Get the heebie jeebies as soon as your Language Arts teacher hands out essay assignment sheets? Stop getting freaked—knocking this bad boy out will be easy. Just follow our guide to an A+ essay, and this one is totally in the bag.
Understand what your teacher is
Read. Those. Directions. And reference them as you write to make sure
that as you work on this amazing essay, you are continuing to create something
that your teacher is asking for. After all, you might write a killer five pager
on symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird.
But if your teacher wants a persuasive essay arguing for or against Boo Radley,
well, you’re not following directions—and that can kill your final grade, no
matter how great your writing is.
Nail your thesis
At the middle and high school level, a thesis statement is just that—a
statement contained in a single sentence that sets forth the argument the rest
of your paper will be proving. It could be something like, “Little Red Riding Hood
is a wolf in disguise, as we can see in her treatment of other wolves, her
attitude toward her grandmother and the ferocious words used to describe her
personality.” OK, that example’s a little nonsensical, but you get the idea.
Keep it short and sweet, and ideally with three supporting examples.
Make a plan of attack
Nah, you don’t have to get the whole thing planned out and written
weeks before it’s due. But it is helpful
to give your ideas time to knock around your brain before you jump from step to
step. The day your paper is assigned, set aside 10 minutes and start
brainstorming ideas—and be sure to write them down so you don’t forget those
light bulb moments. Then, a few days later, return to that idea page and pick
one. Spend about an hour pulling together an outline for your paper, complete
with a rough thesis statement and supporting examples. A few days after that,
start writing. Depending on how much time you have left before your due date,
you might have to write it all in a day or two, or you can spread out your
writing. No matter what, though, try to give yourself 24 hours, minimum,
between the last sentence you write and going back to edit and proofread. Trust
us, giving your brain a break will make a huge difference.
Don’t rely on spell check
The worst thing you can see on a paper you worked really hard on is
your teacher bleeding all over your tidy white typed pages…circling dumb little
spelling and grammar mistakes. You should know better, and in fact, you do know
better. You just hit “spell check” and hoped it would catch everything. Or you
ran out of time to read it through. Resist the urge, babes! We know that once
you’re finished writing, the last thing you want to do is spend another second
on this assignment. But give yourself ten minutes to read it aloud and catch
those silly mistakes. Phew.
What's your best essay-writing tip?
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/22/2014 1:36:00 PM
POSTED IN studying secrets, boost your grades, smart girl secrets, get all A's this year