Training essay writing skills: a tried and tested strategy

Tried and true strategies for creating high quality written pieces have been around for years, but it’s not always easy to find them in the same place. Here are some of the most effective:

  1. Avoid repetition. It kills the quality of the essay. Redundant words and phrases incite boredom.
  2. Read other people’s essays. This helps you to be exposed to a variety of quality reading styles, especially if you only choose to read checked written works. It helps you discover what your own writing style will be, and gives you a lot of insight into effective writing techniques. Don’t just read them, but pick the written work apart. Look at it with a critical eye. See where it could be improved. Learn something from each one you read.
  3. Build your vocabulary by polishing and using it on a daily basis. Knowing lots of words and having the skill to use them wisely and properly will help build your writing skills. It helps you communicate clearly when you have the perfect word right on the tip of your mind. Subscribe to daily emails teaching you a new word each day. Think about that new word and several examples of how you could use it.
  4. Always have a dictionary close by. Look up words you see that you aren’t familiar with. Learn their meanings. Look them up in a thesaurus and find other similar words. Learn the prefixes, suffixes and roots of word building.
  5. Quote other people’s written work in your essay. This shows your reader you are knowledgeable in your field, that you’ve done your research, and how your ideas fit in with already established knowledge. Don’t fill your entire paper with citations, but use them wisely and sparingly.
  6. Pay careful attention to the syntax and punctuation in your paper. The right punctuation can give a different meaning to a sentence or claim. Make sure the tone of voice of your writing is interesting so you don’t lose your readers’ attention. Make your written work compelling. Write in the active voice rather than the passive for a greater effect.
  7. The crowning touch of a brilliant essay is a good proofreading. This will help you catch any errors you’ve missed in the writing of the paper.