A long time ago, students used to write “themes,” which were brief essays that talked about what they learned about a given topic. Analytical writing wasn’t prioritized because instructors wanted to see that students were learning basic facts first.
Today, however, the equation has shifted almost entirely in the other direction. Today, analytical essays reign supreme and fact-based learning is on the outs. As a writer, however, you probably feel that you could improve your essay-writing skills, like most students in the same position.
Let’s take a look at how you can boost your academic writing skills.
- Read the assignment and the rubric carefully This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is often the single most important determinant of whether a student is successful with an essay, according to college instructors. The assignment question gives you the parameters of the assignment and often some guidance on dos and don’ts, and the rubric explains exactly how you will be graded on the paper, letting you check what you’ve written to make sure that you’ve hit all of the key points on which you will be evaluated.
- Open with an intriguing point to draw the reader in Essay-writing is an expectations game, and you need to work hard to get off on the right foot to put your reader in a good mood. If your introduction is strong, you will lull your reader into thinking that you are in control of your essay and have mastered the material in it. There are several ways to do this, known as opening strategies. Asking a question, providing a dramatic fact or statistic, or telling an interesting anecdote or story are all great ways of drawing the reader in.
- Learn the basics of the big three citation formats Citing sources takes time, but it is essential for any essay. You need to give credit to your sources. Don’t let citations slow down your writing momentum or cause you to lose your train of thought. Instead, make citing sources easier by mastering the big three citations forms, MLA, APA, and Chicago. By doing so, you can quickly throw in a citation while writing without having to stop to look up the right way to give credit to your sources. The fewer times you have to stop, the stronger your writing will become.
- Use a professional essay writing service While they are often thought of as a cheating service, custom essay writing services offer legitimate essay help that can boost your writing skills and make you a stronger academic writer. When you purchase a custom-written essay you are taking advantage of a unique opportunity to see how a professional with an advanced degree would approach your exact essay topic.
- Proofread and then proofread again One of the biggest ways that students lose easy points comes from proofreading errors. One of the biggest reasons that students make proofreading errors is that they are rushing to get a paper done before the deadline. In order to avoid leaving easy points on the table, treat the day before the paper is actually due as your due date. That way you can have the extra day to review your work and proofread it carefully. Studies show that leaving your paper for a couple of hours, or better yet, a whole day, will help you to find mistakes that you might not be able to see without that time away from your work.