How to Develop Essay Writing Skills

Throughout the course of your academic career you will likely be called upon to compose essays numerous times. Writing an essay often seems like a challenge if you do not posses the skills necessary to complete the process effectively. By working to build your essay writing skills, you can take the hassle out of essay writing, and make the process more natural and easier to complete. As you move through the composition of your next essay, think not only about the essay you are currently working on, but also about the essays that lay ahead of you, and put extra effort into developing your writing skills; they will be beneficial as you continue your academic efforts.

Instructions

    • 1

      Practice pre-writing techniques. Pre-writing allows you to sort through your ideas before you begin the actual task of writing. Try out an assortment of pre-writing techniques including free-writing, webbing and brainstorming. As you try each technique, consider how effective it was in helping you sort through your ideas. Use the techniques that you feel were effective in your future essay efforts.

    • 2

      Compose sample essays in a variety of formats. Writing essays is the only way to truly build your skill. Write persuasive, comparison and contrast and descriptive essays about topics that interest you. Retain each practice essay you compose, as you may be able to use it as a base for a later essay.

    • 3

      Narrow your essay focus. Work on breaking overwhelming large topics into smaller ones. Many essay writers falter when they attempt to tackle a topic that is too broad in a short essay. Consider how you could break up large topics. For example, instead of writing about babies, you could write about child birth, infant immunizations or taking care of newborns. As you receive essay topics from professors, list narrowed topics to develop this focusing skill.

    • 4

      Highlight your most important essay elements to improve the conciseness of your writing. Review previously written essays and look for places in which you could have cut excessive verbiage. Move through the essay and highlight the requisite parts. Review the un-highlighted material and consider how much of it was absolutely necessary. Concise essays are always better than verbose ones. Aim to cut down on excessive wordiness in the future.

    • 5

      Study citation methods. Begin by exploring the citation methods you will be using in your current or upcoming class. Study common methods, including MLA and APA, making note of how you cite information in each style as well as the basic essay formatting guidelines. The more familiar you are with these formats, the easier it will be for you to follow the style when you next compose an essay.

    • 6

      Practice effective editing. Sit down with previous essays you have written, or essays composed by friends, and practice editing. Read carefully through each essay, looking for errors or areas in which improvement could still be made. The more you practice editing, the more effective you will become in identifying and correcting errors in your writing.

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