It’s that time of year again: beginning of a new college semester, with a ton of syllabi piled up to your ears. Essay writing is probably one of the worst chores; they are the beasts of all homework assignments. Essay writing, however, can be a ton of fun if you learn tricks on how to tackle them step by step. There are many different techniques on how to write an essay, but here I want to offer you my most successful and fun essay tips that I have personally discovered through trial and error my entire four years of college. I can safely say I finally have conquered the giant of essay fear and started to have a bit of fun with it all. Take a look at some of my personal, crazy tips and watch your grades rise.
All essays clearly need to start with a rough draft. Sometimes I tried to be rebellious and skip this humdrum, painful part of the assignment. However, don’t skip it! My crazy and fun tips all require a rough draft and I promise you, once you learn these, your drafts won’t take so long! Enjoy!
Tip #1: Avoid repeating yourself in your essays by drawing pictures. No, this isn’t an art class!
After you write your rough draft, read through it with a pen in hand. Circle any points (or sentences) that have been repeated, including the first time it had been mentioned. When you are finished reading through your draft, put a star next to every circle that is part of the first sentence and the last sentence of a paragraph. Then, put a heart next to the first circle in your introduction and your conclusion paragraphs (very first and very last paragraphs of your essay). Now, cross out everything you have circled that does NOT have a star or a heart next to it. Try to read the draft over after you have crossed out the indicated circles, and see if it makes sense. If it does, leave them crossed out for good!
Tip #2: Find your voice. No, not your singing voice!
When you hear people speak about the “voice” in a book or an essay, they are referring to the personal style of the author, or a character in a book. When speaking about voice, each writer develops his or her own voice when writing. It may take a while to find your “voice” when writing, but once you do, you will be able to complete a great paper in no time.
To help find your voice, it is important to recognize the silly rumors that are spread about how to write a good essay. To write a better essay, one must take note of the following:
A) Try not to feel like a paper must include big, formal words. In reality, when you use confusing, uncommon words in an essay, it actually becomes more confusing. The best thing to do is use every day words, but make sure to use a variety of words and not repeat the same words over and over again.
For example, instead of saying, “The doctor must decipher the malignancy of the disease”, it may be better to say, “the doctor must determine whether or not the disease is dangerous.” See the difference? It’s much more easier to understand, and easier to read.
B) Try to write as if you are speaking, but do not include slang. Writing as if you are speaking can really connect the reader to your work, and can help one engage better in your essay.
For example, do NOT write: “Romeo was really like romantic. He really liked Juliet, like, a lot. He seems like a good dude.” What I mean by writing how you speak is as if you are speaking WITHOUT slang or filler words: “Romeo was very romantic. He liked Juliet a lot. He seems to be a good match for her.”
C) Use commas to help you get your voice across. When I write, I speak my work out loud so I know where the commas fit. I put commas where I want to pause my spoken words. After you have added the commas, make sure to go back and confirm that commas are appropriate for those pauses, replacing those that aren’t with the appropriate punctuation.
So you want to write a better essay? Make sure to try out my great tips to get your paper in tip top shape.