10 Quick Tips for Writing a Quality Academic Essay
One of the most important, yet challenging, tasks you are likely to encounter in your academic life is essay writing. Instructors generally use these papers to assess the students’ learning progress as well as their grasp of the key course material. Unlike conventional sit-in examinations, these papers have more time before submission, hence a higher expectation in terms of what you should deliver. Instructors often expect students to show evidence of serious research, as well as an integration of the course material to give the findings relevance. Most students find essay writing complicated, although this does not have to be the case. Here are some tips to improve your academic essay writing and overall performance:
- Start by brainstorming ideas
Any successful venture must start with the collection of ideas. Since collaboration is often prohibited in academic writing, students often have to rack their own brains. This process is referred to as brainstorming. As you do this, consider that your instructor is going to have many papers to go through, and may not have the time to read every detail of boring and disorganized writing. Jot down any ideas about the topic that you can imagine.
- Create a manageable and informative topic
The quality of your paper depends, to an extent, on the type of topic chosen. In some cases, students are assigned what to write on. In other cases, the students are given the freedom to create their own topics, with guidance given only on the essay subject. In such instances, the freedom to choose can be both liberating and scary. To make your argument stronger, just remember to pick an area in which you are genuinely interested. Also, ensure that the topic you come up with is not too broad that it cannot be covered within the word count stipulated, and not too specific that there is not enough information. Carrying out some preliminary research on your ideas should help.
- Create an outline
Now that you have a topic and you have jotted down various ideas for your paper, it is time to develop a plan to guide the academic essay. Cooks need recipes, architects need blueprints, and writers need an outline. This is simply a map of how you intend to proceed with your essay. In it, you cover the main sections of the paper, ensuring that you do not leave out important points or digress from the main idea.
- Begin writing as soon as possible
Some students prepare so well for the writing, and for so long that they do not leave enough time for actual writing. All the brainstorming and planning are only meant to help you start out. When producing your first draft, do not pay much attention to grammar and spelling errors. Just make sure that you give your paper some flesh.
- Start your essay with a catchy hook
The opening of your paper can determine whether your audiences actually read the whole essay, and their attitude as they proceed. Most students ignore the need to express their own thoughts and creativity, which can be achieved with a catchy hook.
Here, a hook implies the first one or two lines that your readers encounter as they look at your essay. The opening sentences of your paper must be special if your readers are to go through the entire text. Whether you choose to begin with a quote, a statistic, rhetorical question, or any other type of hook, just make sure that it is aligned with the style and purpose of the paper.
- Incorporate a strong thesis
The thesis statement is, arguably, the most important element of an academic essay. Here, a thesis implies the main argument or claim. It is a sentence or a group of sentences that provide a unifying theme, and generally appear at the end of the introductory paragraph. Please note that a strong statement is one that is analytic or interpretive, rather than merely descriptive or factual. In addition, it is likely to evolve significantly in the course of writing, becoming more refined by the time you have produced your final draft. Make sure that everything contributes towards justifying the thesis statement.
- Support your arguments with authoritative and properly cited evidence
An important element of a well-written essay is the use of strong evidence to support ideas and arguments. Make sure that you research and use valid sources to support any claims you make in your paper. Any material used must also be adequately recognized through accurate citation. All in-text citations must correspond to an entry in the list of references at the end of the paper.
- Use an appropriate format
Quality essay writing means using the right format to organize and present your ideas. Most teachers explicitly indicate the formatting requirements that students are expected to follow in the prompt. If such instructions are not provided, make sure to use fonts that are legible, such as Times New Roman 12 point. Choose one formatting style to use, whether APA, MLA, Turabian or any other that suits your discipline.
- Proofread and revise for readability, grammar, mechanics, and punctuation
Papers that are filled with formatting, grammar and syntax errors give a picture of a negligent writer and can harm your chances of getting a good grade. Leave time to carefully read through your writing, eliminating any mistakes you may have made in the initial draft. You could also get a friend to help with proofreading and editing.
- Get professional essay writing assistance
The tips provided in the other sections are meant to improve your ability to write an academic essay on your own. However, great writing takes time to master, and requires skills that you may not have at the moment. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to complete your paper on your own, do not be afraid to seek professional help. Top academic writing services like GradeMiners.com have many years’ experience assisting students with similar problems. The company has registered master’s and Ph.D. writers to help you. You also get to benefit from responsive customer support, deadline and quality guarantees, and free multiple revisions.
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