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A List of Suggestions on How to Find Free Sample Essays

If you are going to look for free essay samples online, these tips can help you navigate your way to most relevant and useful examples.

  • Determine what kind of samples you need.
  • Different kinds of essays have considerably varying requirements to organization and structure; a literary analysis essay should not be written like a descriptive one. Next, consider your academic level. Do you need an essay example for college or high school? Be sure to mention it in your search query, or you may waste time on websites with irrelevant samples. The last question you should ask is whether you are more concerned about your ability to write well or to follow a required academic style. If the former is true, look for examples that have topics close to yours, e. g. sample essays on French Revolution or, more specifically, on Marat or Robespierre. Otherwise, any essay sample in a relevant academic style – APA or MLA – will do for you.

  • Be specific in your search query.
  • Include the kind of essay you need, your academic level, citation style, and, if possible, several keywords related to your topic. Take the most important word combinations, e. g. “process analysis essay,” into double quotation marks.

  • Do not be overly specific.
  • If you put too many words inside quotation marks, your search may yield nothing at all. Remove quotation marks, then repeat your search. A similar problem may occur if you are searching an academic database and have entered too many keywords. Decide which are relatively less important and hence can be removed. For example, if you need samples to write an outstanding character analysis essay on Pride and Prejudice, you do not have to look for essays on Elizabeth Bennet only. Any character analysis essay example can help you understand the basic principles of writing this kind of paper, and the rules to follow.

  • Refine your search wisely.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by the number of links you get – and many of them seem irrelevant – try to refine your search. Use a limitation by file type (“file:.pdf” or “file.doc”) to discover downloadable essay samples. Restrict your search to “.edu” or “.org” websites (“site:.edu” or “site:.org”) to see only reliable academic resources. Finally, see which type of irrelevant links is the most persistent and use one of their main keywords with minus to exclude them. For example, “-speech” will save you from websites with examples of persuasive speeches that mess up your search for persuasive essay samples.


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