Quite often students are told that they are great at putting ideas into their essay writing, but the actual writing needs improving. This is not uncommon therefore we will provide you with tips on how to improve essay writing skills effectively to ensure that you become a fantastic writer.
Create your outlook
You need to make sure you have an outline before you begin to write your essay so that you know what you are going to write. If you feel like you need some professional writing assistance with this then contact a custom essay service e.g. CustomWritings for some direction. Our advice is to begin by creating your thesis and your argument for your essay and to have an outline before you begin writing anything. All need to include:
- An introduction which also includes a thesis
- The main body of the essay which includes individual paragraphs that discuss the evidence which supports the thesis
- The conclusion which ties everything together and then links back to the thesis.
Thorough research and reading
The reader of your essay is looking to make sure that the evidence you’ve used in your essay highlights that you have done lots of reading and research on the topic. Therefore, your references and bibliography are very important. References show how much work you’ve put into your essay and how widely you have read. Your reader is also looking to see if you’ve listed evidence that’s well known, as well as some more obscure evidence which you may have discovered yourself.
Remember punctuation style and grammar
Basic grammar is essential as is the correct use of punctuation. Make sure you use commas correctly and use full stops when required. The language in your essay needs to be clear and concise and avoid using transition words that don’t add anything extra to the sentence.
Stay Clear of Repetition
It may appear to be difficult to avoid repetition if you have a 10-page paper based on one idea to complete. However, it’s crucial that you avoid repeating yourself if you want to improve your writing skills. Anyone who reads a piece of writing that uses repetitive words will think that the writer is lazy. Follow the below advice to help you you avoid repetitiveness in your writing:
- First of all, remove any repetitive words that appear in your writing
- If you want to keep the idea that you have in your writing then look to replace any words or phrases with something that similar. It could be that you need to replace proper names with pronouns. If you’re struggling to find alternative words then use a thesaurus. However, don’t use words that you are unsure of just because they sound good.
The way that you use language is vital and particularly if you’re writing an academic essay. With an academic essay, you’re trying to convince your reader’s that you know what you are talking about and you’ve put forward an argument that has some backing. Avoid using big words when a simple version will do as this often provokes the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve and even spoil the clarity of your essay. So, before you head to your online thesaurus to change a word, think twice as the word you have already chosen may be perfect.
Use the active voice
It is preferred if essay writing is completed in an active voice as opposed to the passive voice. Examples of active and passive voices are:
- Active – Claire caught the Frisbee
- Passive – The Frisbee was caught by Claire.
Critically analyze any evidence and make sure you understand the argument
When you start to write an essay you need to keep in mind the main argument. It is easy to go off on a tangent and write something that you find interesting, but all this does is make your essay writing less concise. Any evidence that you include in your essay you need to question whether the evidence supports your thesis. If you find that you feel it does not then you probably need to remove that piece of evidence. When it comes to evidence and evaluation you need to be very thorough and critical. Only use the strongest research when it comes to backing up your thesis. Ultimately, your essay needs to have clear connections and it should all tie into your argument and the topic.
Avoid using idioms or clichés
In your essay writing avoid using idioms or clichés as the reader would like to read your thoughts and ideas. If you use any metaphors and similes try and reduce them, if not completely remove them.
Writing the conclusion
The conclusion often gets overlooked when it comes to essay writing. However, the conclusion is the part that ties together all of your evidence which proves your thesis. Don’t think that your conclusion literally restates your introduction or is a copy of your thesis statement. A well-written conclusion should outline any evidence that’s been mentioned in the main body of the essay and how this evidence links to the thesis and highlights how the evidence proves or disregards your main argument.
Read essays written by others
Books help to mold the style that you write in therefore it makes sense to read essays that have been written by others as this will help you to improve and develop your essay writing style skill. Where possible try and read different kinds of essays such as those written by academics as well as your friends. It’s also worth reading essays written in different subjects and not necessarily just on the subject that you’re studying. After all, the more you read the more you learn about different techniques that you can then use in your own essay writing. When you read someone else’s essay, don’t just read the essay at face value as you need to look at it critically. Ask yourself:
- What do you like about the essay and what don’t you like about it?
- Do you think the essay has been written in a persuasive way?
- Can you spot any techniques that have been used in the essay that you’ve not seen before?
As you can see, you can improve your essay writing skills fast and easily. Choose any convenient way you like and good luck with academic writing!