Essay Writing – Most Important
Essay writing – most important!
What is the most important component of essay writing?
I am asked this question a lot.
There are many possible answers because there are lots of factors that can add to the quality of an essay. Also, there are many different kinds of essays, so some of the factors will be different.
Having said this, I think the most important factor or component of essay writing is CLARITY.
If the reader cannot understand you argument or your supports, the essay falls short. If the reader cannot grasp your conclusion, the essay is not as good as it could be.
For students, the reader is generally the teacher or professor, so it is essential that he or she understand your argument in order to provide a good grade!
The essay might have some excellent writing. It might be grammatically correct. It might even have a solid format with all the basic requirements; but, if the meaning is lost, the essay will not score as well as it might have otherwise.
How do I get clarity?
I am glad you asked.
Make sure you have a plan. Yes, PLAN – most students hate that word or concept, but having a plan can actually make your work easier. Once you know what your thesis is and your basic supports, you have a roadmap that motivates you to write. Your thoughts can be more organized, and you will be able to provide better transitions that connect your excellent ideas.
Make sure that each sentence is concise and states one main point. Do not add words, phrases, or clauses in an attempt to make your writing seem complex. This is often called “padded language.” You should avoid this pitfall. Avoid the Padded Language Monster.
Do not extract multiple words from a thesaurus and toss them into your essay in an attempt to make it sound more sophisticated. Use words that you know and structures that you are able to handle well. (You can practise using new words and more complicated structures on less important writing tasks or practice sessions.)
Try to use punctuation effectively because this can help with comprehension as well. This is often overlooked in the proofreading / editing phase.
Use topic sentences for each body paragraph. Then, prove your argument or opinion. Make sure that your proof actually does what it is supposed to do – prove!
Restate your thesis in your conclusion and remind the reader of your primary thoughts. Your conclusion should wrap everything up ensuring that the reader completely understand your reasoning. (Note: he or she might agree or disagree, but he or she should understand you.)
I have read many essays that sound like they have been written by a mad scientist with language slapped everywhere without a thought to meaning. Take the time to write well – yes – but with your primary focus on clarity. Take the time to proofread and edit your work. This step, often overlooked, is so important. Make sure that you do include a proper conclusion.
Need a little more help? Let me be your tutor.
This week’s video: Essay Writing – Clarity!