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Published On: Sat, Feb 28th, 2015

Essential Tips for Writing the Perfect Essay

Ever since the days of high school English lessons, we’ve been bombarded with rules and formatting tips when it comes to essays. And, whilst you’re high school English teacher’s format of point, quote, comment might have been the norm when you were 16, as you enter college, you need to be a bit more complex with your writing.

So, if you have a rush essay to complete, and you want to make sure it’s perfect, keep reading for a few tips that will help you on your way.

 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Make Sure You Have a Plan

It’s often been said that ‘failing to plan, is planning to fail’, and it’s especially true where essays are concerned. The planning phase isn’t finished when you have a topic or title idea, it’s only just beginning. Think about the purpose of your essay, and how you want to conclude it. Once you have this figured out, you can consider the points that you want to include to come to the conclusion. Don’t think that any point is too extreme either – so long as you can back it up with references, you can discuss anything you like within the contexts of your essay.

Focus on the Introduction

The introduction is the first part of your essay that will be read, so you need to make it as strong as possible. It needs to be clear, concise, and encourage the reader to want to find out more about what you have to say. You need to highlight the gist of what your essay will be about, and then tie this in to the conclusion. And, as a general note, your introduction should be around 10% of the length of your essay.

Think About Your References

When writing a college level essay, you will need to include references that back up your statements. Make sure you check how many you need to include, and that they are relevant to the topic you are writing about. There’s no point including a really interesting quote from a critic if it’s irrelevant to the topic of your essay, as you won’t be able to utilise the context correctly. And, remember to include a bibliography at the bottom of your essay to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

Refer Back to the Topic Title

It’s really easy to get lost on a tangent when writing an essay, so make sure that you refer back to the topic title regularly, whilst you back up what you are saying. Avoid contradicting the topic of your essay, or consider changing the title of it if you have to (and are allowed to). The more you refer back to the topic or title, the more concise and relevant your essay will be.

Proofread

Everyone hates reading their essays once they’re completed, but it’s vital that you do. Start off by running a spell and grammar check on your essay, and once that has been done, you need to go back through it and check it by hand. Try and proofread your work a day after you have written it in order to find mistakes. You don’t want to let down a great essay by misquoting a critic or including a silly spelling mistake.

Even if you are in a rush to write an essay, these tips should help you to succeed. Keep them in mind, and make sure to plan thoroughly, and you will end up with an essay you are proud of.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

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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