Essays play a big part in your college career, so it’s a good idea to start cracking down on your skills. You have to write them to get into college and you have to write them to complete college. The purpose of essays is to showcase your knowledge and ability to communicate it in written form. This is essential whether you’re going to Harvard or taking up Northeastern’s MBA online. If you didn’t pay much attention in English class in high school, it’s time to sharpen your writing skills now or you’re going to be in a world of trouble when college rolls around.
The following tips can be used to help you get a better handle on essay writing.
Always Brainstorm Before You Write
You don’t want to just start writing your essay without first planning out what you’ll say. What is your argument? Is it asking you to explain something, persuade others or answer certain questions? How will you hook the reader into the essay from the beginning? What fine points will you make? Are your arguments or explanations strong and supported? What sources will you use? Make sure that whatever sources you cite are reputable or they won’t be accepted. You can brainstorm your ideas on paper or on your computer. A road map is key for any destination or goal you wish to accomplish.
Don’t Edit as You Write
Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, so just continue writing until the end. Once you complete what you have to say, go back and do the editing. This will prevent you from losing your train of thought as you’re writing. You can return to the beginning to change ideas and sentences, and make any other corrections that are needed. This is a great way to get past writer’s block as well.
Adopt the Three Part Essay Model
There are three parts to every essay – the intro, body and conclusion. The first paragraph is your intro, so make it catchy. You can ask a question, make a wild but true statement or state a fact or opinion. The body of the essay should then support whatever concept or topic you introduced in the beginning. At the end, draw up the conclusion to your argument.
Be Specific and Focused
Colleges don’t like essays that ramble on without any direction or purpose. Make sure you have a main focus for your essay and ensure everything placed in there is relevant. You can do this by adopting a specific angle and backing it up with whatever evidence you have gathered.
Ask for Feedback
You may be your own worst critic, so get a second pair of eyes to review your essay. What you write may never be satisfying to you, which means you’ll never stop writing and correcting. Take your draft to friends, family and teachers to see what they think. Use the advice you gather, but make sure to keep your own voice. This is an issue a lot of people have when making corrections after obtaining feedback.