Essays are part of almost every college curriculum, and you’ll have to write many of them during your college career, from your first-year writing assignments to your senior thesis paper. If you’re just starting out as a college student, these tips will help you develop the skills and habits that will prepare you to write a professional essay quickly and confidently on any topic your professor assigns to you, like a professional essay writer.
1) Identify the audience
Before you start writing, take time to get to know your reader. What kind of person are they? What do they like and dislike? Write down a few sentences that describe who your essay’s readers are so you can come back to them when writing. That way, you’ll be able to keep their needs in mind when crafting your message.
2) Choose a Topic, Not an Idea
Write down your topic and try to come up with 20 or 30 ideas for it. For example, if you have How to Write a Research Paper as your topic, start listing all of the possible angles: How to brainstorm topic ideas? How to create an outline? How to find sources? How to cite properly? Etc. This will help you narrow down what exactly you want to say in your paper and will also help you focus on one specific idea. You don’t want to write about every aspect of writing a research paper; instead, pick one thing (e.g., How to Find Sources) that interests you most so that when someone reads your essay, they can actually learn something useful!
3) Choose Your Voice
Too many students are paralyzed by whether to use the first or third person when writing an essay. Not knowing which voice is appropriate leads to bland, boring writing. Instead of worrying about what voice to use, think about how you want your paper to sound. Do you want it to sound formal and academic? Or casual and conversational? Once you know what tone you’re aiming for, choose a voice accordingly.
4) Structure is Key
Good essay structure makes any paper easier to read. An essay is made up of paragraphs, and each paragraph should have its own theme. When writing an essay, begin by defining your thesis statement or main idea – this can be done with one sentence, followed by three-to-five supporting paragraphs that offer examples or details to support your thesis. Keep in mind that supporting information is more important than examples, so focus on providing facts and details that add substance to your argument.
5) Get Support
If you’re having trouble getting started or need help from an expert, your college will likely have free tutoring services and writing centers available to students. These resources can be invaluable when you need to bounce ideas off someone who has already mastered research and writing techniques. They can also help you catch potential mistakes before it’s too late!
6) Write Regularly and Review Often
When it comes to writing, consistency is key. The more you write and review your work (both before and after publishing), the better you’ll become at both. As with many things in life, practice makes perfect, so get started today!
7) Look at Examples
If you’re not sure where to start, try looking at examples of professional essays. Most students look first in their local library, but with online research tools like Google Scholar and Open Access materials at your fingertips, you can find some good examples online. A quick search will give you tons of examples that help illustrate how pros format their papers. Have a look at them and see if they help guide your formatting choices.
8) Practice Rehearsal
Writing an essay is stressful no matter how long you’ve been studying your subject. A good way to calm that anxiety and prepare yourself mentally is to practice rehearsing your paper beforehand. Read through it aloud, mark places where you might want to make changes, and even get feedback from someone else who has time to check out your paper before you turn it in.
9) Seek Feedback Early and Often
Don’t be afraid to turn in work before it’s perfect; don’t worry about receiving a low grade on an early draft. Seek out feedback from other students and professionals, then revise. When it comes to writing, practice is everything – the sooner you put your ideas into words and get them critiqued by someone else, the better your final draft will be.
10) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Most professors aren’t expecting you to make your essay perfect. They’re looking to see if you can make logical arguments, present evidence and analyze sources. The key here is that they expect you to make mistakes – they just want to know what kind of thinking process is behind them. So don’t be afraid to go through multiple drafts and rewrites, but don’t get hung up on details that don’t change anything in your argument or how well it comes across.
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