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Essay Writing as a Tool for Language Acquisition: Tips for ESL Students

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Tips for ESL Students

Essay Writing as a Tool for Language Acquisition: Tips for ESL Students

Learning English as a second language can be a difficult task, especially if you are starting at an older age. No wonder so many ESL students are constantly looking for new techniques that could help them master English.

Luckily, something as common as writing essays can be useful throughout your learning journey. Hence, here are tips for ESL students on essay writing and how to use it as a tool for language acquisition.

#1 Get Down to the Basics

First and foremost, you need to get down to the basics. If you don’t understand what essays are and how they are organized, you can’t possibly write them well and learn English while doing so. At its core, an essay is made up of three main parts:

  • Introduction – The opening paragraph explains what the essay will be about and introduces the reader to the main concepts you will be discussing.
  • Body – The bulk of the essay where you discuss different points, recount events, propose arguments and counterarguments, and so on.
  • Conclusion – The closing paragraph where you sum up everything you talked about and arrive at a particular conclusion about your topic.

Understanding this structure will help you plan your essay successfully and then follow the plan you create. Likewise, you should learn about the different types of essays and what makes them different from each other (e.g. expository, argumentative, etc.)

#2 Choose a Topic

Before you start planning your essay, you will need to choose a topic. Obviously, if you are an ESL student, you will probably get assignments with detailed requirements for your essays, including the topics you should write about.

If this is not the case or you want to practice essay writing on your own, then it is completely up to you to choose what to write about. You can start with something generic and narrow it down to a more specific topic.

Keep in mind that the topic you choose should correspond to the type of essay you will be writing. For instance, if you want to write an argumentative essay, then your topic will need to have multiple perspectives to it so that you can take one of them and present your arguments to support your opinion.

#3 Develop a Central Question

Once you have chosen your topic, you will need to develop a central question. While the topic gives you a “field”, the question will give you a “direction”. In other words, it is a way for you to better organize your essay and set a particular goal for it.

For example, if you are writing an argumentative essay, then your topic will have multiple perspectives and you will choose one of them. The central question will need to be rather specific so that you can fully argue for a particular side while discussing potential counterarguments.

#4 Do the Research

When preparing to write your essay, you will likely need to perform research into your topic. This is particularly important if you don’t have much knowledge about it or the information you do know may be outdated. Developing research skills is a great way for ESL students to be able to navigate the informational and media landscape in English and use the Internet effectively. 

If you aren’t confident in your research or writing skills, you can seek professional academic assistance. Get in touch with the writing agency Trust My Paper and work with one of their writers or use their essay writing tools such as their title generator.

#5 Create an Outline

The last step during the preparation stage is to create an outline. You won’t necessarily have to follow it strictly while writing your essay, but it will help you organize your thoughts in a logical and coherent way.

Take the basic essay structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and add sections and points to it. Remember to introduce the main concepts briefly in your introduction, but don’t propose any new arguments in your conclusion – it is meant for tying up all the loose ends. You can present your points in different types of order: chronological, general to specific, most to least important, and so on.

#6 Start with an Introduction

Now that you are ready to write your essay, start with the introduction. Make it interesting and engaging, but don’t introduce too many concepts all at once. If you forget to add something now, you can always come back to this part after writing the body of your essay. It’s best to make your introduction fit into a single paragraph, but you can still make it longer if you think it is necessary.

#7 Explain Each Point

After writing the introduction, get to the main part of your essay – the body. Here, you will need to explain each point you added to the outline. Remember that you don’t need to stick to your outline strictly. You can still move around different points and details if you think it will improve the coherence of your essay. This is the main part of your essay, so it may take longer to complete it.

#8 Use Writing Tools

To help you during the writing process, you can use various writing tools. Many of these are completely free and can be used for research, planning, writing, and editing. Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Write My Essays AI – An all-in-one tool that includes features such as the Title Generator, Essay Generator, Paraphrasing Tool, Conclusion Generator, Citation Generator, and Plagiarism Checker.
  • Grammarly – A popular tool for proofreading that detects various linguistic mistakes, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word choice issues.
  • Hemingway Editor – Another proofreading tool that helps you improve the readability of your essay by highlighting specific parts that need to be edited (i.e. passive voice, adverbs, complex phrases, and hard-to-read sentences).

#9 End with a Conclusion

The last part of your essay is the conclusion. This is where you should tie up all the loose ends and arrive at the main point you want to make with your essay. Don’t introduce new concepts or ideas here because this is the end of your essay. If there is something more you want to say, then it’s best to add those points to the body of your text.

#10 Proofread and Edit

Last but not least, don’t forget to proofread and edit your essay. First, make sure that there are no factual mistakes. Second, check your essay for any linguistic mistakes. You can do this by using one of the aforementioned writing tools. When you are satisfied with your essay, you can submit it to your teacher.

Wrapping Up

All in all, learning English may be difficult, but it can also be fun! Use the tips in this article to help you master essay writing and utilize it for understanding English grammar, learning new vocabulary, and improving your language skills.

Bio  Melody Barrera is a freelance copywriter. She writes for the professional writing platform Trust My Paper and is a proofreader at the writing service Write My Essays. Melody specializes in topics such as writing, business, and productivity.  

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Learn more about Level Up

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  • Choose the best date and time for you.
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