Essay Writing Tips

Questions to Ask When Writing an Essay

September 09, 2015
visa icon visa icon
Questions to Ask When Writing an Essay

Most teachers do not make use of a very important aspect of writing essays and papers. And that aspect is that the student should ask him/herself questions as a pre-writing preparation. Asking these questions will ultimately result in a better piece of writing. So, here are questions you should ask yourself as you get ready to write any essay or paper.


You may have a general topic area, but within that topic area, you will need to select a smaller sub-topic for your essay or paper. Here is what you need to ask yourself:

  1. What sub-topic will interest me the most? Check through your text and lecture notes for topic ideas, and pick one in which you have good interest. Writing an essay or paper on a topic you don’t like is like getting a root canal – painful, very painful!
  2. Is there enough information on the topic to fulfill the length requirement? If you need an 8-page paper on the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam will probably not cut it. Before you finalize your topic, check out what’s available for resource information.

Thesis Statement

Every essay or paper has to have a thesis statement. So, here is what you need to ask as you formulate that statement:

  1. Why is it important for the reader to know this?
  2. What is the main point I am trying to make?
  3. What is my opinion about these topics?



There may be a large number of potential resources to use, but they are not all created equal. By the time you are in college, you can dump the idea of using encyclopedias of any kind. They are not appropriate for the type of research expected of you. So, here are your questions?

  1. Is the author of this book or journal article considered an expert on this topic?
  2. Can I find and use primary resources on this topic?
  3. If I have to use only secondary resources, are these the most current and relevant?

Choose your resources wisely – your professor will expect them to be of high quality.

Organizing Your Information

Before you make an outline for writing, ask yourself the following:

  1. Should the information or data be organized sequentially?
  2. In what order should the points I make be given? Most important to least important, or the other way around?

After the Rough Draft is Finished

You know you are not going to turn in the first draft of whatever you write. You have to review it and fix your errors – structural and grammatical. So, as you read through that draft, ask yourself the following:

  1. Do I have a logical flow of the points I am making?
  2. Do I have good transitional sentences between paragraphs and, for longer works, sections?
  3. Have I varied the length of my sentences?
  4. Does my introduction begin with something that will capture the reader’s attention right away?
  5. Have I stated my thesis in the introduction and made it very clear?
  6. Have I used spell and grammar checkers to catch errors?

Asking the right questions gets you to a “better place” in your writing and, ultimately, a better grade. If you have any concerns about your topic, resources, or the quality of your writing, send it over to some good custom writing services like for a full review and edit. It will be returned to you polished and ready to go