Believe it or not, even the very best students in the world can struggle with the task of essay writing. What we have come to realize is that essay writing isn’t necessarily about what you know; it’s about how you present your knowledge on the page. A well put together essay that adheres to traditional formats and structures will always receive a higher grade than one that is poorly written in terms of grammar, punctuation, use of secondary sources etc.
If you are a student who is constantly struggling with writing essays even though you feel like you have a firm grasp of the subject matter, then perhaps you need to read through our list of tips. Here are six helpful pieces of advice that will hopefully see you get on the track towards successful future essay writing,
1. Read The Essays Of Others
If you are stuck in rut regarding your own essay writing skills, then it can often be very helpful to seek out and read essays written by others. Getting an idea of how other people structure their essays might provide you with some inspiration – not in terms of actual content but in how to effectively transition between paragraphs and build a fluid argument. Reading lots of different essays written by other students can help you to see where you are going wrong in your own writing.
2. Broaden Your Vocabulary
An essay can become very bad very quickly if you keep using the same words and phrases over and over. To gain higher grades from your writing, it is a good idea to try to broaden your vocabulary and grasp of the written language by studying dictionaries and thesauruses. The more eloquently you can get your argument across, the more your teacher is going to like it.
3. Using Developing Words
One of the best ways to make an essay look more professional and mature is by using a lot of ‘developing words’ to expand your points. Using words and phrases like ‘furthermore’, ‘however’ and ‘moreover’ gives your writing a feeling of fluidity and a strong connection between different points. You will always be awarded a higher grade if you can expand upon all of the bullets points in your plan rather than just listing them out in a single paragraph. The more you can expand, the more confident your grasp of the subject appears.
4. Can You Explain Your Essay?
Before you start writing, a good tip is to try to write a short summary of what your essay is going to be about or what argument you are trying to achieve. If you can easily write a paragraph about it, then this means that it will be an easy and enjoyable essay to write. If, however, you find yourself struggling to neatly condense your argument into a single short summary, then it is a sign that your research has not been thorough enough.
5. Use Secondary Sources
The best essays never rely solely on the writer’s personal point of view, but also incorporate pieces of evidence and quotes from other scholars to enrich and strengthen their argument. Including opinions and statements of others in your writing shows that you have a full understanding not only of the original subject matter, but also the academic discussion that surrounds it.
6. Perfect Punctuation
So many students lose marks on their essays for simple mistakes relating to spelling, punctuation and grammar. Give yourself the best possible chance of receiving a high grade by proofreading all of your work before submitting it. You can even get a friend to proofread for you in order to get a fresh pair of eyes on the essay.