Many people are under the impression that learning to read and speak in English is enough without realizing that written English skills are an equally vital asset to cultivate.
An effective way to improve your writing skills is to write essays.
From improving academics to boosting career prospects – the ability to write in English not only lets you communicate and express yourself better in today’s globalized world but also makes you more confident.
Tips to Write Better Essays in English
Writing an essay can be thought of as a chance to improve your writing skills. Just make sure you learn something new every time you write an essay, and you will grow your abilities. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing an essay in English.
Polish Your Vocabulary Skills
Using the right vocabulary is an essential element of writing essays. When you make efforts to expand your vocabulary, you will be able to pick accurate words to take your writing to the next level.
It’s a good idea to make a note of the new words you come across in a vocabulary notebook. Doing this helps you remember the meanings of new words and you can also refer to them while writing essays.
Check out the best ways to improve essay writing skills.
Strengthen Your Research Skills
Research forms the first step in writing any kind of essay. The stronger your research, the better the quality of your essay. With access to a wide range of data, it’s important to evaluate research sources carefully and only refer to credible ones. For example, Wikipedia is not a reliable source and should not be attributed to while writing essays.
Create a Basic Outline
Once you’ve done your research, don’t rush to write. Take a moment to draft a basic outline for your essay and organize your research and findings. Working on an outline lets you approach the essay in an organized manner. It serves as the skeleton of your paper while ensuring you’re not missing out on any information and that your points flow logically.
Most essays are categorized into – introduction, body, and conclusion.
The introduction is where you introduce the topic and give context. The body paragraphs need to include your arguments and research methodology (if any). The conclusion needs to reiterate the thesis statement and tie all the points together.
Use Topic Sentences
A topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph, and it summarizes the rest of the paragraph. You can create them first to help you stay on track when writing your essay.
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Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus
You might have learned a large number of fancy words when studying for an entrance exam. But before you start using them in academic essays, be very sure you know what they mean in the context of your essay. This is where a dictionary, such as the Oxford dictionary, can come in handy.
A thesaurus is another valuable tool when writing an essay. A thesaurus tells you synonyms or words that have the same or a similar meaning to the word you look up. It’s important because it can add some volume to your essay and increase the impact of your words.
Use Simple Language
You might be tempted to use complex metaphors and jargon to impress the reader, but the truth is, none of that guarantees “good” writing. One of the most important ingredients of effective writing is clarity. You don’t want to leave the reader confused and puzzled after reading your essay. So, use simple words and explain concepts with the help of examples.
Revise, Edit, Rewrite
Finally, make it a point to proofread your essay to ensure you have covered all the aspects, cited references accurately, and not made any silly errors. It’s a good idea to read your essay out loud so you’re able to identify errors and awkwardly formed sentences with ease. You should also get a friend or family member to read your essay, to spot mistakes or discrepancies that you may have overlooked.
Words That Make You Sound Smarter
For the vast majority of students, essay writing doesn't always come easily. Writing at an academic level is an acquired skill that can literally take years to master. Whilst your ideas and arguments should always be your own, borrowing some of the words and phrases listed below is a great way to articulate your ideas more effectively, and ensure that you keep your reader’s attention from start to finish.
Improve English grammar with these easy tips!
1. In order to
Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument.
Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”
2. In other words
Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasize or expand on a point.
Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”
3. To put it another way
Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance.
Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”
4. That is to say
Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise.
Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”
5. To that end
Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”.
Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”
Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making.
Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”
Usage: This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information.
Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”
8. What’s more
Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”.
Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”
Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned.
Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”
Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”.
Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different from what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”
Master the Harvard referencing style guide.
11. Another key thing to remember
Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”.
Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”
12. As well as
Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”.
Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”
13. Not only… but also
Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information.
Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”
14. Coupled with
Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time.
Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”
15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…
Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other.
Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.
16. Not to mention/to say nothing of
Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis.
Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”
Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said.
Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”
18. On the other hand
Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion.
Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”
19. Having said that
Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”.
Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, archaeology tells a different story.”
20. By contrast/in comparison
Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence.
Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”
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