The Internet is chock-full of tips on improving writing skills – but they generally repeat each other: plan, proofread, follow a structure. Such advice is hardly useful – it is common sense, not insights. Here you will find tips that are actually helpful.
1. Build up Your Vocabulary
The best way to write essays for teachers to be impressed is to use broad vocabulary. Just don’t try using thesaurus – if you simply replace every one-syllable word with a five-syllable one, it will look stuffy rather than impressive.
When studying a foreign language, one usually has a vocabulary book where one writes down new words and expressions to learn. Why not do the same for your own language? If you read extensively and jot down all the unfamiliar words, it is going to become noticeable pretty soon.
2. Use Extended Metaphors
An extended metaphor is a metaphor that isn’t limited to one sentence. It may be used as an underlying theme throughout an entire piece of writing, making it more picturesque and less abstract.
3. Record Your Ideas
Having an idea notebook on your person all the time can sound a little pretentious, but it will improve your writing in the long run. Ideas don’t come when you deliberately look for them, while by having an idea notebook you ensure you’ll never forget a bright idea which you can later use in your essay.
4. Write on an Obscure Topic
What is a better way to write an original essay than to choose an original topic? By selecting a topic nobody else is going to use, you already get an advantage over your peers – now you simply have to explore it without resorting to clichés.
5. Support an Unusual Point of View
If you want your essay to stand out, why not write in support of an opinion that doesn’t belong to mainstream? It motivates you to look for unusual arguments, process more information and guarantees that your work is going to be different from that of the vast majority of your peers.
6. Express Your Own Opinion
Many students prefer to stay on the safe side and shy away from expressing their own opinion and stick to the generally accepted views. Thus, if you just simply say what you think, without being afraid to sound silly or superficial, you are already going to impress your teacher with your honesty.
7. Don’t Try to Make the First Draft Ideal
Planning and preparation are all good, but they shouldn’t stifle the flow of writing. Thus, after you’ve decided on your topic, examples you are going to use, order in which you will cover points, just write. Don’t correct what you’ve written, just make sure you write your essay from the beginning to the end. If you avoid being perfectionistic, you will find that 9 out of 10 corrections you wanted to do are not necessary.
There are no essay writing tips that will guarantee you success. It all depends on the topic, your teacher and your writing abilities – but using these tips will at least help you stand out from the crowd.