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Essay Writing: Tips & Formats On How To Write A Good Essay

This post intimate students on tips and formats on how to write a good essay in WAEC or NECO examination or any situation you find yourself that requires to test your essay writing ability, skills and knowledge.

What is An Essay?

Not many are aware that the word ‘essay’ is derived from a Latin term ‘exagium’, which in simple terms, means to present one’s case? In other words, an essay is defined as a short piece of writing that represents one’s side of the story, an argument or experience.

For those conversant with WAEC or NECO past questions on English language, Paper 1 is usually to test students ability to use the English language effectively as a means of communication. it is designed to examine students ability to express themselves with clarity and coherence in a manner appropriate to the audience purpose topic and situation.

It also tests students competence in grammar good paragraphing improper use of features presentations of ideas correct spelling appropriate punctuation and skillful usage of rich vocabulary and idioms.

In Essay writing, a student is expected to write 450 words. The student will lose considerable marks for writing an essay short of 450 words because his content will not have been fully developed to earn a good Mark and a less than 20 errors ringed in the essay and will earn such a student zero under mechanical accuracy.

However you should not waste your time counting the words of the essay. The length assessment for 450 which is as follows:

  • 10 words per line = 45 lines of answer booklet
  • 9 Words per line = 50 lines
  • 8 words per line = 56 lines
  • 7 words per line = 64 lines
  • 6 words per line = 75 lines
  • 5 words per line = 90 lines
  • 4 words per line = 112 lines

Essay Writing: Tips & Formats On How To Write A Good Essay 1

Essay Writing: Tips & Formats On How To Write A Good Essay 2

Tips On How To Write A Good Essay

Writing a good essay needs some planning depending on the type of essay you are asked to write on. Many students feel simply because they fail to plan before writing. you’re basically four stages you have to quickly pass through in writing a good essay. These are:

1) Gathering ideas
2) Organizing the ideas
3) Developing the ideas
4) Revising the ideas

1. Gathering Ideas:

This involves reading thoroughly the question you have chosen to answer so that the subject of the question will be grasped. You have to find out what you required to write. Always make sure that you choose the question which you can write best on, in terms of number of valuable and relevant points and ideas. Then interpret your question very well and make sure that you have enough points and ideas to answer all the parts of the question to any good mark.

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For example, a student who answers a question which ask him to describe the part he played in a recent disturbance in his school in which valuable school property was damaged and apologize for his involvement we will not earn a good mark under content if he treats only one aspect of the two parts of the question. After taking care of this, put down on a rock paper or relevant facts and points that come into your mind.

2. Organizing The Ideas:

After putting down all the relevant points has it come to you indiscriminately on the rough paper, the next thing is to rearrange them in an outline. Make sure that you have an outline before writing your essay.

The points are to be arranged in logical order and inform of paragraphs. every paragraph should contain one central idea and all paragraph must be linked to form a coherent whole. You should note that a few point well arranged and fully developed by apt illustrations and experiences make a better impression than a profusion of ideas put together without logical arrangements. Your points should be so arranged as to lead to an effective conclusion.

3. Developing The Ideas:

You are expected to develop your essay from the outline you have written. The paragraphs must be well developed. in essence each point must be fully developed without illustrations experiences and examples in order to earn a good mark.

Make use of simple and straight-forward sentences; avoid writing long sentences so as not to make your sentences to clumsy and unclear. A good essay requires clarity of expression and thoughts also pay adequate attention to punctuation and grammar.

4. Revising The Idea:

Do not be in a hurry to submit your paper without reading over what you have written. This will enable you to detect some errors which could still be corrected. You should not be too sure of yourself not to make mistakes.
Staying true to these tips and format in essay writing would ensure a student write an exceptional essay that will guarantee a very good score in English language.

Formats of Writing A Good Essay

Since essay writing involve your personal account of expression in writing, there are no direct formula that must be followed however, there are ideal ways in which it should be presented. Essay writing is all about creativity and expressions in written formats. The following are the 3 known formats that should serve as a guideline when writing an essay:

  1. The Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion
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1) Introduction

It is ideal to introduce yourself to a stranger before giving reasons for meeting him or her, this is the same with essay writing. The introductory part deals with your topic. Here you are to give a very brief synopsis of your essay. Ideally, it should not be more than 5 to 6 lines because an overly lengthy introduction would lead to boringness of your essay.

Try and be creative, be unique in this part as this would determine the examiner’s interest in your essay. Some would advice you begin your introduction with question or quote in order to grab the attention of the reader.

2) Body

Now this is the reason you are writing the essay. This part ideally carries most mark. It is the most vital and important content of the essay hence must be written in clear terms, you must observe your spellings, punctuation and grammar.

Proper paragraphing is required here, note that a new discussion requires a new paragraph hence it is important you organize your thoughts and content appropriately. Your content must flow seamlessly so readers or your examiner can comprehend and come to a logical conclusion of your message and the best way to go about this is to chronologically follow up the write up.


As the name implies, it is the concluding part of the essay. It has nothing much to say about the essay other than wrapping up what was written in the introductory part and body of the essay. However a good conclusion has the power to convince the reader and drive home your point in the case of an argument, story or experience on the essay topic.

How Marks Are Awarded In Essay Writing

Essay writing in senior secondary school certificate examination are assessed by ways students are able to communicate their thoughts and ideas in the most concise manner.

Marks are awarded along the following 4 parameters:

  1. Contents – 10 marks
  2. Organization – 10 marks
  3. Expression – 20 marks
  4. Mechanic Accuracy – 10 marks.

1) Contents:

Content has to do with pointer ideas developed in an essay on the relevant to the subject matter or topic on which a student is writing. Your point must be relevant to the question you have chosen to answer and they must be well developed too to earn a good mark under content.

2) Organization

Essays are judged under organisation as whatever they are intended to be. you will be marked down under organisation if you are asked to write an article for publication in the national newspaper for example, and you write a letter to the editor. Other things considered are: is suitable opening, adequate development, good paragraphing and links between paragraphs, balance, unity, coherence and a suitable conclusion.

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3) Expression

This carries the highest Mark. It has to do with how clear expression is and how well you make use of your stock of vocabularies, including idiomatic expressions. The examiner should be able to understand what you have put down your essay. Other things under expressions are effective arrangements and variation of sentence structure, judicious and imaginative use of figurative language, appropriate words, collocations and sentence types and skillful and sophisticated use of punctuation.

4) Mechanic Accuracy

This has to do with errors in grammar, punctuation, tenses and spellings. Students should be very careful because twenty (20) errors lead zero (0) in mechanical accuracy in WAEC and forty (40) errors lead to zero under mechanical accuracy in NECO examination.

These points are to be noted. Most students undertaking essay writing lack knowledge about these essay writing tips hence lead to them failing their examination. Essay Writing carries the highest Mark followed by Summary writing. They both form the base for passing English language but unfortunately, many students or candidates fail this section the most.

These essay writing tips and formats would help candidates on how best to approach questions relating to Essay writing in any given job test, WAEC or NECO examination by following the steps written down in this blog post.

Hope this is well understood? do you have any questions as regards Essay writing tips and all that you are required to know with regards to writing an exceptionally good essay by making best use of the Essay writing formats and strategies on this post? Kindly feel free to reach out to us via the comment section below and we shall respond accordingly.

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