So you’ve got an assignment — to write an essay. Students react to this differently. Some may feel miserable while picturing a few more hours of boring writing. Others may be ecstatic because they finally have a chance to not just do research and find evidence to support a thesis statement, but to share their own views on an interesting topic. No matter what your essay-related sentiments are, you should remember that, after all, it is a formal paper. It means, you should follow certain guidelines not to mess up your essay. So bear the following 5 tips in mind.
1) Not Stating Your Topic at the Very Beginning
Don’t make mistakes right at the start. The starting point of your essay is an introduction which familiarizes the readers with the topic and your position regarding it. Be sure to state the topic in the first sentences of your piece. Your readers should get an idea of “what you are up to” in your text.
2) Wandering Off from the Main Point
Probably the most important rule of essay writing is to stick to the main point no matter what. After you have made a statement in the introduction, you will get back to it throughout your entire paper. Every argument or new point you introduce in the essay should be strongly related to your position statement. Even if you know a lot about the topic and are extremely eager to write about it all, you should keep your paper concise. It means, only include information that serves your thesis statement and the supporting arguments.
3) Not Referencing the Material Used
When you use information from the other sources, you should always specify them. Failing to reference someone else’s materials is known as plagiarism, and the latter is never tolerated in the academic environment. Even if you use your own words to deliver the information from a particular source, be sure to mention it in your bibliography.
4) Weaving the Quotes into Your Essay without Care
You are free to use quotes for illustration purposes, as well as to provide some proof for your arguments. Citations can liven up your essay, make it look more solid, or help to build greater trust to your statements. Whatever is your purpose of using quotations, be sure to use them in the right context at the right places. If a quote needs explanation, be sure to provide it in relation to your topic. Otherwise, it will do the opposite of what it was supposed to — it will make your entire essay look weaker.
5) Using Jargon and Colloquialisms
As we’ve already mentioned it, your essay is a formal paper that exists in the formal academic context. Therefore, you should avert from making it too friendly or too colloquial. The potential audience for your is much broader than your immediate friends — it also includes professors and students of any age. The essay is not supposed to sound overly scientific too. Just keep the balance.
Although an essay is a relatively free form of writing where you can express your views and state your position, you still need to remember about the academic context you’re in. If you want to write a good essay and, as a result, get a good grade for it, you should follow certain rules and avoid common mistakes. When you introduce your point properly and stick to it throughout the paper, use quotes smartly and reference the sources properly. Aso mind your entire audience. This way you get a very good start on your way to a high grade.