Writing isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have to do it often. There are different styles and every professor has a unique way of grading essays. This can make it overwhelming and sometimes difficult to get a good essay. There are a few things to keep in mind when you go to write an essay that will make it easier and might help produce a good grade.
First you need to understand the question.
You need to understand whether the essay is supposed to be a compare or contrast essay, analytical essay, maybe an evaluation of something or someone. There are different kinds of essays and you need to be aware of what kind your professor wants from you. Basically, the wording of the question is how you will know what the professor is expecting from your essay.
Second you need to plan and schedule.
Most people underestimate the amount of work and time it takes to produce a good essay. Setting up a schedule with deadlines for the different parts of writing an essay will help you in the long run. Here is an example of a schedule:
Third step is make sure your sources relate to your content.
When trying to find sources it is a good idea to read over the abstract or summary. This will let you know whether it is worth it to read the entire source or if it isn’t going to be what you need for your essay.
Don’t forget that you should always find reliable sources that work for your essay. Try the McNairy Library search page to find good sources. We may not be able to be on campus, but the electronic resources and services will remain accessible to students and faculty.
The fourth step to writing a good essay is be critical.
Most studies, arguments, and theories you research have some sort of flaw to them. Instead of just summarizing what you read, try being critical. Point out what works and doesn’t work in the research. By using critical thinking as the approach to your essay you show that you are not simply repeating what you read. Instead it proves that you have thought your topic through.
The fifth step is structure, flow and focus.
It is imperative that your essay be structured in a way that flows and makes sense. Throwing an essay together can lead to it not making sense to the reader. We all know where the intro and conclusion go, but the body paragraphs are important to organize as well.
Sixth step is to write academically.
It is common, especially for first and second year students, to write in an informal way. When writing an essay you should always try and use more formal and academic wording. It should not sound the way you would text.
Finally, do not plagiarize.
This should be obvious by now, but you never want to plagiarize someone else’s writing. Millersville University has rules about plagiarism which are important to know and understand. They also provide tips on how to avoid plagiarism.
You should always have someone look over your work as Millersville University has resources to help you. In the library you can find the Writing Center. Here they will help you revise and edit. Even though the campus is closed the Writing Center is still offering online help.
Even though Millersville has gone completely online, there are still services that you can use to help with your writing. Don’t be afraid to use the Writing Center’s online help or use the library’s online resources.