4 Effective Essay Writing Tips

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Student Lifehacks
student writing an essay

Nowadays the educational system does not stand still; the most recent academic trend everywhere in the world is to get away from testing the students’ knowledge through the assignments based on memorisation techniques. Today, universities try to embrace the fact that the market economy is undergoing transformation and it requires recent graduates to quickly adapt to the changes in the market and develop strong soft skills for effective collaboration and communication at the workplace. It means that freshly qualified professionals have to possess good critical thinking skills and the ability to think independently to successfully integrate into the working environment of today.

For professors, essay writing is an effective means to test students’ background knowledge as well as see how they formulate their opinions. Students in return develop such essay writing skills as how to formulate their ideas in a concise and logical way as well as select the information and the arguments most suited for the specific problem. We are now used to the fact that we have to write creative essays to be considered for a university program, for a scholarship and of course, for a job. It is though not always easy to pick up writing as a habit, so check these tips for overcoming writer’s block.

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In order to succeed at the beginning of your career, you need to embrace different writing techniques to make your essay stand out among others. Of course, you can always consult A Manual For Writers, which is a brilliant tool for improving your writing. But sometimes we need just a few grounding principles and easy-fixes to make our essays or cover letters much clearer and more effective — and here they are! Below we will have a look at 4 techniques of good writing that will let you win scholarships, get accepted for the most selective university course and win a job of your dreams!

Flexible Outline

So what is a good essay? It means that an essay structure is clearly defined. To be able to do so, you need to keep your essay outline flexible. When you are just thinking about the structure of your essay, the key thing is to leave space on the page under each section of the plan. It does not matter whether you create a mind map or a traditional linear type of outline, you need to have the possibility to add adjustments when you are doing your thinking. Normally you start with a generic plan but as you develop ideas, you should be able to add more details and more facts into your plan structure. It is so handy to cross out notes that no longer seem relevant or add some ideas which might help you to express your arguments better!

Do not think that the first plan you make is the best one! Do not be afraid to modify it! Check if your main thesis is supported by the evidence that you have put into the main body of your plan. Do not forget that this is the planning stage of your essay and you need to find the best ideas that will be incorporated into your essay. Once you find strong arguments for your essay, the writing stage will come much simpler after that!

Write the Body First

Although every student has his or her own order for writing an essay, many students prefer to write the body first. It is the main part of the essay where you use all your arguments, quotations, statistics. It is the part that requires most effort and revision. Moreover, once you are done with the main part of the essay, you already know what you have formulated there and you will adapt the introduction and the conclusion to it. If you write your introduction first, you might end up in the situation when you have to relate the ideas between the parts and you will need to spend extra time and effort on rewriting the introduction. Therefore, it is better to leave it until you finish the main part of your paper to save yourself some time.

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Take out the Fluff

If you want to end up with an original essay, you need to make sure you cut out all the fluff and leave the statements that prove your main thesis. Avoid generic sentences, be ruthless with editing and remove everything that does not add value to your essay! Stick to your essay plan and make sure each point you add does not go off on a tangent from the main argument. It is so easy to lose focus! Also, it is important to revise what you have written with a fresh pair of eyes, so allow a 24-hour break to reread your first draft.

Follow the Writing Guidelines

If you are writing an academic essay, you need to check your writing style guidelines depending on the subject you are studying — always have these writing reference books at hand when working on your essay. APA style is commonly used for social sciences whereas MLA style is a uniform academic writing style for students and researchers. Certain courses may require the use of CMS style – Chicago Manual of Style. Do your research before writing the main body of the essay! You can then always buy or rent the right style manual from BooksRun to make sure your paper meets the required academic standards. It can impact the way you format quotations, page numbers etc. You can ask your professor or check the course syllabus to find out the writing style requirements. It is not worth losing marks if you did a good job but left the margins of the wrong size!

Try to incorporate these essay writing tips next time you have to submit an essay, and you will definitely end up with a good grade!

Iliana K