Knowing some essay writing hacks can help make an often tedious task a bit more manageable. No matter your field of study, it’s likely you’ll find yourself having to write essays. Keep these tips in mind and things should run more smoothly!
Plan and Outline
The way you start says a lot about the way you mean to carry on. Start off strong and keep that going. The thing that can get to people when writing an essay is the blank page. It feels like you have to create something out of nothing, but you don’t. You usually have to draw from sources. Collate those sources, organise them into an order that looks cohesive, and you’ve got the beginnings of an outline.
Next, define the structure of the essay. Lay the plan bare. You’ll start with an introduction and end with a conclusion, naturally. In between are your main body paragraphs, where all the meat is. You take your research and ideas and break them by topic, section, and paragraph. You’re basically writing the essay before you write it. This is the skeleton that you’ll add muscle onto later.
Look at Similar Kinds of Essays
As far as essay writing hacks are concerned, I consider this one to be underrated. This is probably due to its removal from the literal act of writing the essay. Everything you write exists within a context. You’re contributing to a pre-defined field of knowledge, especially if the essay you’re writing is research-based. With that in mind, you’ll want to take a look at the kind of company you’ll be in.
Looking at similar kinds of essays will help you with form, structure, and content (you’ll be doing this while researching anyway). It will also give you a feel for the kind of writing that’s used in your field. You’ll become familiar with the language and tone, and incorporate that into your own writing. Do this in tandem with your research and planning stage, as both will feed each other.
Follow the Criteria
Going back to the blank page, and the feeling of having no scaffolding when embarking on your writing journey, remember the marking criteria. You’ll always get a rubric of some kind, basically telling you what notes you need to hit and what learning outcomes you need to display, in order to achieve good marks. This is your bible.
Broadly speaking, the content and structure of your essay is right here, laid out before you prior to ever starting. The moment you’re assigned the essay, you’ll get this. When in doubt, stick to the criteria. These are the things that the essay has to be about. If you touch on each aspect, you cannot possibly fail.
This essay writing hack requires good time management. I know it sounds scary. You just need to be practical. It’s not about overtaxing yourself, it’s about spacing the work load out. If you start the project from when it’s assigned, you can work incrementally. Keep at a steady pace and you’ll have time to go over the essay a couple more times to fine-tune it.
Redrafting can only produce a stronger piece of writing, which may make the difference between a mediocre essay and a solid one. You might be thinking this is an obvious tip, as we’re usually instructed to redraft. The problem is finding the time. Just as you planned the structure of your essay, do the same with the structure of your time spent writing. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Have Someone Look It Over
So let’s say you’ve gone over it a couple of times. You’ve looked at it from various different angles, maybe you’ve read it aloud. What you really need now is another pair of eyeballs. Get another human being to read your essay. They don’t necessarily have to be the most qualified person on earth, they’ll just help give an indication of how your writing flows.
At this point, you may have become too close to the essay to look at it objectively. Now, you won’t be asking a friend or parent if you’ve hit all the criteria because how would they know. They’re just going to tell you how it sounds. If you have the opportunity to have your teacher read it over, then you’ve struck gold. Who’s more qualified to tell you how you’re going. No brainer essay writing hack: Take your teacher’s advice.