So how do you take your essays to the next level and go from great to brilliant? Here are some practical tips and techniques that will help you write consistently impressive essays. Try to read a range of other essays, including those of your peers and of academics. Be critical: what do you like about them? How persuasive do you think they are?
Is the argument a balanced one, with points adequately supported with evidence? Another good source of essays is the broadsheet newspapers. Essays should be balanced, so you can learn from the best of these writers and pick up some techniques to help you shape a balanced piece. Planning Decent planning at sea will help you avoid sea monsters.
Decent planning in essays will help you avoid irrelevant waffle. If your essays often get criticised for having poor structure or unclear lines of argument, chances are you need to practise your planning. I use the following step-by-step process to turn my notes into a good plan; you can try it too, and see if it works for you.
As far as possible, try and organise your thoughts into sections, and see if you can link ideas together. Where do the ideas link together most easily, or fall together into neat sections?
Which question would you be able to answer most fully? This forms the beginnings of a skeleton for your essay. Jot down the sentences that link these in to the greater structure. Every twist or nuance of your argument should be in there; every introductory and concluding sentence for every paragraph, making it explicit how this paragraph answers your question.
Does everything follow? Is it all relevant? Your plan should be so complete that the person who reads it will immediately be able to spot any flaws. For a word essay, I usually write a plan of about three sides, and spend at least three hours making sure that before I put pen to paper, every kink in my argument is ironed out. The pay-off of doing it this way is that the writing process is short and easy — a case of joining up the dots, polishing bullet-points into sentences — much better than coming up with ideas and organising thoughts at the same time as finding the words to express them.
Get better and better: If you struggle with structure or clarity, practise your planning! But the literary present demands that you write: The river symbolizes freedom and enlightenment for Huckleberry Finn.
A key tip to improving your writing skills is that everything should be in the present tense. It doesn't matter that you read the book last week, or that the author wrote it a century ago. Write about the characters and events as though they exist in the here and now. This is one of those conventions that is just easier to accept than to question.
Mechanics: Sweating the small stuff is important when improving your writing skills Always run a spell check. It only takes a moment, and it will save you the embarrassment of turning in an analysis of Julius Caesar in which you consistently misspell Caesar. Pay attention to the suggested replacements when editing your essay, however, as these canned wizards do not always understand your meaning. Even Bill Gates can't turn "it" into "in" or "you're" into "your" for you, so you also need to comb through the paper carefully with your own eyes to find every error before handing it in.
Brilliant essays receive lower grades if simple mistakes are left unchanged. Ask for a second opinion If you're thinking that this seems like a lot to remember, you're right.
But focusing on one or two areas at a time will help you steadily improve your writing skills. If you need more help along the way, try our online essay writing course.
To illustrate, a child might write robotically: I like to run. If you use a newspaper article or opinion piece, think about the factors that might bias it and include your thinking in your essay! Get better and better: If you struggle with structure or clarity, practise your planning! Pay attention to the same things your teacher will evaluate. Improve Essay Writing With Pre-Writing Tasks As with any type of writing project, performing pre-writing tasks is an important first step: Get clear instructions from your teacher, and check your understanding with her. I like to play.
Thank you, , for signing up. Read your sentences, and think about how they can be grouped.
You might ask yourself: Are the paragraphs in a logical order? Make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation. Working with one stack of cards at a time, organize the cards into logical order within each pile.
An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. The Elevator Pitch is a technique used by salespeople when condensing the arguments for buying a product into the shortest possible summary of why a customer should consider a purchase.
This may require you to add more ideas to round out the thought, but our term paper editors have found that expanding on your new sentence in this manner will improve your paper.
Planning Decent planning at sea will help you avoid sea monsters. Now craft a new sentence that retains the circled words but discards the repeat ones. Grammar basics include verb and subject agreement, proper article and pronoun usage, and well-formed sentence structures. Previous Post Next Post Wil Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. In general, the further you progress through your education, the more rote learning will be replaced by the kind of analysis usually best demonstrated by essays. Get Grammarly Development of Your Thesis A thesis is the essence of your paper—the claim you are making, the point you are trying to prove.
Reduce—perhaps to zero—the number of similes and metaphors, particularly if they are common ones.
An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. All the other paragraphs in your essay will revolve around this one central idea. Grammarly can save you from misspellings, grammatical and punctuation mistakes, and other writing issues on all your favorite websites. Your Elevator Pitch for your essay should sell the idea of it to a reader, leaving them wanting to read the essay in question.
The internet, or library books? What do you look at first? Having lots of mistakes suggests carelessness and diminishes the credibility of your arguments. Using obscure language can also take away from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before you pull out that thesaurus to change that perfectly good word to something completely different. Learning to master these five elements will cause your scores to soar!