Your essays never seem to impress your English teacher very much. The pages are always marked in red pen, and your total grade is never too high. You want to change that, but you’re not sure how.

Start by looking into these online resources. They’re bound to help you improve your English essays from this point forward. 


SparkNotes is the ultimate online resource for English coursework. It offers literary study guides for books that will undoubtedly be on your class syllabus for the year.

Most notably, SparkNotes has comprehensive study guides for William Shakespeare’s plays, including Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. If you’re having a hard time interpreting the language, the website offers a glossary of common Shakespearean terms and side-by-side translations. 

The Library:

Did you need secondary resources for your English essay? Your library’s website can help. For instance, the Toronto Public Library’s website offers digital access to ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and comics for members with a library card/account. They also offer video streaming services, so you can access documentaries and relevant movies.


If you don’t have a dusty dictionary sitting on your shelf, there’s no need to panic — you can go to the Merriam-Webster website to find the definitions for tricky words. The website has a dictionary feature, a thesaurus feature and a variety of useful blogs on grammar and usage (like when to use an em dash or when to say “everyday” vs. “every day”).


Another spelling and grammar resource that you can use to improve your essays is Grammarly. Grammarly will check your writing for grammar and spelling mistakes. It will suggest changes to the style and tone to make your final draft as strong as possible. 

Grammarly’s essay checker comes with a plagiarism checking feature. Students can use this feature to avoid unintentionally committing the academic faux pas. Even in high school, plagiarism is a serious accusation that could lead to a failing grade, suspension and lost academic opportunities.

Finally, the Grammarly website has a blog filled with helpful posts for students trying to hone their essay skills. Read through them to learn how to write stronger paragraphs, how to make proper citations or how to paraphrase an idea without plagiarizing it.

Online School:

You don’t have to settle for the not-so-stellar grades you got on your previous English essays. With the help of this accredited online school, you can enroll in an upgrade credit course and get a second chance to boost your grade. The feature is only available for Grade 11 and 12 courses.

So, if you’re unhappy with your marks from ENG3U, ENG4C or ENG4U, you can enroll inan online school program and take the course again. Doing this will help you sharpen your essay writing skills and gain confidence in the subject. Andif you do well, you could boost your grade for the course and bring up your GPA. 

What else can an online school do for you? Online schools offer free non-credit general interest courseslikeOVS5O (University Writing Preparation). Any student would benefit from taking this course before stepping onto their university’s campus, especially if they’re taking courses in the Humanities. These courses tend to assign a lot of essays and written exams. 

Use these websites to your advantage! Your English essays will get better in no time.

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