If all the tears shed by students who struggle with their essays were collected in one place, they could easily become an ocean or at least a lake. Essay writing can be frustrating and stressful, but it does not need to be that way. Check out the following essay writing advice that will help you save your nerves and write A-level papers.
Essay Writing Tips for Beginners
All to your surprise, a few simple steps can make the process of essay writing much easier. These are some professional tips for beginners:
- Choose an interesting topic whenever it is possible. This essay writing tip can seem too obvious, but a lot of students unwisely neglect it. The rule of thumb is to avoid the extremes of too broad or too specific topics, as well as too difficult or too simple issues.
- Research the topic and try to find persuasive evidence to support your position. Do not limit your argumentation to your own opinions and guesses. Ask what your friends or family think about the topic. Read relevant books and articles from the library. Ask Google about it, after all.
- Plan your paper. Write an outline for it and create a strong thesis statement.
- Plan your time. Be realistic and do not forget to allot enough time to preliminary research and final proofreading.
- Pay attention to format too – font, margins, spacing, page numbers and citation style (in-text citations or footnotes and reference lists.)
Essay Writing Tips for Advanced Students
The simple tips discussed above can significantly improve the effectiveness of your writing efforts. However, the following tips for essay writing include some additional tricks and even some crazy maneuvers that will make your academic writing easier and more exciting:
- Use citations from credible sources as your weapon of choice, but do not overuse it. Make certain that your own ideas take at least 70% of the total word count. Try to use good quotes of famous people as appetizers, but not the main dishes in your papers. By the way, you can even disagree with famous people if you have enough arguments to defend your position. For instance, you can disagree with Xenocrates’ phrase “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.” As your main argument, you can use situations in which not doing or not saying something can be as bad as doing or saying something wrong.
- Use the principle “opposites meet.” Take into consideration contrasting views on the issues you discuss. Clearly define your own position and treat the opposing view as a counterargument which should be disapproved. For example, if you write about the influence of chocolate on a person’s health, mention scholars who represent both groups, but always choose a single group you agree with and make that clear.
- Try to think outside the box. Look for fresh metaphors and similes. Instead of boring clichés, try to find something interesting. For example, everyone would write that a girl is as pretty as a flower. To avoid this cliché, you can write that a girl looked as pretty as her Facebook profile photo. Do not hesitate to mention modern realities in your papers, because most of them can make your papers sound livelier.
- Write a killer introduction. Make certain that the first paragraph of your paper captures everyone’s attention. The worst strategy ever is to write something too obvious: “This paper will discuss…” It will doom your paper. Instead, try to grab the attention of your readers by providing them with fascinating or striking information. Pose some questions, but do not answer them yet, so that everyone will want to read the rest of your paper to find out the answers.
- The last but not least essay writing tip is to be optimistic. Try to avoid using negative examples whenever it is possible and see instead the glass half full. Include a relevant philosophical message in your paper to make it more meaningful and to produce a positive impression on your readers.
So, do not hesitate to use this essay writing guide and you will have pretty good chances to not only receive good grades, but also enjoy the process of essay writing.