No student can get through school without writing an essay or two (or tons). Those with plans to earn a college degree have even more essays to look forward to writing when that time comes. Unfortunately, writing and English in general tend to be a weak point for a number of students. Not having a natural way with words and composing paragraphs can make even the simplest essay assignment a struggle.
However, there is no shortage of writing tips for essays that can be found online as well as in textbooks. But oftentimes students tend to make things more difficult than it really needs to be. While it does take effort to draft a strong essay as far as content goes, common sense also plays a large role in producing an overall acceptable paper. For whatever reason, students still fail to put these common sense tips into effect, which undoubtedly affects their essays.
Whether students plan on applying to schools like Texas A&M, New York University or UC Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area, putting these common sense tips into practice sooner than later will properly prepare high school students in particular for some of the most important essays they’ll ever write: personal statement essays for college applications.
Start With a Basic Outline
One of the easiest ways to take the intimidation out of writing an essay is to have an idea of what to write about. Instead of struggling to type out paragraphs, the outline only requires a few sentences—more like jotting down ideas and talking points. This only takes a few minutes and once completed, the actual writing process will unfold more smoothly.
Too many students go straight to typing without a sense of what they want to say, increasing their frustration and ultimately leading to an essay that isn’t very strong in content. The outline should be seen as a shortcut that’s actually worth taking to create a better end result.
Pay Attention to Detail
Auto-correct isn’t perfect and the worst mistake students can make is to rely on it to cover their bases. Proof reading the good ole fashioned way is the most effective method of catching anything auto-correct might have missed. Nothing brings down the quality of a good paper more than typos, misspellings and grammatical errors.
Paying attention to detail from the get-go is a surefire way for students to ensure that they don’t lose points unnecessarily from their grade.
Don’t Be the Only Editor
Luckily, students are getting better at understanding the importance of editing what they’ve written. But one look over at a draft isn’t enough. Once a student has edited their work down to a workable version, the next step is to pass it on to not just one new pair of eyes but several. A minimum of two other people—not including the writer—should give the essay a look and make suggestions as to what can be improved, if anything.