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If you are writing an argumentative essay or a comparison and contrast essay, the best way to learn about this kind of paper’s tone, structure, and organization is by viewing well written papers like these. You can get these in a few different ways. For example, writing centers often have files of sample essays for each teacher’s class, to show students who go in asking for help on how to write that particular kind of essay. Also, before an essay is assigned, as you are discussing it in class, a good step to always take is to ask the teacher to read aloud one or two A+ essays from past students in that genre of essay. Teachers always keep sample essays on file for this very purpose. Also, you can search on the internet for sample argumentative papers or other types of essays as well.

Use only the best essays as models

A great trick I always tell my students who are trying to learn how to write a persuasive essay, for example, is to search for persuasive student papers that have won state, national, or other types of essay contests. These papers are judged by committees full of teachers who know a stellar essay when they see one, and they would be great to peruse for examples of good academic tone, structure, and organization of persuasive essays (or any other kinds of essays as well).

Pay Attention

to Well-Written Introduction and Closing Paragraphs

Often students struggle with introductions and closings unnecessarily – and I have great tricks for both! For one thing, if you are having trouble starting an essay—simply put your thesis statement at the top of your paper and tackle it later. Later on, you can Google your topic and look at what other essay writers have said in their introductions. Now, closing paragraphs are always the paragraphs that challenge students the most. My best trick for this is to find something interesting online that can bring your readers into the very present moment at the time of the writing. For example, if you are writing about medical marijuana, you could build toward an ending talking about the most super-recent developments on the debate on whether all states should adopt this legislation.

Use Your School Databases To Your Advantage

You’ll have assets for writing that writers don’t have once they’re out of school. University libraries allow you access to so many great databases—such as Opposing Viewpoints, which organizes the best essays on each side of any debate you can imagine. These are great for writing persuasive and argumentative essays on controversial topics and are a great way to see great sample essay elements such as introductions, body paragraphs, thesis statements, and closing paragraphs that are extremely well written.

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