Writing good essays is an ability that can help you throughout your academic years. You can be tasked with writing essays often during your school years, and the same can carry on in university and college, etc.
In this post, we are going to be looking at some expert tips and techniques that you can follow to write good essays whenever the need arises.
Tips and Techniques for Writing Essays
1. Always create an outline before starting the essay
This is a somewhat underrated tip that we think can be very helpful when writing essays. Instead of starting without a plan and just deciding to “wing” it as you go along, you should create a detailed outline beforehand.
Basically, when you have an outline created for your essay, you know what to research and what to write. You are also able to hold yourself from branching off when you have an outline to keep you in check.
Plus, with an outline, you won’t get stuck later on when thinking about what stuff to write next after you’re done with a particular part.
All in all, there are a whole bunch of benefits you can get by creating an outline before starting your essay. And to create the outline itself, here is some stuff that you can do:
- Chalk out the main headings and sub-headings that you want to include in the essay
- Roughly adumbrate the points that you want to include in each of the said headings/sub-headings
- Specify the word count that you want to keep in each of the headings and sub-headings
2. Write with readability
Essays are generally considered to be a safe haven for going all linguistically complex since essays are academic. But even when writing essays, you should keep things readable and easy to understand.
You should, for example, use easy words and short sentences/paragraphs in your essay. You should likewise keep the organization of the content reader-friendly.
The benefits of maintaining readability in content are simple but highly important. When your essay is readable, it is easy for the reader to understand. And when it is easy to understand, it becomes more effective in conveying the message it is written to convey.
While we did touch on some of the stuff you should do to make your essays readable, here are a couple of them all summed up:
- Use easy words. Don’t go out of your way to use hard and difficult words that aren’t typically used in conversation.
- Keep your sentences up to 20 words in length.
- Keep your paragraphs up to 4 to 5 lines long at max
- Add bullets when listing items to make them easier to view
Using easy words and keeping sentences short is something that a lot of people can have trouble with – especially rookies. If you’re one of these, you can try getting some help from online tools.
When we say “online tools,” we specifically refer to paraphrasing tools. Paraphrasing tools basically rephrase and reword the content they’re given. In most cases – if the tool in question is high-end – the quality of the content is improved.
What you can try doing with these tools – to improve content readability – is just enter the text you think is clunky and difficult to read. The tool can then reword it and, in doing so, improve its readability.
But this is, of course, reliant on the quality and efficacy of the tool itself. If the tool is smart and AI-based, then you can count on it to improve readability. But if it is not, you can count on it to do the opposite.
We recommend using Paraphraser – which happens to be an online tool that fits the “smart” description we’ve mentioned above.
3. Back up all your claims and arguments with solid evidence
If you’re writing an essay, you should focus on providing evidence for every claim and argument that you put forth. Essays aren’t based on opinions. They’re academic pieces (mostly) that serve to convey a perspective on a particular topic.
When doing research for your paper, you should garner facts and figures from different sources and save them. Then, when writing the essay itself, you should use those facts and figures to support your arguments and leave citations for the sources.
This will make your essay look authoritative and reliable rather than looking like a compilation of conjecture and guesswork. For example, if you write a sentence like this in your essay:
Email marketing is a method that is very popular – now more than ever before. While it was initially used sometime in the 20th century, it is still liberally utilized by brands nowadays.
…it won’t look very convincing. Sure, it’s true, and it conveys a point, but it lacks the “explosive” element.
On the other hand, if you write the same thing by properly backing it up with evidence, it can look a lot better. For example…
Email marketing is a very popular method – something which is adequately portrayed by the fact that it is used by 1 in every 2 media planners. It was first utilized as a marketing method back in 1978 by Gary Theurk, and it still used liberally to this day.
4. Always find and remove grammatical errors and mistakes from your essays
This is a fairly basic tip, but it is something that people can ignore at times.
Grammar and spelling errors – save for the occasional ignorable ones – can wreak havoc on the quality of a write-up. It can ruin the perception of the reader and make the whole thing look amateurish.
Before you give your essay the wrap, you should thoroughly check it for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- For starters, you should proofread the essay a couple of times once you’re done writing it. This is a rudimentary step that almost everyone takes care of taking. However, when doing it for the express purpose of finding and subsequently removing grammar/spelling errors, you should look particularly for the latter.
- Another tip – branching out on the stuff above – when proofreading is to do the proofreading session a little while after you’re done writing. Pausing a little before reading the essay again helps you mentally “reset” things a little. You’re able to forget the finer details, and then you’re able to look at them more objectively.
- Other than proofreading, another way to find and remove grammatical errors from your essay is to use a grammar checker. Grammar checkers are online tools that scan the given content and point out the errors in it. Most tools also provide the correct suggestions for the errors they point out, which makes things easier. We recommend using Grammar Check in this category. It’s a free online tool that doesn’t require any signing up.
5. Take care of plagiarism
Like grammar/spelling errors, plagiarism is also quick to wreck the quality of an essay – except that it is much more lethal. If plagiarism is found in an essay, it can bring about a whole cacophony of consequences – everything from dropped grades and failed courses to expulsion or rustication.
You need to ensure that, when you submit your essay, it should either be totally unique or it should have a negligible amount of plagiarism in it…like 3%.
Here is what you have to do here:
- First off, you need to check for plagiarism in your content using an online plagiarism-checking software. Depending on your institution, you may or may not be prescribed a particular tool for this purpose. If there is a particular one assigned by your institution, you can just use that one. If there is not, you can use any other reliable tool…such as the plagiarism checker by Prepostseo.
- If you do find plagiarism in your essay, there are a number of different things that you can try doing. For one, you can check the source that the content is matching with and then leave a citation for that particular source. In other words, even if the plagiarism is accidental, you can cite the source and relinquish your ownership of the content. This will automatically neutralize plagiarism.
- Another thing that you can try to eliminate plagiarism from your essay is paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is, in simple terms, the process of rephrasing/rewording something. By changing the words and phrases in the content, the exact matching is eliminated. This, in turn, eliminates the plagiarism itself. We did mention paraphrasing tools above. You can just use those here as well and get the job done.
Writing quality essays is easy if you know what you’re doing. In the post above, we’ve mentioned some tips and techniques that you can follow to ensure that your essays come out authoritative and high-quality.