Essay writing is a necessary skill for any college student to have. And not just college students, but researchers, thinkers, and philosophers, all have to be good at writing and/or speaking.
Well, we digress, but in college, students have to write essays for a variety of reasons. Usually, an essay in a university is written in the academic writing style i.e., the wording has to be precise, and all claims must be backed with evidence. Additionally, they also have to be good at English (or whatever language they have to write in). Their vocabulary must be good, and their grammar must be impeccable.
But these are all just things that anyone can say…we are here to teach you actual things that you can do and make your essays great.
- Brainstorm Ideas
First things first. You probably have a topic at hand or a prompt that you have to write about. In some cases, you may even be given complete control of what kind of topic you want to write about. Whatever the case may be, you have to brainstorm ideas.
Here’s how you can go about doing that:
- Search the internet for your topic;
- Discuss the topic with your friends, family, or colleagues;
- Think and identify what “problem” you are supposed to solve;
- Think about what counts as a “solution” to the problem
With a brainstorming session, you can get multiple ideas and solutions. Once you are clear about what you want to write, creating an essay is not that difficult.
- Create an Outline
Before you start writing your essay, be sure to create an outline beforehand. Outlines have many benefits. They can help you stay focused. It is not uncommon for people to get sidetracked, forget what they were going to say, or go off on a tangent during writing. If they have created an outline though, they can simply consult it and stay on track.
For your information, the outline for this article looked something like this:
This was the basic outline for this article. It was later touched up and some embellishments were added to make it more readable and understandable. However, it did a great job of laying out the roadmap/ideas that were supposed to be discussed in it.
- Write your First Draft
Do not be afraid of writing your first draft. First drafts are almost always bad. That’s why there is no reason to be afraid of writing them.
You should write them whichever way you can and then proofreading and editing will naturally make them better. But you should not just start writing anywhere.
It is better to utilize some kind of cloud-based word processor so that your work is available from anywhere. This has the advantage of freeing you from carrying a laptop all the time, and you can also get help and advice from friends and teachers by accessing your draft through their systems.
With tools like these, you can effortlessly write your first draft and make the subsequent steps easier as well.
- Proofread Your Draft
Now that the first draft has been written, it is time to proofread it. As we mentioned before, the first drafts are almost always bad. So that’s why there is a need to proofread them. The first thing we need to do in proofreading is to check for spelling mistakes.
Spelling mistakes are quite easy to make and anyone can overlook them during the writing process. To check for grammar mistakes, you can take some of the following steps:
- Read your work aloud to yourself;
- Have someone else read your work—preferably a friend, or a family member;
- Ask your teacher to check it for you before submission.
These are some ways in which you can check your work for spelling mistakes, and incorrect or missing punctuation. The good thing about this process is that it also highlights any parts of your essay that could be phrased better. During proofreading, most (if not all) issues like these are identified.
- Edit For Improvements
Once all issues have been identified, it is time to address them. Things like spelling errors and punctuation mistakes are easily rectified. The issue is with paraphrasing. It is not easy to decide what kind of changes are required to make the text better.
Here’s what you can do.
- Read the parts identified in the proofreading step that are poorly phrased;
- Identify what message they are trying to convey;
- Think about how you can send that message in a better way;
- Paraphrase the parts.
Automatic, AI-based paraphrasing is great for finding the most appropriate ways to paraphrase a given passage.
And there you have it, five golden steps to writing a perfect college essay. The steps involved are not difficult at all. They only require a bit of persistence and effort.
With these steps under your belt, you can make sure that your writing is great. Naturally, if you follow them, your essay writing will improve by leaps and bounds. You will get better grades and your teachers will be impressed with you as well.
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