When you are writing an essay, don’t forget to put “you” into it.
An essay is intended to present your opinion or argument, so it is essential that the reader is able to find you.
It is true that for many academic essays you should avoid using personal pronouns, but this does not mean that you avoid your own voice and argument.
Sometimes, students feel that they need to “incorporate” lots of quotations into their essay to make it work. The fact is that the quotations should be used to enhance your ideas – not replace them. A collection of quotations does not an essay make.
Simply loading the essay with someone else’s words by paraphrasing is not any better.
Also, I placed “incorporate” in quotations above because so many students do not properly incorporate their quotations. Often quotations are simply dropped almost at random.
Instead, take the time to think about your main argument (your thesis) and your current point. Then, search for an appropriate quotation that truly helps prove your point. You should introduce quotations either formally (with a colon) or informally (usually with a comma or no punctuation), present the quotations, and then expand upon their importance to your ideas.
At all times, remember that it is your essay, so you must show up!
One of the best ways to ensure that you end up in your essay is to create a thesis you really believe in. If you have strong feelings about your thesis, you will be able to defend it without many issues.
Creating the plan with your thesis, topic sentences, and outline will truly make your essay writing life so much easier. Do the leg-work and then follow through.
I know you can do it!
When you finish writing your essay, re-read it and look for you in there. If you remove all the quotations is there still an argument with defenses, explanations, details, and potential conclusions? If you answer, “Yes,” you have done it.
Keep up the great work.
Looking for more help? Send me an e-mail and let me know what I can do for you.
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