If you are in secondary school (high school), college or university, you have undoubtedly encountered writing essays. They are the most common assignment in upper secondary school, college, and university; the average student writes one to three essays each week. Essay writing can be confusing though, especially if you are new to it. Writing an essay doesn’t come naturally to all students, particularly if English isn’t your first language, or is simply not your strong point. But the good news is that there are some ways you can develop better writing skills without taking an entire course in the art of essay writing. Simple things like having the help of a Proofreader can help to build confidence and improve your essay writing skills.
Here are five other ways you can improve your English-language essay writing skills in order to help you achieve your essay-writing goals…
Read a lot of English literature
Writing is an important skill, but you develop your writing skills by reading. This offers a stronger sense of what writing in English should read like, since written English varies greatly from everyday spoken English. Whether English is your first language or your fourth, reading widely in English will produce two important results. First, it will develop your understanding of what makes for good prose in any genre — not just essays. And second, it will give you more information about a broad array of subjects. This will help you to have more to say about essay topics, no matter what they are.
One of the best ways to develop good essay-writing skills is to be aware of what a good essay looks like. When you read good essays, you develop this instinctive notion of what good writing is supposed to be like. Therefore, one of the best ways you can improve your essay-writing skills is to read high-quality academic essays in order to gauge what makes them good. There are a number of ways you can find exceptional essays to read. Your instructor might offer you samples, or you could borrow essays from friends. You could also buy an essay online from a professional writing service. Just be sure to avoid plagiarism, and don’t try to pass it off as your own!
Another key skill in essay writing is the need for research. To improve your essays quickly, research your topic thoroughly. The more and better research that you have available to work with, the easier it will be to develop your paper and fill it with facts. To research a paper well, you need to be able to work with your school’s online library in order to find exceptional sources. By collecting more research than you need at the start of the paper, you won’t have to go back for more material if you find yourself running short of things to talk about as you work your way through the paper.
Master grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Writing skills such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation can make or break an essay. While typically these elements of an essay aren’t worth all that much of your grade, they can collectively raise or lower your grade by a full letter grade or more, depending on the rubric. But more than that, these mechanical elements have to be clear or your instructor won’t be able to understand what you’ve said in the paper in order to award you credit for your good ideas. You want to be sure that your instructor understands exactly what you mean. Take advantage of your school’s Writing Center or online writing resources to help improve your writing mechanics to avoid leaving easy points on the table.
Understand the rules of citations
Citing sources is essential for any essay, and you want to be sure that you give credit to your sources whenever you borrow information, ideas, or exact language from your sources. Unfortunately, many students have trouble knowing when, how often, and whether to cite sources, and this can lead to one of the most dreaded of all essay outcomes: plagiarism. Your instructor will let you know what style of documentation to use in your paper. Some examples include APA, MLA, and Chicago. Read through a style guide or writer’s handbook to learn exactly how to use your required style to document and acknowledge sources when and where you use them. That way your reader will always know where information came from, and you will avoid potential plagiarism problems. Strong citations make for strong essays, and with great citations you’ll develop great essay-writing skills.
*This is a collaborative post