Essay writing is both an art and a science, and it can feel like there are dozens of tips out there about how to write the perfect essay. Luckily, some tips are universal, including the advice in this article on 10 helpful essay writing tips that will get you accepted to college or university! Follow these tips to ensure your essay doesn’t fail you when it matters most.
10 Useful essay writing tips
The following are 10 helpful ways to help you guide your essay writing process according to what is expected for each assignment:
1. Keep your essay simple
Make sure your essay doesn’t get overly complicated and that you have a simple, clear thesis statement. Your essay should have a clear structure and should use simple language.
If you are applying to an English-speaking university, then you do not need to worry about finding too many words that might be too difficult for someone who doesn’t speak your native language. The most important part of an essay is not its fancy vocabulary but rather its content.
Remember that your grader wants to get a sense of your personality and see how you think, not learn ten different synonyms for said. It’s okay if something isn’t written perfectly – after all, everyone makes mistakes! Just make sure there aren’t major errors in spelling or grammar because then it will look like you did not put in any effort at all.
Remember, they don’t need to know what your essay is about; all they need to do is critique how easy it is to understand what you are trying to say.
2. Use evidence to back up your argument
When writing your college essay, you’ll want to use strong evidence to back up your argument. This can be a story that shows how a skill has helped you, an example of your ability to solve problems, or a reference to some experience that demonstrates that you’re qualified for what you want.
The more specific your standards are, the better, the more recent they are. For example: If you say I play basketball well, there’s not much of an argument there; but if instead, you say In my high school game last week, I scored 15 points with five rebounds in just 14 minutes, now we’re talking!
3. Formatting is key
Many college admissions officers see essay writing format as a way to weed out candidates who aren’t taking their applications seriously. If your essay looks sloppy or has grammar and spelling errors, you don’t look like a serious candidate.
Be sure to use proper capitalization, spacing, and font sizes when formatting your essays. This will show that you care about your application.
4. Use strong verbs
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your essay is to get lazy with your verbs. Instead of using is or are, look for action verbs. For example, don’t write that you went to college; write that you enrolled.
It wouldn’t better to say you were excited about getting a new job; note that you leaped at it. Your writing will be much more exciting and vibrant if you look for verbs that have some life to them.
5. Don’t be afraid of repetition
Studies have shown that readers process information better when they see it in multiple forms. Instead of writing an essay with three main points, try to write your essay with seven. By introducing and reiterating your ideas numerous times, you ensure that you’re getting through to your audience.
Start strong and finish strong: Starting strong is a great way to hook readers into what you’re saying; on the other hand, ending strong will guarantee that you leave them thinking about what you’ve said.
The first paragraph of your essay should introduce what it is about and why it’s important (the second paragraph should elaborate). In contrast, your last section should present a final takeaway or thought for your reader to remember.
6. Follow the instructions carefully
Write down any special instructions provided in your assignment sheet, or ask a question if you do not understand. A good essay is written according to a specific format required for it to be accepted. The format requirements are usually provided with your assignment sheet.
If you do not follow these guidelines, you may risk having your essay rejected. Format requirements can include font size, spacing, margins, and headings/subheadings, among others. It is important that when you write an essay in English, you follow all of these directions very carefully.
7. Plan before you write
Many students make a key mistake in writing their essays at the last minute. This could be because they haven’t planned properly or just not given themselves enough time to write a strong essay.
When you don’t plan properly before you start writing, your paper will end up feeling rushed and disorganized. To avoid writing an entire essay at once, try planning out a rough draft of your ideas first (or even just making notes in bullet point form).
Then you can refine those points into actual sentences later on when you have more time—and more importantly when it matters most!
8. Proofread for spelling errors and typos
When you’re writing anything others will see, it’s essential to proofread. Typos in your essay will reflect poorly on you and may cause admissions officers to view your application as unprofessional.
The best way to make sure your essay is mistake-free is to take a break from writing for at least 30 minutes. This will give you time to reread and look at your work from a fresh perspective.
While most people have built up some level of immunity against spelling errors, spotting them can still be difficult for everyone – even professional writers! Try reading aloud or asking someone else for help; sometimes, we need another pair of eyes!
9. Avoid grammar mistakes
The best essay writing services know that grammar is king. Avoiding grammar mistakes will not only make your paper easier to read, but it will also impress your teacher or professor. By following these five easy steps, you’ll ensure that your essay is grammatically correct and well-written:
- Proofread, proofread, proofread.
- If you’re using a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, look for Grammarly (which is free for students).
- Run a spell check if available with your word processor.
- Read it out loud to catch things you might have missed in your initial editing session.
- Trust yourself!
10. Stick to your point
One of the most common mistakes students make is including too much information in their essays. This happens for various reasons; sometimes, students feel like they aren’t sure which facts to include or what way to present them, so they throw everything into one essay.
Other times, students might not understand that word count is an issue (it almost always is), and they include as much information as possible in hopes that some of it will be included in their grades.
Adding too much information can ruin an otherwise solid essay, whatever your reason may be. Stick to your point, have only relevant details, and avoid irrelevant information if you want your writing to impress admissions officers.
So that’s how you write a professional piece of content from scratch. If you do it enough, eventually, you’ll build up an arsenal of topics and tips you can use over and over again, just by changing up your topic. Hope this guide was helpful!
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.