Are your essay grades getting you down? Are you pouring your heart and soul into your papers, only to be slapped in the face with a grade much lower than you’d expected?
It may be due to some simple mistakes that many students make when writing essays, especially if you are in your freshman year. The jump from high school essay writing, to writing academically at college can be a huge one, so it’s important that you know exactly what your professors are looking for when grading.
Some tips to keep in mind when writing your next essay include:
Use a Spelling and Grammar Checking Tool
Spelling and grammar can drag your essay down, and if you’re more focused on the actual topic, you might miss some simple mistakes that could easily cause you to lose marks for presentation. The odd typo here and there might be forgiven by your professor, but glaring grammar issues and words that don’t make sense won’t be overlooked. Download a tool like Grammarly; this will check your writing as you go and auto-correct any issues. Have a friend or classmate proofread your essay before you submit it.
Get Those References Bang On
Incorrect referencing can lose you plenty of marks in an otherwise outstanding essay. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting your paper returned only to find that while the professor loved it, they had to deduct marks from you because you hadn’t referenced your sources correctly. And, failing to correctly reference could land you in trouble for plagiarism, even if you didn’t copy something word for word. The best thing to do is use a tool like Cite This For Me to generate correct references for everything that you use. And remember; you can never have too many references!
Spend Some Time Preparing Beforehand
Professors know the difference between an essay that was well-thought-out and one that was just written at the last minute. Before you begin writing your essay, sit down and craft a plan. Consider what you’re going to put in your introduction, the main text, and how you are going to conclude your essay. Put together your arguments and gather all your sources, so that you have them to hand when writing.
Read Around the Subject
Don’t just hone in on the one topic that your essay is about. You can add some really interesting information by reading around the subject. Going off on a bit of a tangent is okay in most essays, as long as you are able to relate it to your argument and connect it to the main topic in the end.
Use Additional Resources
When it comes to writing a top-grade essay, there are plenty of resources to take advantage of. Aside from the ones mentioned above, search online for essay planning tools that you can use to keep all the information you’re going to include in one place. Or utilize an essay writing service like EssaysWriting to help you polish and perfect your work.
Did you find these tips useful? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.