How to write a good English essay and bluff the corrector?

The essay is an essential exercise of the competitions of the schools and colleges and that is why, in this article. I will give you some methodological advice to map this test. I will focus here on English but you can of course apply these tips for other languages.

Good to know


To succeed in this exercise, there are two important things to know. On the one hand, one must have an impeccable English, without fault of grammar or spelling. I said “have an impeccable English” and not have “an elaborate or even exceptional English”.

The mistake many candidates make is to want to pass on their ideas imperatively even if they can not do it right. This gives you homework with real content but gets a bad rating because it is not the most important content. You must only write on your copy what you have no doubt about in terms of grammar or spelling. The essay is an exercise where the form takes precedence over the content.

To improve your language, I advise you to read newspaper articles every day on the internet. Do not waste your time with grammar exercises (even if they are still essential to have a solid foundation) because your brain, reading a lot of articles, will know intuitively if what you write is correct or not. During your readings, do not hesitate to take idiomatic turns that you can reuse (you will find lists in the next articles, start without me).

Structuring your essay


On the other hand, we must still produce organized work. For that, I will give you an applicable tip for each subject. From the introduction, you will present the thesis you are defending, that is to say your opinion on the subject.

The essay is an exercise that requires taking a stand. Do not do it at the end, you have to do it from the beginning! The development, in 3 parts, can be summed up in 4 words: certainly, but, moreover. The first part “certainly” is a small concession that you will make to your thesis.

The second part will present a strong argument (stronger than the small concession) to defend your thesis. The last part is an additional argument that will defend your thesis and allow you to push the point. The conclusion is classic: you resume your thesis early and you quickly repeat why you defended it.

Here is an example of an environmental experiment that received 16/20 to illustrate this method:

Topic: Do you think that recent international environmental policy actions are likely to halt global warming? (written around March 2017, original version)

Some additional lessons that you can learn from reading this essay: the knowledge used to write this assignment is very common and even banal. It is therefore useless to follow the news like a madman to write a very good essay. What is striking is the precision of the vocabulary and the use of “rare” words. Hence the interest of making a small personal directory.

Hoping that this will be helpful to guide your work in modern languages and writing your essay.