Essay writing can be the bane of many high school students’ existence. To many of these students, writing an essay is not fun, and it is just one of many ways that teachers can torture their students. Yet, following some of the suggestions and tips below may actually help create an easier essay writing process.
One of the best ways to start writing an essay is to read and re-read the essay question many times (or try to formulate a very good essay question) and then brainstorm some possible answers. The answers do not have to be in-depth, but they should be supportable with written evidence or experience and observations. Creating a diagram or just simply writing out the solutions and examples will help you organize your thoughts better. Your essay will reflect this organization and it will read more enjoyably.
Share and read aloud
Once you have finished writing your essay, the work doesn’t stop there. You should read the essay aloud to yourself, and then find a friend or two that will listen to your essay. A pair of new ears may be able to better detect some grammatical errors, or even some changes in tone or style. Some of your listeners may want to reorganize parts of your essay. You don’t have to follow through with all of these suggestions, but you should keep them in mind if and when you redo your draft.
At the same time, drafts are important because they let you see the process of essay writing. The first draft will most likely not be in the same ballpark as your final draft, and by sharing your drafts with others, they will be able to give you input on improving each draft.
Follow basic essay writing organization
Some students do not want to follow the widely-recognized five paragraph essay style, thinking that a variation will get them some other special prize. But, following this style is important because your teachers want to know if you can follow directions. Certain styles are for certain goals. For instance, if you wanted to present a research paper, you could not write it in a five paragraph essay style. Many high school teachers present their students with essay questions that are best answered using the basic five paragraph essay.
Use valid examples
Sometimes your teachers will ask for specific types of examples that you can include in the essay. For instance, some teachers will allow you to use examples from experience, but others will specify only examples from the text that you have read. When you are quoting the text, do not just include a ‘hanging’ quote. Be sure to try to integrate the quote into your own words/sentences. This way, your essay will have a nice flow.
While many high school students dread writing essays, these tips will certainly make the writing process much easier and perhaps even more fulfilling.