4 Ways To Instantly Improve Essay Writing Skills
- January 31, 2018
- Joanna Leeman
Writing is at the very heart of academic life. In coursework assignments, dissertations and exams, a well-written essay can be the crucial difference between a pass and a fail. It’s important to invest in your writing ability to ensure greater success in your studies.
If you’re left wondering how to polish your academic style, here are some useful tips.
Be precise and cut the waffle
People often have misconceptions with regards to academic writing, thinking it needs to consist of very long, complicated sentences. In order to aid the reader’s understanding, you should actually aim to make your writing as concise as possible. This involves keeping the jargon and obscure language to an absolute minimum.
Nobody enjoys having to read a bunch of long, rambling points that could have been expressed in half the length. Make sure you use every one of your allotted words to good effect.
When necessary, use advanced vocabulary
If you use the same words and phrases too frequently, your writing will appear repetitive. For these reasons, it’s best to show a broad range of vocabulary in your lexical choice.
Still, think twice before pulling out that thesaurus! Research suggests that using overly complex words just to sound more intelligent often results in the opposite effect. If you can articulate your thoughts more simply, go ahead and do so.
Draft a well-rounded plan
Everyone works in their own way. However, it’s important not to jump too quickly from research to writing. Take time to think about how you will order your ideas and what the central argument of your essay will be.
Ideally, you should produce a comprehensive plan well in advance. This will enable you to stay focused and organised throughout the writing process and ensure coherence in your final paper.
Assess the evidence you use
You should always question the evidence you use in your essay. Simply ask yourself: “Does this directly relate to my thesis?” If the answer is “no” then it should probably be excluded.
When you’re evaluating evidence, it’s absolutely essential to be thorough. Remember: you want to use the strongest research to support your claims and ideas. Everything that you include needs to have a clear connection to your topic and your argument.
Yet, you don’t have to only choose research that backs up your point of view. For instance, it’s okay to disagree with a scholar you quote, given you can provide reasoning for doing so. This shows that you have thought about it and made up your own mind instead of just blindly accepting what someone else has said.
Don’t forget to edit and proofread
Make sure you revise your paper several times before submitting. This way, you’ll avoid making lots of careless mistakes that threaten the clarity and flow of your writing.
You should also get someone you trust to proofread your essay. A second set of eyes can catch typos, grammatical errors and other small problems that you may have not noticed.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to stop procrastinating and start working hard to improve your academic writing. After all, the rewards will be all yours!
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