If you want to be successful in school, you have to learn to write well. Understanding how to get good marks in essay writing will bolster your self-esteem and GPA. And, learning how to write well is a useful skill across the board, especially when it is on an exam. Almost every area of business requires some writing prowess as it applies to emails and other white papers.
The further you get in your education pursuits, the more you will realize that professors are looking for your skills to improve drastically. They will be expecting you to become far more advanced and involved in your thinking and evaluating abilities on their exams. They will anticipate answers that demonstrate thorough analysis of the topics at hand. And, you will reveal those acquired capabilities through the writing exams you are given. Rest assured, you will be required to write essays no matter what area of education you pursue.
Steps to Writing Exceptional Papers
Since you are now aware of the fact that you are not going to get out of upper-level education without having to compose some equally high quality written work, you will need the steps to writing exceptional academic papers. Thankfully, a vast majority of these steps are things you can practice and improve upon until you are satisfied with your successes.
Here is how:
- Get Organized. Organization is the key to an excellent essay on an exam or otherwise. You should never just sit down and start writing. Instead, take the time to think through the subject matter. Ask yourself what you already know about the topic and what you would like to know. Then determine the kinds of resources that will be necessary to supplement the knowledge you have and answer the questions you have devised.
- Make a Timeline. This might seem a little odd, but if you can specify timeframes in which you plan to have things done, it will help you stay on track. Start by making a list of all the things you want to read and then try to get all those materials. You will probably spend a good deal of time performing research, so factor that into your timeline. You can consider that reading a twenty-page article might take about three hours and that composing 2000 words could take a day. Timeline will help you calculate the necessary time to allow for the process.
- Collect Information. Even if your teacher assigns the readings, it will always benefit you to go above and beyond those assignments. When you can supplement additional material, your teacher will see that you took an interest in the task and that learning is important to you. Educators and professors love that. Just be careful to use the proper sources for your information.
- Know Your Sources. If you are truly after an excellent grade, then it is a good idea to ensure that your sources are valuable and reliable. Academic articles are almost always a safe bet. These are pieces published by journals and universities. That means experts have probably reviewed them. And, most of these types of articles are available at your school’s library or online. You can also consider using a newspaper, just watch out for the opinion sections unless you plan on basing your essay. Also, we know that Wikipedia is a hugely attractive site to utilize, but they are not always reliable. Instead, look at the resources they site at the bottom of their pieces. That will give you better information from which to draw.
- Take Good Notes. Everybody has their note taking methodology. But, don’t think that highlighting and underlining what you read will ever take the place of real note taking strategies. Instead, consider typing out your notes. You will be able to summarize chunks of essays and save a good amount of time as compared to having to go back through pages of information trying to locate that thing you underlined. You think a quote is worthy of including in your essay, type it out word for word in quotations on your notes. Be sure to cite where you got it from so you don’t have to go back trying to determine its origin. In fact, you might consider color coding your notes so that you don’t always have to retype source information. Just know which color applies to each resource. Finally, after you have read each piece of research, summarize what you know, what agreed with, and what you found to be problematic. That will help you compose your essay in the end.
- Plan. No step is more important than this one. At least as it applies to the culmination of all your other work. Proper planning will ensure that you don’t compose a piece that has a weak structure, unclear arguments, or incomplete analysis.
Perhaps you would do well to consider the following as you plan:
- Re-read. Don’t rush through your notes, re-read them several times to help determine which points are the most interesting, relevant, or impressive. Then get your thoughts into sections with the notes that apply correctly linked to them.
- Establish the Main Idea. Now that you have organized your thoughts develop the main idea so that you can travel down a clear line of argument.
- Outline. Start placing the proper pieces of information into the sections you have already outlined. You are now generating a rough draft.
- Review. Let a friend take a look at your work thus far to ensure that your line of thought flows and stays on target.
- Don’t worry so much about this part, at least in the beginning stages. It is highly likely that you will devise several versions before being prepared to turn the completed essay in. Just start writing from your outline and don’t look back.
- Once you have everything down on paper, you will need to go back and check your grammar. Good grades do readily associate with proper grammar. Do not take it for granted.
Now you are ready to let a friend look at it again to ensure that you have quality content, accentuated answers, and proper paragraphing and sequencing. If all looks well, then you are ready to turn it in and get the grades you are aiming for.