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academic writing secrets

How To Complete An Essay Successfully: A Guide For College Students

Lots of writing practice will help you become a better writer. If you aren’t familiar with writing essays, start out by writing a few practice ones. Get to know your style of writing; your strengths and weaknesses.

Carefully read your assignment. Make sure to incorporate all required elements. Do you need a bibliography? Are you required to follow a style guide? What about a title page? All of these elements will contribute toward your grade on the essay. A successful essay starts with a good foundation. In order to write a successful essay, here is a guide to follow:

  1. Brainstorm about your topic. Ask and answer questions relating to who, when, where, why, what and how. Write freely without worrying how these ideas will fit in with your topic. You can figure that out later. This is also the research stage. Whatever information you are lacking can be found in other written work. Keep track of all references for your bibliography.
  2. Write a thesis statement for your paper. It should be a single sentence that succinctly tells what the essay is about.
  3. Make an outline. This is a writer’s greatest tool. It helps you organize your thoughts and makes sure you stay on track. It helps you write the paper and helps you make sure you didn’t miss anything important. The main points in the outline should be supported by examples and details. They all form a foundation for the thesis statement. Each main idea should be developed into a paragraph. Each paragraph should have enough supporting evidence for that one main idea. All these main ideas support the thesis statement.
  4. Write freely for your first draft. Don’t try to correct grammar or spelling as you go along. Save the editing and proofreading for the very last step. This part of the process is to make sure you are using all the materials you gathered in the brainstorming and research phases.
  5. Check your paper for coherence and unity. Do all the main points support the thesis statement? Does all the information in each paragraph relate to the main idea? The paragraphs should be logically connected and flow smoothly from one to the next. You do this by following your outline.
  6. As a last step, check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Look for and correct run-on sentences. Check the punctuation and make sure your tenses agree.
 

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