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Essay Writing For Dummies

Essay Writing For Dummies

Writing a perfect essay takes a lot of practice and skill. Yet, writing an essay is not so difficult that you get put off unduly. Yes, it does take time, practice, and persistent efforts to become a master. But, if you choose not to start the learning process, you are never going to achieve perfection.

Nobody is perfect at any work when he or she starts off. More often than not, they treat themselves as dummies till they reach perfection. Perfection is achieved through committed and persistent practice. This article is written to target the ones who are just starting off and I have chosen to give it the title "Essay Writing for Dummies." Don't allow the seemingly difficult process to daunt your efforts.

This article will take you through the stages of essay writing and give you insights and tips on each stage. Break up your essay writing process into small and manageable chunks and manage each chunk as a separate task. Complete the tasks separately and then, finally stitch them up together. Here are the different tasks you can break your essay writing process into:

Read, understand, and analyze the title

Read the title of the essay or question carefully and understand what it needs you to do. Work out the keywords. Think about what kind of essay is being asked; whether it is a narrative, descriptive, expository, or persuasive essay that is needed from you. Note down keywords from the title and write down your interpretation next to each one of them.

Make a timetable

Every aspect of writing the essay needs to be scheduled into the timetable. Ideally, the researching, planning, and strategizing phases will take up nearly 80% of your time and the balance 20% will be the writing and the finishing bits. Write down the deadlines for each task and make copies of them and put them up in places that you will not miss such as the soft board near your desk, a small copy even in your wallet, and anywhere else where it will keep popping out reminding you of the deadlines.

Collecting data

Researching for the essay is, perhaps, the most time-consuming part of the entire process. You must read up the materials that your professors recommended and also do your own research work. Making copious notes as you garner the requisite data is another critical aspect of essay writing.

When you make the notes, do not forget to note down all details including the source name, the date, the quotations, etc. This information forms an essential part of your essay under the reference category.

Another thing to remember when you are doing research for your essay is not to digress from the topic given. Take down only relevant information and leave out all other irrelevant data. When you actually sit down to plan the essay, too much of unnecessary data can bury the important details underneath and they might get lost in the melee.

Planning the structure of the essay

Now that you have got all the relevant data, sit down and plan how your essay is going to flow. What is going to be your thesis statement? What are the points of evidence you are going to employ to get across your opinion? Depending on the type of essay, how are you going to structure the paragraphs? Do the entire planning in detail so that when you actually sit down to write the essay, there is very little for you to do except focus on the writing style.

Write the first draft

Now, get down to writing the first draft. Don't try to edit as you write. Just keep writing as per your plan. Complete the entire essay the first time. Don't worry if you think that it is far from perfect. That is alright. Most essays need at least 2-3 revisions before they can achieve a semblance of perfection and correctness.

Read, edit, and revise the draft

When you have completed the first draft, then keep it aside for a day (if time permits and you have included this into the original timetable). This break will take your mind off from the topic so that when you return, you are refreshed and rejuvenated. Now, when you read the first draft, you will get a better idea of the flow. You will find it easier to correct the mistakes and see where you are going wrong and which of the points need revision or editing.

Repeat your editing and revision process as many times as you want. It is quite possible to feel frustrated during this period. You are revising one aspect and you find it is affecting another aspect. You go and revise that and some other part of the essay will not be aligned to this new change. That needs to be revised. Revision and editing are definitely difficult and enervating processes. But, you must persist and slowly but surely your essay will take shape in the way you want it.

Do the finishing touches

After you are satisfied with the revisions and the final copy is ready, read it again and complete the finishing touches. Check for grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. Ensure that the references are correctly and accurately mentioned in the essay. Only when you are sure that your essay is completely error-free, you should hand it over to your professor.

How to overcome commonly occurring challenges during the essay writing process

You feel disenchanted with the final copy – You have worked hard and done due diligence and did your best to write the essay. You have polished it too. Now, just before handing over the essay (especially if it is your first assignment), you are disenchanted and are quite scared that your professor is going to hate it. How do you handle this irrational fear?

Remember that you have secured admission into a university and course of your choice. You have beaten many others to secure a seat here. If you are good enough for that, then your essay can't be all that bad. Anyway, learning is a process. If there are mistakes, be ready to learn from them and mistakes. Don't let fear and irrational emotions cripple you.

You feel alone when you have to write an essay – This is a bit of misconception. Yes, the actual process of sitting down and writing the essay may have to be done alone. But you can discuss and take help from friends, seniors, and professors for the researching and brainstorming part of the exercise. It can be a collaborative process if you make the effort to reach out.

You are overwhelmed by the enormity of the size of the essay – In the initial days of college, a 3000-word essay can appear daunting to you. But, you can break down the work into small manageable parts and complete each of them separately and finally stitch them up. This will help you immensely in managing all kinds of large assignments.

Final Notes

While perfecting the art of writing an essay requires persistence, commitment, and hard work, starting off the learning process only requires you to overcome feelings of insecurity and uncertainty about your capabilities. So, dive right in and start off.

At Prescott Papers, we offer a wide range of essay writing services. Our team of highly qualified and experienced writers would be happy to help you with custom essays, projects, assignments, and more.

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