Essay Writing Tips to Impress your Teacher
Academic or university writing is unlike blogging or creative writing. It comprises different kinds of formal and informal documents, such as reports, essays and dissertations. There are specific features, styles, content, and structure to remember as you learn how to write an effective academic essay.
First, keep in mind that an academic essay always has these distinctive features:
- There is a formal structure (sentence length and sequence, for instance) to follow as you present your ideas.
- Your ideas should not stand alone. They need support or reference from an existing book, paper, or authority of your subject matter. There are no unfounded opinions.
- There is a theory – thesis or argument – that attempts to explain everyday processes and practices; a focus that puts to light an otherwise abstract thought.
- The English or tone is formal; no contractions, no passive speech, no slang.
- The audience is not the teacher, but an intelligent or analytic group of academic readers.
- And as always, spelling, grammar and punctuation are correction.
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Second, know and observe proper structure.
There is a formal structure when writing an academic essay. It should always begin with an introduction, present a thesis statement, have supporting paragraphs, and end with a conclusion. A thesis is best developed with at least three supporting points and at most five. Therefore, your academic paper should have at least six paragraphs: intro, thesis, 3 supporting paragraphs, and conclusion, and each paragraph should at least have three full sentences.
The thesis statement is the heart of your paper. It answers the question, “What’s the point?” or “What is this essay all about?” It summarizes the main objective of your essay and tells the reader what they can expect to learn from you. All other paragraphs center around the thesis statement: the introduction draws people’s attention to your thesis, the main body supports or explains your thesis, and the conclusion solidifies it.
If you don’t a have clear thesis or main point in mind, it will be difficult to even begin writing an academic essay. Your work will not be cohesive or comprehensive, and could outrightly be meaningless.
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Third, cite your references.
Do not think in a vacuum. An academic thought normally doesn’t stand alone but backed up by a published work. A book, journal, or published article means it has gone through research, academic scrutiny, and editing, and therefore its thesis, proposals, and recommendations are valid. Giving proper citation to a work of published authors in your subject area is very important. Without it, your teacher might not even bother reading your first paragraph. In academic writing, as you express your own unique idea, thesis, or judgement, it should be supported by an earlier writing or work of an authority.
Citing your references follows a conventional style and universities or professors have preferred styles. The most popular conventions are APA, MLA, and Chicago. You can learn more about these here link or more links.
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Fourth, maintain an academic or objective tone.
Maintain an objective stance even when expressing a personal thought or idea. Be concise. Some students decide to add flowery words or unnecessary modifiers just to add to the word count. Be intentional in the words you will decide to use.
As you write an effective academic essay, make a point using as few words as possible. This is why you should have a good grasp of the English language. If you feel you still lack mastery of the language, visit LingualBox for help. They have tutors and references to help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and overall proficiency in English.
Needless to say, your spelling, punctuation, and grammar should be perfect. It can be tedious but you have to check and double check your work. In most cases you need to go through several drafts before coming up with the final paper. Again, LingualBox can help you develop this skill.
How do you know if you’ve edited yourself enough or that you have written the final draft? Get a friend or family member to read or listen to your work. It helps that you read your paper aloud to make another individual or yourself see whether it makes sense or not.
To maintain an objective academic tone, definitely avoid slang, contractions, and text-speak, and in most cases, teachers will instruct you not to write in the first person. Keep your personal opinions to a minimum, unless they are specifically asked for by your teacher.
Also, avoid making value judgements, which are normally signaled by modifiers such as “wonderful” and “brilliant” . Also avoid “very”, “truly”, and “really” because these words actually cast doubts to your point.
Finally, as in all types of writing, always be mindful of your audience.
Do not write for your teacher because you will always feel inadequate or intimidated. In fact, your teacher most probably know what you will be saying or writing about in the first place. Instead, focus your writing to a group of people who are interested to learn from you. Your audience is a group of interested and intelligent readers who are eager to know what you have to say about your subject area.