Student Essay Writing: a Manual For Dummies

Writing is hard. Even the most skilled and practiced authors and writers find the task highly demotivating and difficult, and a growing percentage of college students these days lack even the basic skills necessary for writing well. If you are in desperate need of some writing assistance, then, you should not be embarrassed. Your problem is entirely normal and highly common; more students need writing help than not.

Unfortunately, many writing guides are themselves written in an overly complex way that is not very helpful. Writing instruction in English and Communications courses are similarly esoteric. Sometimes all a person needs is a simple, straightforward writing manual with tips anyone can use. If this is what you’re searching for, look no further! Below are several tips for writing that everyone can use, from amateur writers to accomplished professionals.

Edit Your Work Aloud

Far too many students and writers get by without ever seriously editing their work. Editing is not just a process of running the spell check and quickly scanning the paper for obvious homophonic errors. Good editing involves checking the structure of the the overall work, and meticulously reviewing the entire text for flow and sentence structure. Hardly anyone has the time to engage in such a detailed process; however, there is a quick trick that can really step up your editing: read your drafts aloud.

A good essay should sound pitch perfect when read aloud, with no awkward moments, halting language, reader confusion, or dullness. Reading aloud will help you discover problematic sections that just don’t feel or sound quite right. Even if you cannot diagnose the exact problem, you will notice it and be able to fix it if you read your work this way. If possible, ask someone to sit in as your ‘audience’ while you engage in this.

Picture Your Readership

Another important tip is to think very deeply about the intended audience for your paper. Your work should always be particularly tailored to an audience, and should meet their specific needs in terms of attention, interest, motivation, language comprehension, and intellect.

An essay submitted to a graduate committee should have an entirely different kind of language and syntax than a recipe you intend to share with your aunt or cousin. Before you write, picture the audience you have in mind. Do some research or free writing on what that audience is like, and what its needs or limitations are. Picture yourself delivering your essay to this target group the entire time you compose your draft.

Published on  August 18th, 2018