There are several key points you need to pay attention to when writing an essay type answer. Once you get used to it, it is pretty easy.

Understand the Question

This may seem obvious, but our minds easily tend to skim over the question rather than grasping it firmly, especially in an exam setting, with time running out. How should you counter it?

  1. Read out the question aloud in your head, and emphasize the key words.
  2. Underline the Key Words of the Question.
  3. In your head, breakdown the question to its essential parts.

Brainstorming and Structuring

Jot down everything that crosses your mind when you think of the question and the themes related, in no particular order. This will help you to view all the options you have in answering the question.

After that, think of the best way to approach the answer, and then jot down a plan consisting of your main points. This structure will help you to make your answer coherent and stand out among the rest.

Learn how to easily BRAINSTORM for your essay answers!


The introduction should be brief and clear. It should give the necessary details about the text and author, the background. Most importantly, it should give your thesis statement (Main argument you are making in the answer), and the main points you will use to prove it.

Topic Sentence

The topic sentence is usually placed at the beginning of a new paragraph. It gives the main point your trying to make in the paragraph clearly and briefly. In a really good answer, if the examiner reads the first sentences of each paragraph, the examiner will be able to know the flow of the argument. The writing will be so clear and easy to read. No confusions.

Here’s an in-depth understanding/training on Topic Sentences!

Sentences (Avoid Run-on and Fragmented sentences)

Sentences in your essay should be clear, concise and coherent. Break the ideas, thoughts and concept into bite size, manageable parts. Do not attempt to convey the whole idea or theory with just one sentences. Long sentences are not helpful. Keep sentences to a manageable length. Remember, one clause should contain just one idea (sentences are made of clauses). And your sentences should not contain more than two or three ideas.

Upgrade Formal Vocabulary

For your writing to seem professional, formal vocabulary is key! Use verbs such as ‘Connotes’, ‘Suggests’, ‘Implies’ and ‘Portrays’ instead of ‘shows’ when analyzing what the writer says. Learn other formal verbs and nouns which can be used to analyze characters and themes. I will write another post on these formal verbs and nouns that you can use to give your writing a professional flavour!

Follow PQA

PQA stands for POINT, QUOTATION, ANALYSIS. Your topic sentence acts as the point. The rest of the paragraph should introduce quotations and the analysis. This formula is simple but extremely effective in covering all the necessary aspects of an essay answer.

To understand the structure, register and other elements of writing an answer, checkout these awesome model answers on our website:
The Twilight of a Crane
The Bear
The Vendor of Sweets
The Nightingale and the Rose

Big Match, 1983

Good Luck on your examinations!

If you have any doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us at WORDSACADEMY!

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