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How Do I Improve My Essay Writing Skills?

How Do I Improve My Essay Writing Skills?

Irrespective of which subject you are majoring in, at some point time in your college life, you will find yourself facing the onerous task of writing one essay after another without many breaks.

As your learning gets more complex and delves deep into your chosen subjects, you will find yourself being asked to evaluate, think, and present your own unique interpretations of various topics.

This means all the days of rote learning have to be left behind and you will have to write answers in the form of essays that reflect your understanding of the topic; and hence the compelling need to improve your essay writing skills!

You must remember one thing about essay writing, though. Although some aspects of the skills required to become a good essay writer can be achieved through repeated practice, there are some aspects that require a paradigm shift in your thinking process.

You will have to sit down and see what parts are working right and what parts are not working right and the latter needs to be discarded ruthlessly.

This article gives you a list of those skills that can be practiced and perfected. The other part is for you to look out and believe me, all you need to do is change your perception of learning.

How Do I Improve My Essay Writing Skills?

Get Organized – It is the important first step to becoming a better essay writer than you are now. Think of all the resources you will need. Will they be in the form of books in your library and sources from the internet? It is a common procrastinating technique of students to look for articles on the internet when they know the information is easily available in the college library.

It is always better to work in your library for two reasons: there is far more silence around and social media access might be restricted. Both of these elements are critical in helping you focus on the task at hand.

Next, you will have to organize the time needed to complete every stage of your essay writing process. How much time to read all the information? A good estimate would be something like this: about 2-3 hours to read and digest a 20-page article and an entire day to write just 2000 words.

While, at present, this might sound too much of time for too little work, remember that reading and writing essays can be very stressful and you have to factor in time for breaks too. Moreover, when you plan like this, you will not put off the work when you know there are so many hours of work to get through.

If you did not plan this way and keep the essay writing for the last minute, you will be deluged by stress and panic so much that you will neither find the strength nor the courage to even make an attempt leave alone finish it. So please allocate sufficient time for your work and make sure you stick to your schedule.

Collating necessary information for the essay – Very often, teachers will recommend some readings for a particular essay. Alternatively, they might ask you to find credible sources on your own. Even if your teacher prescribes some reading material, it makes a lot of sense to read more so that you have a better and deeper understanding of the topic.

Also when you read more than what is prescribed, your data will contain different perspectives and your essay has a higher chance of being unique from the ones submitted by your classmates. This will definitely give you an advantage when it comes to grades.

Just ensure you use credible sources of information for your essay. Use Google Scholar for scholarly essays on your topic; you can use newspaper and magazine articles; you can use Wikipedia to read and get more information, but do not reference it in your essay as your teacher is not going to like it.

Online blogs are preferably avoided as the author details are quite ambiguous and not very transparent. But, you can use and reference information from those blogs whose authors are experts and this is clearly documented on their websites.

Make notes – Archaic though it might sound to some of you, this habit of taking notes while you read your prescribed articles is the best way to ensure that you do not end up feeling overwhelmed by the huge amount of data that you have access to. These notes will be a nice easy-to-read summary that you can use to expand on when you actually start writing your essay.

For example, if you come across a quote that you want to use, quickly make a note it along with the author's name and the source from where you got it. Like this, your notes will become the master reference for writing your essay. You can go back to the source as you write and look for details to expand on your idea.

You can use different color coding for different sources so that you can easily and intelligently engage with your notes as you write your essay. Your marks will take a huge leap forward if your essay reflects your deep engagement with scholars and authors who have written about the same topic.

Plan your essay before you start writing it – The single most important step of planning is invariably neglecting by most students and this neglect is clearly reflected in the structure of the essay and/or flow of content. The following steps will help you plan your essay:

  • Read your notes twice or thrice and organize the flow of content. Make a mindmap or a schematic sketch of how your essay will look and what it will contain

  • Look at your mindmap and see which point is going to be your main idea based on which you will create your thesis statement.

  • Now fill out the supporting details against each point and include the sources too

  • Using this mindmap as your base, start writing your essay

Proofread and edit your essay – After you have written your essay and are satisfied with the flow of content and everything else about it, proofread and edit it without fail. Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling and ensure all errors are corrected. A well-written essay not only has great content but also has impeccable grammar and spelling.

Final Notes

Remember the art of essay writing cannot be perfected by you overnight. It takes immense patience, diligence, and hard work and a paradigm shift in your learning and thinking process. A 2000-word essay requires at least 3 hours of reading and a day of writing, and mind you this is only after you have done some amount of practice.

In the initial days of learning, these durations can be multiplied many times over. So, don't fret, don't be impatient with yourself. Instead, focus on the learning process and watch your essay writing skills gain ground slowly but surely.

Our qualified experts at Prescott Papers have immense experience in writing all kinds of essays. Do not hesitate to call us for help and our people will be happy to guide you through your difficult times.

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