Passing an exam is not just about recounting the right facts, it is also about how you present them. Before the exam season starts, it might be time to polish your essay-writing skills.
Follow our 10 guidelines:
· consider your reader. You are not writing for friends or yourself - but for your tutor . This should influence the language you use and the content of the essay. Imagine your reader as you write. Now decide the purpose of the essay. Is it to inform or to persuade?
· do your research. Unless you are at postgraduate level, where interviews come in as well, there are three sources to use - books, periodicals and the internet. Don't be lazy and just rely on one source. First check your reading list. Next ask your tutor for details of any new books not on the list. Make friends with your librarian and ask about relevant periodicals. Periodicals have currency because they are published regularly and so will contain up-to-date facts and opinions
· make a plan: this can be detailed or sketchy, but it should contain all the points you need to make in the order you want to make them in
· analyse and interpret information: you must show evidence that you are not just parroting what you have read, but that you understand the implications. You are judging the success or failure, the strengths or weaknesses of the topic and your analysis should say whether the components of the topic work in harmony or not, and why not
· write a clear opening: you need an impressive opening paragraph that engages the reader, establishes the topic and presents the argument
· write clear body paragraphs: your essay needs a "topic" - or headline sentence - supporting sentences that elaborate this, and the sense of a unified argument
· write an explicit conclusion. A common fault is to ramble on - more experienced essay writers aim for a sense of closure. The conclusion should relate back to the opening paragraph and show that the essay's purpose has been fulfilled
· spelling: yes it does matter, poor spelling creates a barrier between you and your reader. So, do not just rely on the spellcheck, but check for errors yourself
· punctuation: punctuation marks are like traffic signals - they help create order out of chaos. Anything that helps your teacher or tutor read your essay will help you
· finally - to avoid accusations of plagiarism, learn to acknowledge your sources, whether as acknowledgments or footnotes.
Using Professional Tips For Writing An Essay
There are many things that you can do to write an essay and I’m sure you have heard a ton of them but what are the good ones to use. How do you tell if they can help you write your essay? You will never know what tips will help you until you try them but I will give you the basics of what to do when you are going to write an essay.
- Before you even start to write you have to think about and analyze what you have to do for the assignment and what your teacher is expecting from you. Go over all of the instructions and ask questions before you start your essay.
- Pick your topic and then start to compose important points that you want to make in your essay. This will help you identify the main points you are going to cover on your topic.
- Start doing your research and creating ideas that you can use in your essay. You want to find ideas and arguments that relate to the topic that you are doing your essay on.
- Most teacher will assign you a format and layout that they want the essay to be in, do that or if you have the freedom to choose then choose which one you want to use.
- Compose all the relevant information and facts of your essay and make an outline. This including constructing your thesis and laying out all of the information that will be in every paragraph of your essay.
- Write the first draft of your essay, there are two ways you can do this. One you can write the entire thing or you can write the body and do the introduction and conclusion last. Some students find it easy to do these last but you can decide which one works better for you.
- Now step away from the essay for a few hours or even a day or two if you have the time.
- Now that you have fresh eyes, start editing and revising your first draft. Make sure you keep the audience in mind as you do these edits.
- After you are done editing, walk away again and then come back later. Keep doing this until your essay is completely polished.
- Have a friend or you can use software to double-check all the edits that you made in the revision process. The software or friend might be able to see what you missed.