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Reference and Education

13 Tips to help you Improve your Essay

your Essay
your Essay

Essay writing is quite an important part of the school curriculum and you probably have already encountered it multiple times.

Essay writing is not something that one finds appealing, mostly because it’s often quite challenging to do. However, once you figure out the formula for a perfect essay, you will feel much more confident in your writing and probably will improve your grades as well.

Tip 1: This might sound annoying, but you should listen to the instructions and the information that the teachers are giving. Often students have a misconception in their heads by thinking that teachers are trying to hold them back. That’s not true. In fact, the situation is the opposite. Your teachers want you to do as well as you can and from time to time subtly drop helpful hints.

In order to obtain those small helping tips, you have to carefully pay attention to what they are saying about the assessments. If they mention reading certain articles or secondary sources, then you should certainly check those out as the information you find may be crucial to your argument.

Tip 2: Despite teachers saying that essays are graded based on objective viewpoints, sadly that’s not always the case. So if you are aware that your English teacher supports a certain politician then you shouldn’t directly argue against them.

In fact, you should provide a balanced approach. By appreciating both sides of an argument your teacher will see how you are open-minded and understand both perspectives of a topic. So due to this try avoiding overly radical or political ideas unless you are able to securely back up your argument.

Tip 3: You need a ‘thesis,’ or more commonly known as ‘an argument.’ After introducing your main ideas in your introduction you should write a sentence or two that summarizes your standpoint in regards to the question. Hence why it’s called the ‘argument’ as in the essay your aim will be to convey your opinion as effectively as possible.

Tip 4: This might sound simple, however, do read the question carefully and make sure to answer it. A lot of times people misinterpret questions or feel like they can get around answering it, by giving it a completely new meaning.

As much as you would like to form your own meaning through the question, I don’t recommend you to do so as the person marking it probably won’t appreciate it as much as you do.

Tip 5: Provide a freshly personal opinion. Teachers like it when they see your individual thinking. By Googling your essay question and summarizing someone else’s work you will simply be repeating something that has already been said (and might also receive penalties for plagiarizing).

Tip 6: Do some research. You should read other people’s essays and research papers online, however, as I mentioned you shouldn’t copy their whole arguments. Instead, try to select a quote or two which you can embed within your essay to support your arguments. Using quotes from critics who have a differing view as to you could be very beneficial as you could argue against the critic and demonstrate to your teacher why your perspective is better.

Tip 7: Use evidence from your primary texts. Whether you are writing a comparative essay on multiple books or a critical monograph, you should utilize exact quotes from the text. By doing this, you will demonstrate that you have read the text(s) and have paid great attention to it.

Tip 8: Depending on what citation you are using for secondary and primary texts, make sure that you are being accurate. This is quite tricky and time-consuming so I recommend you do it along with your essay as opposed to the last minute.

Tip 9: Make sure that you have the correct essay structure. This means that each paragraph should be in the ‘right’ proportion.

Usually, essays have a fairly short introduction of about 100 words. This should be concise and solely answering the question. The ‘body’ of your essay should be larger, perhaps 300 words each. This is the most important section of your essay as that’s where you will be arguing for your cause.

Each paragraph within the ‘body’ of the essay should have a fairly rigid structure. It should start off with a topic sentence in which you state what you will be arguing within that exact paragraph. You should then expand on that notion if required.

You should also make sure to include evidence to support your statement. However, most importantly, you should analyze and explain why your point is correct and what the speaker or author might mean by that assertion.

Once you have done that, try to conclude your paragraph with a sentence that links it back to the main argument. If you can afford through your word count then you should also include other critics and counterargument points.

Lastly, your conclusion doesn’t have to be the longest either. It should be roughly the same length as your introduction. Some people don’t see the significance of a conclusion and the majority of the people can’t utilize it well. Make sure that instead of summarizing your essay, you conclude what the reader should take away from your work, also reinforcing your argument.

Tip 10: If you have a set word count then don’t go over that as you may have points deducted.

Tip 11: Make sure that all the information that you utilize (especially context-wise) is accurate. By not knowing correct historical dates or figures you will give the wrong impression to your teacher, perhaps even making them think that you don’t exactly know what you are arguing for.

Tip 12: Always submit on your deadline. If you can’t, then make sure that you can receive an extension that will allow you to complete it for the extended deadline.

Tip 13: Listen to feedback.  As I mentioned at the beginning, your teachers want you to succeed. Even though you may receive a grade that you are not the happiest with, do make sure that you read the feedback that they give as opposed to only looking at the mark. The feedback will show all the areas that you need to improve in in order to get a better grade.

You might even benefit from listening to feedback and being precise in regards to the future as it could teach you how to do a self-assessment at work or could provide you with skills that could help you with job salary negotiation tips.

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