10 Essay Writing Tips:
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3. Clarity of thoughts and economy of words.
Writing concisely and clearly forces you to think more clearly.
Since language is a tool to express thought, sloppy use of language
may imply sloppy thinking. To make every word count, write active
sentences with active verbs. But at the same time communicate with
a consistent tone. Look-up words that you are unsure about so that
you dont undermine your paper with one glaringly wrong word.
Take a printout of your paper and begin to cross-out words that
are not needed. You may be surprised at how many words can be eliminated
this way. When you do this, review the language to make sure the
language continues to flow. This approach should increase the clarity
of your writing but may reduce your page count.
2. Format and Presentation Count. You
may be a genius, but don't count on that preventing markdowns for
poor spelling, improper margins and other stylistic problems. These
are marked down for several reasons, ranging from policy requirements
to professors growing tired of sloppy work. If you are unsure of
your school's standards for essays you should get a copy of the
guidelines and review them. It would be a shame to get a lower grade
for having improper margins or footnote styles. Use a word processor
and spell check the work. Print it out on paper and then check it
again the next day. You may be amazed at how many mistake you might
find even after you thought the work was edited. If you know that
you are prone to spelling mistakes and typos, then ask a friend
or fellow student to review your work for mistakes, especially if
you know a good editor.
1. Think Differently (to paraphrase Apple's
marketing wizards). Spend time with the topic and the research.
Do you have an angle on the subject that differs from the professor
and sources you have read? Will the professor give you leeway to
come-up with your own take on the assignment or are you to write
strictly the facts". Part of this is knowing the professor and knowing
if original thinking is encouraged or discouraged. But more importantly
you must know yourself. Find the things that interest you and find
your voice. If you have a unique take on the material you might
want to run your ideas past the professor. Original thinking is
not as easy as it might seem. As a student you may think you have
a new idea that is actually not at all original. Sometimes comparing
two ideas leads to a new way of thinking that outside the box. Being
original is risky, and is not always rewarded in the short run.
But original thinking may also lead to rewards not only in school
but also in your life ahead.
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