How To Sharpen Your Essay Writing Skills: A Handy Tutorial

Whether you are writing an essay, a blog, a letter, or an email, your goal should always be to directly and clearly express your ideas in a way that the reader will never be confused. Here is a handy tutorial for sharpening your essay writing skills so that you always express your thoughts just the way you intend:

  1. Start each paragraph with your main idea.
  2. You should always state the main idea of your paragraph in the first sentence as a signal to the reader on what it is you will be discussing. This is often referred to as the topic sentence.

  3. Practice sentence-length variation.
  4. Varying the length of your sentences is a key in making your essay more interesting. In general, express your ideas in short sentence; use longer sentences to expound on these ideas.

  5. Place the main idea at the start of each sentence.
  6. Don’t bury the main idea of a sentence in the middle. Start or end a sentence with your main idea so that the reader understands what is most important.

  7. Vary sentence structures and types.
  8. By this we mean that you should use the occasional question or command. Also know when to use simple, compound and complex sentences.

  9. Use active words as much as possible.
  10. A lot of students rely on using the passive voice to express their ideas. This is usually a sign that they aren’t confident about what they are trying to say. Use active words to show command in your composition.

  11. Be specific in your use of nouns and verbs.
  12. Use specific and concrete words that show exactly what you mean. This will allow you to convey your message clearly and help in keeping your reader engaged.

  13. Edit unnecessary words, phrases and sentences.
  14. When you revise and edit the content of your paper be sure to cut out the clutter. If the word does nothing in expressing your idea clearly and simply then you don’t need it making things more complicated.

  15. Read your essay aloud when revising.
  16. Many students don’t bother with a thorough revision, despite the exercise being one of the most essential in the writing process. Be sure to read aloud when you revise so that you can hear mistakes you may not otherwise find.

  17. Actively edit and proofread when writing the final draft.
  18. You are bound to make several mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation when composing your first draft. This is why you should take active steps to edit and proofread. Look for common mistakes and try to do so at multiple levels, starting at the paper level, paragraph level, and finishing with the sentence level.