There are many things to believe when writing an essay. You should pick a topic, pick evidence to support your claims, and begin putting it all together. But what happens before you get started? Do you normally know what you want to say before typing the first word, or do you begin writing hoping that inspiration will hit along the way? If it’s the latter, then these tips might help you out the next time you’re struggling with getting started or staying focused while writing.
Writing Essays Concisely
1) Avoid First Person Point of View
As much as possible, express your ideas in the third person point of view. It prevents personal bias from coming through in your paper, which is never good when speaking about facts or events. When you write about something you have no connection to, it becomes very difficult to get your point across without being too subjective.
2) Begin with a Strong Thesis Statement
It is an important part of the essay-writing process because it will serve as the foundation for everything else in your paper. It is where you state what your topic and main idea are going to be. Use this statement, to begin with, and use it when finishing up your paper as well. This repetition will help solidify what message you want the reader to walk away with, which in turn encourages a better understanding between both parties involved (and doesn’t that sound like a win-win scenario?)
3) Make Your Main Points First
It is where your thesis statement comes in. Many students find themselves struggling to answer essay questions because they take too long trying to figure out what the question is actually asking and then fail to provide a direct response that directly answers the said question. Your professor isn’t asking you these questions because they want you to take 10 minutes and think about what you’re going to write (if anything at all). They want you to make your main points first, with supporting evidence following suit.
4) Think of Your Topic as a Story
When most students search for ideas on what topic to write about, they think of the last book they read or movie they saw and base their entire paper on one aspect. It can be very limiting and can definitely cause a lack of creativity, so try thinking of your topic as if it were a story instead. Pick an angle and begin writing from there. If you’re having trouble coming up with something to think about, then either take some time to brainstorm or do what other students do and simply pick the first thing that comes to mind (that way, you’ll never run out of ideas).
5) Realize That All Writing Is Re-Writing
It is one tip many people don’t like hearing because it means they won’t submit their final draft as soon as they type up their conclusion. Realize, though, that this isn’t cheating; it’s how most writers operate. How would you feel writing two blog posts simultaneously, with only one of them being published after completion? You’d feel a little silly, wouldn’t you? So don’t beat yourself up if your first draft doesn’t come out perfectly.
6) Take Notes on Your Topic
Before you begin typing anything at all, take some time to research and jot down any ideas that spring into your mind. Before long, the most brilliant thoughts known to man will be coming to mind, and you’ll have a clear understanding of what your main points will be; it’s simply amazing how much easier it is to write about something you’ve already thought about (rather than having to think of an idea while writing).
7) Include Sources in Your Work
There are two reasons for this. One, it shows that you’re knowledgeable about what you’re writing about and have a solid understanding of how the information relates to your topic. Two, including sources, show that you know how to do research. Writing without interesting or helpful sources is just plagiarism, which no one wants on their records.
8) Edit Thoroughly
When editing, read through your work as if it were a reader who has never seen your writing before. If there are any spelling errors or grammatical goofs, then chances are someone else will catch them as well – so fix them now before submitting. Pay special attention to punctuation as well because those mistakes can be extremely distracting for readers.
9) Proofread With Your Eyes Closed
Every writer knows the struggle of spending hours and hours trying to come up with an ending for their paper. It’s frustrating and can be very discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be that way; you need to learn how to proofread your work backward (this is called ‘proofreading with your eyes closed). If you were on a time crunch and had only 10 minutes left until submission, then what would you look for first? The introduction, right? So why not take the same approach when proofing your writing – start at the bottom and work your way up instead of the other way around. You’ll notice this makes all of those pesky errors much easier to spot.
10) Have Someone Else Proofread Your Work
You can’t catch everything, no matter how much you try, so it’s important to have someone look over your paper for mistakes. Not only that, but it can be helpful and encouraging to talk about what you’ve written with someone who isn’t the writer (because they’ll probably understand things better than the writer will).
If you follow these ten easy steps when writing a good essay, then there’s no way you won’t impress your readers with the quality of your work. So next time you sit down to write, make sure to keep these tips handy, and they’ll help you become a better writer.
Sarah has been writing for a decade and now for the learn online Quran Website. She obtained her Master’s degree at the University of London. Her main objective is to write insightful content for those people who read and like it.