10 good habits for writing strong academic essays
It is not really hard to write essays, especially if you try to adhere to these ten good habits for writing strong academic essays that I include below.
Use your best judgment about your topic—but keep it interesting and make sure there is good research on it.
In other words, you do not want a topic so original there is no one you can dialogue with in it, nor do you want something so out there you cannot find unique quotes to pepper throughout your essay for support of your own ideas. Even if research is not required for your paper—it always gives it weight and takes the level of the work up a notch if you at least include a quote from someone accomplished in the field of your topic.
Try to write an original and mind grabbing introduction.
You always want to get your reader’s attention and lure them into your essay, like you’re coaxing them into a cold pool, for example. Say something convincing—bring up a movie about your topic. Discuss something recently in the news about your topic to lead into your thesis statement for a second.
Make sure to have a firm thesis statement that clearly states the purpose of your essay.
Make sure to include a statement at the end of paragraph one—or paragraph two if you have a very long introduction (sometimes, people like a longer intro—one in which they grab the reader’s attention and one in which they work up to the thesis.
A thesis statement is something like “In this paper, I will explore how...“
Good essays take time. Good writers start early and allow time for revision – period.
This one explains itself. No good writing is born overnight. If I have a project, even at my level of writing, I give myself at least four days for a short paper—because some days the writing just doesn’t happen.
Spell check like crazy - both while reading and by computer.
Make sure your paper is well organized.
Structure is important. You want to have an introduction with thesis statement at the end of it and then your evidence paragraphs that prove your thesis and provide evidence of this thesis and a strong conclusion.
When revising, use a three step, fool-proof method.
The only method I have found which assures no errors in spelling or grammar, is a three prong method I developed in graduate school. First, you use the computer’s spell check as you reread the work on your computer.
Second, you print the paper out and check your work with a pen on paper.
Third, you read it aloud—this way you will catch wrong words that are spelled right—like “write” for “right” or you meant to type “write” and type “white.”
Write a Strong Conclusion
If you’re lost about how to write these—try bringing the paper into the very present moment of the writing of it. For example, what has happened this week regarding your topic in the news?
Then you could say something like, “Just yesterday, scientists reported that... Therefore, it is becoming obvious we must...“
Make Sure You have Smooth Transitions Between Your Paragraphs.
If you use topic sentences correctly, every one of them should provide evidence for your thesis and support your topic explicitly.
An easy way to do this is to say, at first, “Another reason we must do something about global warming is...”