10 tips on surviving the dreaded essay

1.    GET ON IT ASAP!
As soon as your essay is assigned your mind is fresh with your professor’s instructions, so do not wait to write down ideas. Procrastination is overrated anyway.

2.    TAKE ADVANTAGE.
Your professor is there for a reason, so if there is the slightest confusion on what you are supposed to be doing… ASK! When you know exactly what’s expected of you than you are one step closer to an A.

3.    DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
Find your topic and get organized. Separating all of the points you want to make in an essay and doing each little part one at a time helps you not feel bombarded or overwhelmed.

4.    PARAGRAPHS ARE YOUR FRIENDS.
Essays should always flow. And, the best way to make your essay flow is to make sure that your paragraphs have strong transitions. This means that each one should lead right into the next. Also make sure that your paragraphs are never too long. When you use your judgment to start a new paragraph, instead of continuing a really long one just start a new one so it takes up more space on your page. Now, think about that for a second… GENIUS RIGHT!

5.    K.I.S.S! Keep It Simple.Stupid!
Do not try to cover too many aspects of one subject in an essay. It just gets confusing and makes your essay seem scattered. Finding a couple aspects that you can really elaborate and explore in depth, depending on the type of essay you are asked to write, makes it easier for you to write and your professor to read.

6.    BE YOU.
Do not try to be anyone else or sound like anyone else in your writing. There’s a difference between sounding intelligent and simply adding in every single big word you can find in the dictionary. You do not have to sound like a rocket scientist to get your point across.

7.    READ IT OUT LOUD.
You can do this step as you write and when you are done to help you revise. Reading your essay out loud helps you pick up on little grammatical errors that you may not have seen otherwise. When we read in our heads we miss a lot more than we realize; and let’s face it, we always sound like genius’ in our own minds.

8.    PROOF READ, DUH!
After you read it aloud to make sure that the grammar is correct and that your essay makes sense, use SPELL CHECK! It may seem insignificant but spelling errors are a big deal and can cost you that A. It is right there at the top of the page so you might as well use it. Punctuation is another silent killer. If you don’t go through and make sure that all your periods, commas, and apostrophes are in the right place it can really throw a good essay off balance.

9.    GET A SECOND OPINION.
Have someone you trust read it and tell you what he or she thinks. Getting a different perspective always helps

10.    BE PROUD.
After you follow these tips and write an exceptional essay, be proud of your work and keep a copy after you’ve turned it in. It can be a great reference to refresh your mind when the next essay comes around.

GOOD LUCK!

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