Every college student knows that writing essays are hard. There are few feelings worse than being assigned 900 words on an extremely dull topic and sitting at your laptop staring at a blank screen while the deadline looms.
If you are one of the countless college students who struggle with churning out the same dull academic essays every week, this article is for you.
We’ll take a look at some of the best tips to help you write better essays more quickly and efficiently so you can feel more confident about your essay writing and have a better chance at earning top grades.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand why so many students are having difficulty with their essays. One factor is that students come to college with fewer writing skills than in the past.
Indeed, most schools now send a majority of their freshmen to remedial or introductory college writing courses because they do not arrive on campus with college-level writing skills.
Additionally, students are writing more essays than ever before, both because of changes in how schools ask instructors to justify student grades (more red tape means more essays rather than creative work) and because a shift to more online learning means more work is done in writing rather than orally.
Top Tips on College Essay Writing to Use Right Away
Because of these changes, student essay loads are increasing at a time when they are least prepared to write more essays. So how can you improve your papers? Here are some tips.
Read the Assignment
It might seem like the rock-bottom most obvious step, but it’s also one that far too many college students omit. The first thing you need to do before writing an essay is to read the assignment question thoroughly and to make sure that you understand each part.
If there are any instructions that are unclear, or if you are not sure about the topic, ask your instructor for clarification before you start writing.
Read the Rubric
Another foundational step to take before starting the writing process is to read the rubric that comes with your assignment.
The grading rubric will explain how you will be graded and outline the specific elements your instructor will use to evaluate your paper.
This is basically a cheat sheet that tells you precisely what to focus on so you can devote your time and energy to the most impactful parts of your paper.
Make Friends With Your College or University Library
Your college or university library provides access to high-quality academic sources that aren’t available in open web searches.
Many journal articles are locked behind paywalls, and your tuition goes toward subscriptions to help give you access to these high-quality sources. Take advantage of what you’re already paying for to help make your essays stronger.
Discover the Power of Outlining
Outlining an essay is a powerful way to work through the hard parts of an essay before you begin writing. When you outline, you can plan the main idea of each paragraph, the supporting details you will use, and the evidence that will back up your claims.
By putting the effort early on, the actual writing process becomes simply fleshing out the outline you’ve already developed.
Seek Help From Professionals
If you find you are having difficulty with your papers, you can always seek professional custom writing services from SmartWritingService essay writing company, for example. When you get professional help with your papers, you can be better positioned to learn the right way to develop your essays.
Placing an order for a paper can help you learn how a professional writer would approach your topic the right way.
Take Time to Revise and Edit Your Essay
Your first draft isn’t your last draft. Be sure that you are revising and editing your paper after you finish your first draft.
Every paper needs a little polish, and you should be sure to read your paper carefully to review it for mechanical problems, clarity, and style issues. You want to make sure every line contributes to supporting your thesis.
Give Your Paper a Final Proofread Before You Turn It In.
It can be hard to see our own mistakes, which is why proofreading is most effective when you take a break before you give your paper a final read-through.
Try to give your paper an extra 24 hours before you read it again so you can review it with fresh eyes. I can also help to have a friend read your paper for mechanical errors to catch lingering typos that your eyes might gloss over.
Set Aside a Regular Writing Time
To help make the writing process easier, try writing at the same time each day. Doing so will help you to get into a regular rhythm and be ready to write.
That way, you’ll switch to writing mode and can focus on the work you need to do rather than try to switch gears at random points during the day, making it harder to focus.
Finally, one of the best ways to get your writing done efficiently is to avoid distractions. Turn off notifications on your phone and shut unnecessary laptop windows.
You can even download special software to help lock your computer or your phone during work time so you won’t be distracted by social media or other temptations while you write.
How to Make Essay Writing Tips Work for You
There are numerous articles about essay writing online, there are hundreds of tips on how to write better and faster, how to get better grades for your writing, etc. You may be surprised, but nothing will work unless you actually apply those tips in your real life.
Just like with fitness, you don’t get better at writing if you just procrastinate reading about how you should become better. Take the first tip you see and try to implement it in your daily writing routine. Give it a try for several days before you move forward to another one.
You don’t need to scroll through numerous articles, just save one to bookmarks (maybe this one), and implement one after another. Gradually, you will see an improvement in the speed and quality of writing that will actually help you with your grades.