When you are writing an essay, you obviously should get a list of requirements from a professor. They tell you how the paper should look like and how everything should fall together; however, they are not always as explicit as we would like them to be. Usually, they hand out the topic, and you’re left to your own devices to come up with a marvelous essay – which is not likely to happen.
Students, however, are fairly Spartan. They see bad grades on essays as war wounds – and with each essay, they perfect their technique. Senior students know what a good essay looks like simply because they underwent many battles – and they are ready to share their knowledge for those who have yet to get a good grasp on it. Here are some tips to make your college essays look 300% better.
Use a Thesaurus
If you’re trying to make your essay look smart and fancy, don’t use the word “happy” until you are sick and tired of it. Open your thesaurus, and use words such as “cheerful,” “delighted,” “content” and so on. At the same time, make sure that the word that you choose also fits the context. For example, if the described character received some great news, they obviously wouldn’t be just content.
Use Punctuation Correctly
You may have had the best ideas in mind – but if you used sentences that are extremely long and very confusing, with no punctuation marks whatsoever, the essay will be very difficult to understand. Take advantage of the effect offered by quotations and dashes and learn how to use commas and semicolons properly. Remember, there’s a huge difference between “Let’s eat mom” and “Let’s eat, mom.”
Elaborate Your Sentences
If the antagonist was a bad person, don’t just lead with “He was bad.” Instead, try adding some qualities or actions to explain your statement. Go with “By trying to manipulate all of the other people around him, he proved himself to be cold-hearted and selfish.” By giving a better image of the character other than the fact that he was “bad,” you will have a better, smarter-looking paper, worthy of a degree.
Get Someone to Proofread
You may be convinced that you’re a brilliant writer, but it’s very easy to slip up and write “poop” instead of “pop” or “hoe” instead of “how.” While it may be funny for the professor to read, it won’t be helping your grade very much – so you might want to do some proofreading. Plus, since you are already familiar with the text, you might accidentally slip over some typos – which is why you may want to get a set of fresh eyes to help you out. This goes double when it comes to longer papers such as a dissertation.
State Your Thesis Clearly
Many students make the mistake of not formulating a thesis statement and dive right into the subject. However, by doing that, the professor will not have what to grab onto, and will not know exactly what you are trying to discuss in your essay. Professors don’t appreciate guesswork; rather, they prefer clarity over everything.
The Conclusion Should Mirror the Thesis
If you start your essays with “The cat was white,” don’t finish it with “the cat was actually black.” Make sure that you are consistent with your information and that your conclusion is a mirror of your thesis.
Essay writing is all about being organized, consistent, and careful. It won’t be easy, and it will definitely take a bit of practice – but if you are open to learning, you will definitely discover how to write a good paper faster than your fellow classmates.