4 Ways to Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic


Academic essay writing can be intimidating to most first year tertiary students. Writing projects from secondary school provides a limited experience to most of these students. When they are in the university or college in a new context totally different from secondary school, real panic for most students kicks in when the first assignment due date looms.

To eliminate writing anxiety and improve your writing project, following are the four steps that will definitely improve your academic essay writing skills. 

1. Your Essay Writing is product-based

I was once a victim of this act where I considered essay writing as product-based, something I can do quickly in one sitting. Thinking of essay writing this way is problematic, besides limiting the scope of your essay, it alienate you from your own writing . If you've received comments on your essay such as "what are you saying here" or " you have already articulated this point." Here's my favorite, "you did not fully engaged with the topic" ,you're a victim of product-based essay writing style.

Solution:

Consider essay writing as process-based. This means getting fully involved in your writing projects. Start writing as meaningful practice through formulation of multiple drafts.  Another  idea to consider is the stages of writing processes that include but not limited to invention, revision, and editing. Considering writing stages in your next writing project will surely yield positive results and improve your essay marks.

2. You do not collaborate

Do you ever visit your school writing centre? Or give someone, a friend perhaps, your essays to review? If you answered no to these questions chances are you work in isolation. Working in isolation limits you from seeking feedback from peers or tutors that might help you to fine tune your essay to meet lecturers' expectations and needs. 

Solution:

If you want effective essay writing, you need to collaborate. Start within your circle. Find a willing friend, read each other essays, provide each other feedback before or while consulting tutors from writing centre.  Use comments and questions you receive from friends and tutors from writing centre to revise and better your essay. 

3. You spend excessive amount of time providing context

This is what I normally do for my essay writing  and I think it works exceptionally well. I divide it into two segments. Segment A occupies 40%, that's where I provide background knowledge and describe concepts, then segment B occupies 60%, that's where I make arguments.  As you can see, spending excessive amount of time providing context, which I've seen most of my friends do it, will results in you receiving lower marks than you deserve. 
 
Solution:

Academic essays require a lot of argumentation.  You need to convince your lectures why your points matter and should be considered. What lectures are actually asking for here is sound and rational argumentation, if you do your  readings this task becomes easier.  Once you have decided which evidence you going to use and this must be credible, you need to incorporate it well within your paper to avoid being penalized of plagiarism. 

4. You clearly do not understand the assignment

Academic essay topics can be complicated sometimes. I mean if you're not careful you can spend exceptional amount of time not fulfilling the lecturer's requirements. 

Solution:

  • Consult the lecture for clarity
  • Visit the writing centre 
  • Analyse the assignment yourself


Submitted: January 01, 2021

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