So how do you take your essays to the next level and go from great to brilliant?
Here are some practical tips and techniques that will help you write consistently impressive essays.
Read the opinion pieces and dissect how the writer has supported their points with evidence, and again, be critical; note where they’ve left things out to try to persuade you to a particular opinion.
Essays should be balanced, so you can learn from the best of these writers and pick up some techniques to help you shape a balanced piece.
We’ve mentioned this on a previous article on essay writing, but it seems pertinent to mention it here too.
Essays are a chance for you to show off how widely read you are, so make sure you quote other people’s opinions, and original sources, on what you’re writing about.A word of warning: words you find in a thesaurus can’t always be used interchangeably; even words with similar meanings can differ subtly in a way that makes them inappropriate in certain contexts, so find examples of a word used correctly before you use a new word for the first time.– Learn prefixes, suffixes and roots – it sounds boring, but this shortcut will help you learn a great many more words.What’s more, deploying a good vocabulary displays intelligence and allows you to be more persuasive in your essay-writing.Here are some ways in which you can build your vocabulary: – Subscribe to a ‘word a day’ email (such as this one from Merriam-Webster).Many roots come from Latin and Greek words, such as “bene” in Latin, meaning “good”, which gives rise to words such as “benefactor”, “benevolent” and “benefit”.It’s often possible to deduce the meaning of a new word if you know its root and read it in context.Create a folder in your email account for new word emails, so that you can file each email away and have them all in one place ready to flick through and learn from in an idle moment.– Read widely, and refer to a dictionary for words you don’t know as you go along; this way, you’ll learn the new word as well as seeing it in context so you know how to use it properly.Your Elevator Pitch for your essay should sell the idea of it to a reader, leaving them wanting to read the essay in question.This is quite a tough exercise, as it forces you to be ruthlessly concise in your thinking and choice of words; but you can use this summary to help you write your introduction, and it’ll help you achieve clarity in what you’re trying to say.