Academic writing is a skill that anyone could learn, but to learn this skill, they must know the basics of writing. An academic essay isn’t an ordinary piece of writing; it should provide a debatable and solid thesis that is supported by strong and relevant textual evidence – whether it may be from one’s own research or other sources. All most all essay writing follows a typical set of guidelines which, when followed, would allow you to craft persuasive and valuable papers, even if you’re under the clock.
If you want to learn the secrets of writing a flawless essay then worry not, with our tips, you’ll be crafting comprehensive essays in no time.
Craft an outline
There are two ways to write an essay; you either start with an outline, which will help you in knowing what you have to write and what points are relevant. The other way is to jump right in and pray that the checker has mercy on you. If you’re smart, then you’ll obviously pick the first option, where you carefully make an outline and include everything you’ll be mentioning in your essay. The easiest way to narrow down a wide topic and make a proper argument is to create a basic outline before you start writing. We would advise that your first outline should include every idea that you have regarding the topic of the essay.
Once you’ve jotted down everything, you need to see which points are irrelevant and would make the argument stray away from your topic. After cutting down a few points, you’ll be left with all the relevant points, now all you have to do is to arrange them in a sequence that places every point in its appropriate order. Thus, giving you a flawless outline.
Gain a thorough understanding of style, punctuation and basic grammar
Style, punctuation, and grammar are extremely important if you want your essay to be understood and taken seriously. Before you write an essay, make sure that you have a concrete understanding of basic grammar. Grammar basics include subject, verb, and agreement, proper pronoun and article usage, along with well-formed sentence structures.
Having the wrong punctuation could make the overall structure weak and will give the checker the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Be very careful when using commas and where a period is required. In essay writing, voice is important. You must try to use the active voice instead of the passive whenever it is possible (e.g., “this study found” rather than “it was found by this study”). This would make the overall tone of your essay stronger. Make sure that your language is concise. And, avoid transition words that don’t add meaning to the sentence and needless wordiness that detracts from your main argument.
Using the right vocabulary
Using the right terminology is important, especially in academic essay writing. Do remember that your primary objective is to persuade others that you’re an expert who can make a witty argument. Using big and fancy words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect – it is very easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writeups.
If you aren’t completely sure of what exactly a word means, then it’s not worth the risk as the wrong word in the wrong place could ruin your entire essay. Using obscure language could also take away the clarity of your argument.
Using textual evidence to support your claim
When writing an essay, your main argument should always be in your mind. Although it might be tempting to off on a tangent about some interesting fact that doesn’t directly relate your essay. But doing so could make your writing less concise. It is highly advised to use textual evidence in your essay, but do question yourself when using a piece of evidence, that “does this directly support my thesis?” If the answer is no, then you should avoid adding that, as irrelevant claims could make your overall essay weak.
Nailing a proper conclusion
Writing a proper conclusion is probably the most overlooked area of academic essay writing. Students usually concentrate on the body of the essay while ignoring the end, as it is the end which all brings it together, a weak conclusion could ruin a very well written essay, and a strong conclusion could even tie together a loosely written essay. Do remember that your conclusion should always go back to your thesis statement and supports it in letter and spirit; only then will your conclusion sum up your entire argument.
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