The biggest drag on college students’ grades is their essay scores. For the majority of students, essay-writing doesn’t come naturally, and they lose significant points on their papers, especially when compared with other class activities. So, what can you do to improve your essays? Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to develop stronger essay-writing skills without a lot of time or effort. In this article, we’ll examine some of the best ways to improve your essays and explain some of the key tips and tricks that will produce better essays in less time.
But where should you begin? First, we need to understand the extent of the essay crisis.
Why Students Are in Essay Writing Crisis
Students are facing down a major essay crisis, and there are several reasons for this growing college crisis. First, students are being assigned more essays than ever before. For a number of reasons related to bureaucratic changes in school administration as well as the growing shift to online learning, the essay has become the default assignment for most instructors in most courses. Today, it is not unusual for a student with a full-time load to have to write two essays per week. But more than this, students are overburdened like never before. Today, 81 percent of part time students and 43 percent of full time students are also employed, meaning that they have to balance essay writing with a job as well as their extracurricular activities and family and social responsibilities. The combination is a huge problem for students, who often have too few hours in the day to do it all. When you add to that the fact that most students are now required to take remedial courses because they don’t arrive on campus with the skills necessary for success, you have a recipe for an unprecedented essay crisis.
Up your game: How to Improve Your Essay Writing
There are a number of ways that you can improve your essay writing skills. Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks to help you get better.
- Take an essay writing course. Sometimes, schools require students to take an introductory essay writing course in their first semester, but even if your school does not, voluntarily taking an academic writing course, or even a creative writing course, will help you to develop your writing in a structured way with an expert guide. Your professor can help you with your writing, and the course materials will give you structured and formal instruction in the elements of essay writing. This will be a benefit to you as you develop your writing. If you have a good understanding of the basics of writing, an advanced level course can help take your writing skills to the next level.
- Build your vocabulary. Having a good vocabulary makes your writing stronger and more impactful. It’s a good idea to build your vocabulary with online exercises (many of which are in game form), and this will help you to pick exactly the right word for each situation. That said, there is a caveat: Don’t simply pick the biggest word in any particular situation. Using so-called inflated language or being wordy can actually make your writing less impactful. Good writing is clear and concise, so choose the best word for any situation, not necessarily the biggest.
- Use an essay-writing service. You can hire professional writers from an online essay-writing company to get the help you need. When you use essay writing services, a professional academic writer will create a custom-written paper to address your specific essay requirements. When you see how an expert with an advanced degree—a master’s degree or a PhD—will approach your topic. By seeing a well-written model, you can quickly move through the stages of the writing process and more quickly develop your own paper. While essay-writing services can be an investment, the help you get can make a major difference when it comes to your grade.
- Sleep on it. Many students write their papers late at night after doing the rest of the day’s activities. Unfortunately, that is also the time when you are most likely to make mistakes and errors. It’s much better to write your papers early in the day, when you are freshest and you are less likely to make careless errors from exhaustion. Try scheduling a specific, consistent time for writing each day, preferably early on. This will help you to get into the writing mindset and focus more fully on your writing.
- Outline your paper. Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to do an outline. Even the briefest outline with just a few main points can help, but a detailed outline is even better. When you outline your paper, you work through the hard parts, particularly the organizing of information and the selection of supporting details, before you even start writing. This will speed up the writing process immensely and ensure that you won’t find yourself wasting time going off on a tangent that won’t contribute to your paper.
- Always save time for proofreading. The mechanics of your essay are worth up to a full letter grade on most grading rubrics. Always save time to give your paper a final revision, edit, and proofread. Catching those small lingering errors will make your paper seem more professional and will ensure you don’t leave points on the table due to typos.
Make Essay Writing Less Challenging and More Engaging
There are ways to improve essay writing, and we have just listed them. On the other hand, if you don’t like writing, in the end you will still suffer. We offer you to address this problem from another side. Try to make your writing activities more engaging. First, separate writing for class from writing for fun. Start with free writing activities. There are options – some are theme based, some are truly free. Do three pages every morning — it will both relax you with writing and help meditate. The second option is to start a blog. Here, you can be yourself. Gradually, you will get used to it and even your grammar and style will improve. To improve essay writing skills, you can focus on something fun with writing, and it will still work.