Although essays are viewed by most college students as a necessary evil they have to put up with in order to pass the class, they actually stand to benefit a lot from having good essay writing skills, both during their time in college and their lives from then on. After all, writing an admission essay is one of the reasons they got into college in the first place.
Depending on their choice of career, they will be required to apply their essay writing skills at work, whether they decide to become writers, scientists, managers, or journalists.
Unfortunately, many students underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into crafting a good essay, which, in turn, has them developing some poor writing habits. Poor research, improper structure, grammar and style errors, or simply rushing through an essay because they’ve started writing it too late – these are just some of the reasons behind bad essay writing skills.
The following list contains 5 do’s and 5 don’ts of essay writing, along with 5 useful tools every college students can rely on in order to perfect essay writing skills.
5 Don’ts of Crafting a Good Essay
Let’s start with the things you should avoid first:
Rushing through It
Always keep in mind that writing an essay also requires you to do extensive research, brainstorming, and proofreading, in addition to actually writing it. Each of these segments is time-consuming, which means you need to start managing your time a lot better if you don’t want the quality of your essay to suffer.
Failure to Use the Appropriate Language
Your essay is one place where you should avoid the use of jargon, colloquialisms, or slang. The tone with which you should address the reader should be both formal and informative. While it’s easy not to say “hey, y’all” in your essay, some examples, such as using “children”, instead of “kids”, are a bit harder to spot.
Relying on Gimmicks
While wanting to make your essay stand out is a good thing to have in mind, you should rely on your writing and the strength of your arguments to achieve that goal. By all means, restrict yourself from using “clever” gimmicks such as clip art, doodles, or jokes in your essay.
Whether you are intentionally quoting or paraphrasing entire passages from various sources, or simply not citing your sources properly, you are committing an act of plagiarism, plain and simple. Make sure to include a list of references, or a bibliography if you will, at the end of every essay you write.
Not Editing Your Essay
Since an essay is a good opportunity to show off your writing chops, it is absolutely unforgivable to have it contain grammar or spelling errors, which is why you should always proofread it thoroughly. In addition to that, editing should include going over some of your ideas and improving them if there is room for it.
5 Do’s of Crafting a Good Essay
Always implement these 5 tips when writing an essay:
In order to come up with a topic for your essay, or the best way to approach one given to you, it would be a good idea to do some serious brainstorming. Instead of taking the first idea that pops up inside your head and running with it, organize your thoughts first, so you can extract the right one which will become your thesis statement.
Conduct Thorough Research
You may have some great ideas and concepts that you’ll want to introduce in your essay, but if you don’t have the data necessary to support your theories, they’re not going to stand, which is why the research process is so important when crafting a well thought out essay.
Structure Your Essay
Before you start writing, come up with an outline for your essay. In addition to breaking up your essay into three basic parts, which are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion, you should introduce each idea using a separate paragraph, so that you can properly develop each one, and make it easier for the reader to follow.
Always Present Your Thesis Statement in the Introduction
The introduction of your essay should always contain your thesis statement. That way, you clearly indicate what you are going to be discussing in your essay and what the final conclusion will be.
Write the Introduction and the Conclusion Last
While it may seem logical to write your essay in a linear fashion, starting with the introduction, you should always write the body of your essay first, and then come up with the introduction and the conclusion last. It is those two segment that serve as a summary for your essay, so you need to have the body completed before you can wrap up everything.
4 Effective Essay Writing Tools
Every student should check out the following 5 essay crafting tools:
Mindmeister – Mindmeister is a mind mapping app which can help you during those initial stages of brainstorming. Use it to flesh out your ideas and concepts you will be using for your thesis and the outline of your essay.
Edugeeksclub – Another useful way of improving your essay writing skills would be to get in touch with professional writers and editors at EduGeeksClub, which can help you during every stage of essay creation, from brainstorming and research, to writing and editing.
Turnitin – Making sure that your work is original as possible is easier than it ever was before, thanks to Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection tool, which also provides its users with some useful peer feedback.
Easybib – Easybib is a powerful online tool which enables you to create bibliographies for your essays in over 7,000 different citation styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Armed with these helpful tips and tools, you are all set to create well-researched, concise, and crisp essays which will leave a lasting impression on the reader. Even if you are out of college, you can still rely on these tools at all times whenever you need to make sure your writing is as good as it can be.
Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.