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Top Best Recommendations for Writing an Essay

Essay Writing Tips Every Student Should Know About

Essay writing is not something you can do by following a strictly defined set of steps. It is a highly individualized process, and every writer brings along a personal style and approach. The only way to acquire such a style is to work on it purposefully, writing and developing a set of techniques of your own. You may start by imitating somebody you particularly like, but eventually, you will be able to create your own individual voice. However, there are universal rules and essay writing tips that would be useful for any writer, with any style. In this article, we are going to cover some of them.

Study the Writing Prompt Carefully

More poor grades result not from inherent flaws of your writing, but from not paying attention to the prompt that you are supposed to be following. It is tempting to glance over it and decide that you understand everything – after all, the sooner you start writing, the faster you will be done with it. Quite often, it results in your misreading an important detail or misunderstanding a crucial point of the prompt, especially if you deal with a college-level assignment.

Always read the prompt slowly, carefully, and out loud. It will force you to slow down and pay attention to every word, making mistakes less likely.

Write a Plan or an Outline

Many students believe that time spent preparing an essay outline is better spent writing it. After all, what is there to plan? It is not a dissertation, and you can keep everything you want to mention in mind. Right?

Wrong. You may not actually need an outline to write a page-long essay, but it will almost certainly turn out better if you use one. Without an outline, you are more likely to forget to mention a point or repeat yourself, arrange paragraphs in an illogical manner or find out halfway through that you’ve suddenly come up with a better way to drive your point home and now have to start over.

Pay Special Attention to Your Thesis

Your thesis statement is the core of your essay. It expresses its main thought boiled down to a single sentence. Ask yourself, will the reader be able to grasp the primary idea behind my thinking after reading just my thesis statement? If the answer is negative, you have to make it more direct and to the point.

Be Careful about Quotations

Failing to properly quote the ideas of other people you use in your writing is not just a formatting mistake. It can easily put you in danger of plagiarism accusations, which is not a laughing matter and can result in a variety of unpleasant problems.

Check what formatting style you should use and follow it religiously, carefully checking your text for missed quotation marks.

Avoid Using Passive Voice

In most cases, passive voice makes your speech convoluted and hard to follow. If it is possible, avoid it. However, it does not mean that you should do so mechanically. If an idea looks more natural when expressed in passive voice, do not go to unnecessary pains trying to invent a way to express it in active voice.

Make Sure You Know the Meanings of the Words You Use

Sometimes we pick up words and use them without finding out for sure what they mean, simply because we like how they look or sound. Unfortunately, sometimes they turn out to have completely different meanings from what we believed. While in everyday conversation such a mistake can, at worst, be a cause of a little embarrassment, when you do it in an important academic essay, it considerably erodes your overall credibility. These days, with everybody having Internet access, there is no way to justify such negligence, as checking the word’s meaning is a matter of a few seconds. If you can’t be bothered to look a word up in a dictionary before using it, who can guarantee that the information you present in your writing has anything to do with reality?

Strive for Variety in All Things

Monotony and repetitiveness are the most obvious signs of bad writing, and you should do everything in your power to avoid them. To do so, you have to consciously vary your writing. Do not use sentences of roughly the same length – alternate longer and shorter sentences to make the flow of your writing less predictable. Avoid repeating the same words and phrases over and over again. You do not have to replace them with obscure synonyms from a thesaurus, but some variety will certainly pay off. Vary the structure of your sentences – it will serve to liven up your writing and make it more interesting to follow.

Practice

Finally, it does not matter how many writing manuals you study and how religiously you follow the advice you find in them. In the long run, the only way to get better at writing is to, well, write. The more you practice, the better your writing gets and, unfortunately, there are no shortcuts that would allow you to skip this step. Our tips can help you learn new things at a faster rate and increase the speed at which you improve, but they can only do so much. To become a better writer, you will have to apply what you learn here in practice.

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