Writing an essay isn’t always easy, and some of us find it particularly frustrating. Sometimes, it feels as if no amount of work can help us get through to our teachers and professors. Even when we take our time and work hard at researching and writing, we end up being dismissed and getting terrible grades. What’s going on?
It could be that small things about your writing are working against you. When it comes to writing, especially academic writing, the details are key. From organization to punctuation and spelling, the little things are what tell your teacher or professor that you know what you’re doing. Nailing the details can make a mediocre essay look stellar; messing them up can make a stellar essay look terrible. So let’s talk about these details and how to get them just right.
Organize, then write
Even if your essay has everything that it needs, you could end up with a failing grade — because you could have those things in the wrong order.
In academic writing, organization is everything. Before you write your next essay, familiarize yourself with proper essay structure. Take the time to create an outline of your essay before you write it — if it’s a research paper, sort your facts and citations into the proper spots before you start building out the writing around them.
With the right skeleton, your essay will be able to stand tall — and stand up to your professor’s scrutiny
It would be nice if the way we made points didn’t matter. But our points are often judged on how we speak or how we write, and this is particularly true in the world of academia. So if you’re going to get your writing taken seriously (and get the good grades that you want), you had better take the time to get your grammar right.
If you’re not good with grammar, you should consider brushing up. Use a website, app or a simple book of grammar rules, and study up! Use a reference as you write, and take the time to correct your mistakes. It will be tedious at first, but good grammar will eventually become second nature for you.
Don’t forget formatting
Essay structure is pretty much universally understood. Grammar is also virtually unanimously agreed upon. But formatting can be tricky, because your professor or teacher will have the final say.
Generally, it’s hard to go wrong with 12-point Times New Roman font and default margins. But be sure to scour the assignment sheet and syllabus for any important information about formatting. If your teacher wants 1-inch margins or 20-point subheadings, then you had better be sure to do exactly that.
Formatting rules can be boring and may seem unimportant, but when it comes to getting a good grade, you need to be in the good graces of your teacher or professor. They want these essays to be a certain way, so make sure you follow the rules.
How to get help with the details
If you master the details above, you’ll have a much better shot at getting the good grades that you deserve. But mastering these little details is a bit easier said than done. If you’re not great with organization or grammar, you’ll need time to hone your skills.
But you don’t have to work alone. You can and should enlist the help of experts. You could head to your school’s writing center (if it has one) or use a buy essay writing service — not necessarily to buy an essay, but to get your own edited. When you see how your essay has been changed and shaped by a professional, you’ll start to get a sense of where you need to focus your own efforts next time.
With the help of professionals and some careful work on your part, you’ll soon find that you’ve mastered the details — and, once you’ve done that, your essays will get a fair shake when it’s time for them to be graded.