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Published On: Thu, Aug 9th, 2018

6 Tips For Freshman To Write An Essay Like A Pro

If you have gotten this far in your education, you spent plenty of time in high school learning how to write essays.

And you know the drill: You have an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Now, this is a universal structure for an essay, but just using that structure obviously does not guarantee a good grade.

Much more goes into essay writing than just structure. There is the actual organization of the content into solid paragraphs with topic sentences; there are transitions between paragraphs; and, of course, there are all of those pesky grammar and punctuation rules to follow.

If you want your essay to really impress, here are some other tips that will push it over the edge.

 

  • Formal Means Formal

 

Academic writing is usually formal. (exceptions include narratives and personal essays for admissions or scholarships). This means that you use the third person – “one,” “he,” “she.” Or you make the points impersonally.

Examples

  1. Instead of, “I might require more proof,” you would write, “One might require more proof.”
  2. Instead of, “When I incorporate exercise into my daily routine, I sleep better,” you would write, “When one incorporates exercise into his daily routine, he sleeps better.”

If you use first person in a formal essay, you “sound” too casual for a serious subject.

Exceptions

  1. Occasionally in a course, students may be assigned essays that should clearly be in first person. In an English comp class, for example, you might be assigned some type of personal narrative. Or you may have an essay prompt that clearly expects you to use the first person.
  2. Admissions and scholarship essays will always use first person.

photo via pixabay

 

  • Remember, You are Making a Point

 

You have a thesis and a thesis statement. Every part of your essay must relate to that thesis statement and be “evidence” that supports it.  It’s so easy to get off track, especially if you are trying to make a word count. If you cannot make that word count with completely relevant materials, then you need to do some more research. Barring that, you may need to be more descriptive and specific in your writing.

If you are still struggling, then it’s time to get some help. There are a number of excellent paper writing services for college students, and you can find an expert writer to review your essay and make suggestions for additional information and/or descriptions that will enhance rather than detract from your thesis.

 

  • Get the Most Common Word Errors Right

 

There are professors in all curricular areas who are total “sticklers” about certain common word usage errors. Memorize these and check yourself by proofing every essay you write.

  1. There, their, they’re: “There” is an adverb and indicates where something is; “their” shows possession, such as, “The brought their opinions to bear on the topic;” “They’re is a contraction meaning “they are.”
  2. Your and You’re: “Your” shows possession, such as “your essay.” “You’re” is a contraction, meaning “you are.”
  3. It’s and Its: Again, we have possession and a contraction. “It’s” is the contraction, meaning “it is.” “Its” shows possession, as in “the company published its website.”
  4. Effect and Affect: “Effect” is a noun. “What is the effect of global warming on ocean levels?” “Affect” is a verb. “How does global warming affect ocean levels?”

One thing about formal writing: It is always better to spell out contractions – “it is,” “they are,” and “you are.” And this will help you differentiate usage.

These are a few examples of word usage issues. If you know that you struggle with these types of usage, then contact one of many academic writing services and find an editor who can proofread your essay for these types of errors, among others.

 

  • Prioritize Your Points

 

This is especially true for argumentative or persuasive essays. Often, it is best to organize the points you make in descending order of importance. And then, in the conclusion, hit these points again in the same order. You want your argument strong right from the beginning.

 

  • Title and Other Creative insertions

 

It’s a good thing to capture the interest of your reader right from the beginning. This is done by having an introduction that begins with an anecdote, a shocking statistic, etc. But even before that, you have to come up with a creative title. If you are not the “creative” type, you can find great title generator tools online.

It doesn’t hurt to insert some creative style throughout your essay, as long as it is appropriate for the subject matter. Again, if you are not the creative type, find student essay writing services that have a creative writing department, send your essay over, and see how a creative writer can add some pizazz.

 

  • Get Thee to the Campus Writing Lab

 

Nothing to fear here. Writing labs exist to help students craft the best essays possible. They are ‘manned’ by English composition experts and who will give you great pointers as well as practice activities that will improve your writing.

These six tips are by no means the end of writing improvement. But they are a start. If you take them seriously, you will impress your instructors. When they like writing, they are far more inclined to slap a higher grade on that puppy.

Author: Daniela McVicker

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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