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11 Tips to Improve Essay Writing Skills

December 16, 2015 - Posted to Education

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11 Tips to Improve Essay Writing Skills

  1. Learn to Determine Which Sources Are Most Reliable

Keep in mind that not every source of information on the internet is reliable. This is especially true if you are writing about something that is controversial. Remember to double check facts using more than one resource. It is also important not to allow personal biases to impact the sources  you choose.

  1. Use an App to Improve Writing Not Just a Spell Checker

Whatever you are using for a word processor, probably has a spell check. That's great for ordinary assignments, but it may not be enough for essays. Try using an app like Hemingway that points out bad writing, not just technical errors.

  1. Use Text to Speech to Hear Your Essay

Sometimes, if you can hear your essay read aloud in another voice, you can catch things that you couldn't otherwise. Awkward phrasing and comma splices are two examples of things that really stand out when you listen to a written work. Don't worry. You won't have to invest in any special software. Google translate has a free text to speech option. Just translate from English to English, or your language of choice.

  1. Try Mind Mapping Instead of Outlining

Mind mapping is a highly visual method of taking an initial concept, thesis, or idea, and exploring and expanding on it. If you feel as if writing normal outlines doesn't help your writing process, you may want to try mind mapping instead. Just Google mind mapping tools, and you will find websites where you can try mind mapping for free.

  1. Write Your Works Cited Page as You Go

Rather than writing your works cited page at the end of your writing project, keep up with it as you go. This way, when you are done with your writing, you will only have to make a few adjustments, rather than starting from scratch.

  1. Write a Little Bit Each Day

Big writing assignments become overwhelming if you wait until the last minute. Find 20 minutes or so each day to write, and you won't have you won't have to tackle a huge task all at once. You'll also find that your notes and writing are more organized if you work this way.

  1. Use Wikipedia to Find Resources

You have probably been told that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source for essays or research papers. This is true, as anybody can change Wikipedia entries. However, if you look up a subject on Wikipedia and scroll down to the sources listed at the bottom, you can find some great sources. These are often links to studies, reports, and other scholarly information that you can use to make your points.

  1. Don’t Miss Peer Review Day

If you have an opportunity to have your essay reviewed by other students, take advantage of it. It is always better to hear criticism before you turn in a paper, and the criticism you receive results in a lower grade. If your class does not have a scheduled peer review, see if there is a study group that you can join.

  1. Ask For Help Sooner Rather Than Later

If you are struggling to finish your writing assignment, ask for help quickly. You have resources available to you such as your school resource center, tutoring, and even a good writing service.

  1. Write in The Third Person

Remember that most essays should be written in the third person. Never write in the second person, and never mix two points of view in the same essay.

  1. Pick a Topic Idea That You Already Know Something About

If you are familiar with your topic, you will be able to write quickly and with a lot of authority. This is especially true if you are on a tight schedule, and want to avoid having to do too much research.

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