Improve your essay writing skills from good to great in 6 steps

You have another essay to write and you feel a bit stuck in a pattern you’ve been following so far? You have mostly had good feedback, but you feel the need to make some improvements, make it less mundane. Has it ever crossed your mind that writing an essay doesn’t have to be so dull? In fact, for many thriving students it represents an amusing intellectual game. They love it because it gives them a chance to boast their skills. If you consider some useful pieces of advice we prepared for you, you might be surprised to find that you are starting to like it too! It is thrilling because you have to construct convincing arguments within limited word count. Before you start thinking ‘I need someone to proofread my essay’, try to use your critical thinking and follow these steps intended to help you manage your writing style. 

1. How others do it?

It is in your best interest to start reading what other students have written. Thus you will get a notion of different writing styles and get ideas how to structure your essay. It is very important to read both, essays written by academics and those written by your peers. You will get a good insight into variety of tones. Do not limit yourself strictly to your subject. Reading essays written on a wide range of subjects will enable you to see various styles and arguments. Furthermore, read books. I presume that you think ‘I don’t have time to do such things like reading’ but in a long run, you will see what impact it makes on the range of your vocabulary you use and on your own essay-writing style. 

2. Build up your vocabulary

If you take this task seriously, you must be willing to accept a dictionary or a thesaurus as your best buddy. It is not enough to just read whatever is within the reach of your hand. It is crucial to get actively involved in the process of reading. Try not to be lazy when it comes to thoroughly understanding the meaning of some unclear words and look them up in the dictionary.  It is also recommendable to work on synonyms and collocations. Also, learning prefixes, suffixes and roots is of a great help.  Besides it can be amusing. Once you get into the way words are made, it will be easier to understand some demanding vocabulary and expand your own choice of words. It is worth noting that reading doesn’t necessary imply “heavy” literature like classic novels. It is good enough if you start reading a blog published by Cambridge or Oxford or subscribe on a “word a day” sort of articles. 

3. Don’t forget linking words and vary your language

Not repeating your words plays a significant role in being smart in essays. That’s why it is advisable to vary your language. Instead of using “also” many times, try writing “moreover”, “furthermore”, “additionally”, “besides”, “too” or “as well”. Use linking words, but use them efficiently so the reader gets impression he or she is guided through the arguments and directed to the logical conclusion. Even though you need to put a great deal of effort into this, it helps get better results in a long run as well as in a short. 

4. Sell the idea to a reader in the introduction part

Usually, we are told that writing an essay starts from writing a plan first, and then you should consider main arguments and finally link it all together in a coherent unity using linkers. We advise you to start from the end: think of your final arguments and then build a construct that logically leads to them. Ideally, you should grab the reader’s attention before you start elaborating your arguments. This is a tough task since you have to try to find compelling arguments and be exceedingly concise at once. Start practicing! Pretend that you are a door to door seller that has a limited time to convince his potential buyer. Measure your time and start thinking of efficient arguments.  

5. Don’t be afraid to cite

Including other people’s opinion on the subject is highly recommended and more than welcome. Of course, you should include citations of authors relevant to the subject. Please note that you intend to be objective and implore critical thinking. Hence, contrasting opinions should be included. However, don’t cite too much. It could leave the impression that you don’t have your own opinion. Implement citations in your points of you. Sources you are using also speak for your essay-writing skills. 

6. Pay attention to the grammar and punctuation

Although it doesn’t seem that obvious to you while you are reading your essay but the way you structure your sentences says a lot about your essay-writing skills. Your essay should be easy to read but then again not too simple when it comes to syntax. In order to guide the reader through the arguments in a logical manner, you must use a proper punctuation. Finally, the tone of your voice colors the overall impression. Try using active instead of a passive voice. 

 

 

 

 

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