It’s common knowledge that many students in the U.S. are struggling to keep up in subjects like math and reading. Their writing skills are not up to par, either, and many students are struggling with basic grammar and sentence formation issues.
If you’re part of this group, it’s easy to give up and say that you’ll never be a good writer. The truth, though, is that you can learn to write well. It’s a skill like anything else.
Do you want to become a better writer? Have you been struggling to figure out how to write better essays?
If so, keep reading. Listed below are nine tips that will help you wow your teachers with your writing!
It Pays to be a Good Writer
Why do you need to be a good writer? Is it just so you can get a good grade in your English class? Actually, no.
There are lots of reasons why you ought to prioritize improving your writing skills.
Not only will you be able to avoid having to spend money on “Buy Essay” services, but you’ll also reap these other great benefits:
- You’ll learn to communicate clearly (both when you write and when you speak)
- You can increase the amount of information you retain in English as well as other subjects
- You’ll make a better impression when applying for jobs
- Your critical thinking skills will improve
This last benefit is especially important. We live in a world where we’re bombarded with information on an almost constant basis.
If you can’t think critically about that information, you may find yourself believing the “fake news” being shared online and being more easily swayed by people who don’t have your best interests in mind.
How to Write Better Essays
Clearly, being a good writer can pay off in more ways than one. How do you start writing better essays, though?
These tips will get you on the right track to becoming a better writer and communicator:
1. Choose an Interesting Topic
If you have the opportunity to choose your own essay topic, pick something that actually interests you.
A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a “controversial” topic in which they’re not particularly interested, or they choose the subject that they think their teacher wants them to choose.
In reality, your teacher will more likely be interested in what interests you, and you’ll have a more enjoyable time writing the essay.
2. Know Your Purpose
What are you trying to accomplish with this essay? Is your goal to provide information on your chosen topic? Do you need to persuade your teacher to agree with your position on an issue?
Read the instructions for your assignment carefully so that you know your purpose before you spend time researching and writing.
3. Do a “Brain Dump”
For many people, the hardest part of writing an essay is getting started. It’s common for students to give themselves “analysis paralysis” and get so hung up on writing the perfect essay that they write nothing at all.
If this sounds familiar, doing a “brain dump” can be helpful. Sit down in front of your computer, open a blank document, set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and write whatever comes to your mind.
It doesn’t have to pretty. It doesn’t even have to make sense.
The point is to just start writing. Remember, you can always restructure your essay so that it makes sense, but you can’t edit unless you have some words on the page first.
4. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
We’ve all been in that position where we’re scrambling to write an essay that night before it’s due.
If you want to become a better writer, though, you need to give yourself time to put together a good product.
Write down the due date of your essay and schedule out some time each day to work on it. That way, you’ll have more time to review and revise and will be less likely to feel overwhelmed.
5. Do a Lot of Research
In many cases, the reading you do for an essay is just as important as the actual writing.
Make sure you’re researching your topic thoroughly and looking at opposing viewpoints. Don’t just read articles from authors who agree with your opinion. Get a new perspective so you can craft a better, more objective essay.
6. Write a Clear Thesis
When you’re ready to start writing your essay, it helps to start with a clearly written thesis.
The thesis is a brief outline of the essay. It tells the reader what to expect and what kind of points you’re going to be arguing.
Writing your thesis first also gives you direction as a writer and makes it easier for you to stay on topic.
7. Write the Body First
It might seem counterintuitive, but it can be helpful to write the body of your essay after you write the thesis.
Many people have a hard time starting because they don’t know how to introduce their topic. Skip that step altogether and just jump straight into the research and expand on the points you outlined in your thesis.
No one will know that you didn’t write your essay in the “correct” order.
8. Finish with the Introduction and Conclusion
When you’ve finished with the body, you can circle back and write your introduction and conclusion.
It’ll be much easier once you know what you’re introducing and the kind of message with which you want to leave your reader.
9. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Yes, we really did need to use that word three times in a row. Proofreading is one of the most important things you can do when writing a good essay.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with this step (or any step in the writing process, really).
It helps to get a second, more objective set of eyes on your essay to help you identify mistakes and gaps in your argument.
Looking for More Writing Advice?
These nine tips on how to write better essays are a great starting point for anyone who wants to become a more effective writer.
Are you interested in learning more writing tips? Do you want to learn how to be a better student in every subject?
If so, be sure to check out the Education section of our site today.
You’ll find all kinds of helpful articles here on everything from studying a second language to learning about the law.