Creating an essay from scratch: 10 tips

  1. Work up an outline to help keep you on track with your writing and help you make sure you include all your main points. Taking the time to work up an outline before you start can really help you make your essay the best that it can be.
  2. Do thorough research to help you get the talking points you need to give your essay the depth it needs to be successful. Your paper is only as good as the points you make and those points predominantly come from the research you conduct.
  3. Make sure your topic is focused and strong enough to carry your paper and that you can communicate it in a clear and concise manner. It is usually better to write a shorter essay that is on topic and well written than to write a longer paper that is not as strong and has more fluff content.
  4. Avoid personal opinions in academic papers because most instructors want to see that you can be objectionable and unbiased in your papers. Emotional pleas and strong personal opinions can destroy even a well thought out and researched paper.
  5. Stay away from hot button issues unless they are assigned by your instructor. Topics such as abortion, capital punishment, gay marriage, and religion are often topics most instructors will not want to have students write on.
  6. Make sure that you have addressed every issue that could be brought up. If you are writing a persuasion paper then you need to think about what the opposition would say and address those topics in your paper.
  7. Develop your flow and style so you can communicate your points in a clear and effective manner. Many times the way that you communicate your points and ideas matters more than what you say. Your tone and diction can make or break your paper.
  8. Do not waste time and procrastinate when you are working on your paper. You need to pace yourself and make sure you give yourself enough time to do drafts and edits that are needed in order to make your paper the best that it can be.
  9. Watch out for common errors and mistakes. Go through your paper and make sure you watch for punctuation, grammar errors, typos, and silly mistakes.
  10. Give your instructor what they want and you stand a much better chance at getting a good grade.