Writing can be a daunting and overwhelming task for many students. ESM Prep Academic Mentor Sean Towers provides some tips and tricks to simplify the writing process and produce high-quality essays.
There’s a lot to think about when you need to write an essay. What’s the thesis? How many main points are there? Where do you even start? Well, one of the keys to success is not trying to write the whole essay at once. Starting early and splitting your assignment into manageable chunks will save you time and stress, and it’s also likely to net you a higher grade.
Before you write anything, make sure you understand exactly what the prompt is asking you to do. Carefully read the instructions to become familiar with the requirements, then look at the grading rubric (if available) to gain some more insight. As you progress in your essay, you’ll want to continue checking the rubric to make sure you’re fulfilling the requirements!
If you don’t understand any part of the prompt, make sure to ask your teacher for clarification.
We aren’t going to start writing just yet! First, explore your topic and write down any ideas that come to mind, even if they seem insignificant. Ask yourself questions about the topic: Why is it important? What is the effect/impact? Try to consider different perspectives and think outside the box. At this stage, you want to explore all of the various aspects of your topic.
Now, take a look at your ideas and think about how they can fit into your essay. Which ideas have enough supporting evidence to be main points? Consider the structure of your essay and what you want to include in each paragraph, then create a short outline that represents that structure. This outline doesn’t need to have perfect, complete sentences, but it should provide a clear vision for how you will be presenting your thoughts.
It’s time to write your first draft, and there’s one very important point to remember: it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t agonize over every sentence; get comfortable with “messy writing” and focus on hitting the main points and supporting them. Try not to look back and revise, just keep writing until your first draft is done! Remember to keep a simple structure for your draft, you can always add complexity later.
Another very important point to remember is to give yourself plenty of time! If you wait until the night before the assignment is due to write your first draft, the process will be rushed and you won’t have an opportunity to get feedback from your teacher.
Once you have completed your first draft, take some time to edit and revise. Do your ideas transition smoothly from paragraph to paragraph? Do you need to add supporting details or evidence to bolster your argument? Remember to also use the resources available to you. Politely ask your teacher for feedback on your first draft. Most teachers will be happy to give you some direction and advice for your essay, and following that advice is one of the best ways to ensure you get a higher grade on your assignment. Writing can be difficult and stressful, but starting early and simplifying the process can help you produce high-quality, cohesive essays that accurately convey your message.
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