5 Main Rules of Writing an Accomplished Essay
No matter how smart and creative you are, you may have problems with writing your essays. The simple rules below will help take your essay writing to a more advanced level and get the grades you deserve.
- Know what you are going to write about. Read your assignment thoroughly until you are sure that you fully understand it. If you are confused about some details, feel free to ask your instructor. There is no shame in showing that you do not know something, as long as you try to learn it. It would be worse to submit an irrelevant essay. Next, read as much material as you can find on your topic to gain a profound understanding of it.
- Have the right focus. If you are allowed to select your topic, choose something that you are interested in and can obtain information on easily. If the topic has been assigned, you can still pick an aspect, argument, or question you can address best. Be realistic in the assessment of your strengths. Do a bit of research, both at your school library and online, to make sure there is enough material available on this subject.
- Outline. Even if this assignment seems very easy and you are sure you can plan the whole paper in your head, take a couple of minutes to sketch a plan. It will help you keep track of your thoughts and ensure the right flow of your essay. Without an outline, things can easily get messed up.
- Stay clear. Do not try to impress anyone by using complicated language or long and elaborate sentences. It never works and puts you at risk of making more mistakes. Communicate your ideas in the simplest ways possible. Use the words and expressions you would use when answering your teacher’s question. After you finish, read your essay aloud. If you stumble or run short of your breath, you probably have to reword it.
- Allow yourself enough time for editing. Almost no essay comes out perfect right away. The best essay writers are those who take their time to polish their first drafts by reading and editing them again and again. Ideally, you should be able to put your essay away for a day or two, and then look through it with fresh eyes. You will see at once where you have irrelevant information or jump too abruptly from point to point. Small accidental mistakes, such as “its” instead of “it’s,” also become obvious this way.