Essay Writing Tips

Importance of Essay Writing Skills

Essays are a vital part of many college admission and scholarship applications. A well-written, thoughtful essay will strengthen an application, result in a more favorable ranking, and provide greater opportunities in terms of scholarships and college options. Therefore, it is to your advantage to hone your essay writing skills. The information and web resources below provide helpful tips for writing an effective essay.

Essay Writing Tips

  • Allow plenty of time to complete college applications and their corresponding essays. It is important to start the process well in advance of the deadline to ensure you have adequate time to produce a quality essay. There are many different types of essay questions. Some will be simple and direct. Others will be time-consuming and require considerable reflection and thought.
  • Begin with a prewriting exercise. Jot down your thoughts and ideas related to the essay question. Don't judge your ideas at this point, simply jot them down.
  • Review your prewriting ideas. Now is the time to be selective about your ideas and carefully consider how you can use them in your essay. Group common thoughts and ideas together. Organize your ideas in a logical order and create an outline.
  • Write a draft based on your outline. Stick to the topic. Write clear and logical statements. Give examples if appropriate. Be sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
    • The introduction should pique the reader's interest, present the reader with an idea of the essay's content, and lead into the main idea.
    • The body represents the "meat" of the essay. It should state your main point and provide evidence to support your main point.
    • The conclusion summarizes your main point or position.
  • Edit your draft until you have a good "final" draft. Review & make corrections. Pay special attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, and sentence structure. Watch for overused words; use a thesaurus to find alternative words with the same meaning. Make sure your essay clearly answers the question.
  • Have someone else read your final draft to check for errors and provide feedback. Revise as needed. When incorporating other people's suggestions be careful -- make certain your essay reflects your ideas, your personality, and your voice.
  • Set your essay aside for a few days before your final edit. This will allow you to approach your essay with fresh eyes. Read the essay out loud to make sure it flows. Carefully proofread for missed errors.
  • Once your final copy is prepared proofread it again.
  • Good work! You are ready to submit your essay with confidence, pride, and satisfaction!

Web Resources for Essay Writing