If you have a fear of writing essays, it would have vanished by the time you finish reading this article. This article helps you break down the process of writing an essay into simple stages that can be completed by anyone without any experience of writing an essay. Not just that, following these tips will skyrocket your final test score. The steps, which are explained in detail below, are:
It might sound silly but before you start your essay test, ensure that you have an adequate number of pens and some rough paper to jot down your ideas temporarily. Realizing that you are missing one of these things in the middle of an essay will not only cost you time but will also interrupt your thought process and distract you from the ideas you were thinking about while writing the essay.
Read the essay question properly to ensure you understand what is required from the essay. Are you sure you understand what it’s asking? If you are not, you can make your paraphrase from the very first sentence and write it your own way. This way you tell the examiner how YOU interpret it, chances are you still get full credit from it. Once you have a clear understanding of the requirements, spend some time to identify the main points you would want to cover. Don’t start writing the essay directly. Create a brief structure or an outline of the essay you are going to write with bullet points on a rough paper or on your question paper. While writing the essay, this outline can help you stay on topic and present your ideas in a structured and coherent manner.
Decide the tone the essay should have based on the question. For instance, if the essay requires you to compare and contrast, make sure that your sentences are structured to compare and contrast the issue and not ‘describe’ the issue. If the essay requires an argument, ensure that the tone of the article is argumentative and not explanatory.
The purpose of the essay is to convey your ideas as clearly as possible through your writing. Read the previous sentence carefully. The purpose of the essay is not to use fancy words or show off your vocabulary. It is simply to ensure that the reader, in this case your teacher, gets the picture you have in mind and understands the ideas you are trying to put forward.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t use fancy or rarely used words. You can certainly use them whenever they help you better put an idea forward or explain an idea in a better way. This just means that don’t use fancy language just for the heck of it. Also, write your essay on every other line and and one side of the paper only. Not only it’s neater, easy to read, you can add on extra ideas later.
Understand this concept and writing good essays will become second nature to you.
One big step towards maximizing your essay score is to write a great opening paragraph. The opening paragraph should be a succinct summary of the major points you will be touching on in your essay. Think of it this way – anyone reading your first paragraph should be able to tell exactly what your essay is about without reading any further. If your first paragraph achieves this, you have won half the battle.
Pay special attention to the voice of your essay and the length of the sentences. An essay or an article is much easier to read when the writer uses an active voice to compile it. On the same lines, short, crisp sentences are easier to understand and reduce the effort required to read through the essay. These two suggestions might result in a shorter essay. However, that isn’t something to be worried about. Most teachers are more impressed by a well constructed and short essay than a long and poorly worded essay. The key to a good essay is not how long it is but how easy it is to read and understand.
Put yourself in your teacher’s shoes for a moment. If you had to go through a number of essays what would you prefer? Would you prefer something that is short, clear and to the point? Or would you want to go through a long essay which consists of never ending sentences that don’t make any sense? I know I would definitely prefer the former and most teachers share this preference.
Once you have finished your essay spend some time in proof reading it. Don’t look at this as time wasted but as time spent to ensure that your words make sense and careless mistakes don’t cost you dearly. Every one of us makes mistakes while writing. A lot of us tend to think a lot faster than we write which occasionally results in missed sentences or sentences that don’t make sense. After putting in an effort to write a great essay, it would really hurt if something stupid like that were to result in lost credits.
Remember, there is no such thing as too much time for essay tests. Just because other people turn their papers in as soon as they think they’re done doesn’t mean you should too. Make good use of the entire time allotted to you to check for any silly mistakes or grammatical mistakes that might have occurred. Go through your paper to ensure that you have written everything exactly as you intended to.
You might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough time to write an entire essay. It could be because you spent too much time writing a previous essay or it could be for any other reason. The reason doesn’t matter. Once you find yourself in this situation, it is important to make the most of whatever little time you have left.
Just as when you write a regular essay, prepare a short list of the most important points that you’d like to cover in the essay and jot that down on a piece of rough paper or on the question paper itself. On your answer paper, create an opening paragraph that mentions how your essay is going to cover all of these points. It would be even better if these points were bulleted or numbered so that they stand out and draw attention.
This would tell the examiner that you really have the knowledge but just didn’t have the time to complete the essay. In some cases, teachers might give you partial credit which could prove invaluable in the final tally. As mentioned before, remember that the purpose of the entire essay and of each sentence and paragraph in the essay is to convey your ideas as clearly as possible. A good opening paragraph highlighting the most important aspects of the essay certainly helps you do that.
Don’t look at essay writing as a huge insurmountable obstacle. Once you break it down into smaller pieces, it becomes a series of simple tasks that can really improve your final score and grades.
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