prompt.

Before finalizing your essay, revisit the prompt. Have you addressed all aspects of the question? Make sure your essay aligns with the prompt’s requirements, both in content and spirit. Familiarize yourself with common college essay archetypes, such as the Extracurricular Essay, Diversity Essay, Community Essay, “Why This Major” Essay (and a variant for those who are undecided), and “Why This College” Essay. We have specific guides for each, offering tailored advice and examples:

  • Extracurricular Essay Guide
  • Diversity Essay Guide
  • Community Essay Guide
  • “Why This Major” Essay Guide
  • “Why This College” Essay Guide
  • Overcoming Challenges Essay Guide
  • Political/Global Issues Essay Guide

While these guides provide a framework for each archetype, respectively, remember to infuse your voice and unique experiences into your essay to stand out!

8. Do you vary your sentence structure?

Varying sentence structure, including the length of sentences, is crucial to keep your writing dynamic and engaging. A mix of short, punchy sentences and longer, more descriptive ones can create a rhythm that makes your essay more enjoyable to read. This variation helps maintain the reader’s interest and allows for more nuanced expression.

Original example with monotonous structure:

“I had been waiting for the right time to broach the topic of her health problem, which had been weighing on my mind heavily ever since I first heard about it. I had gone through something similar, and I thought sharing my experience might help.”

Revised example illustrating varied structure:

“I waited for the right moment to discuss her health. The issue had occupied my thoughts for weeks. Having faced similar challenges, I felt that sharing my experience might offer her some comfort.”

In this revised example, the sentences vary in length and structure, moving from shorter, more impactful statements to longer, more descriptive ones. This variation helps to keep the reader’s attention and allows for a more engaging narrative flow.

9. Revisit your essay after a break.

  • Give yourself time: After completing a draft of your essay, step away from it for a day or two. This break can clear your mind and reduce your attachment to specific phrases or ideas.
  • Fresh perspective: When you come back to your essay, you’ll likely find that you can view your work with fresh eyes. This distance can help you spot inconsistencies, unclear passages, or stylistic issues that you might have missed earlier.
  • Enhanced objectivity: Distance not only aids in identifying grammatical errors or typos, but it also allows you to assess the effectiveness of your argument or narrative more objectively. Does the essay really convey what you intended? Are there better examples or stronger pieces of evidence you could use?
  • Refine and polish: Use this opportunity to fine-tune your language, adjust the flow, and ensure that your essay truly reflects your voice and message.

Incorporating this tip into your writing process can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your college essay.

10. Choose an ideal writing environment.

By identifying and consistently utilizing an ideal writing environment, you can enhance both the enjoyment and effectiveness of your essay-writing process.

  • Discover your productive spaces: Different environments can dramatically affect your ability to think and write effectively. Some people find inspiration in the quiet of a library or their room, while others thrive in the lively atmosphere of a coffee shop or park.
  • Experiment with settings: If you’re unsure what works best for you, try writing in various places. Notice how each setting affects your concentration, creativity, and mood.
  • Consider comfort and distractions: Make sure your chosen spot is comfortable enough for long writing sessions, but also free from distracting elements that could hinder your focus.
  • Time of day matters: Pay attention to the time of day when you’re most productive. Some write best in the early morning’s tranquility, while others find their creative peak during nighttime hours.

11. Are all words spelled correctly?

While spell checkers are a helpful tool, they aren’t infallible. It’s crucial to read over your essay meticulously, possibly even aloud, to catch any spelling errors. Reading aloud can help you notice mistakes that your eyes might skip over when reading silently. Be particularly attentive to words that spellcheck might not catch, such as proper nouns, technical jargon, or homophones (e.g., “there” vs. “their”). Attention to detail in spelling reflects your care and precision, both of which are qualities that admissions committees value.

12. Do you use proper punctuation and capitalization?

Correct punctuation and capitalization are key to conveying your message clearly and professionally . A common mistake in writing is the misuse of commas, particularly in complex sentences.

Example of a misused comma:

Incorrect: “I had an epiphany, I was using commas incorrectly.”

In this example, the comma is used incorrectly to join two independent clauses. This is known as a comma splice. It creates a run-on sentence, which can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of your writing.

Corrected versions:

Correct: “I had an epiphany: I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany; I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany—I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany. I was using commas incorrectly.”

The corrections separate the two clauses with more appropriate punctuation. Colons, semicolons, em dashes, and periods can all be used in this context, though periods may create awkwardly short sentences.

These punctuation choices are appropriate because the second clause explains or provides an example of the first, creating a clear and effective sentence structure. The correct use of punctuation helps maintain the clarity and coherence of your writing, ensuring that your ideas are communicated effectively.

13. Do you abide by the word count?

Staying within the word count is crucial in demonstrating your ability to communicate ideas concisely and effectively. Here are some strategies to help reduce your word count if you find yourself going over the prescribed limits:

  • Eliminate repetitive statements: Avoid saying the same thing in different ways. Focus on presenting each idea clearly and concisely.
  • Use adjectives judiciously: While descriptive words can add detail, using too many can make your writing feel cluttered and overwrought. Choose adjectives that add real value.
  • Remove unnecessary details: If a detail doesn’t support or enhance your main point, consider cutting it. Focus on what’s essential to your narrative or argument.
  • Shorten long sentences: Long, run-on sentences can be hard to follow and often contain unnecessary words. Reading your essay aloud can help you identify sentences that are too lengthy or cumbersome. If you’re out of breath before finishing a sentence, it’s likely too long.
  • Ensure each sentence adds something new: Every sentence should provide new information or insight. Avoid filler or redundant sentences that don’t contribute to your overall message.

14. Proofread meticulously.

Implementing a thorough and methodical proofreading process can significantly elevate the quality of your essay, ensuring that it’s free of errors and flows smoothly.

  • Detailed review: After addressing bigger structural and content issues, focus on proofreading for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. This step is crucial for polishing your essay and making sure it’s presented professionally.
  • Different techniques: Employ various techniques to catch mistakes. For example, read your essay backward, starting from the last sentence and working your way to the beginning. This method can help you focus on individual sentences and words, rather than getting caught up in the content.
  • Read aloud: As mentioned before, reading your essay aloud is another effective technique. Hearing the words can help identify awkward phrasing, run-on sentences, and other issues that might not be as obvious when reading silently.

15. Utilize external feedback.

While self-editing is crucial, external feedback can provide new perspectives and ideas that enhance your writing in unexpected ways. This collaborative process can help you keep your essay error-free and can also help make it resonate with a broader audience.

  • Fresh perspectives: Have a trusted teacher, mentor, peer, or family member review your drafts. Each person can offer unique insights and perspectives on your essay’s content, structure, and style.
  • Identify blind spots: We often become too close to our writing to see its flaws or areas that might be unclear to others. External reviewers can help identify these blind spots.
  • Constructive criticism: Encourage your reviewers to provide honest, constructive feedback. While it’s important to stay true to your voice and story, be open to suggestions that could strengthen your essay.
  • Diverse viewpoints: Different people will focus on different aspects of your writing. For example, a teacher might concentrate on your essay’s structure and academic tone, while a peer might provide insights into how engaging and relatable your narrative is.
  • Incorporate feedback judiciously: Use the feedback to refine your essay, but remember that the final decision on any changes rests with you. It’s your story and your voice that ultimately need to come through clearly.

When it comes to refining your college essays, getting external feedback is crucial. Our free Peer Essay Review tool allows you to receive constructive criticism from other students, providing fresh perspectives that can help you see your work in a new light. This peer review process is invaluable and can help you both identify areas for improvement and gain different viewpoints on your writing.

For more tailored expert advice, consider the guidance of a CollegeVine advisor . Our advisors, experienced in the college admissions process, offer specialized reviews to enhance your essays. Their insights into what top schools are looking for can elevate your narrative, ensuring that your application stands out. Whether it’s through fine-tuning your grammar or enriching your story’s appeal, our experts’ experience and expertise can significantly increase your likelihood of admission to your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

how to correct essays in english

  • Link to facebook
  • Link to linkedin
  • Link to twitter
  • Link to youtube
  • Writing Tips

How to Write Top-Graded Essays in English

How to Write Top-Graded Essays in English

  • 5-minute read
  • 7th December 2022

Writing English papers and essays can be challenging at first, but with the right tools, knowledge, and resources, you can improve your writing skills. In this article, you’ll get some tips and tricks on how to write a top-graded essay in English.

Have you heard the saying “practice makes perfect”? Well, it’s wrong. Practice does make improvement, though. Whether you’re taking an English composition class, studying for the IELTS or TOEFL , or preparing to study abroad, you can always find new ways to practice writing in English.

If you practice on a daily basis, you’ll be exercising the skills you know while challenging yourself to learn even more. There are many ways you can practice writing in English daily:

  • Keep a daily journal.
  • Write practice essays.
  • Do creative writing exercises .

Read in English

The best way to improve your writing is to read English books, news articles, essays, and other media. By reading the writing of other authors (whether they’re native or non-native speakers), you’re exposing yourself to different writing styles and learning new vocabulary. Be sure to take notes when you’re reading so you can write down things you don’t know (e.g., new words or phrases) or sentences or phrases you like.

For example, maybe you need to write a paper related to climate change. By reading news articles or research papers on this topic, you can learn relevant vocabulary and knowledge you can use in your essay.

FluentU has a great article with a list of 20 classic books you can read in English for free.

Immerse Yourself in English

If you don’t live in an English-speaking country, you may be thinking, “How can I immerse myself in English?” There are many ways to overcome this challenge. The following strategies are especially useful if you plan to study or travel abroad:

  • Follow YouTube channels that focus on learning English or that have English speakers.
  • Use social media to follow English-speaking accounts you are interested in.
  • Watch movies and TV shows in English or use English subtitles when watching your favorite shows.
  • Participate in your English club or salon at school to get more practice.
  • Become an English tutor at a local school (teaching others is the best way to learn).

By constantly exposing yourself to English, you will improve your writing and speaking skills.

Visit Your Writing Center

If you’re enrolled at a university, you most likely have a free writing center you can use if you need help with your assignments. If you don’t have a writing center, ask your teacher for help and for information on local resources.

Use Your Feedback

After you submit an English writing assignment, you should receive feedback from your teacher on how you did. Use this feedback to your advantage . If you haven’t been getting feedback on your writing, ask your teacher to explain what issues they are seeing in your writing and what you could do to improve.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

Be Aware of Your Common Writing Mistakes

If you review your feedback on writing assignments, you might notice some recurring mistakes you are making. Make a list of common mistakes you tend to make when writing, and use it when doing future assignments. Some common mistakes include the following:

  • Grammar errors (e.g., not using articles).
  • Incorrect vocabulary (e.g., confusing however and therefore ).
  • Spelling mistakes (e.g., writing form when you mean from ).
  • Missing essay components (e.g., not using a thesis statement in your introduction).
  • Not using examples in your body paragraphs.
  • Not writing an effective conclusion .

This is just a general list of writing mistakes, some of which you may make. But be sure to go through your writing feedback or talk with your teacher to make a list of your most common mistakes.

Use a Prewriting Strategy

So many students sit down to write an essay without a plan. They just start writing whatever comes to their mind. However, to write a top-graded essay in English, you must plan and brainstorm before you begin to write. Here are some strategies you can use during the prewriting stage:

  • Freewriting
  • Concept Mapping

For more detailed information on each of these processes, read “5 Useful Prewriting Strategies.”

Follow the Writing Process

All writers should follow a writing process. However, the writing process can vary depending on what you’re writing. For example, the process for a Ph.D. thesis is going to look different to that of a news article. Regardless, there are some basic steps that all writers should follow:

  • Understanding the assignment, essay question, or writing topic.
  • Planning, outlining, and prewriting.
  • Writing a thesis statement.
  • Writing your essay.
  • Revising and editing.

For more information on how to write an essay in English, read “How To Construct an Excellent Essay in 5 Steps.”

Writing essays, theses, news articles, or papers in English can be challenging. They take a lot of work, practice, and persistence. However, with these tips, you will be on your way to writing top-graded English essays.

If you need more help with your English writing, the experts at Proofed will proofread your first 500 words for free!

Share this article:

Post A New Comment

Got content that needs a quick turnaround? Let us polish your work. Explore our editorial business services.

3-minute read

What Is a Content Editor?

Are you interested in learning more about the role of a content editor and the...

4-minute read

The Benefits of Using an Online Proofreading Service

Proofreading is important to ensure your writing is clear and concise for your readers. Whether...

2-minute read

6 Online AI Presentation Maker Tools

Creating presentations can be time-consuming and frustrating. Trying to construct a visually appealing and informative...

What Is Market Research?

No matter your industry, conducting market research helps you keep up to date with shifting...

8 Press Release Distribution Services for Your Business

In a world where you need to stand out, press releases are key to being...

How to Get a Patent

In the United States, the US Patent and Trademarks Office issues patents. In the United...

Logo Harvard University

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience.

FluentU Logo

Baby Steps: 10 Proven Tips to Write Better Essays in English

If writing an essay sounds a little bit scary, just think of it as a chance to improve your writing skills .

Nobody expects your first essay to be perfect. Just make sure you learn something new every time you write an essay, and you will  grow your abilities.

We’re going to help you out with ten tips for writing better essays while you’re learning English .

1. Create a Word Bank

2. act like a reporter, 3. create topic sentences, 4. argue both sides, 5. read backwards, 6. use an online thesaurus and a dictionary, 7. combine and separate sentences, 8. have a native english speaker edit your essay, 9. review the whole essay with your friend, then rewrite it, 10. use online apps, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

This is an interesting approach to writing your essay. First, choose a topic and write a thesis . A thesis is the main argument of your essay. For instance, if your topic is reading, your thesis might be “Reading makes you smarter.”

Once you have a thesis, think about your main topic and find words that relate to it in different ways. Then, branch out (broaden, diversify) your list to words that aren’t as closely related to your main topic.

For the example above, your primary list might include words like “books,” “reading” and “intelligent.” Your other “branched out” list might include “Harry Potter,” “reading by a fire” or “test scores.”

This process will help expand your vocabulary over time. Using these words when you write will also make your essay more vibrant (energetic, colorful).

When you are first assigned the topic, go ahead and really explore the possible options for your thesis. Ask questions. Get curious. The more questions you ask before you start writing, the more information you will have to use in the essay.

A strong essay is one that covers a lot of content in a succinct (short, to-the-point) way. This process of acting like a reporter will give you valuable quotes, resources and vocabulary to begin the writing process.

For instance, if you’re writing about a new diet plan , you might ask questions like, “Who is the best candidate for this diet plan?,” “How can someone get started?” and “What is the hardest part of this plan?”

A topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph, and it summarizes the rest of the paragraph. You can create them first to help you stay on track when writing your essay.

For the thesis “Reading makes you smarter,” one paragraph’s topic sentence might be, “Newspapers make you more aware of current events.” Another paragraph’s topic sentence could be, “Reading plays and classic literature will make you more cultured.”

If you’re writing about the three main issues facing writers today, you could write three full sentences that each address one main issue. Set these aside. Then, when you start writing the essay, refer to your topic sentences to create a solid structure that begins at point A and ends at point C.

If you have to write a longer or more complex essay, it might help to outline both sides of the argument before you start writing. When you write the essay, you will need to choose one side to focus on. But as you prepare, having a side-by-side list of points can be helpful in developing your thesis.

Also, by arguing for the opposite side of your opinion, you will learn which points you need to better address in your essay. You will learn more about the topic, and you will gain more vocabulary words to enrich the essay.

As an example, you might be writing an essay arguing that people should drink less coffee. To argue both sides, you’ll need to consider the opposite side: the benefits of coffee. How will people quit if they are addicted? What about the antioxidants in coffee? Aren’t those good for you? Really explore the entire concept (both sides of the argument) before you write.

Proper grammar is difficult for even the most fluent English speakers. Because you are learning English, you actually have an advantage. Many native speakers learned improper grammar from the start. It’s difficult to undo the damage caused by a lifetime of writing improperly.

As you learn the English language, make a serious effort to practice your grammar and sentence structure. One way to spot improper grammar in your own English writing is to read each sentence backwards (start with the last word and end with the first). This way, you won’t be fooled by how the words sound when you read them in your head.

Is everything in the correct tense (past, present, future, etc.)? If you’re writing about plurals, are the possessive nouns plural? Are the apostrophes in the right places? Does every sentence end with a punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation point)? Reading the text backwards makes you focus on the rules of grammar instead of the flow of the sentence.

You might have learned a large number of fancy words when studying for an entrance exam. But before you start using them in academic essays, be very sure you know what they mean in the context of your essay. This is where the dictionary can come in handy .

A thesaurus is another valuable tool when writing an essay. A thesaurus tells you synonyms, or words that have the same or a similar meaning to the word you look up. It’s important because it can add some volume to your essay and increase the impact of your words.

For example, if you’re writing about cooking, the words “stir” and “add” might come up a lot. This repetition is boring for a reader.

So instead of constantly saying, “Add the tomato” and “add the eggs,” a thesaurus will teach you to say things like “whisk in the eggs” or “gently fold in the tomatoes.” See? It sounds a lot better and adds interest to your essay.

Visual Thesaurus is a resource that works just like a regular thesaurus, but it also shows you the connections between the words. For example, if you type in the word “stir,” you’ll immediately see a whole circle of other words connected to “stir” with lines. From there, you can click on any of the words in the circle (like “move,” in this case) and then see all the words related to that word. This helps you find and learn new words quickly, and it’s also fun!

Once the essay is written, go back through the writing to find any sentences that seem too long or wordy. Break these into two or more sentences.

For example, the following sentence is too long, which makes it unclear:

If you want to write in another language, you need to practice writing in creative ways, like writing on a blog, writing fun poems or texting a friend who speaks the language you’re learning every day.

Instead, you could write it as two clearer sentences (with less repetition of the word “writing”):

If you want to write in another language, you need to practice in creative ways every day. For example, you could start a blog, create fun poems or text a friend.

Do the opposite with sentences you find too short.

Also, look for sentences that are very closely related to one another. If two sentences seem like the thoughts are connected, you can combine them with a semicolon ( ; ).

For example, the following sentences are very closely related:

Learning to write in another language can be really difficult, especially when you’re first getting started. That’s why it helps to practice every day.

That’s why you could write it this way:

Learning to write in another language can be really difficult, especially when you’re first getting started; daily practice is helpful.

Meet up with a friend who is fluent in English (or, at least, more fluent than you). This friend can edit your essay and point out any repetitive errors.

If they find mistakes that you make often, you will be able to watch more closely for that error as you write future essays. This friend will also be able to point out grammatical or spelling errors that you might have missed.

If you don’t have any friends who are fluent in English, you can use a website like Conversation Exchange . This is a free site where native English speakers will correct your writing. In exchange, you correct the writing of someone learning your native language.

Once you and your friend have both reviewed your essay and marked any mistakes, rewrite the whole thing. This step is important. Just noting that you made some mistakes will not help you learn how to avoid them in the future.

By rewriting the essay with the corrections in mind, you will teach yourself how to write those sections properly. You will create a memory of using proper grammar or spelling a word correctly. So, you will be more likely to write it correctly next time.

Lastly, there are some fantastic online resources that can help improve your writing. For instance,  Hemingway Editor  can review your document to find any confusing or wordy sentences. You can rewrite these to make them easier to understand.

You could also head over to  Essay Punch  to find resources, tools and support that can help improve your writing skills.  Grammar Book  is a great resource for practicing proper grammar and spelling.

If you need some practice with words and grammar, but you learn better from audio and video, it can be challenging to improve your writing ability. One way to improve your English skills with a multimedia approach is using a language learning program like FluentU .

Since many online resources are readily accessible, feel free to experiment with your options. Try to find the ones that cater best to your learning habits and needs.

The advice in this post is mainly for improving your essay writing over time. However, if you want a more professional opinion for an important essay, you can also use Scribendi . Scribendi is an online essay editing resource that helps with academic and admissions essays. If you’re applying to a school or are writing an important paper, you may want to consider their services to make sure your essay is the best it can be.

Learning a new language is certainly an ambitious (challenging) task. There are so many small details to learn, and the process takes a lot of time and commitment. But with practice and study, you will improve.

It takes even more effort to become a strong writer in a new language, but these tips will help you get started.

Hopefully, you were able to find one or two tips that you believe will help you improve your essay writing abilities. Over time, try to use all of these strategies (or at least more than one) in your writing routine. Good luck!

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials , as you can see here:

learn-english-with-videos

If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.

learn-english-with-subtitled-television-show-clips

FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:

learn-conversational-english-with-interactive-captioned-dialogue

FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

practice-english-with-adaptive-quizzes

FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

how to correct essays in english

8 Tips to Write Better Essays in English

Learning a foreign language is an overwhelming experience, especially if it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – English.

Many people are under the impression that learning to read and speak in English is enough without realizing that written English skills are an equally vital asset to have.

From improving academics to boosting career prospects – the ability to write in English not only lets you communicate and express yourself better in today’s globalized world but also makes you more confident.

An effective way to improve your writing skills is to write essays. Wondering where to begin? We bring you eight useful tips to write better essays in English.

1. Keep a Vocabulary Notebook

Using the right vocabulary is an essential element of writing essays. When you make efforts to expand your vocabulary, you will be able to pick accurate words to take your writing to the next level.

Instead of coming across new words and forgetting about them, it’s a good idea to make a note of them in your vocabulary notebook. Doing this helps you remember the meanings of new words and you can also refer to it while writing essays.

So, give yourself a target to learn at least ten new words every day, which you can jot down in your diary and take baby steps in building a strong vocabulary.

2. Refer to Credible Sources

Research forms the first step in writing any kind of essay. The stronger your research, the better is the quality of your essay.

At a time when we have access to a wide range of data, it’s important to evaluate research sources carefully and only refer to credible ones. For example, Wikipedia is not a reliable source and should not be attributed to while writing essays.

Take the effort to read through published journals, research studies, scholarly papers, academic databases, and encyclopedias published within the last 10-15 years. It’s also important to assess the credibility of the author while evaluating the source.

3. Draft a Basic Outline

Once you’ve done your research, don’t rush to write. Take a moment to draft a basic outline for your essay and organize your research and findings.

“Is that necessary,” you ask? Very much.

Working on an outline lets you approach the essay in an organized manner. It serves as the skeleton of your paper while ensuring you’re not missing out on any information and that your points flow logically.

Most essays are categorized into – introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction is where you introduce the topic and give context. The body paragraphs need to include your arguments and research methodology (if any). The conclusion needs to reiterate the thesis statement and tie all the points together.

4. Hook the Reader

With attention spans getting shorter with time, it’s become all the more important to start with a bang and hook the reader from the beginning to ensure they are invested in your writing.

Essay hooks refer to the first one or two sentences of your essay which have the power to make or break the reader’s interest. The key is to write a hook that grabs the reader’s attention and reels them in.

From an alarming statistic and relevant quote to using humor and asking a rhetoric question – there are various tactics you can employ to keep the reader engaged.

If you’re unable to think of an impactful essay hook, don’t waste too much time on it. Finish the rest of your essay and come back to write a compelling hook later.

5. Use the Pomodoro Technique

It’s not easy to write an essay in one go, especially if it’s not in your first language.

A smart way to approach essay writing is to use the Pomodoro technique. This technique asks you to set a timer for 25 minutes to finish your task in question and then take a 5-minute break. After four cycles of repeating this, you get to take an extended 20-minute break.

So, start with breaking down the assignment into smaller tasks such as research, outlining, writing the different paragraphs, citing references and proofreading. You can then set the timer, start working on the essay as per the technique and track your progress.

Using this technique keeps distractions at bay and helps you stay more focused.

6. Pay Attention to Grammar Rules

You may raise interesting points in your essay, but poor grammar disrupts the reading experience and should be avoided at all costs.

Be careful when adding punctuations, check your sentence formations, avoid passive voice as much as possible and know the difference between adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs.

So  abide by grammar rules to deliver a well-written and cohesive essay.

7. Write with Clarity

You might be tempted to use complex metaphors and jargons to impress the reader, but the truth is, none of that guarantees “good” writing.

One of the most important ingredients of effective writing is clarity. You don’t want to leave the reader confused and puzzled after reading your essay. So, use simple words, stop beating around the bush and explain concepts with the help of examples because clear writing always wins.

8. Reread the Essay

Finally, make it a point to proofread your essay (multiple times) to ensure you have covered all the aspects, cited references accurately and not made any silly errors.

It’s a good idea to read your essay out loud so you’re able to identify errors and awkwardly formed sentences with ease. You should also get a friend or family member to read your essay, to spot mistakes or discrepancies that you may have overlooked.

You may also like:

  • I Don’t Understand, Do You?
  • Simple English Videos
  • Listen&Learn: The Berlin Wall

35 comments

Thanks a lot all we can derive from reading is the technique to write with clarity, good research and involvement of readers in writing.

Thank a lot dear EnglishClub, it’s help me a lot

I think it is very good site for learn essay writing

As a teacher trainer this contribution is helpful

Thanks for the tips! I’ll have an essay tomorrow and this will surlely prepare me!

Thank you so much

Thanks Please I will like to know more

thank you so much for your amazing informations

encyclopedias

encyclopaedias

Nice one but I don’t understand yet

Knowledge supporter is who u are, keep d good work nd ur reward is from God nd thanks.

thanks alot for your tips…your tips will help me alot while examss!!!

Thank you so much for information ☺️

Thank you ☺️

Thank you 💯💯💯💯💯💯

My hobby is home garden

ur intentinon and thoughts was very nce its useful to somny pepole to learn english tysomuch adela belin

Thanks you for helping

This did help a lot! Thank you very much 🥰

Good tips, I should give it a try, after all, we all improve by exercising hard so I’ll just do the same thing, but right now I gotta focus on what matters, and what I need now is to read as much as I can to know how to spell the words right. Is grammar so important in this task, I mean can’t I just pick the things up because of my experience in listening skill ?

Thanks for the information!

This is a nice explanation ,,,,,proud of you!

Is very interesting for me I really apreicete you help

Thanks so much for these useful tips!! Now, I need to start preparing my essay (“starting” has been always the stone on my way :$)

Please, what is the difference between an essay and an article?

Are they same?

Thanks in advance,

Thanks & best regards English Club

Helpful updated tips to share with our students!! thankssss

I want to know if it is only at the University or if we may take the course online.

Thank you verry much for important advices

thank for your key points, this is really helpful

Thank you and best wishes,

Very pragmatic and helpful essay. Thank so much English club

Leave a comment

Email * (not published)

Main navigation

Write & improve.

write & improve with cambridge

Improve your English writing online

Want to improve your writing skills? Our free online tool helps you to practise your writing and get valuable feedback instantly. Write & Improve is simple to use: just choose a task, write or upload a written response and use the feedback to quickly improve.

It shows you how to improve your spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Join over 2 million learners of English who have used Write & Improve to improve their writing.

Start practising now

How to Write the Perfect Essay in English: 6 Easy Steps

If you are an international student at college or university and you need help with your essay writing in English, you are in the right place! We have created this simple 6-step guide to help you achieve the best results in the shortest possible time. This guide includes essay writing tips, examples, templates, and links to helpful resources. Let’s jump right in…

how to correct essays in english

  • Step 1: Plan
  • Step 2: Research
  • Step 3: Introduce
  • Step 4: Argue
  • Step 5: Reference
  • Step 6: Conclude

17 English Phrasal Verbs With Call

What you will learn:  

Step 1: Plan Step 2: Research Step 3: Introduce Step 4: Argue Step 5: Reference Step 6: Conclude

Quick Intro

Essay writing in English is very different from other types of written communication, such as composing emails for work or personal letters to friends. The main difference is that you need to demonstrate your ability to think and write critically .

When writing an academic text, you need to clearly introduce and explain an argument . This means you must show that you have understood and carefully considered the opinions of experts in the subject/topic.

how to correct essays in english

There are also rules (or conventions) that you have to follow when introducing theories and using quotes from other people’s work . We have included tips and links to help you get this right in your English essays.

Do not let academic writing in English scare you. You can do this!  

Step 1: Plan Your Essay

Step 1: Plan Your Essay

Have you ever heard the phrase “fail to prepare and prepare to fail” ? Well, it is famous for a reason – and is certainly true when it comes to writing a good essay.

Having a detailed plan makes it so much easier to produce a great essay, dissertation or research paper.

In any sort of academic writing, your preparation and planning are important. Before you start to write, make sure you complete a detailed plan .

Of course, while you are writing your essay, you may change parts of your original plan – but only if you are sure that there is a good reason for making these changes.

Here are some tips to help you plan your thoughts effectively to make essay writing in English a lot easier.

How to plan an essay in English

  • Study the essay question carefully. Make sure you completely understand it. Write it out in full and then try to say it using different words. This will help you when you start to write your assignment.
  • Underline the most important words (the “key words”) in the essay question. Make sure you understand them – use a dictionary or synonym bank to help you. Define the key words in the essay question, but using your own words .
  • Create a ‘mind map’ on a big piece of paper. Write the essay question in the middle and then surround it with any key words, ideas or quotes that you would like to include in your essay. People sometimes call this “brainstorming”.
  • List the research work you will need to complete to write your essay well. This includes all the relevant textbooks, as well as the prominent authors you will reference with quotes. Make sure you have access to all the books you need before you begin (online, library, shop).
  • Plan your argument so that it makes logical sense. To write a great essay, you need to answer the question fully. This means you must show independent thought, and present your argument in an intelligent and convincing way.
  • Choose a suitable person and register for your writing. Most academic texts must be written in formal register. Although you should not use the first person in an essay (“I”) , it is still important to demonstrate your ability to think critically. We will show you how to do this later.
  • Decide how many sections your essay will contain. This depends on the required wordcount (length), but here is a simple section plan to get you started:

Example: essay structure

  • Introduction – paraphrase the question to show you understand it in the context of your studies. We will look at paraphrasing – with a useful example – a little later (in Step 3).
  • Body text 1 – present your main argument early in your essay, with carefully considered points to justify it. Show that you have read about the subject and are well-informed in the relevant theory or ideas.
  • Body text 2 – show that you know the key arguments against your main point, and use references to these.
  • Body text 3 – explain why your main argument is correct or justified, using the remaining points from your research.
  • Conclusion – summarise the essay or assignment by returning to the original question, making sure you have answered it fully and clearly.

Template: plan for an essay in English

Question: Q. “ Tell me and I forget . Teach me and I remember . Involve me and I learn .” Discuss what Benjamin Franklin meant by this statement. Do you agree with it?

Underline the important words (key words) in the essay question: Involve me and I learn . Discuss what this means . Do you agree?  

Rewrite the essay question in my own words: Benjamin Franklin was a self-taught learner and believed in the power of allowing people to complete tasks and activities themselves, rather than being told how to do them in a traditional classroom setting. This essay aims to discuss how this inclusive approach could be used to form teaching tools and programmes to empower educators and students – both now and in the future.

Research I need to do:

how to correct essays in english

  • Benjamin Franklin – his life and ethos, his attitudes towards education.
  • The main forms of current student-centred/inclusive education styles and how they work. Theory vs. practice.
  • Theories of deductive vs. inductive education styles. Arguments for and against each, supporting my thoughts on the positive power of student-centred learning.
  • Complete a reading list of key texts.

My initial thoughts (the argument I need to articulate):

  • Including students in activities and tasks, making lessons student-centred, is a better way of helping them to learn than traditional teacher-centred methods.  
  • Link education to the concept of democracy; giving people the power to make autonomous decisions is a more productive way of helping a group to develop independent thinking skills and therefore evolve as a society.
  • My essay must argue why this is true, analysing theories of deductive vs. inductive (i.e. inclusive) education methodologies from the most prominent educational theorists of recent times.  
  • I need to remember to conclude my essay by returning to the original question.  

Step 2: Research the Topic

Any piece of academic writing – whether it is an undergraduate essay, post-graduate dissertation or post-doctoral research paper – requires detailed and relevant research .

However, researching for an essay in English does not need to be a difficult or painful process!

Learning how to research effectively and efficiently will save you a lot of time and stress.

Remember that even academic professionals are not expected to know absolutely everything. We all learn something new every day.

However, it is important that all academic writing demonstrates the author’s readiness to explore a variety of facts and theories, and discuss them critically.

Healthy food or Not

“Critical thinking” means thinking logically and rationally about facts, ideas and concepts, as well as the possible connections between them .

Critical thinking is different from everyday thinking. It is an essential skill for any college or university student, studying in any language – not just English. In academic or essay writing, you must show you are able to explain your critical thinking skills clearly.

Everyday thinking is something most of us do all the time – it does not usually require any real effort.

Critical thinking is the opposite to this. It is when we intentionally use our powers of analysis, combined with our knowledge and research, to produce a theory or argument about something.

How to think (and write) critically in English

Critical thinking involves several skills, including: conceptualising, analysing, refining and evaluating.

  • Conceptualising: To conceptualise means to combine pieces of information to form a new idea, or concept.
  • Analysing: To analyse means to study a fact, idea or concept in great detail, using independent thinking and research to discover its meaning or validity.
  • Refining: To refine means to break something down into its essential parts. In other words, to take out all the unnecessary (or irrelevant) information and present the most important information, ideas or facts in a clear and concise way.
  • Evaluating: To evaluate means to understand an idea, thought or argument and go on to assess how accurate or useful it is. A key part of critical thinking is acknowledging that not all arguments are equal, and being able to explain why some are more valid than others.

You will also need to evaluate your own work, after you have written your essay, to see where improvements can be made. This is an important step to complete before submitting your essay for marking.  

Step 3: Write a Great Introduction

To create a great introduction to an essay (or any academic piece of writing) in English, you need to do two things:

  • Demonstrate that you understand the question fully
  • Introduce your argument clearly

Here is how to do this…

  • Show that you understand the question

The most important thing is to show you understand the question that you are answering in your essay, assignment or thesis. You should use clear and concise English. A simple way to do this is to paraphrase the essay question within the introduction to your essay.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing means explaining what a statement or question means, using different words and grammatical structures. In academic writing, this demonstrates that you understand a point and are able to think critically about it – and express those thoughts using clear written English.

  • “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Discuss what Benjamin Franklin meant by this statement. Do you agree with it?  
  • American self-taught writer, scientist and diplomat Benjamin Franklin believed in the power of learning through experience. This quote demonstrates that he advocated inclusive education, rather than a teacher-centred, or didactic, approach to learning.

Franklin himself was a self-taught polymath. He learnt through experience, which greatly informed this view. This essay aims to demonstrate why today’s educators should take inspiration from Franklin by adopting an experiential approach to delivering lessons.

How to paraphrase in English  

  • Make sure your first statement starts at a different point than the original sentence or question.
  • Try to use synonyms (alternative words that mean the same thing – such as “different” instead of “alternative”) for the words in the original sentence or question.
  • Break down the information, for example into two sentences (instead of one).
  • Use different words to the vocabulary used in the essay question.
  • Use different sentence structures to those used in the assignment question.

Although you do not need to go into great detail in your introduction, you should definitely begin to answer the essay question by referencing the direction your argument will take .

In this particular essay question, the student is being asked to express their agreement or disagreement with Franklin’s point of view. Therefore, expressing an argument for or against the quote is especially important here. Remember that you should never use the first person (“I’) in academic writing, unless it is specifically asked for.

“This essay aims to demonstrate why today’s educators should take inspiration from Franklin by adopting an experiential approach to delivering lessons.”

(Not! In MY essay… or … I will aim to… )    

Step 4: Present Your Argument

When writing your essay, it is a good idea to explain both sides of the argument in the first section of the body text of your essay (body 1).

how to correct essays in english

This helps to show that you have analysed the question, and understand the importance of considering different viewpoints. Including the work of prominent writers and theorists in your field of study also shows you have done your research on the topic.

To help you do this, write a list of arguments for and against the point you are discussing. Then incorporate what you have written into your essay.

Based on the question below, we might create the following table to use in our essay. This shows agreement AND disagreement with Benjamin Franklin’s statement.

Step 5: Use Quotes Effectively

As we said in the research section (Step 2) of this guide, including the work and theories of prominent experts in the subject you are writing about is very important.

However, it is also important to reference the work of other people in the correct way – otherwise you could be accused of plagiarism (copying or cheating)!

There are several different systems of referencing. These include:

MLA (Modern Languages Association) system APA (American Psychological Association) system Harvard system MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) system.

It is very important that you use the referencing system that is used and accepted by your academic institution or university.

For example, Nottingham Trent University in the UK requires students to use the Harvard referencing system, whereas other institutions might insist that students use the MHRA system. If you are in doubt, check with your tutor or lecturer.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you use another person’s work and pretend that it is your own. Sometimes, plagiarism is not committed intentionally, but is just the result of bad referencing.

Plagiarism is against the rules in all UK universities, and could cause a student to fail an assignment – or, in the worst-case scenario, they could even be asked to leave the course without graduating!

How to avoid plagiarism

  • Make sure you understand what plagiarism means. Most UK universities have a detailed definition of plagiarism on their websites – as well as tools you can use to detect plagiarism in your own work before you submit it. Make sure you use them!
  • Write quotes in a different colour or font type. Only change the format to match the rest of your essay text after you have referenced everything correctly.
  • Read your essay back carefully before handing it in. Check for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, as well as for plagiarism.
  • Ask a native English-speaking student or colleague to read your essay and check for inconsistencies in tone and style of writing – this can often indicate accidental plagiarism .
  • Check the referencing system used by your academic institution, and learn how to use it yourself before starting your essay. Give yourself plenty of time to do this.
  • Complete your bibliography. Your bibliography is the list of all the books, articles, websites and any other sources you have used to complete your essay. Check with your tutor to make sure your bibliography is written to suit the standards of your college or university. This is a very important part of the referencing process.

Here’s a useful video on how to use the Harvard referencing system: 

Step 6: End with a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is just as important as the introduction.

It is here that you have your final chance to summarise your main points, highlight any research you have done and bring your thoughts together to end with a strong and convincing conclusion.

A great essay conclusion in English shows your ability to refine complex information and summarise an argument in clear and concise English.

Paraphrasing is important for the introduction of an essay, whereas summarising is important for the conclusion. Paraphrasing is saying the same thing as an original statement (but in different words), whereas summarising is providing a shortened version of the key points and defining exactly what they mean.

How to summarise

  • Read your essay through at least twice. What are the key points?
  • Identify these key points and rewrite them using different words.
  • What do these key points mean when they are combined together?
  • Write this out, making sure you refer back to the original essay question again.

Example summary (from essay conclusion):

In summary, by saying “tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”, Benjamin Franklin was not simply referring to education in the traditional classroom sense, where a teacher stands in front of a group of students and instructs them.

As this essay has referenced, many popular modern-day teaching styles, such as Montessori and Steiner, focus on student-centred learning. This focus on inductive learning in the early stages of a child’s life can be seen to be not only beneficial to the individual, but to society as a whole.

In conclusion, writing a great essay in English does not need to be painful or scary. In fact, it can be fun. Contact us if you need any support with English for academic, business or general purposes – we can help!

If you need native English tuition to improve your academic English, request a consultation today and speak to one of our experienced EAL instructors!

how to correct essays in english

You may also like

how to correct essays in english

100 False Friends In English And Spanish (With Examples)

“False friends” are words that look the same in two languages but have different meanings. English and Spanish have many words in common (e.g. from Latin). Some of these words have changed their meanings over time to create false cognates.

how to correct essays in english

Difference Between: Which vs. That

Which and that refer to a subject we have already introduced. That provides essential information, specifying what makes the subject unique. Which adds non-essential detail. If we remove this, the sentence still makes sense. E.g. The cat that lives next door loves eating fish, which is a rare treat.

how to correct essays in english

Reporting Verbs in English: List with Examples & Exercises

Reporting verbs are used when you want to tell someone about another conversation. We also call this reported speech or indirect speech. Two examples of reporting verbs are say and tell. There are many others and these have different meanings and grammar structures. In this study guide, we’ll look at examples of these verbs and show you how to use them correctly. We’ll also look at reporting verbs to improve your academic writing. Let’s go!

how to correct essays in english

Our experience, dedicated to yours.

Skype english courses, latest blog posts.

  • Adverbs of Degree: Full List with Examples & Exercises
  • 13 English Phrasal Verbs With ‘Make’
  • Difference Between: There vs. Their vs. They’re

Get started today by requesting your free 15-minute consultation with OTUK!

  • Join our team

OTUK. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions     Cookies Policy OTUK Training Ltd. Company registered in England No. 09629443

Email: info@onlineteachersuk.com Developed by Andrey Kramerov

Try our native English coaching!

Oxford Scholastica Academy logo

How to Write the Perfect Essay

06 Feb, 2024 | Blog Articles , English Language Articles , Get the Edge , Humanities Articles , Writing Articles

Student sitting at a desk writing in a notebook

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Essay

Step 1: plan.

This may sound time-consuming, but if you make a really good plan, you’ll actually save yourself time when it comes to writing the essay, as you’ll know where your answer is headed and won’t write yourself into a corner.

Don’t worry if you’re stuck at first! Jot down a few ideas anyway and chances are the rest will follow. I find it easiest to make a mind map, with each new “bubble” representing one of my main paragraphs. I then write quotations which will be useful for my analysis around the bubble.

For example, if I was answering the question, “To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ?”, I might begin with a mind map that looks something like this:

Mind map summarising Curley's wife's appearance and reputation

You can keep adding to this plan, crossing bits out and linking the different bubbles when you spot connections between them. Even though you won’t have time to make a detailed plan under exam conditions, it can be helpful to draft a brief one, including a few key words, so that you don’t panic and go off topic when writing your essay.

If you don’t like the mind map format, there are plenty of others to choose from: you could make a table, a flowchart, or simply a list of bullet points.

Discover More

Thanks for signing up, step 2: have a clear structure.

Think about this while you’re planning: your essay is like an argument or a speech. It needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question.

Start with the basics! It’s best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs. Three main paragraphs is a good number for an exam essay, since you’ll be under time pressure. 

If you agree with the question overall, it can be helpful to organise your points in the following pattern:

  • YES (agreement with the question)
  • AND (another YES point)
  • BUT (disagreement or complication)

If you disagree with the question overall, try:

  • AND (another BUT point)

For example, you could structure the Of Mice and Men sample question, “To what extent is Curley’s wife portrayed as a victim in Of Mice and Men ?”, as follows:

  • YES (descriptions of her appearance)
  • AND (other people’s attitudes towards her)
  • BUT (her position as the only woman on the ranch gives her power as she uses her femininity to her advantage)

If you wanted to write a longer essay, you could include additional paragraphs under the YES/AND categories, perhaps discussing the ways in which Curley’s wife reveals her vulnerability and insecurities, and shares her dreams with the other characters. Alternatively, you could also lengthen your essay by including another BUT paragraph about her cruel and manipulative streak.

Of course, this is not necessarily the only right way to answer this essay question – as long as you back up your points with evidence from the text, you can take any standpoint that makes sense.

Smiling student typing on laptop

Step 3: Back up your points with well-analysed quotations

You wouldn’t write a scientific report without including evidence to support your findings, so why should it be any different with an essay? Even though you aren’t strictly required to substantiate every single point you make with a quotation, there’s no harm in trying.

A close reading of your quotations can enrich your appreciation of the question and will be sure to impress examiners. When selecting the best quotations to use in your essay, keep an eye out for specific literary techniques. For example, you could highlight Curley’s wife’s use of a rhetorical question when she says, a”n’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talking to a bunch of bindle stiffs.” This might look like:

The rhetorical question “an’ what am I doin’?” signifies that Curley’s wife is very insecure; she seems to be questioning her own life choices. Moreover, she does not expect anyone to respond to her question, highlighting her loneliness and isolation on the ranch.

Other literary techniques to look out for include:

  • Tricolon – a group of three words or phrases placed close together for emphasis
  • Tautology – using different words that mean the same thing: e.g. “frightening” and “terrifying”
  • Parallelism – ABAB structure, often signifying movement from one concept to another
  • Chiasmus – ABBA structure, drawing attention to a phrase
  • Polysyndeton – many conjunctions in a sentence
  • Asyndeton – lack of conjunctions, which can speed up the pace of a sentence
  • Polyptoton – using the same word in different forms for emphasis: e.g. “done” and “doing”
  • Alliteration – repetition of the same sound, including assonance (similar vowel sounds), plosive alliteration (“b”, “d” and “p” sounds) and sibilance (“s” sounds)
  • Anaphora – repetition of words, often used to emphasise a particular point

Don’t worry if you can’t locate all of these literary devices in the work you’re analysing. You can also discuss more obvious techniques, like metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. It’s not a problem if you can’t remember all the long names; it’s far more important to be able to confidently explain the effects of each technique and highlight its relevance to the question.

Person reading a book outside

Step 4: Be creative and original throughout

Anyone can write an essay using the tips above, but the thing that really makes it “perfect” is your own unique take on the topic. If you’ve noticed something intriguing or unusual in your reading, point it out – if you find it interesting, chances are the examiner will too!

Creative writing and essay writing are more closely linked than you might imagine. Keep the idea that you’re writing a speech or argument in mind, and you’re guaranteed to grab your reader’s attention.

It’s important to set out your line of argument in your introduction, introducing your main points and the general direction your essay will take, but don’t forget to keep something back for the conclusion, too. Yes, you need to summarise your main points, but if you’re just repeating the things you said in your introduction, the body of the essay is rendered pointless.

Think of your conclusion as the climax of your speech, the bit everything else has been leading up to, rather than the boring plenary at the end of the interesting stuff.

To return to Of Mice and Men once more, here’s an example of the ideal difference between an introduction and a conclusion:

Introduction

In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , Curley’s wife is portrayed as an ambiguous character. She could be viewed either as a cruel, seductive temptress or a lonely woman who is a victim of her society’s attitudes. Though she does seem to wield a form of sexual power, it is clear that Curley’s wife is largely a victim. This interpretation is supported by Steinbeck’s description of her appearance, other people’s attitudes, her dreams, and her evident loneliness and insecurity.
Overall, it is clear that Curley’s wife is a victim and is portrayed as such throughout the novel in the descriptions of her appearance, her dreams, other people’s judgemental attitudes, and her loneliness and insecurities. However, a character who was a victim and nothing else would be one-dimensional and Curley’s wife is not. Although she suffers in many ways, she is shown to assert herself through the manipulation of her femininity – a small rebellion against the victimisation she experiences.

Both refer back consistently to the question and summarise the essay’s main points. However, the conclusion adds something new which has been established in the main body of the essay and complicates the simple summary which is found in the introduction.

Hannah

Hannah is an undergraduate English student at Somerville College, University of Oxford, and has a particular interest in postcolonial literature and the Gothic. She thinks literature is a crucial way of developing empathy and learning about the wider world. When she isn’t writing about 17th-century court masques, she enjoys acting, travelling and creative writing. 

Recommended articles

How to Revise for GCSE Maths

How to Revise for GCSE Maths

Your GCSEs are likely the first really important school exams you’ll sit. Studying GCSEs sets you up for A-level study, and you may need to achieve certain GCSE grades in order to take certain A-level subjects. Your GCSE grades will also appear on your university...

A Word a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Medical Terms for Aspiring Med Students

A Word a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Medical Terms for Aspiring Med Students

Doctors, nurses and surgeons have the vital task of communicating with patients and families, informing them about diagnoses and treatment options, and answering any questions that may arise.  For this reason, medical professionals need to pay extra attention when...

14 Books to Read at Your Teen Book Club

14 Books to Read at Your Teen Book Club

Reading not only enriches the mind; it also connects us across borders and between cultures. Books offer us the opportunity to discuss and debate key themes and characters, and hear and be inspired by others’ thoughts and ideas. It’s a rewarding – and very fun! –...

  • Features for Creative Writers
  • Features for Work
  • Features for Higher Education
  • Features for Teachers
  • Features for Non-Native Speakers
  • Learn Blog Grammar Guide Community Events FAQ
  • Grammar Guide

Essay Checker: Free Online Paper Corrector

Your Best Chance for an A+ Essay. Try Our Free Essay Checker Below.

Start typing, paste, or use

Get more suggestions to enhance this text and all your future writing

Your suggestions will show once you've entered some text.

Great job! We didn't find any suggestions in your text.

Why Should You Use a Free Essay Checker?

The simple answer? Good grammar is necessary, but it’s not easy. You've already done countless hours of research to write the essay. You don’t want to spend countless hours correcting it, too.

You'll get a better grade

Good grammar or its absence can determine if you get a good grade or a failing one. Impress your lecturer not just with how grammatically sound your writing is, but how clear it is and how it flows.

You'll save time

Essay writing can be a long and tedious process. ProWritingAid's essay checker saves you the hassle by acting as the first line of defense against pesky grammar issues.

You'll become a better writer

Essay writing is a particular skill and one that becomes better with practice. Every time you run your essay through ProWritingAid’s essay corrector, you get to see what your common mistakes are and how to fix them.

Good Writing = Good Grades

It’s already hard to know what to write in an essay. Don’t let grammar mistakes hinder your writing and prevent you from getting a good grade. ProWritingAid’s essay checker will help you write your best essay yet. Since the checker is powered by AI, using it means that grammar errors don’t stand a chance. Give your professors something to look forward to reading with clear, concise, and professional writing.

How Does ProWritingAid’s Essay Checker Work?

Your goal in essay writing is to convey your message as best as possible. ProWritingAid's essay checker is the first step towards doing this.

Get Rid of Spelling Errors

ProWritingAid’s essay checker will show you what it thinks are spelling errors and present you with possible corrections. If a word is flagged and it’s actually spelt correctly you can always choose to ignore the suggestion.

ProWritingAid product image - spelling mistake student

Fix Grammar Errors

Professors aren’t fans of poor grammar because it interrupts your message and makes your essay hard to understand. ProWritingAid will run a grammar check on your paper to ensure that your message is precise and is being communicated the way you intended.

Get Rid of Punctuation Mistakes

A missing period or comma here and there may not seem that serious, but you’ll lose marks for punctuation errors. Run ProWritingAid’s paper checker to use the correct punctuation marks every time and elevate your writing.

ProWritingAid product image - punctuation student

Improve Readability

Make sure that in the grand scheme your language is not too complicated. The essay checker's built in readability report will show if your essay is easy or hard to read. It specifically zones in on paragraphs that might be difficult to read so you can review them.

What Else Can the Essay Checker Do?

The editing tool analyzes your text and highlights a variety of key writing issues, such as overused words, incohesive sentence structures, punctuation issues, repeated phrases, and inconsistencies.

ProWritingAid illustration- unnecessary word student

You don’t need to drown your essay in words just to meet the word count. ProWritingAid’s essay checker will help to make your words more effective. You'll get to construct your arguments and make sure that every word you use builds towards a meaningful conclusion.

Use more transition words in your essay

Transition words help to organize your ideas by showing the relationship between them. The essay checker has a built in Transition report that highlights and shows the percentage of transitions used in your essay. Use the results to add transitions where necessary.

ProWritingAid product image - student sentence variety

An engaging essay has sentences of varying lengths. Don’t bore your professor with long, rambling sentences. The essay checker will show you where you need to break long sentences into shorter sentences, or add more sentence length variation.

ProWritingAid product image - student passive voice

Generally, in scholarly writing, with its emphasis on precision and clarity, the active voice is preferred. However, the passive voice is acceptable in some instances. When you run your essay through ProWritingAid’s essay checker, you get feedback on whether you 'r e using the passive or active voice to convey your idea.

ProWritingAid illustration - power verb

There are academic specific power verbs like appraise , investigate , debunk , support , etc., that can add more impact to your argument by giving a more positive and confident tone. The essay checker will check your writing for power verbs and notify you if you have less than three throughout your essay.

ProWritingAid product image - repeats

It's easy to get attached to certain phrases and use them as crutches in your essays but this gives the impression of boring and repetitive writing. The essay checker will highlight your repeats and suggest contextually relevant alternatives.

ProWritingAid illustration - learn as you edit

Gain access to in-house blog reports on citations, how to write a thesis statement, how to write a conclusion, and more. Venture into a world of resources specific to your academic needs.

What Kinds of Papers Does ProWritingAid Correct?

No matter what you’re writing, ProWritingAid will adapt and show you where your edits are needed most.

  • Argumentative
  • Descriptive
  • Textual Analysis
  • Lab reports
  • Case studies
  • Literature reviews
  • Presentations
  • Dissertations
  • Research papers

Professors and students love using ProWritingAid

If you're an English teacher, you need to take a look at this tool - it reinforces what you're teaching, highlights strengths and weaknesses, and makes it easier to personalize instruction.

prowritingaid customer

Jennifer Gonzales

Only reason I managed to get an A in all my freshmen composition classes.

ProWritingAid customer

Chris Layton

Great tool for academic work. Easy to use and the reports and summary evaluation of your documents in several categories is very useful. So much more than spelling and grammar!

prowritingaid customer

Debra Callender

Questions & Answers

1. how do i use the essay checker online tool.

You can either copy and paste your essay in the essay checker field or upload your essay from your computer. Your suggestions will show once you enter text. You’ll see a number of possible grammar and spelling issues. Sign up for free to get unlimited suggestions to improve your writing style, grammar, and sentence structure. Avoid unintentional plagiarism with a premium account.

2. Does the essay checker work with British English and American English?

The essay checker works with both British English and American English. Just choose the one you would like to use and your corrections will reflect this.

3. Is using an essay checker cheating?

No. The essay checker won’t ever write the essay for you. It will point out possible edits and advise you on changes you need to make. You have full autonomy and get to decide which changes to accept.

4. Will the essay checker auto-correct my work?

The essay writing power remains in your hands. You choose which suggestions you want to accept and you can ignore those that you don’t think apply.

5. Is there a student discount?

Students who have an eligible student email address can get 20% off ProWritingAid Premium. Email [email protected] from your student email address to access your discount.

6. Does ProWritingAid have a plagiarism checker?

Yes! ProWritingAid’s plagiarism checker will check your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers, so you can be sure of its originality. Find out more about pricing for plagiarism checks here .

A good grade is closer than you think

Drop us a line or let's stay in touch via :

Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

College admissions essays are an important part of your college application and gives you the chance to show colleges and universities your character and experiences. This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay.

Want free help with your college essay?

UPchieve connects you with knowledgeable and friendly college advisors—online, 24/7, and completely free. Get 1:1 help brainstorming topics, outlining your essay, revising a draft, or editing grammar.

 alt=

Writing a strong college admissions essay

Learn about the elements of a solid admissions essay.

Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes

Learn some of the most common mistakes made on college essays

Brainstorming tips for your college essay

Stuck on what to write your college essay about? Here are some exercises to help you get started.

How formal should the tone of your college essay be?

Learn how formal your college essay should be and get tips on how to bring out your natural voice.

Taking your college essay to the next level

Hear an admissions expert discuss the appropriate level of depth necessary in your college essay.

Student Stories

 alt=

Student Story: Admissions essay about a formative experience

Get the perspective of a current college student on how he approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about personal identity

Get the perspective of a current college student on how she approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about community impact

Student story: admissions essay about a past mistake, how to write a college application essay, tips for writing an effective application essay, sample college essay 1 with feedback, sample college essay 2 with feedback.

This content is licensed by Khan Academy and is available for free at www.khanacademy.org.

how to correct essays in english

The Language Gym

By gianfranco conti, phd. co-author of 'the language teacher toolkit', 'breaking the sound barrier: teaching learners how to listen', 'memory: what every teacher should know' and of the 'sentence builders' book series. winner of the 2015 tes best resource contributor award, founder and ceo of www.language-gym.com, co-founder of www.sentencebuilders.com and creator of the e.p.i. approach., five things i do when i correct my students’ essays.

download (1)

My Ph.D study,Conti (2004), (as cited in Macaro,2004 and 2005, Ko Yin Sun, 2009, Goonshooly, 2012, Barjesteh, 2014, Cohen and Macaro, 2014, etc.) has provided me with great insight into the strengths and limitations of error correction. The following is a very concise list of what I believe to be the most important strategies to deploy in the error treatment of surface level errors in foreign language writing.

Please note, this is something teachers can afford to do when they have a relatively light timetable or with specific students who are particularly problematic and need a lot of attention. I wouldn’t recommend this approach with every single class and student of yours as it is very time-consuming. In language instructions the focus should be on teaching not on fixing .

1.Focus on the most important issues

No point in focusing on every single error you find in your students’ writing when you are giving individual feedback on their essays. There is only so much attention a student can invest in the remedial learning process. Select only a few errors (3 to 5) at a time using the following criteria

  • Errors that can be treated – no point in focusing an absolute beginner learner on mistakes involving the use of the pluperfect … Only treat errors for which the learner is developmentally ready;
  • Errors that seriously impact understanding – these errors are the most important to deal with as they mislead the reader;
  • Errors that keep recurring and seem impervious to correction – these errors need a lot of attention because once an error is fossilized it is very difficult to eradicate. Since these errors require a lot of work, try and prioritize the ones which, in your professional judgement, are more important (e.g. the ones that mighty penalize a student in a forthcoming exam);
  • Errors that the learner would like to eradicate – it is my belief, controversial amongst some colleagues, that the learner should have a say as to what they should address in their remedial learning process. The rationale for this is that since s/he is going to be main the agent in this process, the fact that s/he chooses which errors to target may enhance their intentionality to eradicate error.

Do not address, in individual feedback, errors that are common to most of the class, as they can be the focus of a series of remedial lessons for the class as a whole

2. Find out what the root causes of error REALLY are

One common mistake teachers make in the corrective process, is to give all errors the same blanket treatment (be it direct/indirect correction with or without explanation or editing instruction) as if they were all caused by the same cognitive process(es). A bit like some doctors do, by giving a broad spectrum antibiotic for any kind of infection.

Errors can be caused by either (a) a declarative knowledge failure (the learner does not know the rule) or (b) a Procedural knowledge failure (the learner does know the rule and can self-correct, but did not apply it correctly or forgot to apply it in a given context because of processing inefficiency issues – e.g. cognitive overload, interference, etc.). It is important to identify the correct source of error before dismissing it as a ‘careless’ mistakes. There is usually more to an error than meets the eye.

In my study I used a number of research tools to investigate my subjects’ errors and the best one was definitely asking the students to edit the essays they wrote under think-aloud protocol conditions (i.e. they verbalized their thoughts as they attempted to correct). The knowledge I gained from that process was crucial to the success of my error treatment experiment.

3.‘Make it personal’

In my opinion, like any other type of instruction, error correction is greatly enhanced by making it as personal as possible a process, especially when we are dealing with weaker and/or less confident learners. One-to-one conferences are the best way to start the never-ending dialogue between teacher and student that the corrective process should really become. Using the page or the audio track as an interface between the student and the teacher makes the process much more distant and impersonal; the human contact, on the other hand, especially in the presence of judiciously gauged motivational feedback can do wonders for student’s self-efficacy and intentionality.

Let us not forget that the teacher’s role in the success of any remedial learning is crucial just as it is in any other kind of instruction. I often use the analogy of the person who wants to lose/gain weight in the gym. If you look at the rates of people who carry on training after the first three-four sessions, those with a personal trainer/life coach are less likely to drop out by a whopping 50 %! Why? Because a lot of us need encouragement, reminders, praise and, sometimes, a good telling-off…

When embarking on the remediation process, the teacher needs to take on a role alike the one of a ‘personal trainer’ since, as I shall explain below, errors are not eradicated in one go, it may take months or in certain cases, when an error is fossilized, even years. S/he will have to remind, prod, encourage, push the learner to keep working on the target mistakes.

It goes without saying that like every personal trainer the corrector must be inspiring and empathetic both emotionally and cognitively with the correctee.

4.Ensure there is a serious and sustained cognitive investment on the learner’s part

Several studies including mine have identified lack of student cognitive/personal investment in the error treatment as a major determinant of the failure of corrective interventions. Student writers do not look at the teacher’s corrective feedback and when they do they are superficial and do not follow it up. Teachers often do the same. They do a one-off remedial lesson on finding masses of students making the same mistake, then they move on. What I learnt in the course of my investigation is that for error to be eradicated (as mentioned above) both teachers and students must work hard. The students must put a lot of effort in the process at many levels: research, self-study, writing practice, self-monitoring and introspection.

Scaffolding the feedback-handling process in order to involve the student actively in the process is crucial, in this respect. Feedback-handling activities that students may be asked to perform on receiving feedback include: explaining the teacher correction; hypothesizing why the mistakes was made; describing what the rule that was broken is; producing student-generated examples of that rule across various contexts; produce a mini-lesson to deliver to a group of peers,ect.).

In my study, all of my informants reported drawing great benefits from such activities as they enhanced their self-knowledge as to the mistakes they were more likely to make to a point that they reported looking for those mistakes without much thinking before handing in their written pieces.

Another ingenious way of involving the students in the corrective process is to ask the students to step in before the essay is even completed and the feedback given. How? By asking them to annotate on margin whilst writing the essay any doubt they may have about the deployment of a grammar structure or lexical item. I use this technique a lot and it pays great dividends. This technique, that I call LIFT (Learner Initiated Feedback Technique) is dealt with in greater detail in a dedicated post of mine on this blog (here: ‘L.I.F.T. – an effective writing-proficiency and metacognition enhancer’).

5.Provide extensive practice

Many interventionist studies which involved editing instruction have failed whilst others have succeeded in enhancing grammar and/or lexical accuracy based on their duration and intensity. As already hinted above, learners need extensive practice to eradicate the target errors. Why? Because in learners’ Interlanguage system the wrong and correct representations of a grammar rule that has not been fully or correctly learnt coexist and often have equal weight (or, when the wrong form is fossilized, this will have greater weight). This entails that when the brain needs to apply that specific grammar structure the correct and the incorrect representation will both compete for retrieval. Extensive practice (highly monitored at the beginning) is required for the correct representation of the rule to acquire greater weight until it has become so strong in terms of memory trace to win the retrieval ‘competition’.

The extensive practice envisaged should occur:

  • across a wide range of semantic contexts;
  • in syntactically simple sentences to start with, moving gradually to more complex and longer chunks of text;
  • in highly monitored performances (such as non-timed essays/translations) to start with and at a later stage, in the context of less monitored ones (such as timed essays or oral conversation).

Teachers are very busy people and one cannot always do all of the above as well as they would like to. However, these strategies can make a serious difference, in my personal experience, when applied to error treatment consistently. I suggest, if one does not have the time to do all of the above with every single student one teaches, to implement these strategies at least with the most needy of our learners, or with the ones that currently, in you opinion, are not gaining much benefit from your corrective feedback.

I deal with the issue of correction much more extensively in a research-based article of mine (‘ Why teachers should not bother correcting errors in their students’ writing (not the traditional way at least’) :  

More on this topic in the book I co-authored with Steve Smith : ‘The Language Teacher Toolkit’ available on http://www.amazon.co.uk and http://www.amazon.com. 

10369865_10153232628176744_6265467044143184835_n

Share this:

One thought on “ five things i do when i correct my students’ essays ”.

[…] https://gianfrancoconti.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/five-things-you-should-do-when-you-correct-your-stu&#8230 ; #MiniForFacebook […]

Like Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment Cancel reply

' src=

  • Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.
  • Subscribe Subscribed
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Scribbr. Retrieved April 2, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/example-essay-structure/

Is this article helpful?

Shane Bryson

Shane Bryson

Shane finished his master's degree in English literature in 2013 and has been working as a writing tutor and editor since 2009. He began proofreading and editing essays with Scribbr in early summer, 2014.

Other students also liked

How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples, how to write topic sentences | 4 steps, examples & purpose, unlimited academic ai-proofreading.

✔ Document error-free in 5minutes ✔ Unlimited document corrections ✔ Specialized in correcting academic texts

how to correct essays in english

English dominates scientific research – here’s how we can fix it, and why it matters

how to correct essays in english

Científica del Instituto de Lengua, Literatura y Antropología (ILLA), del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS) del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CCHS - CSIC)

Disclosure statement

Elea Giménez Toledo does not receive a salary, nor does she own shares, nor does she receive funding from any company or organisation that might benefit from this article. She is a commissioner of the SEGIB, which implies only unpaid scientific advice to this institution, as part of the scientific activity carried out at the CSIC.

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation ES.

View all partners

It is often remarked that Spanish should be more widely spoken or understood in the scientific community given its number of speakers around the world, a figure the Instituto Cervantes places at almost 600 million .

However, millions of speakers do not necessarily grant a language strength in academia. This has to be cultivated on a scientific, political and cultural level, with sustained efforts from many institutions and specialists.

The scientific community should communicate in as many languages as possible

By some estimates, as much as 98% of the world’s scientific research is published in English , while only around 18% of the world’s population speaks it. This makes it essential to publish in other languages if we are to bring scientific research to society at large.

The value of multilingualism in science has been highlighted by numerous high profile organisations, with public declarations and statements on the matter from the European Charter for Researchers , the Helsinki Initiative on Multiligualism , the Unesco Recommendation on Open Science , the OPERAS Multiligualism White Paper , the Latin American Forum on Research Assessment , the COARA Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment , and the Declaration of the 5th Meeting of Minsters and Scientific Authorities of Ibero-American Countries . These organisations all agree on one thing: all languages have value in scientific communication .

As the last of these declarations points out, locally, regionally and nationally relevant research is constantly being published in languages other than English. This research has an economic, social and cultural impact on its surrounding environment, as when scientific knowledge is disseminated it filters through to non-academic professionals, thus creating a broader culture of knowledge sharing.

Greater diversity also enables fluid dialogue among academics who share the same language, or who speak and understand multiple languages. In Ibero-America, for example, Spanish and Portuguese can often be mutually understood by non-native speakers, allowing them to share the scientific stage. The same happens in Spain with the majority of its co-official languages .

Read more: Non-native English speaking scientists work much harder just to keep up, global research reveals

No hierarchies, no categories

Too often, scientific research in any language other than English is automatically seen as second tier, with little consideration for the quality of the work itself.

This harmful prejudice ignores the work of those involved, especially in the humanities and social sciences. It also profoundly undermines the global academic community’s ability to share knowledge with society.

By defending and preserving multilingualism, the scientific community brings research closer to those who need it. Failing to pursue this aim means that academia cannot develop or expand its audience. We have to work carefully, systematically and consistently in every language available to us.

Read more: Prestigious journals make it hard for scientists who don't speak English to get published. And we all lose out

The logistics of strengthening linguistic diversity in science

Making a language stronger in academia is a complex process. It does not happen spontaneously, and requires careful coordination and planning. Efforts have to come from public and private institutions, the media, and other cultural outlets, as well as from politicians, science diplomacy , and researchers themselves.

Many of these elements have to work in harmony, as demonstrated by the Spanish National Research Council’s work in ES CIENCIA , a project which seeks to unite scientific and and political efforts.

Academic publishing and AI models: a new challenge

The global academic environment is changing as a result the digital transition and new models of open access. Research into publishers of scientific content in other languages will be essential to understanding this shift. One thing is clear though: making scientific content produced in a particular language visible and searchable online is crucial to ensuring its strength.

In the case of academic books, the transition to open access has barely begun , especially in the commercial publishing sector, which releases around 80% of scientific books in Spain. As with online publishing, a clear understanding will make it possible to design policies and models that account for the different ways of disseminating scientific research, including those that communicate locally and in other languages. Greater linguistic diversity in book publishing can also allow us to properly recognise the work done by publishers in sharing research among non-English speakers.

Read more: Removing author fees can help open access journals make research available to everyone

Making publications, datasets, and other non-linguistic research results easy to find is another vital element, which requires both scientific and technical support. The same applies to expanding the corpus of scientific literature in Spanish and other languages, especially since this feeds into generative artificial intelligence models.

If linguistically diverse scientific content is not incorporated into AI systems, they will spread information that is incomplete, biased or misleading: a recent Spanish government report on the state of Spanish and co-official languages points out that 90% of the text currently fed into AI is written in English.

Deep study of terminology is essential

Research into terminology is of the utmost importance in preventing the use of improvised, imprecise language or unintelligible jargon. It can also bring huge benefits for the quality of both human and machine translations, specialised language teaching, and the indexing and organisation of large volumes of documents.

Terminology work in Spanish is being carried out today thanks to the processing of large language corpuses by AI and researchers in the TeresIA project, a joint effort coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council. However, 15 years of ups and downs were needed to to get such a project off the ground in Spanish.

The Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia, on the other hand, have worked intensively and systematically on their respective languages. They have not only tackled terminology as a public language policy issue, but have also been committed to established terminology projects for a long time.

Multiligualism is a global issue

This need for broader diversity also applies to Ibero-America as a whole, where efforts are being coordinated to promote Spanish and Portuguese in academia, notably by the Ibero-American General Secretariat and the Mexican National Council of Humanities, Sciences and Technologies .

While this is sorely needed, we cannot promote the region’s two most widely spoken languages and also ignore its diversity of indigenous and co-official languages. These are also involved in the production of knowledge, and are a vehicle for the transfer of scientific information, as demonstrated by efforts in Spain.

Each country has its own unique role to play in promoting greater linguistic diversity in scientific communication. If this can be achieved, the strength of Iberian languages – and all languages, for that matter – in academia will not be at the mercy of well intentioned but sporadic efforts. It will, instead, be the result of the scientific community’s commitment to a culture of knowledge sharing.

This article was originally published in Spanish

  • Scientific publishing
  • Multilingualism
  • The Conversation Europe

how to correct essays in english

Communications and Events Officer

how to correct essays in english

Lecturer (Hindi-Urdu)

how to correct essays in english

Director, Defence and Security

how to correct essays in english

Opportunities with the new CIEHF

how to correct essays in english

School of Social Sciences – Public Policy and International Relations opportunities

COMMENTS

  1. Online Proofreader

    Fix mistakes that slip under your radar. Fix problems with commonly confused words, like affect vs. effect, which vs. that and who vs. that. Catch words that sound similar but aren't, like their vs. they're, your vs. you're. Check your punctuation to avoid errors with dashes and hyphens, commas, apostrophes, and more.

  2. 15 Tips for Writing, Proofreading, and Editing Your College Essay

    This variation helps to keep the reader's attention and allows for a more engaging narrative flow. 9. Revisit your essay after a break. Give yourself time: After completing a draft of your essay, step away from it for a day or two. This break can clear your mind and reduce your attachment to specific phrases or ideas.

  3. How to Write Top-Graded Essays in English

    So many students sit down to write an essay without a plan. They just start writing whatever comes to their mind. However, to write a top-graded essay in English, you must plan and brainstorm before you begin to write. Here are some strategies you can use during the prewriting stage: Freewriting. Looping.

  4. Baby Steps: 10 Proven Tips to Write Better Essays in English

    1. Create a Word Bank. This is an interesting approach to writing your essay. First, choose a topic and write a thesis. A thesis is the main argument of your essay. For instance, if your topic is reading, your thesis might be "Reading makes you smarter.".

  5. 8 Tips to Write Better Essays in English

    So abide by grammar rules to deliver a well-written and cohesive essay. 7. Write with Clarity. You might be tempted to use complex metaphors and jargons to impress the reader, but the truth is, none of that guarantees "good" writing. One of the most important ingredients of effective writing is clarity.

  6. Write & Improve

    Our free online tool helps you to practise your writing and get valuable feedback instantly. Write & Improve is simple to use: just choose a task, write or upload a written response and use the feedback to quickly improve. It shows you how to improve your spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Join over 2 million learners of English who have used ...

  7. How to Write the Perfect Essay in English: 6 Easy Steps

    Step 4: Argue. Step 5: Reference. Step 6: Conclude. Quick Intro. Essay writing in English is very different from other types of written communication, such as composing emails for work or personal letters to friends. The main difference is that you need to demonstrate your ability to think and write critically.

  8. Free, Powerful English Grammar Checker

    A POWERFUL, FREE ENGLISH GRAMMAR CHECKER. Scribens corrects over 250 types of common grammar and spelling mistakes, including verbs, nouns, pronouns, prepositions, homonyms, punctuation, typography, and more. Online corrections are included with explanations in order to help the user progress his or her English writing skills.

  9. Free Grammar Checker

    Use QuillBot's free online grammar checker tool to perfect your writing by reviewing your text for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Whenever you need to review your writing or grammar check sentences, QuillBot is here to help make the editing process painless. QuillBot's free online sentence corrector helps you avoid mistakes and ...

  10. How to Write the Perfect Essay

    Step 2: Have a clear structure. Think about this while you're planning: your essay is like an argument or a speech. It needs to have a logical structure, with all your points coming together to answer the question. Start with the basics! It's best to choose a few major points which will become your main paragraphs.

  11. Essay Checker: Free Online Paper Corrector

    The editing tool analyzes your text and highlights a variety of key writing issues, such as overused words, incohesive sentence structures, punctuation issues, repeated phrases, and inconsistencies. You don't need to drown your essay in words just to meet the word count. ProWritingAid's essay checker will help to make your words more effective.

  12. Online Grammar, Style & Spell Checker

    Unleash the professional writer in you with LanguageTool Premium. Go well beyond grammar and spell checking, and impress with clear, precise and stylistically correct writing. Learn more. LanguageTool is a free grammar checker and paraphraser for English, Spanish, and 30 other languages. Instantly check your text for grammar and style mistakes.

  13. Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

    Get 1:1 help brainstorming topics, outlining your essay, revising a draft, or editing grammar. Learn More about UPcheive. Writing a strong college admissions essay Learn about the elements of a solid admissions essay. Close Modal. Close Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes Learn some of the most common mistakes made on college essays ...

  14. Five things I do when I correct my students' essays

    5.Provide extensive practice. Many interventionist studies which involved editing instruction have failed whilst others have succeeded in enhancing grammar and/or lexical accuracy based on their duration and intensity. As already hinted above, learners need extensive practice to eradicate the target errors.

  15. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  16. English dominates scientific research

    Disclosure statement. Elea Giménez Toledo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no ...