Writing a great essay may seem like the culmination of years of work, but in truth there are some simple tips that can help anyone write a perfect essay.
Often overlooked, this first step is sometimes the most important! It shows if the writer is motivated and enthusiastic about their topic—and it shows when they aren’t, too!
The thesis statement for your essay should be specific, it should be arguable (you should be able to defend it, there should be refutable claims), and it should be clear and straightforward.
The cliché of a student in the library with a pile of messy books and notes around them may be common, but it’s not the path to a perfect essay. Stay organized, and keep a list of sources as you go.
Before you even make an outline, review your notes carefully and create categories of information that help you support your thesis. Identify each of these categories as a main idea and note which sources and concepts should go under each category.
Using your notes make your outline. Include an introduction, a body paragraph dedicated to each of the major categories of your notes, and a conclusion.
This is a trick professional writers use all the time, but few instructors tell students about it. It saves time in composing the introduction and conclusion, because you can easily summarize what you’ve written in the body.
Now that the hard work is done, state your thesis and summarize your essay.
Now, read over the rough draft and edit, but with only content in mind. Add new ideas, take out weak ones.
With content done, go through again, and look at sentence structure, flow, and transitions between paragraphs.
Have someone you respect read over and give you style and content pointers. Make any corrections you agree with.
Put the essay aside for a few days then return to it and proofread with a fresh eye, correcting spelling and grammar mistakes.
A second set of eyes always catches more mistakes!
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