Academic writing is one of the most painful activities for college students. When you first start college, everything seems new, and the overwhelming amount of essays are starting to knock at your door. It’s not a pleasant feeling, and that’s because you’re not yet used to writing quality essays.
With time, you’ll notice that what seemed almost impossible in the beginning becomes a piece of cake. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. To be honest, you have to work hard in order to develop your writing skills. Fortunately, you’ll find thousands of online resources that can aid you.
I’ve been through college, and I’ve been where you are. I know it’s difficult at first, but believe me when I tell you: things WILL become easier. From hating essays, I started to enjoy writing them, and even turn profits out of them.
In today’s article, I’ll share a few insightful tips that come from my own personal experience. There are Do’s and Don’ts in Essay Writing. Let’s take a closer look at what you should do and shouldn’t do:
To Do’s in Essay Writing
Your Essay Should Be Easy to Read
You need to clearly understand that teachers are also overwhelmed by the amount of essays they have to take care of. Many of them admit that more than often they skim read through essays only to get few ideas about how competent the student is regarding the given topic.
Make their life easier, and they’ll make yours. If you keep your essay easy to read – that means structure, easy to read sentences, and plenty of paragraphs instead of word blocks. Also, get rid of the unnecessary words and phrases and stick to the point.
Use Advanced Vocabulary
When you write an essay, try your best to put down the appropriate words. The purpose of an essay is not only to display your knowledge regarding the topic, but also to test your ability to use the appropriate terms. Your language expertise is a huge grade booster, because teachers really appreciate a student’s effort to go beyond his “comfort zone”.
Use Simple Sentences
Long and complicated sentences don’t necessarily prove that you’re a better essay writer. To be honest, it’s exactly the opposite. When you use like five or six verbs into the same sentence, you’re not only conveying that you don’t know how to logically split the sentences, but you’re also giving your teacher a hard time reading your essay. Here’s an awesome sentence tool that lets you know when you’ve overstepped the line.
Another problem with complicated sentences is the fact that you might make grammar mistakes. It’s so much easier to do mistakes when you’re not keeping it simple. Look at Hemingway, his style is extremely easy to approach and he uses simple sentences throughout his works. That didn’t stop him from becoming a famous writer.
The Don’ts of Essay Writing
Don’t Rely on Spell Checkers & Proofread the Essay on Your Own
There are a lot of useful essay writing services and software that can help with spell checking, and you could take advantage of them. Microsoft Word for example is the most commonly used software for writing. Be it essays, articles, novels, many writers use it in order to get their job done. Even though Word has a spell checker integrated, it only shows you the surface mistakes.
The human eye can see more than a spell checking software. Your teacher surely observes grammar and sentence mistakes. In order to avoid this, you should take your time and carefully proofread your essays. You can even do it twice if you’re not certain. BUT, never skip this process!
Don’t Provide Too Much Information & Facts
Yes, it’s important to know how and when to include information in your essay. Facts are also welcomed. Showing your professor that you really have knowledge of the topic is fantastic, and may give him reasons to improve your grade. BUT. There’s a huge but.
Essays aren’t encyclopedia, and they were never supposed to be. Including too much information and facts can be a downfall for you. Your job is to narrow the topic, prove that you’re able to structure your information, and then choose the most relevant facts. That’s it.
The number one rule when it comes to essays: never plagiarize. Everything you write should be your own research, your own sentences, and your own words. Believe me when I tell you, teachers possess extremely efficient plagiarism checker tools. Besides the available tools, they also have a lot of experience. They know when a student cheats, and things will go bad for you the moment you get caught.
When you write your essays, make sure you reference all the sources you use. This way you’re ensuring that nothing can go wrong. Even if you unintentionally plagiarize, your “mistake’ will be erased by the references you make. If you get caught, you are risking your reputation. If a teacher catches you, trust me, your college life will suddenly become painful.
Don’t Skip the Formatting Rules
A well-written article must present the right formatting details. Most of the times, the teacher will let you know how the essays should be written. Pay attention to the font, size, spaces, page numbers, and paper size. Don’t forget to comply with the requirements, as they are very important to your final paper grade.
Also, make sure that you respect the narration types. When you have to be objective, stay objective. When your essay is supposed to be subjective, use the first person and be persuasive. These things are important; do not neglect them.
Being a good essay writer isn’t easy, but it’s definitely possible as long as you keep improving your writing skills. Make sure you keep in mind all the tips you’ve learned during this article. Most importantly, try to apply them during your next essay assignments and notice how your grades improve!
Do’s and Don’ts in Essay Writing
This article was written by the lovely Karen Dikson. Karen teaches at Atlantic Cape Community college and writes for several educational websites, including Teach.com and HuffingtonPost. She finds her inspiration in reading and helping her students succeed.