College can be tough. You have a seemingly endless amount of assignments piling up and you don’t know how you’re going to complete the first essay, let alone the next 10.
Take it from someone who recently graduated, it doesn’t get easier. However, here are 3 writing tips to help you get through all those mind-numbing essays.
1. Plan, Schedule and Structure
Plan and Schedule
As far back as I can remember, teachers would tell us to draw a mind-map before beginning the first draft of an essay. The easiest way to go about is tell yourself the whole story – see how your essay sounds. Does it make sense? Does your argument hold? Are you convinced by your own points?
It may seem like a silly thing now but having a plan of how you want your essay to come together is essential.
Draw up a timetable with set deadlines for each step in the process – from research to writing that first draft. Stick to your deadlines.
Procrastination is one of my weakest points when it comes to writing. Don’t be like me. Be realistic with your time management and don’t leave it for the last minute.
However, if you’re incredibly short on time, you can always rely on a service like WriteMyEssayOnline.
Every essay has a set structure (rules) that needs to be followed:
You’ve written essays throughout your entire academic career; the structure should be the very least of your concerns.
However, there’s more than one structure to consider. The information that you place in the Body of the essay should have its own structure as well.
This information needs to flow together seamlessly and without effort. Each part (paragraph) should relate to the next, and they should all have relevance to the essay topic. The worst thing you could do is put the information together in an incohesive format that will confuse the reader.
2. Reading, Research and Notes
To write better, you need to make a habit of reading often and widely.
Writers don’t just write – they read. You may find that a writer who specializes in a specific discipline (genre) has knowledge in multiple other disciplines as well. Reading is a writer’s best resource.
Research and Note-taking
When it comes to writing for a specific topic, you’ll need to gather as much information on that topic as possible.
While I know how tedious research can be, but it’s necessary.
Be sure to only take notes and not quote entire paragraphs. Your research is meant to be used as an aid, not a crutch.
Don’t be lazy; use multiple sources and credit them when quoted. This is very important. If you copy and paste text from a source, you’ll be committing plagiarism.
3. Review, Proofread and Edit – Critically
You’ve finished your first draft, and that’s wonderful. Now, check you work. And check it again. And a third time.
Yes, I’m serious; trust me on this. I’ve made the mistake of only reviewing my work once, and I ended up sending in work that had way too many errors.
When proofreading your work, you need to be critical in your editing. You need to be able to delete unnecessary words or sentences and change the wording where necessary. I know how difficult it’s to be objective to your own work, but you need to try.
Now, review it again.
- Plan and schedule a time for each step in the writing process
- Stick to deadlines
- Create a structure for your essay
- Research and use multiple sources
- Take notes, but use quotes as little as possible
- Avoid plagiarism
- Review. Review. Review.
- Critical editing
- Review again
Don’t be afraid to share your opinion; it’s your argument after all. Your professors wants to know what you think.
To be more confident in your own knowledge and convictions, check out a few more tips on re-educating yourself!