Essay writing is a writing style that follows a different pattern from other types of writing, and it takes time to get the hang of it. There are many things to look into to improve essay writing skills, including the format, the style, the choice of words, and the language.
Also, there are various types of essay writing. What determines the language or vocabulary you’ll use while writing is the type of essay you’re working on. In most cases, when you’re given a project on essay writing, it comes with its set guidelines.
But, there are also basic essay writing principles that might not be included in the guide. To help you improve essay writing in school, these tips we’ll be sharing will make your essay better and stand out.
What makes a good essay?
Several things make an essay stand out. But, there are basic requirements every well-written essay must contain. Some of them are:
- A well-written essay must convey a specific thought.
- Every paragraph should contain a single clear central idea.
- Each paragraph must have a topic sentence and a supporting sentence.
- The ideas introduced in different paragraphs should be explained using illustrations, details, descriptions, and examples.
- Conciseness and coherence are essential when writing an essay.
- A well-written essay should be grammatically correct.
- The paragraphs in the essay should be related to the main idea (topic/title)
- New paragraphs either support or expands the central idea.
How to improve essay writing skills for students
As a student, essay writing is an inescapable aspect of learning. You’ll meet it, especially from middle school till even after college. Aside from being a school requirement, it’s a way of life.
Therefore, every student must learn to express themselves using essay writing accurately. Below are some helpful ways to write better essays in school:
- Read widely: it’s often said that reading informs writing. It also applies to essay writing. But, to grow in your abilities to write compelling and engaging essays, read widely. Don’t focus your reading on one area. See every readable material as an opportunity to improve your writing.
- Build your vocabulary: often, the challenges students face while writing an essay are due to their limited vocabulary. Building your vocabulary means sourcing new words and ways to use words interchangeably. Once you have a good vocabulary to draw from, it impacts the effectiveness of your writing.
- Improve your grammar and mechanics: grammar is an essential part of any writing exercise. Grammar looks at your tenses and your sentence construction. Your mechanics look at your punctuations, style, clarity, and the organization of a written piece. Study your grammar and work on your mechanics consistently. It’ll help you improve your writing flow.
- Develop your transition: transition is essential in any writing. It’s also essential in essay writing. It determines how your sentences and paragraphs effortlessly glide into another to convey knowledge and engage the reader. Without transition, your essay will be disjointed. Source for transitional words and learn how to use them when writing.
- Build a writing outline: assuming you can use your grammar and transitions correctly, you may still find it challenging to write effectively. This can be due to unorganized thoughts. When your thoughts are not organized, it reflects in your writing. Outline and place your ideas, thoughts, and topic into it to avoid this.
- Always revise your essay: through revision, you will spot errors and make necessary corrections, edit ideas and format your writing correctly. During revision, your attention will be drawn to mistakes made while writing.
- Have a second reader: second readers are helpful when making final touches to your essay. A second reader can spot errors you might not have recognized. To avoid writing an error-filled essay, give your essay to a second reader after writing.
- Read it out: some people underestimate the effect of reading your essay to yourself. It’s easy to spot errors in your essay when you read it out to yourself.
Improving essay writing: tips to follow
Improving your essay writing ability is a gradual process. It’s impossible to learn everything you need to know in one or two days. So, here are some helpful tips on how to make your essay better over time:
- Be open to constructive criticism
- Learn as many new words as possible
- Write even when you don’t feel like
- Start a writing challenge for yourself
- Break your target word count down
- Carry out extensive research before writing
- Choose a topic that interests you
- Know your best writing time
- Engage in conversations. It helps to broaden your knowledge and idea
- Take breaks at intervals from writing
Improving and polishing your essay writing skills is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, don’t be in haste to know it all immediately. It’s an exercise you have to practice consistently. With patience, consistent practice, and discipline, you’d learn how to write a better essay in no time.