Essay Writing Tips That Will Change Your Life (…or at Least Make Writing a Bit Easier) Do you feel like your spirit dies a little bit each time your instructor assigns a new essay to write? Do you put off the writing your essay until the last minute and internally curse the writing gods as you scramble to get it done? Well, you’re in luck because we’re going to help you out with some super helpful, easy to implement essay writing tips. Before You Begin… It’s super easy to sike yourself out before writing an essay. You can easily talk yourself into a tizzy and make the whole process seem much more daunting than it actually is. So, give these things a try before you sit down to write your essay and let go of your essay woes: Clean Up Time: Don’t even think about writing until you’ve straightened your writing space and cleared it of any unnecessary clutter. A clean and clear work space is the best way to clear your mind for the task as hand.Go ahead and make sure you have what you need to get the job done while you’re prepping your work space. This means gathering needed materials and making sure all your technology is working properly. You’ll maximize your writing time this way and make it that much easier for the creativity to flow. Prime Time: We all have a magical time of day when we’re pumped and prime for action. This is when you should try to work on your essay. Make sure you have had enough rest and aren’t getting close to your wind down time as well.You want to be at the top of your game since these prime time hours are ideal for writing since it’s a surprisingly draining task despite the lack of physical exertion. Never underestimate the power of intellectual work and it’s impact on your body.Go ahead and fuel up before you start writing, too. Eat a brain healthy snack and down a cup of coffee or tea. You’ll be amped and ready to go afterwards. There’s also the bonus of not having to listen to a rumbling stomach during your writing process. Do Not Disturb: Send up a bat signal, hang a sign on your door or even wear one around your neck. Do whatever you have to do to ensure that you’re not disturbed while writing your essay.Tell your friends, family, significant other and anyone else who may bug you, that you’re going to be busy writing in advance so they buzz off. Go somewhere you won’t be bothered and distracted if they don’t take the hint. Trust us, having a quiet space without interruptions is going to be super valuable and the awesome essay you’ll write will be excellent proof of said value.Make sure you also turn off the ringer on your phone and disable your notification sounds. You don’t need any unnecessary interruptions. Say “peace out” to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email while you’re at it. You can go on a posting spree as soon as you’re done writing as a little reward for yourself if you’d like. Ohm: Get in touch with your inner Yoda and take a little trip to your happy space where you can clear your head of all the noise of life. Center yourself you must (we dare you not to read that in Yoda’s voice. hehe)! Try to meditate, do some yoga, lift some weights, play with your dog or dance around to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. Do whatever you’ve got to do to clear your head and center your focus on your essay writing. Rock and Roll: That’s it for the pre-writing steps, guys and gals! Your space is clear, distractions are blocked, zen is achieved and you’re officially ready to rock and roll. You should be totally ready and on point so you can own your essay like a boss. Essay Writing Tips What’s this essay supposed to be about again? You can’t write an essay if you don’t thoroughly understand what it is that you’re supposed to be writing about, right? Right! So, the very first part of your essay writing process should be thoroughly reading the essay question provided by your instructor. It’s super important that you really have a handle on what’s expected of you to avoid losing time going in the wrong direction. Don’t be afraid to really dissect the essay question you’ve been assigned. You want to identify what the task at hand is, first. Are you discussing, explaining or comparing? Next, figure out what the topic being discussed is and make sure you know any limitations previously set if there are any. Make it rain with a brainstorm Brainstorming for a new essay can be a really fun part of the process and can really kick start your excitement for the actual writing. A lot of really great ideas can come from the little bits and pieces that you write down during your brainstorming sessions. There are a ton of different brainstorming methods that you can try, too. Some of them may work really well for you and some may not, but there’s no harm in a little test run to find out which one you like. Try some of these brainstorming methods if you’re unaware of the best way to get your creative juices flowing. Freewriting is a personal favorite when brainstorming. Sit down and just let the words flow for 15 minutes or so. New ideas are bound to crop up during this time and you’ll get a good start for your essay. Clustering or mapping your ideas is also a super helpful way to brainstorm. This method allows you to make connections between different points you’re interested in making. Another favorite brainstorming method is what we call “gisting” and all it entails is writing down key sentences or keywords that you intend to write about in your essay. You’re writing down the gist of it so you can tackle it full on a bit later. It’s totally cool if you’ve already go a solid system down and aren’t too keen on switching things up. You may find an interesting nugget in here to add to what you’re already doing and can take things to the next level. Research your little heart out You can research before or after you brainstorm as it’s really a matter of personal preference which one you do first. Some people may find inspiration for their brainstorming session in the act of researching and some may find that brainstorming helps their research. There’s no right or wrong sequence here, so figure out what works best for you. It’s really easy to get tab happy when researching and end up with 30 different internet tabs open at once. Do yourself a favor and resist the temptation to click every link that seems interesting and relevant. It ends up being overwhelming and is a total time suck in the long run as you try to decipher why you clicked on each tab. Instead, limit yourself to 10 quality tabs with stellar information from reliable sources. Be careful with some of the crazy stuff on the internet because you don’t want to use incorrect information in your essay. Cross reference and verify everything you can. You can take notes or start typing key points in a word doc to save a few minutes once you’re sure your info is legit. You can also start your bibliography or footnotes this way if you’re required to include one. Hello, thesis The thesis of your essay is going to be the main idea, statement or theory of your essay. It’s super important to maintain your thesis throughout the entire piece if you want the integrity of your writing to be upheld. Try to approach your essay’s thesis like Goldilocks. In other words, develop a thesis that is not too simple or too overly complicated. You want to strike the right balance and come up with something just right. Plan your attack You’ve got all your ideas from your brainstorming and researching, but that’s not going to get you very far if you don’t have a plan or outline for the essay. You can’t just throw stuff at your word doc and hope it sticks. It sounds good in theory, but is ineffective to say the least. Start your outline by writing your thesis at the very top of our page. It will serve as a constant reminder of what your main point is. Now use your research and brainstorming ideas to map out the body of your essay. Make sure your body paragraphs are relevant to the initial essay question, your thesis and supports both of these points. You should be ready to kick some essay butt once your outline is all mapped out. It’s perfectly fine to deviate from your outline as long as it helps your essay. There aren’t any chains binding you to your original map, so feel free to color outside of the lines if you see an opportunity to make your essay even better. Introduction time You only get one chance to make a first impression on the person reading your essay and you want it to be a good one. Your introduction can absolutely make or break your essay,so take your time, give it your all and ensnare your reader right away. Your introduction should be interesting, informative and super engaging. You want to let your reader know what your thesis is and creatively open up a pathway to the rest of your essay. Go for the gusto and make your reader want to read more. Fill it up It’s super important to stay on point during the supporting body of your essay. Try to have a clear and concise delivery for each new paragraph with a point you want to make. Transitional phrases/words are going to be your friend here, too. Buddy up with things like “however,” “in addition,” and “all the same.” Fatten these paragraphs up with some juicy bits of data and use your research to support what you’re trying to convey. Remember to incorporate your thesis throughout these paragraphs in applicable ways. Ideally everything should flow like a nice little stream that your reader can easily drift down without getting snagged on any rocks. So long, farewell… You’ve worked so hard to get this far and now it’s time to wrap it all up with a bow. Don’t leave your reader hanging in your conclusion and do your best to bring it all everything together for them. This means a quick summary of your points, but try not to parrot what you’ve already written. Present your points in a new, consistent light. Guide your reader to the ways in which these points prove or disprove your thesis. Most importantly, leave an impression on your reader by way of a riveting statement that will make them think well after they are through reading. Where’s the delete button? Proofreading is almost as important as the actual writing itself, so do not skip this part! Read your essay once silently, once aloud and even have someone else take a quick look at it if you’re up for some constructive criticism. Pay close attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax errors. You may catch a few errors when you read it silently and even more when you read it out loud. Don’t be afraid to delete things that don’t make sense or tweak things here and there. It’s for the greater good of your essay and your grade. Close up shop Woohoo! You did it! You’re done! Submit your awesome essay or print it for your instructor. Pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath while you’re at it. Hopefully our tips helped you during your essay writing and your grade will reflect all your hard work.