ESSAY IDEAS THAT CAN CERTAINLY MAKE YOUR PAPER STAND OUT
Writing the perfect essay can be a lot of pressure. Let’s face it, just because you may be an ‘A’ student, doesn’t mean you are going to write an ‘A’ paper. On the flip side, if you are a ‘C’ student, doesn’t mean that you are going to write a ‘C’ paper. You have to want it and you have to do the work. However, there are some methods that will help you turn your so-so essay into one that will stand out.
Find Your Voice
- Know your audience. This is the key. It will help you know what type of language is appropriate. Are you writing to the college admissions board, a panel of your peers, elementary age students? At times, a conversational tone may be appropriate, while others you will want to keep things more formal. If you are writing for a contest or scholarship, look at past winners to get an idea of the appropriate tone for your audience.
- Answer the question. Sounds easy, right? Sometimes, we will say a lot of interesting stuff that has very little to do with the actual question. When you can, simplify. Word count is not a good measure of quality.
- Address your mistakes or make it personal. Your best writing will be writings in which you share a piece of yourself. Tell a personal story, explain why you made a mistake and what you learned from it, be humorous, be passionate. The key is to take the topic and make it your own.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
You can have awesome content and a beautiful voice, but grammatical errors are going to kill your essay.
- Spell check is great….. at catching misspelled words. It is not going to pick up the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’ or ‘affect’ and ‘effect’. It isn’t going to fix your punctuation errors.
- Write your essay. Lay it down for at least 24 hours. Read it again. This method is great for proofreading. You will catch things that you may have ordinarily looked over.
- Hire an editor or have a peer review. Let someone else read your essay, especially someone who has excellent grammar. They will be able to pick up on errors when you don’t see them.
- Avoid the –ly trap. It’s “first”, not “firstly” and so on. Also, instead of “must of”, the correct way is “must have”.
- Avoid the word “very”. It is very overused. You do not want your very audience to get very tired of the very word you are trying very hard to avoid.
- Finally, avoid the use of slang or text slang in your writing. Seriously bro, you feelin’ me? SMH!
Writing an essay can be difficult, especially when you get caught up on word count and are under a lot of pressure to do well. Keep it simple and on topic, letting your voice be heard through the text.