Jan
19
2013

Essay writing tips

Guest Post by: Ann Gault

Many students struggle with their essay writing because simply, they don’t completely understand what the best way to go about them. Even then, essay writing should not be a difficult task if you follow through with the following advice and tips.

Always use active voice

As much as possible, when writing an essay, use active voice. Most student essays are straight boring and dry because many students use passive voice to write their essay, while ignoring active voice in their work. Active voice adds reader interest and impact in the written message making it lively. This can earn you more marks.

Avoid jargon and technical language

In the temptation to sound smart and clever, many students lose marks when they become overly technical or vague in their language. Jargon is bad for essays and as much as possible, should be replaced by acceptable, simple terms and language. Simply, if you can find a simple alternative to a word, avoid jargon and technical terms, just do it.

Use short sentences

Long sentences everywhere, sound plain and boring. If you extend these to three lines or so, you end up jumbling ideas. As a result, you confuse the reader and no communication happens. If there is a shorter way to say something, do it. Think twice before thinking of complex sentences. Ideas need to be in short, precise and impactful sentences.

Indefinite references

Indefinite references often appear in essays where long sentences are used. Logically, when you write five ideas in one sentence, you are bound to get lost. If you don’t, then your reader will be lost. If this happens, then communication will be lost. Try as much as possible, to use direct sentences to infer to definite points or ideas. This will help your essays from becoming generic, confusing and boring.

Use strong topic sentences

The first line of the first paragraph takes the reader into the body. If possible, try to say what the topic is in the first sentence of the first paragraph. This adds impact to the sentence and this can help you communicate better. Also, once the sentence starts strongly, you make readers eager for supporting sentences and ideas. This makes them want to read and hence, more marks for you.

Avoid a chatty tone

When you write an essay, what sounds cool in spoken language should be omitted. An essay is a statement of a thesis and how to prove it. Don’t use informal niceties, conversational terms, exclamation marks, slang and other elements which sound less formal. The essay should at least sound formal even if you love to chat. This sounds boring, but it will give heaviness to the message and earn you marks.

Observe sentence structure

Sentence structure and how sentences communicate the messages is of utmost importance. Correct all grammar mistakes in your work. The easiest way to do this is by using succinct and direct statements which add value to your work. Also note that, if your essay is scientific, always italicize the scientific names where appropriate.

Cite work appropriately

There are different rules of writing and citing sources. Well cited work is more dependable and adds value. In fact, professors and lecturers a like respect well cited work. Use the appropriate citation that is provided by your teachers to score well.

Ann Gault works as a writer of essay papers at Essays capital.

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