Students around the world are continuously being assigned essays that can make or break their grades. Composing these types of assignments is a skill, albeit one that can always be improved.
If you want to make sure that your writing hits the mark and gets you the grades you desire (and need), read on for the four essential essay writing tips to use for your next assignment.
1. Reasonably plan your time
One of the biggest challenges that most students face is reasonably planning out their time before a looming deadline. Let’s face it; deadlines tend to bring most people anxiety. However, as the best assignment experts suggest, by breaking down the task as soon as you receive it and scheduling appropriately, that doesn’t have to be the case for you.
By establishing due dates for yourself (and adhering to them), you are guaranteeing that there won’t be a debilitating sense of panic due to the immense amount of work that is left just before your hand-in date. Plus, you will have more time to go back and make sure it is an A+ kind of paper.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of an outline
While you may want to hit the ground running with the writing portion of the essay, the best way to produce excellent work is to give yourself ample time to work on a detailed outline.
If you do the outline correctly, then you will find yourself with a sheet of paper that:
- Describes the main points
- Arranges the paragraphs into a sensible order
- Ensures that you can thoroughly develop each section or idea
You will find that using an outline is invaluable during writing sessions as it will reduce the chance of you getting writer’s block.
Start by writing your topic at the top of the page, and then separate the rest of the paper into an introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion section. In the spaces between each section, you can jot down the smaller ideas that will support the main idea.
Once you have completed your outline, you will find it a lot easier to envision the structure of the assignment. Then, all you have to do is fill in each section. The purpose of a comprehensive outline is to help the essay seem a lot more manageable, making it a lot less likely that procrastination tendencies will start to creep into your time.
3. Stay on top of your quotations
When writing an academic paper, there is a high likelihood that you are using quotations or ideas from other authors or academic writers. In every case, you need to be crediting them for their work. Going back and finding the proper attributions once you have written the paper can make this far more challenging than it needs to be.
Instead, while you are writing your essay, keep track of the sources that you use and where you found them. It is highly recommended for you to be working on your bibliography simultaneously with writing your paper.
For certain essay styles, you can use footnotes to cite a source. If this is the case for your assignment, ensure you consistently format them.
4. Edit ruthlessly
For many students, once the essay has been written, they think that all the hard work is over.
Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. After the writing sessions comes the editing period. When editing, you want to make sure that you are cutting long sentences and paragraphs as they can be too hard to read. Look for ways to tighten your sentences and cut down on unnecessary wording by eradicating tautologies, weasel words, and repetition of ideas.
In a similar vein, overly complicated text isn’t always considered to be better. Generally, you want to steer yourself towards clear, concise language and only use sophisticated words sparingly. During the editing process, keep in mind that academic papers usually don’t include exclamation marks and ellipses.
Write that essay with confidence
If you incorporate these four tips into your next assignment, you will be well on your way to being top of the class!
What challenges do you usually face when writing an academic paper? How are you looking to improve your assignments over the course of the next few months? Let us know in the comments below!