What Do Professors Look for in Great Essays

access_timeMarch 29, 2018

Grading essays varies greatly among university professors. Some are looking for creativity, others mark spelling and grammar while others mark a bit of everything.

Although professors may disagree on what makes a great essay, there are certain rules and secrets that apply across the board. Instructors naturally value quality content. However, it does not end there. You can write a high quality paper only to end up with a big E.

What do professors look for in great essays

Here are some of the things that make a convincing essay

Purpose and Audience

The first thing that professors look for is whether your essay meets the audience and purpose of the assignment. At the minimum, ensure that your essay meets the assignment instructions provided by your instructor. For example, if you are given a comparative essay to do and you submit a narrative essay, you will definitely score poorly using this parameter.

Ensure that you are clear on the professors’ instructions, the audience, as well as the rhetorical method that you should use. Writing a research paper for your scientific community is not the same thing as writing a speech for your prom. Knowing your audience and purpose is just the beginning.

Effective Content Organization

Despite fully understanding an assignment, most students encounter difficulties when it comes to organizing the content on their essays. Great essays should have a clear central idea. You then need to build your essay around that idea, and stick to it. Your essay should remain focused with proper use of paragraph structure to support your essay effectively and consistently.

Every word and every sentence in your essay should serve a purpose. If it doesn’t, then you should get rid of it. There should be a clear transition of thought and ideas from one paragraph to the other. Any time you introduce a new claim, ensure that you produce supporting evidence. Never assume that your reader will understand the claims you make. The connections between evidence and ideas are normally the weakest link when it comes to student essays.

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Effective Development

Mastering the link between the evidence and your idea will not be enough to produce a convincing essay. You should ensure you have a powerful and original idea as well as evidence that is solid enough to back it up. Remember when you used to questions some decisions made by your parents and they would say, “Because, I said so.” That answer was not very convincing. Was it? The same case applies to essay writing. Your purpose or thesis should be developed coherently, and logically with convincing and supporting details. Don’t just repeat what others have said without determining whether the information supports your essay or not. You should also ensure that the evidence presented is accurate and obtained from credible sources.

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Use Effective Language

Many great essays and ideas have been spoilt by ineffective language use. This ranges from things like indecipherable and poor grammar to confusing sentence structures. Your choice of words should be purposeful and precise. Ensure that your sentence structures are accurately developed. Proofread your work and remove any redundancies.

Writing is an art that requires a combination of certain skills. Each of the skills must be honed and practiced. Although the skills can be enhanced through isolation, you need to work towards integrating them. Professors are always looking for your ability to address the purpose and audience, communicate effectively, develop ideas, and organize your content effectively. It’s time to ace those grades!

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