7 Tips for Mastering Essay Writing


There are many aspects of college and university that can be quite stressful for students. From studying to taking tests, it’s not always simple and often students need to work quite hard to get the marks they do. But one particular task tends to send a ripple of fear and dread through students and that is being assigned an essay to write. Even if you understand the topic thoroughly, have done all your research and feel confident in the information you have, it doesn’t mean you’ll do a good job of writing the essay.

To better your skills and make sure all your essays are top-notch, here are seven tips for mastering essay writing and taking the stress out of the process.

Do You Understand the Instructions?

Before you get started and get too deep into the essay, make sure you understand the question posed or the reason for writing the essay. If you don’t understand the assignment correctly, there’s a chance your essay may not be what the teacher is looking for – despite all your good efforts.

Use a Flow Chart or Planner

Now it’s time to collect your thoughts and start to figure out how the essay will be pieced together. Experts often recommend you get your plan down on paper even in a flow chart layout. You can write down ideas, concepts, supporting arguments, sources, data, points you want to discuss, and even a rough layout. The more advanced planning you do, the easier the essay will come together.

Never Go with the First Draft

If you’ve been in the habit of only writing one draft and handing it in, it’s time to change your process. The first draft is just that – the first one. It’s always wise to look at it with a critical eye, look for areas of improvement, shuffle things around if needed, add more to the body, and add any other missing information. The second draft will end up flowing much better and it will be a stronger essay in general.

The Thesis Must Be Exceptional

Typically, the most important part of the essay will be your thesis. This is where you lay out your argument, set the tone and hook the reader. Some people find it easier to write a draft thesis and then go back and perfect it once the essay has been completed.

Use a Plagiarism Checker to Be Sure

Even if you haven’t knowingly plagiarized in your essay, it’s possible that by accident you may have used the same wording as another author or website. Should your teacher or professor find plagiarism in your essay, that’s a sure-fire way to fail. A really simple and quick solution is to use an online tool for checking plagiarism. Typically, all you need to do is copy and paste your text – the essay – into the tool and it will check for any plagiarism. These tools are fast and accurate and will provide you with peace of mind.

Proofread the Essay More Than Once

Relying on the automatic spellchecker on your computer/laptop is never a good idea. Instead, proofread your essay a couple of times, using the spellchecker and your own eyes to ensure that nothing has been missed.

Have a Friend Read Your Essay

The final tip is to have a friend or family member read your essay and then ask them for feedback. Having fresh eyes look over your writing can do wonders and may shed light on areas that you didn’t know were a problem.

Using all of these tips, taking your time to perfect your essay, not rushing through the process and making sure your argument is always strong will help you to master essay writing.

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