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5 Hints To Help You Develop Your Essay Writing Skills

Expressing great ideas isn’t enough for a good essay. Usually, you’re assessed mainly by the quality of your writing (structure, grammar). Consider the following tips to find out how to improve your writing skills.

  • Brainstorm first.
  • Start your pre-writing process by brainstorming ideas. Read about your topic and write down every thought that comes to your mind. Use your knowledge gained during classes or from additional reading to generate some ideas. Also, think about the questions that need to be answered and the evidence you need to provide to support your arguments. All this will lead you up to the main point of your essay.

  • Create an outline.
  • Making an outline is often overlooked by students although it’s very helpful. It prevents you from getting stuck in the middle of the writing process because it presents a detailed plan of what you’re going to write and what supporting evidence you’re going to provide for each argument. If you’ve got an extensive, well-structured outline, all you’ll need to do is to write, expanding your sketched ideas.

  • Write when you’ve cleared up everything.
  • You should tackle writing only after you’ve conducted research and the necessary information is at hand. Don’t get distracted finding evidence for your arguments during the actual writing. Also, put aside proofreading and editing, you’ll do all revisions after you finish writing. If you have doubts as to the spelling or the appropriateness of a synonym, highlight it and look it up later.

  • Read more.
  • Reading books helps you develop a rich vocabulary and create your own style. The same applies to reading other students’ essays and those written by professionals. The papers you read shouldn’t necessarily be from your discipline or field of expertise. The point is to discover some structural patterns, pay attention to different techniques of persuasive writing, and pick up some of them for further use in your works. As you read, evaluate the quality of papers; analyze what makes some of them really good and why some of them are not effective at all.

  • Improve the quality of your writing.
  • One of the most important skills necessary for writing a good essay is the ability to use your language properly. You should have a good command of grammar, syntax, and punctuation to write effectively. Consult different handbooks if you’re not quite sure about some grammar or sentence structures, or have doubts about putting in a comma somewhere. You should know that active voice is more effective than passive, so you may prefer to use it if you want to sound more persuasive.

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