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Tips for Writing Exam Essays

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An essay is a piece of academic writing that presents an author’s opinion on a particular issue or idea, supporting that opinion with reasons and examples. They can be compared to research papers, but the former is usually much shorter in length. Put simply, the main purpose of an essay is to stimulate critical thinking. If you’ve ever been required to write one before, you will know that it can be a real chore. However, once you get the hang of creating an effective topic outline, the actual process is pretty straightforward.

A five-paragraph essay is one of the most basic skills you’ll need to master as a student. The format may seem simple, but the actual writing process is anything but, as they tend to be graded based on content, style, and organization.

So, here are some helpful essay tips that you may want to incorporate into your own strategy:

Choose a topic that you know well

If you don’t know where to start, essay writing can seem daunting, and it’s not just the writing part. In fact, one of the hardest parts is to actually pick a topic to write about. You’ll want to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject, but you don’t want to sound too stilted and formal. This can happen when you are writing about an unfamiliar topic. When you are required to do too much research, you focus more on trying to get the facts correct than on making it enjoyable and informative to read.

Remember that the process of crafting an essay is a lot like writing a story, so picking a topic that you want to write about and have knowledge of can be a great place to start.

Find three strong reasons to support your point

Depending on if you’re in school or college, or have enrolled in an online course, it is very likely that your teachers expect your essays to be written using a certain format. They may ask you to create an outline or write the essay strictly in point form, requiring you to write one line for every point you make. Others are simply open books, meaning you can read any resources you want and quote them in your essay. However, they all recommend that you take three strong points to support your argument and use the relevant facts to build your case.

Whatever the strategy, be sure to ask your teacher if you need extra support when it comes to laying out your essay.

Write an introduction, body, and conclusion

Often a piece of writing will be made up of three elements: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. A paper’s introduction serves one main purpose: to lead the reader into the rest of the text. The introduction begins by stating the main points the paper will discuss or it will lead the reader to points that will be discussed later. The body of an essay is composed of general sentences or paragraphs that go into the main points of your paper. Here, you will go into considerable detail and extend the outlines you made in the introduction. Finally, the concluding paragraph wraps up the paper’s main points and then restates them. The introduction should be one or two paragraphs long, while the body of an essay maybe two, three, or even more paragraphs long. The conclusion should be short and sum up the topic.

Make sure each paragraph has its own topic sentence

While not an essential part of essay writing if you can, you should try and make sure that each paragraph has its own topic sentence. It should state the main idea, word, or phrase of the paragraph so that the reader can follow along. For example, instead of starting with “My mom is a good cook”, your topic sentence should focus on your mom’s cooking and so forth.

Use transition words to make every paragraph flow smoothly

Many students procrastinate writing their essays, but taking some time in advance to organize their thoughts and write down their ideas will make the process go smoothly. To do this, you may wish to use transition words to move from one idea to the next smoothly. If you don’t, your essay will lack transition words to connect your paragraphs. And, instead of writing out the idea as it comes to you, prepare an outline. When you’re finished drafting, go back and look at your outline and pick out the key points you want to discuss. This will help you organize your thoughts into a coherent essay.

By following the above tips, you can write a good essay and guarantee high marks on your assignment. Good luck.

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