Simple Essay Writing Tips
If you are an inexperienced writer, then following a few simple essay writing tips can make the process much easier. Taking it step by step will help you produce a well-researched and cohesive essay that is well structured with the correct formatting. Perhaps the most important thing is to allow plenty of time to research and write your article. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
Understanding Your Topic for the Essay
If you have been given an essay title analyze it word by word, and some people find it helpful to underline keywords. If you don’t understand the topic then now is the time to ask for help. Start thinking about how you are going to write your essay, and the sort of ideas you would like to present.
Start Organizing Your Research for the Essay
Gather your research materials together, and make sure they are from reliable and up-to-date sources. Begin by reading all your research materials, and make notes as you go along which highlight the key points from each source. Start thinking about how you will organize this material so that it flows cohesively, and at this point you can begin forming a rough outline using your notes. Even if you don’t need to do any research, you should organize your thoughts on paper.
Make sure that any quotes or research you use are correctly referenced and that you do not plagiarize. You cannot copy other people’s work without giving the correct citations, and you shouldn’t simply take someone’s idea and change a few words around, as this doesn’t really constitute an original essay.
The whole idea of research is to ensure that you understand your topic, so that you can discuss it in an eloquent manner. If you don’t understand your subject then this will swiftly become apparent to anyone reading your essay, so if you’re research brings up new ideas that you don’t fully understand then ask your teacher or professor for clarification.
Start Developing the Outline of Your Essay
Once you have written all your notes, then you can really begin to concentrate on developing an outline for your essay. This is an essential step as every essay should have an introductory paragraph which introduces the topic, giving a brief description about the issues which will be discussed.
The subsequent paragraphs form the main body of the essay, and this is where you can discuss the information gathered in your research and put forward the pros and cons of each example given.
This is followed by the conclusion which summarizes all the information you have presented. This section should be relatively easy to write if you have gained a clear understanding of your subject.
Drafting Your Essay
Begin writing a first draft of your essay based on your outline. Writing several different drafts of your essay will help formulate your ideas even further, and is a great way of sorting out exactly which material you want to include in your essay. Although it may seem time-consuming the end result will be far more polished. Once you have written your first draft read it through carefully and ask yourself if all the information is presented in a logical manner, or if it would read more easily if the information was presented differently. Just writing out your essay will give you a further understanding of the material you are presenting.
Proofreading and Revising Your Essay
Proofreading and revising are incredibly important, so do not skip this stage. Make sure your paper is correctly formatted, and spell-check everything. Your sentences should be correctly structured and the writing should be concise and clear. Every word should count. Check each reference made and make sure it is formatted in the correct style. If you are unsure about referencing correctly, then this website, http://www.calstatela.edu contains clear information on all the most popular styles.
It’s often worth printing out your work and crossing out any unnecessary words, as it’s surprising how many we use. If you aren’t very experienced at proofreading then ask a friend or student to review your work, and offer to do the same for them, as reading and critiquing other people’s work can be an excellent way of improving your own. Another essay writing tip is to read your work out aloud, as this is a great way of spotting simple mistakes, especially with punctuation.
Once you are happy with your essay, then put it aside for a couple of days and then reread it with a fresh set of eyes. You may be surprised how much this can help you produce a more polished essay. Above all give yourself plenty of time, as essay writing tips can only point you in the right direction. The hard work remains all yours.