Let’s be honest. At some point, you may have dreamed of being in Carrie Bradshaw’s shoes, especially the Manolo Blahnik ones that she could afford while writing columns from the comfort of her home. But it’s not just because of the shoes and the materialistic perks why we are in such an awe, it’s about that special power and pride you get by calling yourself a writer. The successful writers that we all know and admire make writing seem like a talent that all of us possess up until the moment when we find ourselves staring at the blank page, having no idea what’s supposed to happen next.
It gets even harder when you have to construct your thoughts on an academic level. Suddenly, you realize that the span of your abilities and vocabulary are quite limited. Not everybody struggles with putting his or her thoughts into a written whole that makes sense, but for those who do, this one is for you:
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Simple guidelines on writing the most exploited form of writing – his majesty, The Essay.
Writing essays, especially for the purpose of college assignments, is not that difficult. It just requires a special combination of skill set and structure that can be easily applied no matter the topic. While mastering these skills won’t make you an instant writer, they will certainly contribute for better grades.
Before starting to write the essay, it is important that you have a clear idea of what you are about to write. Selecting a topic is the first challenging hurdle in college essay writing. Your topic needs to reinforce what you want to say about yourself to your prospective school.
With your mind set on the particular essay thesis that has to be discussed, the next step is to organize your thoughts. Spend some time on thinking and reflecting, on forming your own point of view, and putting your raw ideas on a paper. Organizing your thoughts will help you distinguish between them and will easily enable you to see the bigger picture.
The essay itself has to be structured in three main parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
The introduction is simply about introducing the subject and describing how the narrator will deal with it in the subsequent paragraphs. It is important to keep it short and to the point, but captivating at the same time. You want to get your readers ‘hooked’. In order to do so, ask yourself what the reader needs to know and what is the best way to deliver your message to them.
The Main Body
Usually comprised of several paragraphs, the purpose of the main body is to elaborate the thesis in further detail. Even though we may have generated a lot of thoughts and ideas about the particular thesis, we must stick to the strongest arguments and try to explain their relevance with supporting evidence. The best way to do so is by balancing with researched evidence and personal opinions, or experiences. The balance will vary between different subjects, but the general idea is to back up the points as much as possible with the combination of the two.
Same as the introduction, the conclusion is a short summary of the general idea of the arguments. In most of the cases it should not be just an afterthought, but rather a last chance to prove your point and to indicate what has been learned. Also it can serve as an introduction to further issues that have been recognized, but are not in the scope of the present essay.
Despite following the general structure for writing essays, there are several other aspects that you should pay attention to.
All of the sentences should be complete, precise and simple. This means writing shorter sentences with clear expressions; in addition, each sentence should follow one another in a logical order, enabling the reader to follow more closely. Also, it is important to divide the text in paragraphs so that the reader finds it more understandable and more attractive. Transitional phrases, such as “furthermore”, “on the other hand”, “moreover”, etc. play a big role in connecting the dots and are the key of good writing. Because the essay is all about the reader, these statements will guide the reader throughout the paragraphs, keeping them informed.
Probably one of the most important things that most students neglect is the adequate list of references used for the purpose of writing the essay. If another author is directly quoted, there should be an indication where the evidence originated. Failing to do so can cause someone to be accused of plagiarism and face consequences.
In the end, don’t forget to review what you have written. Make sure everything is correct and flows smoothly. Don’t panic if don’t have everything in control from the very beginning. Mastering essay writing takes time and practice makes it perfect.
By: Nicholas LaPoma, Owner, Curvebreakers