For some students, the word ‘essay’ conjures up images of sleepless nights and an overwhelming amount of work. This assumption, of course, is for good reason. Without preparation and focus, essay writing can be mentally difficult and time consuming. Fortunately, there are several ways to help alleviate some of the hardships of writing an essay and produce outstanding results.
Top Five Tips on Creating a Winning Essay
- Plan ahead:
Having a strategy is important regardless if the assignment is to write a one page movie summary or to create a 20 page research paper. Having a habit of simply sitting down in front of a computer and expecting to create good results is simply not the way to go. Ideas don’t usually come instantaneously and so it is very crucial to take the time to know what to write before actually diving into the task.
- Know The Material:
This tip is very obvious. A student who does not know what he is talking about must simply stand away from the keyboard and not write that essay. To do so would be an injustice to oneself. Aside from the fact that learning potential is being compromised, trying to write an essay without knowing one’s material simply takes a lot more time and mental energy. Essay writing will flow more smoothly when a person takes the effort to review his material in advance.
- Do not mix essay writing with anything else:
Forget everything about multitasking for once. When writing an essay, do nothing else except write that essay. Talking on the phone or watching television while pulling together that book report will only give result in a lot of headache and empty computer screens. For those who dislike too much quiet, listen to music that is soothing and tranquil. Those 50 Cent and Lil Wayne iPod tracks must be set aside in the meantime, until that final period is placed on the essay.
- Write first and edit later:
Sometimes, English professors can be the hardest people to please. They can be real sticklers when it comes to grammar and all those technical details in an essay. Despite this, it is actually advisable for a student to put grammar and spelling as a last priority. That may sound like an odd tip, but how can anybody focus on writing good content when they are constantly worrying about where they should stick that comma? It is impossible. A student’s best bet is to let ideas flow in the meantime and then proofread later.
- Keep a blog or a journal
Writing effectively is a skill that must be honed and practiced continuously. It is not enough to practice writing in school. Someone who is really serious about writing better essays must develop skills outside of normal class hours. Having a blog or a journal is ideal because there are no deadlines to catch and people have the liberty to pick whatever topic they want to write about.
Bonus tip: Avoid thinking about the minimum number of words required for an essay
This is a common disease among students. Remember this: word counts are just ballparks that instructors use to help you write your essay. They must not at all be a primary consideration when writing an essay. Paying too much attention on word count limits one’s writing potential and actually creates fertile ground for useless fillers that good professors can easily spot in an essay.
The Bottom Line
Essay writing is really not a daunting task if it is given the ample time that it deserves. It is important to remember that writing an essay is more than just about stringing a bunch of words to satisfy the teacher’s requirement. Writing an essay is an art form unto itself, which requires discipline, patience, and constant practice.
One misconception about writing good essays is that a person has to be an ace with the English language or extra savvy with words in general. While these things certainly help, they are not the main driving force behind a powerful essay. Thoughtfulness, coherence, and a genuine understanding of a subject material is what’s going to get you that A in an essay.