Do It Yourself

18 Simple Essay Hacks Every Student Needs To Know

In the world we live in today, writing fast and well is among one of the most important skills one can have up their sleeve. Whether it’s a paper on the importance of medieval arcuate structures or the relevance of Riemann’s contribution to number theory, most of us, especially those who spend a considerable amount of time inside academic institutions, are regularly required to produce original perspectives on a plethora of subjects.

Having said that, writing an essay isn’t always the easiest task. This article describes eighteen simple ways to make this necessary activity an easy and fun part of your day. And, it is obvious that learning & implementing these tips are going to take some time so, if you are in a hurry, you can order custom writing articles to get professional articles while you’re busy in honing your skill to write essays.

THE BEFORE PHASE:- Brainstorming and Preliminary Research

  1. Do a little digging around beforehand:- Before starting any essay, whether the work you are doing is for school or otherwise, it is important to have a preliminary of the topic concerned. For example, if you are writing a paper on sea turtles, it would be a good idea to find out a little bit more about sea turtles beforehand— their physical appearance, places of habitation, feeding tendencies, mating etc. In short, writing an essay, especially ones that represent a large body of information, can be a little confusing. Doing a little preliminary research beforehand can be a really good place to start. Of course, you will add to your reading of the subject as the essay progresses or takes unexpected turns. This little step can simply facilitate the creation of a starting point.
  2. Choose a center:- A good way to clear your thoughts before starting an essay is to do what I like to call choosing a center. This center could be anything, from a word to a general theme around which all of your writing fits. For example, if I was writing an essay about childhood memories, the center of my piece would probably be my obsession with ripping books to shreds. Make sure that when you choose this center, you choose an entity that is holistically meaningful — something that can be connected to the overall tone that you want to bring out.
  3. Make Mind Maps:- One of my personal favorite ways to combat virtually any situation is to make a mind map. A mind map is a rough sketch of ideas. There are many ways to do it. The one I personally prefer is the web — with a center from which hands in the form of arrows diverge outwards. Once you have done a little basic reading on the subject in question and figured out a rough center for your piece, a good way to keep things on track is to make a mind map of your initial ideas. Go crazy with the activity — use colors, shapes, stick newspaper cuttings or other relevant information that you may want to refer to at a later point. Remember, a mind map doesn’t have to be perfect. It is not your final work. So make sure to think outside of the box.
  4. Avoid Distractions and Procrastination:- When you’re trying to focus, it can sometimes seem like the world is out to get you. Suddenly, your phone is ringing more times an hour than the President. At an initial stage of writing an essay, your ideas and thoughts are still half-formed. Try to eliminate distractions at this early stage. That way, when you get down to writing that essay, the whole process won’t seem so hard. Set small goals and reward yourself when you meet them. A constant incentive mechanism is useful to combat the tendency to procrastinate that none of us are immune to.

THE WRITING PROCESS:- Tips to help move it forward

  1. Hand-write the First Draft:- The first draft of any great essay is bound to be filled with illegible scribbles and unfinished thoughts. Because it’s your first attempt at the job, some of what you want to say won’t be completely organized at this stage. It is always a good idea to use the good old pen and paper method for the first draft. That way, you have a little more freedom to tinker around before you finalize your perspective. Leave lines in the middle and use different colors of ink to make the first part of the writing process a fun-filled experience.
  2. The wonders of other’s words:- From personal experience and the perspectives of others, I have gathered that the words of others can at times work unspeakable wonders. Reading a quote or excerpt on a theme related to your work, or on something completely unrelated can add a fresh take to your voice, as well as provide that little ounce of encouragement we all need at times.
  3. Using the Pomodoro technique:- Managing your time in the face of constant deadlines is a skill like any other. A great facilitator is the Pomodoro technique. This method breaks up working hours into small twenty-five minute intervals, after which you get a five-minute break. Websites like ‘Tomato Turner’ as well as numerous other apps, help you implement this useful tool.
  4. Choose your sound:- A good way to feel excited about working on an essay is picking a really good playlist to go with it. I remember listening non-stop to Cole Porter when I was working recently on a critical appreciation to The Great Gatsby . Even if you don’t always pick music that matches your essay theme, some good sounds can help you focus and eliminate the need to procrastinate.
  5. Avoid the distraction of social media:- We already talked about distractions and the harm they can do in halting the writing process. Social media is perhaps the most unilaterally similar distraction of our times. So while you are writing your essay, turn off those unnecessary notifications and really get into the topic. Only when you eliminate the distraction of social media, can your mind focus on looking at the subject at hand from all angles.
  6. Wikipedia and how to use it:- Using Wikipedia as a source finder instead of a forum that helps you easily plagiarize your work is a necessary shift for serious essay writers. The references section for each Wikipedia page provides a number of useful links that can facilitate further reading.
  7. Choosing your writing interface:- Once you’ve gotten past the initial phases of the writing process, and have started typing up your work, a good way to keep things comfortable is choosing a writing interface you can live with. Options like Scrivener and IA Writer help make your job easier.
  8. Save your work:- This is probably the most crucial step of the entire process. There is no point in writing an amazing essay if you end up forgetting to save it. An easy way to prevent having to recover files is to use Google Docs, where everything you write is auto-saved.

 

THE AFTER PHASE:- Editing and Re-reading

  1. Re-read the entire piece AT LEAST ONCE:- Sometimes the thoughts in our head and the things we write down or type out, don’t quite match. A good way to eliminate this incongruence is to simply read your work a few times. In a lot of cases, you may find a number of little errors— silly grammar mistakes, the occasional typo etc. Furthermore, a second reading may cause you to feel differently
  2. Avoid Plagiarism at any cost:- A little honesty goes a long way. It is alright to borrow ideas and themes from a piece. However, word to word reproduction of another person’s work defeats the whole purpose of the writing process. Make sure you check your essay on a plagiarism checking app(this can also be done for free on numerous online forums.) after you finish your final draft.
  3. Using Grammarly:- Grammar apps like Grammarly help remove any persisting grammatical errors that you may have missed on those initial readings.
  4. Vocabulary and the fine touches( the title for last):- It is important to understand that no matter how good your ideas are, no one wants to read a boring essay. Using apps like Wordle good way to eliminate repeating the same words over and over again.
  5. The necessity of breaks:- There is such a thing as a drained mind. Despite what anyone else may tell you, even the best of us need to take breaks. A quick walk, a cup of tea, catching up on your favorite tv shows, a half an hour playing your favorite instrument — all are good ways to combat the little bouts of despair.
  6. Hearing your work out loud:- A final way to check and add to your work is hearing the sound of it. This step works all the better if the person reading it is someone other than yourself. Make a fun night of it. Invite friends over and take turns reading each other’s work aloud. Each reading usually offers a unique take away that is usually beneficial in one way or another.

About the author

Saurabh Saha

Pursuing MCA from the University of Delhi, Saurabh Saha is an experienced blogger and internet marketer. Through his popular technology blogs: TechGYD.COM & Sguru.org, he is helping several brands to gain exposure in front of high-quality web visitors.

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