What Smart Students Need to Know about Essay Writing

Many students find essay writing anoverwhelming activity and this is simply due to the fact that writingessays requires using pure academic language, and a proper structureneeds to be followed. Writing good essays is not really that hard.You just need to be aware of the key components and techniques thatmake up a good essay, and you need a lot of practice, of course. 

Joseph Crowell, a professional essaywriter at Essayontime,shared his thoughts with us on this, “Essay writing is not as hardand technical as many students perceive it to be. All it takes is tolearn the basic rules, and a lot of practice, that’s it!”

In addition toJoseph’s valuable advice, we have some tips to share that willgreatly help you in improving your overall writing skills in generaland your academic writing skills in particular. 

  1. Structure: The mostimportant point to keep in mind when writing essays is that an essaymust follow a proper, organized structure. No matter how long or howshort your essay is, you must make sure that it is well-structured.It not helps the readers in understanding your essay, but alsocontributes towards the overall ‘flow’ of your composition. 

All essaysessentially share the same structure regardless of their length,topic, and complexity. A good essay starts with an introductoryparagraph that contains your thesis statement. The thesis statementshould give the reader a clear idea about the topic of your essay.Next, there are the body paragraphs where the bulk of your essaygoes. The body paragraphs can be argumentative, descriptive, orcompare/contrast depending on the topic of your essay. Finally, theessay should be wrapped up with a conclusion paragraph, restating themain idea of the essay. (Hint: never present any newinformation/ideas in the conclusion paragraph). 

  1. Planning: Abraham Lincolnfamously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I willspend the first four sharpening the axe.” Planning your essaybefore writing down a single word will greatly help you in coming upwith a fine piece of composition. The planning phase for writing anessay includes steps such as selecting a topic (unless you have beenassigned one), researching relevant information/sources, and makingan outline of your essay. Pay special attention to these steps,especially to outlining your essay, as it will making the writingpart very easy for you. 

  1. Developing an Argument: Itis a simple guideline, yet many students stumble upon this one. Todevelop your arguments effectively; it is important that you avoidusing repetitive words. Ignoring this can make your writing lookdull and far from interesting. In order to sound clever andknowledgeable, pay due attention to your selection of words. Forexample, many students have been observed to overuse the word “also”while writing their essays. This is something you really want toavoid if you want your essays to look good. 

Always use avariety of words to develop your argument. For example, instead ofrepeatedly using the word “also”, you should use a variety ofother similar words such as furthermore, moreover, additionally etc. 

  1. Quote Other People: Inorder for your essay to sound authoritative and well-informed, it isessential that you quote other people (preferably experts) who sharethe same opinion as you are stating in your essay. For example, ifyou’re writing an argumentative essay about legalization ofmarijuana, stating its hazardous effects on human health, it is bestto use quotes from industry experts who share the same opinion asyou. This will not only add to the credibility of your essay, butwill also demonstrate how well-informed and knowledgeable you areabout the topic. 

  1. Do Multiple Revisions:Almost all written works need multiple revisions and this holds truefor essays as well. In fact, it is even more important for essaysconsidering the serious and academic nature of these compositions.Revision as a crucial part for crafting good essays as it will makeyour essay better and better with each revision. 

After you havefinished writing the essay, take a break, ideally for a day (or atleast for a few hours) and then revise your essay. Taking a break isnecessary but it will enable you to have a ‘fresh’ look at youressay. The revision phase includes proofreading your essay forspelling/grammar mistakes, checking the accuracy of facts/references,and making sure you have stated all the important information. Youshould also consider the overall structure and flow of your essay.Revise your essay multiple times (at least 3 times, with breaks inbetween) in order to develop your essay into its best possible state.

Remember that eventhe greatest writers aren’t able to craft a good and accurate pieceof writing in the first go. Revisions are of paramount importance forall writing purposes and the sooner you develop this habit, thebetter it is for your writings. 

  1. Practice Constantly: “Practicemakes a man perfect” and good writing is no exception to thisrule. Learning about the rules of good essay writing is easy, butyour actual task is to implement those rules into writing. This isachieved through constant practice. After you learn the rules andtechniques for writing good essays, practice them as much as youcan, until they become second nature to you and are incorporated inyour writings when you are not even thinking about them.  As GamelSankarl says, “No one was born a writer. None had a pen in handwhen they arrived on earth. Writing is a learnable skill, if youhave the will to write, you will find the ways to write, rewrite andget better writing with time. Just write!”

You see there is nothing tricky aboutwriting great essays. You simply need to keep the basic rules inmind, and plenty of practice in order to master the art of writinggreat essays. We wish you all the best with your writing endeavors! 

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