A List of Advice on How to Properly Write an Essay

Writing a good essay can be a serious challenge. There is a lot to keep track of and organizing thoughts on paper is tricky. Remember though that the word “essay” means “attempt,” and that is just what you need to do. Of all the advice that follows bellow likely the most important is that you remain persistent. Like any other skill, essay writing begins to come easier with practice. While there are numerous types of essays and an infinite set of varieties within them, there are several techniques that will help you write every essay you come across, and we touch on each briefly here.

Before You Start:

  • Be specific when it comes time to choose a topic. It is counterintuitive, but the tighter your focus the more you will have to write about.
  • Many writers find that it is useful to begin by writing out their initial thoughts however incomplete they might be. This allows you to move set back and look at the problem, and usually complete some of those thoughts in the process of writing them.
  • Ask yourself question after question. The mind thinks by answering questions put to it so keep asking them, even if the answer seems like it would be obvious.
  • Give yourself time. It is tempting to wait till the last minute but there are many aspects of writing that require a fresh look at the work, which is impossible to get five hours before it is due.

As You Write:

  • Get focused. Weather it is music, snacks, or pacing, do what it takes to keep your mind where it needs to be.
  • Don’t be afraid to take breaks. It often proves more harmful than helpful to chain yourself to the desk, so feel free to get up and get some fresh air before moving on to the next session.
  • Keep an outline handy. It is easy to start rambling after you have been at it for a while. Use an outline to keep your thoughts strait.
  • If you get hung up on finding just the right way to say something or a grammatical point, skip it and move on. It is better to come back to it than lose the momentum of your thoughts.

After the First Draft:

  • Take a break from your work; get some sleep if you can. You will be much more effective at revising if you have not thought about it for a while.
  • Get as many eyes as you can looking over it to catch mechanical and logical mistakes.

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