Writing essays and papers is not everyone’s cup of tea. Even for those who enjoy writing papers, it can become a nightmare especially when you have to write high-quality papers and essays throughout college. But fret not, with the help of a few tips.
Did You Know? During a semester a student is required to write an average of 10 to 15 essays, taxing isn’t it?
To make your essay writing skills go from good to excellent? The answer is simple, it requires hard work and effort. No matter how exhausted or frustrated you are with writing papers and essays, you have to be patient.
The key tips that will help push your writing skills a bit further are; Brainstorming and making an outline, researching the topic, writing a draft, including citations and structure, and compiling your work accordingly, lastly proofreading, editing, and organizing your work.
Here is the 8 step guide to help you write an essay or paper that stands out.
1. Collect Your Thoughts
First and foremost take a deep breath and be organized before you dive into the challenge. You must be cool, calm, and collected. If you dread the task before you begin it, it will show in your writing.
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If it isn’t easy for you to relax and collect your thoughts follow the listed meditation exercise before you begin:
- Take slow, long, deep breaths.
- Think of places, scenes or experiences that are soothing for you
- Silently repeat a phrase or prayer like “I can do it” while focusing on your breath.
These exercises will help you relax and focus on the task at hand. This will have a positive effect on you. And you will be ready to give that extra effort that will make your essay high quality. Self-belief will reflect in your work, so it is necessary for you to be relaxed along with the belief that you can do it.
2. Understand The Topic And Assignment
Once you have collected your thoughts and have a clear head, understanding the topic and assignment shouldn’t be difficult for you. Without having a basic understanding of what the topic requires you to do, you will waste your time and effort in whatever you write.
If you don’t understand what the topic requires you to do, ask a friend or consult your professor. Because similarly if you write your essay on a vague idea your result will be distorted and score you fewer marks.
Some important questions to ask yourself before understanding the assignment are:
- Determine the task words in the question, for example, Discuss, Argue, Compare, Analyse etc. This will give you a clear picture of what you have to do.
- What is the subject matter that you should focus on or what you should be writing about?
- What aspects to cover in your answer for the argument or discussion? You can’t talk about everything, so choose one or two aspects to cover in your answer.
- How many examples to include? Focus on 2-3 examples to discuss in your answer because overburdening the reader with too much information will make them lose interest.
For more tips on understanding the task words and how you should understand the assignment check out this website.
If you are hesitant in asking your professor to clarify the topic, remember that it will show initiative and dedication on your part. So you don’t have to worry about looking dumb.
3. Research Thoroughly
Researching isn’t a walk in the park. Some topics may have plenty of information available in books and on the internet whilst others barely have any. In both cases filtering and sifting through information and selecting what is relevant to your assignment requires dedication.
This process can also be very boring and lead you to procrastinate. Consequently, the best approach should be to set a time limit for yourself. Take a break after going through a predetermined number of pages, go have a walk around or a cup of coffee, and come back to the work with a fresh mind.
Beware of adding too much information and citations into your essay, because instead of making your work high quality, it will make it confusing and incomprehensible.
4. Write As If You Are Speaking To The Reader
Keep your writing simple, don’t use words or phrases that you aren’t familiar with because it will never benefit you.
Write your answer as though you are speaking to your professor or your audience. That way you will avoid making mistakes in the tone of your assignment.
An interactive essay will be a high-quality paper because the reader will enjoy reading your work. Try to maintain your authenticity in your answer, it will do wonders for you.
5. Make An Outline And Build A Draft On It
To structure your paper correctly it is important to properly organize the information you have. You will have to compile all the information you have researched and organize it according to what needs to be tackled first. And to do that you will have to keep going back to what the topic of the assignment requires you to do.
Similarly while compiling your work and making the first draft do not worry about the quantity of information you have at hand. At the end of the day what matters is the quality of your content so do not compromise the quality over quantity. Also, give yourself the room to make errors in the first draft.
Even when writing a draft does not do it haphazardly because it will only make the final stage of editing and proofreading difficult for you.
6. Connect Your Ideas
Imagine your essay is a map; you have to take the reader on a journey through your thought process and justifications as to why you have decided to discuss something in the essay or why you chose to support one idea.
Try to interlink everything, it will keep the answer smoothly flowing, making the process of understanding your work easier. Use transitions such as “then”, “but” and “therefore” to shift from one idea to another.
Do not simply jump from one idea to another because it will break the reader’s flow and make your writing sound more forced.
To further establish the credibility of the essay, avoid overusing words such as “that” or “really”. Eliminating the use of these words will make your work sound more focused and polished.
7. The Environment Is Important
The atmosphere you choose to write in matters a lot. The quality of work produced in a room full of people shouting, screaming, or giggling will vary a lot from the quality of work produced in a calm environment in quietude.
Try to avoid distractions when you get to work and also make yourself comfortable according to what suits you best. The best quality of work is produced when you are at peace, focused and comfortable.
8. Proofread And Edit Before Making The Final Call
One of the integral parts of excelling at writing high quality papers and essays is to constantly re-check what you have written. And once you have completed writing the paper one of the best ways to ensure your content is relevant is to understand the topic and assignment again.
After you have written the essay and rechecked it for mistakes, get a friend or any teacher or sibling to go through it again. This way you will have a fresh set of eyes looking at it that can give you a new perspective on your paper and point out mistakes you may have skipped.
Once you have proofread the work yourself and have others also take a look at it, make the desired changes to ensure there are no mistakes in your work.
Writing is a grueling task. It requires time, effort, and utter dedication to have an exceptional essay or high-quality paper. To write a remarkable paper not only will you have to go the extra mile and follow the techniques given above. But you also have to keep in mind the basics of writing a paper which are the; Introduction, Main Body and Conclusion.
Remember to answer the main question within the introduction and keep it short and precise. Put extra emphasis on the thesis in the introduction. The body paragraphs should tackle the different aspects of reasoning and citations along with explanations. There should be a logical progression in the building up of your argument.
Ultimately the conclusion should wrap up the topic and summarize your thesis. It should not include any new points or perspectives rather it should in general give the reader a sense of closure.
In general, you should write the introduction and conclusion in the end and focus more on the body paragraphs as they convey the most important piece of information which is the evidence on which your essay or paper is based
Along with giving quality content and relevant information in the paper another feature, hard work that will polish your writing abilities and make your essay stand out is your grammar and structuring of the text. If your text is full of mistakes and grammatical errors your content will become incoherent and make it tough for the readers to comprehend.
Maintain positivity while writing and give your essay and paper an edge over the others by researching a little more and putting in that extra effort. All this hard work and effort may be draining but remember it will reap your benefits in the end, so Don’t Give Up!
You may not be an exceptional writer but determination and dedication can do wonders for you when you are looking to produce a high-quality paper.