5 ways to improve your college essay writing skills

If you’re a college student, the chances are excellent that you are writing an essay this week, or will be in the next few weeks. Essays are the most popular college assignment and one that many students have difficulty with. Essay writing is as much an art as it is a science, but the good news is that practice really does make perfect when it comes to the world of essay writing.

Developing good essay writing skills can take a little bit of work, but there are a few tips and tricks that will get you writing better in almost no time flat. Let’s take a look at five ways that you can develop your essay writing skills before your next essay is due.

  1. Learn the Power of Outlining.

Many students think of outlining as a waste of time because it’s writing you do that doesn’t end up in the final essay. The good news is that the time and effort that you spend outlining actually gives you an edge by helping you to produce your final paper faster and with better organization and development. Think of outlining less as wasting time on extra writing and more as an investment in your paper. The writing you do in the outline will benefit you significantly later on when you can avoid the challenges of having to stop and start as you write your paper as you try to think of the next point and the facts to support it.

  1. Make Use of Your School’s Library.

The foundation for an academic essay is scholarly research, and the best scholarly research can be found in your school’s library. While it might be possible to research a paper using only the open web, the internet contains many sources that are wrong or deceptive, and even more that are locked behind paywalls or otherwise incomplete or only partially accessible. Your school’s library will give you access to high quality sources and full-text journal articles. Making use of this resource will make your paper much stronger.

  1. Appreciate the Art of Proofreading.

We get it. Most essays get written a few hours before they are due, and there isn’t usually time to go over your work. But typos and syntax errors can make an essay look incomplete, unfinished, or even less rigorous than it really is. Taking some time to make the effort to proofread your paper carefully can help make your essay stronger and make your instructor have a better impression of your writing.

  1. Master a Few Opening Strategies.

The way you open your essay sets the stage for what is to come. It’s often the most important chance you get to create a good impression on your audience. That’s why it’s important to open your essay with a great opening strategy to pique your audience’s interest and make them want to hear more. You can find many guides online for strategies to open an essay. There are many to choose from, but mastering three or four that you can drawn from when writing your own essays will help you to develop a strong opening for any essay with minimal effort. The better the opening, the more your audience will be inclined to read your paper in a good light.

  1. Take a Rest.

This might be the most counterintuitive tip on the list, but taking a rest can actually make your paper stronger. When you take a break after 20-30 minutes of work—just five minutes is enough—it lets your brain reset, puts off fatigue, and helps you to refocus on the task at hand. By staying fresh throughout the writing process, you will develop a stronger and more effective paper that avoids the kind of careless errors that fatigue creates, and is more creative because you are more alert and interested.

The writing process is very difficult, and the number of essays that the average college student has to write only makes it harder. The good news is that keeping our list of tips in mind will make the process easier and help you streamline your writing process to maximize the effective use of your time so you can deliver better essays faster and with greater quality.

One you’ve practiced these tips a few times, they will become second nature, and soon enough you’ll find that you’re practicing great essay writing habits automatically. In no time at all, you’ll have improved your essay writing with a professional service and begun to see the results in your grades.

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