Looking to boost your coursework grades? Writing better essays is a good way to do just that, and don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds!
There are several easy-to-follow steps you can take to improve your essay writing skills, and they’ll help you learn how to write an essay faster too.
If you’re an undergraduate student, a master’s student or still in high school and you have an essay to write: read through these five tips, and then put them into action!
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1) Take time to understand your assignment
It’s a little soul-crushing when you complete a piece of coursework and realising you’ve done it entirely wrong… don’t let it happen to you!
Before you start writing, take some time to understand your assignment. Are you clear on what topic you’ll be writing about? Do you know roughly how many words you’re expected to write? And, most importantly of all, do you know when your deadline is?
If anything seems unclear to you, don’t be afraid to message your professor and ask for clarification. At NAU Canada Online, our professors care about helping their students succeed and they won’t mind answering your question!
2) Put a time limit on your research
It’s all too easy to get carried away with essay research – putting a limit on your research time will stop you from spending hours reading, when you should really be writing.
A good tip is to spend around 30 – 40 minutes researching for each 500 words you have to write – so if your essay is going to be 2,000 words then your limit is 2 to 2.5 hours of research.
If you find you’re missing vital information once you start writing your essay, you can always do a little more research to fill those gaps.
3) Use your research notes as an essay outline
There’s nothing more intimidating than a blank page! So instead of trying to write an essay from scratch, turn your research notes into your essay.
Make sure you’ve typed up all your notes and any interesting quotes into a single word document. Then, start rearranging them: group any mentions of similar topics/themes together. You’ll find an essay outline is naturally starting to take shape.
Once you have this rough outline, all you have to do is turn your notes into proper paragraphs!
4) Write your introduction last
This sounds strange but it’s actually very logical: it’s easier to write an introduction if you already know what your essay is about.
You’ll want to summarise the main topics your essay covers in your introduction. And that’s hard to do if you haven’t written the main body of your essay. Even if you do have an essay plan, most folks find that their plan sometimes changes while they’re writing.
But once you’ve written your essay, summarizing it is quick and easy – so leave your introduction until last!
5) Edit your essay a few days after you write it
It’s harder to spot your own mistakes when you’ve already been staring at your essay for hours, so leave your editing for a couple of days later.
By editing your essay a few days after you write it, you’ll be able to come back to it with fresh eyes. And that’ll make it easier for you to spot any misspelled words, grammatical errors or missing references/citations.
If you’re on a tight deadline and can’t wait for a few days, then try to wait for a few hours at least!
Interested in studying online?
You’ll find plenty of resources on our website and useful articles on our blog, to help you learn more about what studying at NAU Canada Online involves.
And you can always give us a call on 855.210.5641 with any questions you have!
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