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Writing an Essay? Here Are 10 Effective Tips

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❶I can t write an essay. Relevant evidence to support your statement Your conclusion needs to recap what you have just written.

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Finish your paper with a strong conclusion that sums up your important points. Your topic may be given to you by your instructor, or you may get to choose it yourself. Either way, you need to have a topic in mind before you get started working on your essay. Otherwise, you won't know what to write about! If you're having trouble choosing a topic, try brainstorming to reveal a topic.

Jot down your thoughts until something jumps out at you, or try making a mind map. Determine what type of essay you're writing.

Your essay may be a narrative, expository, or persuasive essay. You may also be writing a research paper. While these types of writing share similarities, they also have important differences. It's important to decide which type of writing you're preparing before you get started. In many cases, the type of essay you're writing will be determined by an assignment.

If this is the case, read the assignment sheet thoroughly. If you have any questions, talk to your instructor. This step is especially important if your paper is a research paper.

Go online, head to the library, search an academic database, or read newspapers. You can also ask a reference librarian. Know which sources are acceptable to your teacher. Does your teacher want a certain number of primary sources and secondary sources? Is your teacher picky about what's considered reliable sources? Can you use Wikipedia? Wikipedia is often a good starting point for learning about a topic, but many teachers won't let you cite it because they want you to find more authoritative sources.

Even if your teacher does not allow Wikipedia, you can still use Wikipedia articles to get a general working knowledge of your topic and find search terms. The "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" section at the bottom of the page can also be a good starting point for finding reliable sources that can provide more reputable information. However, if your teacher forbids even that much, a normal encyclopedia can serve the same function. Take detailed notes, keeping track of your sources. Record the facts and where you got them from.

Write down your sources in the correct citation format so that you don't have to go back and look them up again later. Note cards are a great option for keeping track of information.

If you don't want to use note cards, you could try a digital option! For example, you might try digital note cards for an easy solution, such as the site SuperNotecards.

If you're more tech savvy, you could try a bibliographic software like Zotero. If you write a lot, you might try a writing project software, such as Scrivener.

A good essay writer either includes the contrary evidence and shows why such evidence is not valid or alters his or her point of view in light of the evidence. In your research you'll probably come across really well-written and not so well-written arguments about your topic. The bibliographies of the well-written essays can also provide you with good sources.

Do some analysis to see what makes them work. What claims does the author make? Why do they sound good? Is it the logic, the sources, the writing, the structure? Is it something else? What evidence does the author present to you? Why does the evidence sound credible? Is the logic sound or faulty, and why? Why is the logic sound? Brainstorm your own ideas. Sure, you can use the arguments of others to back up what you want to say. However, you need to come up with your original spin on the topic to make it uniquely yours.

Make lists of ideas. You can also try mind mapping. Walk in your neighborhood or local park and think about your topic. Be prepared for ideas to come to you when you least expect them. Write your thesis statement. Look at the ideas that you generated. Choose one to three of your strongest ideas that support your topic. You should be able to support these ideas with evidence from your research. Write a thesis statement that summarizes the ideas that you plan to present.

Essentially, let the reader know where you're going, why, and how you will get there. A thesis statement should have a narrow focus include both your topic and what you plan to present. For example, "Although Eli Whitney's cotton gin ushered in a new era of American prosperity, it also widened the gap in suffering for African-American slaves, who would soon be more in demand, and more exploited, than ever. Take the thoughts that you brainstormed and assemble them into an outline. Write a topic sentence for your main ideas.

Then, underneath, make bullet points and list your supporting evidence. Generally, you want three arguments or pieces of evidence to support each main idea. In , after the cotton gin had been adopted, slaves totaled about 1. Write the body of your essay. You do want to think about length here; don't write pages and pages if your teacher wants 5 paragraphs. However, you should freewrite to let your thoughts reveal themselves. You can always make them more concise later.

Don't use "I" statements such as "I think. Simply stating your argument with supporting facts makes you sound much more authoritative. Instead of writing, "I found Frum to have a conservative bias," tell the reader why your statement is true: It's tempting to allow your thoughts to wander or to add additional information that seems interesting. However, this distracts from your purpose and undermines your essay. Make sure you stay on topic! Come up with a compelling title and introduction.

Your title and introduction make people want to read your essay. If your teacher is the audience, then of course your teacher will read the whole piece. However, if you're submitting to an essay contest or writing an essay for college admissions, your title and introduction have to hook the reader if you want to meet your objectives.

Skip obvious expressions such as, "This essay is about, "The topic of this essay is" or "I will now show that". Try the inverted pyramid formula. Start off with a very broad description of your topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific thesis statement.

Try to use no more than 3 to 5 sentences for short essays, and no more than 1 page for longer essays. Alternatively, you might open with an anecdote or quote that sets up the importance of your topic. Every year, thousands of unwanted and abused animals end up in municipal shelters. Being caged in shelters not only causes animals to suffer but also drains local government budgets.

Towns and cities could prevent both animal abuse and government waste by requiring prospective pet owners to go through mandatory education before allowing them to obtain a pet. Although residents may initially resist the requirement, they will soon see that the benefits of mandatory pet owner education far outweigh the costs. Summarize your points and suggest ways in which your conclusion can be thought of in a larger sense.

Answer questions like, "What are the implications of your thesis statement being true? In a sense, you are repackaging your thesis statement in your concluding paragraph by helping the reader to remember the journey through your essay. Nail the last sentence.

If your title and first paragraph make the reader want to read your essay, then your last sentence makes the reader remember you. If a gymnast does a great balance beam routine but falls on the landing, then people forget the routine. Gymnasts need to "stick the landing," and so do essay writers. Wait a day or so and re-read your essay. Get your essay done a couple of days before the due date so that you have time to go back and revise it to make it polished.

Avoid turning in a first draft that you haven't double-checked for errors. Correct errors related to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Consult a style book if you are unsure how to properly use quotation marks, colons, semicolons, apostrophes or commas.

Avoid using exclamation points. Make sure you know how to use apostrophes correctly. Look for mistakes involving general punctuation. Check for run-on sentences , commas and periods inside quotation marks, as well as sparely-used dashes, colons, and semi-colons.

Remove any repetitive or unnecessary words. Vary your language with the help of a thesaurus. Also, consult a dictionary to make sure that you're using unfamiliar words correctly. At the same time, try to keep your language short, sweet, and to the point. A thesaurus is a great tool, but don't just use big words to sound fancy. The best essays are clear, concise, and easily understood by a wide audience. Focus on writing killer verbs for sentences. Verbs communicate the action in a sentence and drive the action.

A great verb can be the difference between a bland sentence and a beautiful one. Adjectives are great descriptive words, but when used indiscriminately, they can burden an essay and make it less readable. Try to let the verbs and nouns do most of the heavy lifting before you focus on adjectives. Avoid colloquial informal writing.

Do not use contractions or abbreviations e. Your essay should have a serious tone, even if it's written in a light or lyrical style. Analyze how your essay flows. Does each sentence lead smoothly to the next?

Does each paragraph flow logically to the next? Although you can analyze your essay by reading through it, it's helpful to make a reverse outline, working from your essay to outline your thoughts. When events happen in sequence: I first started to realize that I was in the minority when I was in middle school My realization was confirmed when I proceeded to high school. If sentences elaborate on each other: Plants need water to survive A plant's ability to absorb water depends on the nutrition of the soil.

When an idea contrasts with another idea: Vegetarians argue that land is unnecessarily wasted by feeding animals to be eaten as food Opponents argue that land being used for grazing would not be able to be used to create any other kind of food. If you're relaying a cause and effect relationship: I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college I am inspired to continue my family's progress through the generations. When connecting similar ideas: Organic food is thought to be better for the environment.

Cut information that's not specifically related to your topic. You don't want your essay to ramble off-topic. Any information that doesn't directly or indirectly support your thesis should be cut out. Have someone read your paper aloud to you. Your ears are sometimes better than your eyes at picking up mistakes in language. The essay should sound like it has a good flow and understandable words.

As an alternative, you can record yourself reading it aloud and play it back. Rewrite any problematic body passages. If needed, rearrange sentences and paragraphs into a different order. Make sure that both your conclusion and introduction match the changes that you make to the body. Compose your essay with a clear purpose. A persuasive essay is designed to sway the reader to adopt your point of view about a topic.

This means it's important that your views are expressed in a clear, concise manner, which allows the reader to understand your argument. These are good examples of persuasive essay topics you might write about: Whether governments should or should not fund embryonic stem cell research. Whether love is a virtue or a vice.

Why Citizen Kane is the best movie of the 20th century. Why American citizens should be forced to vote. Write your essay as though you are conducting a debate. When you speak in a debate, you introduce your topic, list your evidence and draw a conclusion for the people who are listening. A persuasive essay has a similar structure. Collect facts from good sources to justify your opinions. Support your argument with reasoned facts. A well-written essay is great, but a well-argued essay is undeniable.

In addition to doing research, you can perform empirical experiments including taking surveys, doing interviews or conducting experiments.

Survey results or interviews could be great pieces of information to start your essay with. Tell a story about the facts. Don't just list the facts; tell a story! How would you like to be one of those wrongfully-convicted inmates? Present the other side of your argument and use logic and facts to show why the other side's opinion is either inaccurate or not up-to-date. You're showing the reader you are unbiased and considered the other arguments, but you concluded that your argument is the best.

Time after time, evidence has disproved this theory. The death penalty, in fact, does not act as a deterrent to crime: Tie all your ideas together in a gripping conclusion.

Be sure to stress your thesis, or what you are arguing for or against, one last time. Use some of the information you have discussed, or a story you've saved, to color your conclusion a little bit. Choose a subject for your essay. You'll be investigating a topic and presenting your viewpoint about the topic based on evidence.

Research papers usually fall under this category of writing. For example, you could write an expository essay arguing that embryonic stem cell research can lead to cures for spinal cord injuries and illnesses like Parkinson's or diabetes. Expository essays differ from persuasive essays because you aren't stating an opinion. You're stating facts that you can back up with research. What to take to uni. We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

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Undergraduate Full time Part time. Parents and partners Repayment Advanced Learner Loan. Turn on thread page Beta Toggle. Does anyone else feel they just can't write an essay? Starting uni is full of surprises: Start new discussion Reply.

Follow 1 follower 10 badges Send a private message to chloeee! Follow 1 I've always been told that I can write well, and can write fluently when I'm writing in my diary, but when it comes to essay-writing I just sit there and stare at a blank screen and my words just never seem to flow.

Literally hate, hate writing essays and it's making me feel like I just don't even want to go to university. Results in partnership with Birmingham City University. Follow 2 I've had chronic "writer's block" for months now. I've gone from an A-grade essay writer to getting an E in my mocks and not handing essays in for months, to the chagrin of my teachers, even after being moaned at about it several times. I can't bring myself to type anything, and when I do, it's bloody awful.

I'm hoping for a mini miracle in my exams. Follow 3 Original post by IlexBlue Exactly the same. Follow 4 Original post by chloeee! Me too, but I'm starting to think it's just not going to happen What subjects do you do?

Follow 5 This happens to everyone now and then. For AS i achieved 96 ums average in history but this year although the content isn't that much harder, it takes me 10 minutes at the very least to put pen to paper, a psychological thing I think when u haven't been writing as much u used to.

Follow 6 Original post by IlexBlue English Lit essays. It took me around seven hours to type out words for English coursework. Now very glad I didn't take History! Follow 7 Follow 8 I have an actual nightmare with essays, I really know how you feel.

It takes me forever to even type a sentence, let alone the whole thing. I mean, now I'm in uni, there aren't so many essays, but lab reports and tutorial essays which I still haven't written, these were due in before christmas I haven't actually written an essay since early AS level so I've kind of lost whatever ability I had.

I'm doing Physics so there aren't so many essays, but I just dread lab reports. Also hoping for a massive lab report instead of a dissertation in my third year Follow 9 I feel your pain, I'm the same. I can talk about what im thinking but when it comes to put it all in an essay it tends to go fall apart.

Keckers Follow 5 followers 15 badges Send a private message to Keckers. Follow 10 I struggle much more when typing out essays than when I am hand writing them. I always find the first paragraph the hardest to write but after that I'm fine. That said some of the introductions to my History essays have been abysmal Arekkusu Follow 2 followers 14 badges Send a private message to Arekkusu. Follow 11 I have the other problem - I can only think clearly when I'm writing, so as soon as I put pen to paper it just goes all over the place and I end up with about words to cut out.

Follow 12 I haven't written an essay in over two years and I was never very good at them. I'm really worried as I need a very high B in my final exam to get an A overall, and the essay is a big setback. Follow 13 Hello, i've always been a chronic procrastinator and I can never seem to get stuff done. I even wrote my last essay about procrastination.

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Oct 18,  · Anybody can write an essay, but the ones that stick out are usually the ones with the better outcome, whether it be a good grade or admission to the college of your choice. The conclusion is basically restating and summarizing everything you just wayfeycb.cf: Resolved.

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Exactly the same. I've had chronic "writer's block" for months now. I've gone from an A-grade essay writer to getting an E in my mocks and not handing essays in for months, to the chagrin of my teachers, even after being moaned at about it several times. I can't bring myself to .

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You're writing about Mexico and we can't write about the same place!" Blanca told Daisy to. Write My Essay For Me For Free, Cheapest Essay Writing Services, English Essays For School Students, Finance Assignment Help Canada, I Need To Type A. Dissertation guide. I can t write my essay - Master thesis research methodology. A good technique can be to copy the essay question out on a blank piece of paper. Don't overload with examples – .

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The more you find, the happier you'll get, and the easier the essay will be to write when it's done. Thanks a lot, that's really good advice It's just I've been trying to . A shorter essay of words or so won't allow you the luxury of lots of examples, or even an introduction. Still, you can think about it as a longer essay in miniature—a mini-essay.