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How to Write Compelling Essays

Here are some guidelines that will make your essay memorable

Rusty Alderson
4 min readDec 16, 2022

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

An essay can be a great way to let the world know what you think about a given topic — a way to expose your readers to an opinion they might not have considered. To make it compelling, start with a strong thesis that clearly states the main point of your essay. This will give your essay a sense of direction and purpose.

Examples With Citations

Be sure and use concrete, specific examples to support your thesis. This will make your essay more persuasive and and help your readers understand your main points.

To give credence to your examples, be sure and cite reference material which will corroborate them. There are several different citation styles that you can use. Be sure to use a style which is compatible with your own style. Some common citation styles include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) style: This style is commonly used in the social sciences and is characterized by the use of in-text citations and a reference list at the end of the essay.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style: This style is commonly used in the humanities and is characterized by the use of in-text citations and a works cited list at the end of the essay.
  • Chicago/Turabian style: This style is commonly used in the humanities and is characterized by the use of footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography at the end of the essay.
  • Harvard style: This style is commonly used in the sciences and is characterized by the use of in-text citations and a reference list at the end of the essay.

Regardless of the citation style that you are using, it is important to accurately and consistently cite your sources in order to give credit to the original authors and to help your reader locate the sources that you have referenced. Be sure to carefully follow the guidelines for the citation style that you are using, and consult the appropriate style manual or guidelines if you have any questions.

Clear and Concise

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Rusty Alderson

Retired technologist — eschewing cubicles; habitual observer; perpetual student; philosopher; poet; essayist; advocate for nature and wilderness.