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Hints for Writing Better Essays
When writing an essay, don’t just sit down and begin writing it. Have a plan. A few minutes of work in the beginning can save you hours later. Compose a pre-write before you write your essay. Like the name suggests, a pre-write is simply a plan you create before you write the actual essay. A writer that does not create a pre-write is like an architect that builds without blueprints. Plan ahead and you will have a much better essay.
When you are transitioning from one idea to the next or from one paragraph to another, use words that signal that transition. For example, if you are writing a narrative, you are moving an event through time. Use words that indicate that movement, such as “next,” “then,” and “finally.”
Use “Advanced Punctuation”
Use punctuation marks such as semicolons, colons, and dashes in your writing. While there is no rule that says you must use these, it takes your writing to the next level when you use them correctly. Don’t overuse them, but a semicolon here and a dash there can really impress your readers.
It’s All About the Verb
Strong verbs are what make good essays great. Your readers will thanks you if you use one strong verb instead of a helping verb, main verb, and adverb. Here is an example.
He walked very slowly down the path.
He meandered down the path.
Where to Start a Story
If you are writing a story, the first thing you need to determine is your climax, or “big moment.” Once you have figured this out, start your story right before your climax occurs. For example, if you are writing about your favorite ride on your family vacation to Disney World, your story should start as you are waiting in line. Too many students want to tell what they ate for breakfast, what they listened to on the radio on the ride there, and so on. There is no need to do this. Write about what matters.
You Don’t Have to Go In Order
There is no rule that says you must write your introduction first. Of course you can if you want, but you don’t have to. It might be beneficial to write your body first and work on your introduction later. For example, let’s say you are writing a persuasive essay. You probably have three main points in support of or against the topic. It may be easier to write your introduction after clarifying your main points since you have them right in front of you.
After you finish your essay, reread it and make needed changes. Some people (me) think that it helps to read it aloud. I always catch mistakes and awkwardly written sentences by reading aloud. At the very least, use spell check if you typed your essay.
Sometimes all you need is a few hints for essay writing to really make your writing shine. Try these seven ideas and see if your writing improves!