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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Essay Writing Guide for Students

Essay Writing Guide for Students
In high school or in college, there are several activities which students cannot avoid.  These are taking examinations and writing essays.  As for taking examinations, students will agree that none of them can predict what the questions are.  It is something that is beyond the control of students.  However, essay writing is an activity that students can work on.  It is within their control and can have a huge impact on their grades.  So, it is important for students to find ways to improve on their essays, research papers and term papers. 

Not all students are gifted with the ability to write well.  But with practice, you can improve your essay writing.  If you seek to improve your essay writing faster follow these simple and helpful steps to see immediate improvement in your essays.

1. Carefully read and understand the professor’s instruction.  Start your essay by understanding what your professor is looking for.  Try to find out what the professor wants you to do.  If you are asked to write persuasive essay then do not submit an argumentative essay.  If you are asked to submit informative essay then do not submit a compare and contrast.  This is a common mistake among students who in their haste to get the essay writing over and done start with their paper right away.  These students only end up wasting all their time and effort.

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2. Gather information and research about your topic.  As students, it is understandable if you have limited knowledge about your topic.  It is the reason why you need to research and read a lot of materials before you write an essay.  While reading your sources, list down the authors, the year of the publication or the website.  The list will serve as your bibliography which shall form part of your paper.

3. Prepare a plan or outline.  Your plan or outline serves as your basic foundation before you proceed with the actual essay writing.  It is similar to constructing tall buildings where you need a blue print before actual construction takes place.  In your plan, try to organize and list down your points and ideas.  Arrange them in such a way that your ideas as logically presented.

4. Write your first draft.  All perfect and excellent essays start with a draft.  When you write your first draft, focus on your ideas and thoughts. Make sure that all your ideas are presented in your first draft.  Do not be concerned about your grammar or spelling errors yet since editing will come after the first draft is done.

5. Cite your sources.  Most students make the mistake of trying to finish the paper first before they write the in-text citations.  While this is a good strategy it is prone to the possibility that the student may forget to cite his sources.  When that happens the student is exposed to the possibility of being accused of plagiarism.  To avoid this, it is suggest that the student should acknowledge his sources as soon as he has started writing his paper.

6. Edit, proofread and revise your first draft.  After you have finished your first draft, it is time to edit your paper.  When you edit start by reading the entire paper to see if you have expressed all your thoughts and ideas.  Check if everything you want to say have been stated.  Then you can read each paragraph carefully checking if the thoughts in each paragraph are clear.  Afterwards, carefully read every sentence to see if there are ambiguous words or sentences.  It is at this point where you check for any grammatical error or spelling error.

You can have fun while writing your essay if you follow these simple steps.  Try them and see your immediate improvement. 


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