Essay writing is an obligatory task that all students have to do regardless of their major. The types of essays that a student may have to write can vary, for example, they could be asked to write a creative essay in a fictional setting. Or they could be required to write an argumentative essay using facts and logic as well as evidence.
Regardless of the type of essay, some things are common between them. By working on these things, students can improve the quality of their essays. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
1. Analyze the Topic in Detail
All essays have a prompt or a topic. Usually, they are given by the teachers to their students, but sometimes a student may have the freedom to choose a topic on their own. Whatever the case may be, the first thing you need to do is to start researching it.
But before researching, you need to sit down and think about the topic first. You need to determine three things:
• The contents that will be covered.
• The scope of the topic i.e., the limits in which the topic will be discussed.
• And what exactly will you do in the essay i.e., will you evaluate something, discuss it, or compare it to something else?
Once you have thought about these things, you can start gathering information about your topic and create some reference notes/outlines.
2. Write in a Structured Manner
Once you have all the information you need from the research and analysis phase, you can begin writing your essay.
Now, you could just write everything in one long paragraph that does not break, but that is really bad for readability. You have to think about the person who will read the essay as well.
To that end, it will serve you well if you break down your essay into digestible parts. Here’s how you can do that:
• Segment different sub-topics by using headings
• Utilize bullet points and lists wherever they are applicable
• Keep your paragraphs short, there is no need to lengthen them unnecessarily
This makes your essay very easily scannable. So, your readers have an easier time reading and grading the essay.
3. Maintain Readability
We have mentioned how formatting and structure help your readers to peruse your essay. But that alone is not good enough. Your writing must also be easily readable.
When we say “readable”, we mean that you should write in such a way, that your readers don’t have to go over a sentence more than once to understand it. Typically, this involves using simple wording and straightforward phrases. But in an essay, it is your job to use advanced vocabulary to show off your lexical knowledge. These objectives can be met with some paraphrasing.
Once you have written a section of your essay, you can read it after a little while to see if it flows smoothly. If it doesn’t you can just chuck it in a tool to rephrase online. An AI tool can make your text more readable by rephrasing it in certain ways. The meaning remains largely the same, so there aren’t any issues with the intent of the content.
To rephrase online, you can search for tools on the internet. There are plenty of free tools that can help you maintain readability. Of course, if you are confident in your own skills, then you can do the paraphrasing yourself. This also means you can keep in any bombastic words that you like.
4. Cite Any Sources that You have Taken Data/Information from
If your essay is not creative, then chances are that you have to use information from other sources to either support or contest an argument.
This is quite common in essay writing, but care should be taken that any information used in this way must be credited to its owner.
The only way to credit someone in writing is to cite them. If you fail to cite your sources, then that will count as plagiarism. In most schools and colleges, plagiarism is not tolerated and can result in an automatic failing grade.
To prevent such an outcome and have credibility, always cite your sources.
5. Do a Plagiarism Check
Incorrect or missing citations are not the only way of committing plagiarism in an essay. Copying other students’ wording or copying verbatim from a source without quoting is also plagiarism.
And the worse thing about plagiarism is that it can occur unintentionally as well. By freak coincidence, students can write something similar to somebody else. Sometimes, a student can unconsciously copy words from different sources without realizing it.
That’s why it is necessary to check for plagiarism after writing an essay. To conduct a plagiarism check, a student only needs to go online and find a free plagiarism checker. It has to be free because students aren’t usually the richest people in the world, so they have to rely on free tools.
A free plagiarism checker can compare your essay with various online sources to find plagiarism. A plagiarism checker generates a report that shows which parts of the essay are plagiarized and from which source.
Using this report, you can edit and remove all counts of plagiarism from your essay.
These were a few tips for writing a great essay. By applying them to your essay-writing process, you can ensure that your essay is of superb quality, one that makes your teachers impressed.
Of course, as is the case with all things, practice makes perfect. So, writing a lot of essays will naturally improve your skills over time.