Top Writing Tips to Improve Your Essays
Academic writing is an essential part of studying at college and university and strong writing skills are crucial for your future career. Yet lots of students cannot boast of being good writers and effective communicators. In this article, we have gathered top writing tips and techniques that can help you improve your written works and be proud of any essay for college that you have written.
Think about your reader
No matter what kind of paper you’re writing, your reader should be your most important consideration. Your task is to do your best and keep your reader interested in what you have to say. So before you start writing your essay, you should think for a moment about a person you are writing for and what you should do to make your writing appealing. Your academic papers are to be read and marked by your teachers and lecturers who know a lot about the subject you are going to write so you have to answer your question effectively and be original to surprise them with an unusual approach or some interesting ideas. They may be pressed for time because they have a lot of other essays to read so your writing should be concise and focused on your topic.
Start with an attention-grabbing opening
Psychological research has revealed that when it comes to focusing, people usually remember well what was at the beginning and end of something and some interesting points in the middle. This observation is true about films, events, books, and all other things. So make sure that you begin your essay with a hook to catch your reader’s attention. It may be some statistics, an interesting fact, a citation, a story, a provocative question, etc. You should also be careful with your conclusion and make sure that you restate your most important ideas in the conclusion as well as your recommendations so that your readers will be able to remember them.
Avoid jargon where possible
Abbreviations and jargon are great when people speak a common language but you should take into account that your paper can be read by some people who know little about your field of study and don’t know some acronyms and specific terms. If they can’t figure your meaning because you use a lot of jargon, they may feel stupid and annoyed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to avoid jargon at all costs but you should be aware of what your readers know and choose only words and phrases that they are sure to understand. Many people think that when they use jargon, their writings sound sophisticated and very often, they overestimate how much their audience knows. Don’t use too many technical words and phrases. Imagine that you are talking to your parents or to your high school teachers and use plain English to convey your message.
Choose simple words and write short sentences
You are wrong if you think that you will sound smarter when you use long or complicated words. Strong writing is actually a simple writing where relevant ideas are expressed clearly and directly. Don’t use long words unless your meaning is so specific that you can’t convey it with any other words. You should also keep your sentences and paragraphs short because they are easier to understand. Your every sentence should express one simple thought. If you make your sentences too long and complex, your readers may be confused. So break your sentences into parts with tiny ideas. Try to write like Hemingway and not like Dickens.
Use the active voice
Where possible, you should use the active voice instead of passive. In this way, you will make your writing more personal. Remember that in English, readers usually prefer the active voice because the passive sentences make them bored. Don’t be afraid to add such words as we and you to sound more personal. Your task is to engage your readers and the active voice and personal language do just that.
No one can make the perfect first draft. When you have finished writing, you should put it aside for a day or two and then read it carefully and edit ruthlessly. You should rewrite, delete or shorten everything that does not add to the meaning. After editing, you should do a final check and proofread your paper to make it flawless.
Follow these easy tips and you are sure to improve your writing style to sound smarter and more natural.