Engaging the Reader


If you’re a copywriter, you understand the importance of engaging the reader. If you’re a student—maybe not so much. Nevertheless, the key to successful writing lies in seeing things from your audience’s perspective and then writing accordingly. Let’s see how that applies to essay writing and, subsequently, good grades.

One thing you can do is to use stories. For example, if you’re writing about tigers, you can actually tell about what you know has happened to some of them (make sure it’s true, of course). You might say something like:

It’s another day for the new cubs. Mom’s not back yet, and they’re starting to feel the pain of hunger. If she doesn’t make it back, they’re not yet old enough to hunt; instead of becoming the future predators, these little ones could instead become today’s prey…

Engaging? Yes. True? Yes. Likely to get you a good grade? Well, probably (unless, of course, your report is supposed to be about something other than tigers). Now, let’s take a look at a not-so-effective essay about the same subject:

The tiger is in the grass. It is about 6 feet long. It has stripes and a tail. The tail is long. It eats other animals because it is a predator. The little tigers cannot hunt until they reach a certain age. Before they can hunt, they may become the prey of other predators…

  • Paper 1: A.
  • Paper 2: Probably not an A.

Why is Paper 1 more engaging? Because it goes beyond just fact citing. It brings the subject to life in such a way that the reader will be interested. And you must do that if you’re going to get good grades on essays. It’s not just about putting facts on paper. That’s obviously important, but you’ve also got to have these facts well organized, properly formatted, and interesting to the reader.

That’s not to say that all this is easy; it takes time and practice to develop one’s writing skills. But the extra time and effort invested in making a paper interesting—as well as factual—will definitely pay off.