Sometimes, we just dread the idea of writing an essay and so we put it off and the thought of starting it makes us want to cry. But if you make it a little easier on yourself by following these tips, you may not dread it so much anymore. It’s about time management and organization, but then again, isn’t everything?
Give yourself plenty of time:
We all wish that we were amazing over achievers who can just get an assignment and finish it weeks before it’s due, but let’s face it, that never happens. That being said, as soon as you get handed the assignment, read the prompt so that you begin thinking about it and have some sort of idea in the back of your mind. Then, depending on how long it is and how long you have to do it, look at it again in the library a couple weeks or a week before its due. Also, if you start early and you have any questions about the paper whether it’s about length, your topic, help with your thesis, you can go to your professor for help. If you start the night before, you won’t be able to do that and you could end up with a bad paper or grade.
As you are sitting in the library, start to do a little bit of research about your topic or prompt so that you can get your creative juices flowing and the ideas rolling.
Create a Thesis:
Once you’ve done some research and you have a good grasp on the prompt, create you thesis. It will allow you to come up with ideas to back up the thesis and give your paper an overall arcing idea that makes your argument clear.
Create an outline:
It is something students never want to do, but it really helps with the final paper. If you create an outline you can organize your ideas so that you know that you won’t just write the introduction paragraph and then have nothing else to say. It allows you to organize your paper, rearrange, and add. And it makes starting your paper a lot less daunting.
Do more research:
Once you have created an outline and you have your ideas, research them more so that you can really expand upon them. This will help you have plenty of information, sources, and details as well as make your point much clearer and assertive. If you are struggling to come up with enough to say in your paper, research will help you come up with new ideas and expand upon the ones you’ve already included.
Don’t worry about the guidelines for length:
Obviously you need to follow them, but the professor made the paper a certain length for a reason and therefore, the subject will be able to fulfill that length.
Don’t expect to finish in one sitting:
You may be quick and finish in a couple hours, but depending on the type of paper it is, the length, the topic, and many other factors, it may require more than one day of thinking and writing. Don’t beat yourself up, take your time and if you have writer’s block stop writing for the day. You may suddenly have a burst of inspiration and write the whole thing in an hour and get an A, but who knows. Just don’t leave it til the last minute!
We know the title of this is “How to Begin…” but this is a tip that should not go unspoken. We are all guilty of finishing a paper and then refusing to even take a second look because we’re so done with it. But this is where a lot of the points get taken off. If you just take that extra 10 minutes to skim for any silly mistakes, you could bring yourself from a B+ to an A-!
What are your tips for writing a good essay?
feature image via her campus