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  • Writer's pictureMike Strickland

Top tips when entering an essay competition!


Writing Essay Tips

Essay competitions provide inspiration and direction to students, helping them get ahead and maximise their chances of success, especially in terms of university applications. Challenging questions and engaging subject categories ignite curiosity and encourage participants to delve deeper into their chosen field of study. In fact, students who do research are 25% more likely to be accepted to a top 10 university. Essay competitions provide a perfect vehicle for students to research and write in this capacity.


Producing a compelling 1,000-word essay with a clear thesis statement will challenge anyone’s research, analytical, and writing skills. Competitions, such as those provided by Avernus Education, offer students a chance to enhance their academic abilities and critical thinking skills to prepare them for future educational pursuits. Additionally, learning to write about a broad or rigorous topic in relatively few words is great practice for the type of writing required within university-level academics. By dissecting complex issues and formulating well-reasoned arguments, students sharpen their cognitive abilities.


We asked past winners to summarise their top tips for success:


1. Thoroughly read and discern the guidelines for the competition – successful essays will demonstrate a clear understanding of what is being asked. Is it looking for a personal connection? Do I need to find a historical or practical example? Is there research involved?


2. Don’t be afraid to show off your passion for a subject. Make your essay compelling, well-researched and innovative to grab the interest of the markers and judging panel.

3. Start with a strong, clear thesis, and try to maintain consistency in this. Essays that effectively outline what you’re proposing, and how you’re proposing it, are appealing to readers. Make your arguments concise and follow them through to a clear judgement.

4. Keep to a clear and organised structure. It’s easy to spot the difference between an essay that has been thoroughly planned and edited, and a rushed one containing lots of mistakes or contradictions. Brainstorming, outlining, and drafting essays can have real benefits. Of course, don’t forget to proofread, edit, and polish; check the essay for errors, inconsistencies, and improvements.


For more tips, students are often able to access guidance and support throughout the writing process. The team at Avernus Education are always on hand to assist anyone entering the International Essay Competition.

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