Academic Essay Writing

The following is the outline of a lesson plan for essay writing which I used with an advanced group of ESL students.  It could be adapted for any level.


Image result for essay writing


What justifies good writing style in a second language?

  • Correct spelling
  • Transitions between paragraphs-link
  • Correct vocabulary and context
  • Plan writing which provides direction for the reader
  • Clear sentences helps structure
  • Precision of vocabulary which expresses main ideas
  • Examples to explain and justify argument
  • Include goals in your plan


An essay must have a purpose, be coherent, clear and easy to read.

Essay titles:

  1. Being a student is a lot more difficult than it seems.
  2. France is the friendliest country.
  3. Challenges and obstacles force us to refocus our goals.                                                          i) Come up with a single sentence for each which encapsulates your essay.



Introductions should be clear and precise. They should indicate what the essay is about. They should answer the question. At times it may be appropriate to analyse certain words in the question and reformulate accordingly.

An introduction should make it clear to the reader what to expect. It should be brief, saying only what is necessary and no more.

Essay title:

Can we really learn from the past?

  • Write the introduction
  • Once you have written the introduction, rewrite it using fewer words (20 less) but with the same meaning.



Conclusions should summarize what has gone before. They should never contain new material. That is, anything which has not been dealt with in the preceding text.

A good conclusion draws together the writer’s ideas to form a coherent paragraph.

An average essay can be raised by a strong conclusion; a good essay can be destroyed by a bad one.

Essay title:

Real music no longer exists.

  • Write two conclusions.
  • Compare and contrast with neighbour.
  • Choose your best Why did you choose it?

**It is important to consider redrafting and re-reading your work.


Essay 300 words

  1. Being a student is a lot more difficult than it seems.
  2. France is the friendliest country.
  3. Challenges and obstacles force us to refocus our goals.
  4. Can we really learn from the past?
  5. Real music no longer exists.

Choose one essay. Write:

  • The introduction and conclusion
  • Three opening sentences to link with three main paragraphs.
  • Pay attention to purpose, clarity and coherence.
  • Pay attention to all grammar aspects, tense, vocabulary, word choice and everything discussed in class today!



  • Keep writing style and tone formal.
  • Keep grammar and vocabulary formal; do not use slang, do not, could not.
  • Think of sentence structure and syntax.
  • Have your ideas and arguments clearly organized before writing. Rough plan!
  • Be conscious of your sentence length and structure.
  • Introduction (P1)Arguments (P 2, 3, 4, 5,)Conclusion (P 6)
  • Choose whether to agreeor disagreeoragree and disagree.



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Review of Writing: Questions to Consider


  • Does the writer explain their argument clearly?
  • Was there anything that was confusing? If so, what was it?
  • What details does the writer include?
  • What is good about the writing? Why is it good? Are there any errors that need to be corrected?
  • What specific suggestions for improvement can you make? What advice could you give? What worked for you in the past ?
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