Last updated on February 6th, 2023 at 06:33 am
"Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good."
- William Faulkner
In high school and at the college level, you will have plenty of time to practice your writing skills.
Knowing how to communicate through written content effectively is a skill you will have to cultivate whether you are a college student or preparing for your first day on the job.
The writing process can seem daunting to some, but good writing is always cultivated over time.
The following blog post provides some of the best tips for improving any essay that you will write.
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Essay Writing Tips to Help You Succeed!
1. Get a proofreader
When you are writing, mistakes are bound to happen. This is okay because no written work is 100% perfect. However, you can avoid some common mistakes just by adding the Grammarly plugin to your browser, which will proofread your work for you as you write.
Improving your grammar is an important part of any writing process.
That is why having a tool to help is one of our most essential writing tips for students.
There is a free version that will get you pretty far, but when you invest in Grammarly's paid plan, you will have access to more features for clarity and checking for plagiarism.
2. Avoid Plagiarism
Avoiding plagiarism is a very easy writing skill to build. We all know that plagiarizing someone's work isn't worth the penalties.
Often, students can fail a class just off of one instance or they risk being expelled altogether.
When you aren't sure if it is plagiarism, you can use tools online like Grammarly to check. Remember, cite, cite, cite!
Writing can be a beautiful process when you engage in the best practices
3. Start writing
When you are writing, your first draft won't be perfect, but you have to get started to improve your writing skills.
Often, students find it difficult to begin writing because they are afraid of failing. However, if you write nothing then you fail by default.
Starting is one of the most essential writing tips because a good college essay statement starts with the process of writing.
4. Be concise
If you want to clearly state your argument while writing then you will have to be concise.
Conciseness makes a bigger statement than fluff ever did
No one likes a wordy essay. It isn't always easy to be concise in a single paper because usually you are given a word limit minimum, so adding extra words can be helpful.
However, if it is something that you can say in as few words as possible then that is your best course of action.
5. Develop an outline
One of the most important writing tips for students is to develop an essay outline before they begin writing.
An essay outline clearly states all of the main points in a bullet format. Don't worry. The main points in your outline can and will change as you begin writing, and that is okay.
It is okay for ideas to evolve as you write
However, starting with an essay outline helps you organize your ideas before you start writing.
You can even take the outlining process a step further by adding visuals. You can do this by using PowerPoint or Canva. Depending on the writing topic you have, adding visuals can help you explain your writing to others or present your work to your peers.
Most times you will have to present your written work to others, so we recommend starting with the presentation and editing it as you go compared to waiting until the end of your essay.
6. Stick to the writing prompt
Writing prompts are usually given to you as a part of the writing assignment before you begin any essay. These are usually exciting because it gives you the opportunity to express your creativity as a writer.
Stick to the point!
Not all writing prompts are the same, so make sure you are paying attention to the details before and during the writing task.
Each paragraph should serve a purpose. Each sentence should support your main points. Your thesis should be a clear statement that addresses the writing prompt.
7. Get feedback on your first draft
When you are writing, it isn't always easy letting others view your work before it is perfect. However, as mentioned previously, no written work is 100% perfect. There are best-selling books with typos!
If you want to deliver a great final draft of your paper, then we recommend making sure the beginning writing is clear and concise.
What to consider during the first draft:
- Did you stick to the writing prompt?
- Do you effectively engage your audience?
- Is the sentence structure clear? (make sure your sentences flow together)
- Do you have enough written in your paper to submit your final paper on time?
- Is the reader able to follow along? (e.g., d you write with clarity?)
You don't have to show the first draft to your professor. You can get feedback on your ting by showing it to a friend or scheduling an appointment with your school's writing center.
Schedule a meeting with your writing center if possible
This process also breaks you out of the limiting belief that all your writing has to be perfect. Perfectionism kills more dreams than doubt ever could.
When we become consumed with everything being perfect, then our creativity is stifled. Most times we never even try to deliver our best work out of fear of it never being good writing.
Perfect leaves no room for improvement, and here, we are all about improvement!
8. Believe in your own writing
One of the best writing tips we can offer is the encouragement of your belief in your own worth.
We have mentioned this several times throughout the blog post, but NO WRITING IS PERFECT.
You have to believe that your writing is good and that you can always improve
Never let someone convince you that you aren't enough because you still have room to grow.
The best writers start off below average and never stop believing that they can become great.
Just write. Do it often and do it scared. Write because you can and write because you know that nothing can keep you from getting better unless you do not believe that it is possible for you to improve.
Self-confidence is an excellent skill to develop, and it can also start while you are writing.
9. Develop a schedule for writing
When it comes you writing a college essay, students often wait until the last minute to start on their paper, and this writing habit often leads to them submitting less-than-perfect work.
The best ideas come when you are inspired and not stressed
You can avoid the stress and anxiety that many students face when writing their essay last minute by developing a writing schedule.
A writing schedule doesn't have to be perfect, but you want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to practice good writing.
For example, if you know that your essay will be due in less than two weeks, then maybe you schedule 1 hour each Monday-Friday to develop your paper.
What gets scheduled gets done!
It is okay if you work more than 1 hour during those times, but it is important that you have something scheduled. When you start to write, you might discover that the words flow much easier than you expected.
However, if you do not schedule enough time to write and wait to start on your paper at the last minute, then your writing flow is prevented by stress.
Developing a writing schedule also leaves you with enough time to revise papers before submitting them.
While you are revising your writing, you can check for clear and concise language and make sure that your main idea is clearly stated.
10. Research your topic
Your ability to write a good essay is usually connected to your ability to conduct good research before and during the writing task.
Additionally, the best ideas for writing usually come while you are conducting research.
Do not skip this step when writing your college essay. Be inspired by the ideas of others!
Be patient with the writing process
Give yourself some grace when you are writing.
Students often become frustrated when they are working on their college essays because they are not patient with themselves.
No matter where you are in life, there is always room for improvement. You will have some good ideas when you write, and there will also be some not-so-great ideas. Everything is okay.
Unfortunately, the academic environment doesn't always allow room for improvement because failure isn't always encouraged. This is something you must demand from yourself.
Failures are also successes when you have developed the right mindset to learn from them. Write often and write to improve, not to be perfect.
All the very best to you and HAPPY WRITING!