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How to Succeed in Essay Writing

If you have a bright imagination and can’t imagine yourself without writing something every day, then it surely must be easy to succeed in essay writing? There is a modicum of truth to this statement, but do not forget that people who write essays for a living are getting a lot more practice than the average student. Imagine if you had to play the piano every day, eight hours per day, five days per week. Eventually, you are going to become fast, efficient, and extremely skilled. The truth is that most professional essay writers are so great simply out of practice. With that in mind, here are a few sneaky tips to help you become a better essay writer.

Your Goal is to Overwrite Your Essay

The first tip is probably one of the most important ones, and you need to keep it in mind as you create your essay because your first drafts aren’t going to be perfect. You may even think to go online to if you are struggling to write a piece of your own. Think of your first drafts as of a jigsaw puzzle, when you throw all the pieces on the table with just a few of them connected.

Your goal is to overstuff your essay dramatically. You need to throw in as many relevant points as possible, and you need to throw down your ideas, thoughts, research, and informational points with abandon. Do not worry about it being over the word count, or too heavy in places. The point is to overwrite so that you can cut it down when you are finished. When you are done, you cut out the stuff you do not need, make it more coherent, connect more of the dots, and edge nearer to the desired word count.

This is the best way to write a high scoring essay. The alternative is what trips people up. What usually happens is that people try to make concise points, and then have to fluff up their work to get it to the desired length, which always works to their detriment. Whereas when you overwrite, then you get to clear away the fluff and muck and expose only the gold and diamonds underneath.

Find a Reference For Everything

If you take a look at top-scoring essays, you will see that there is reference after reference for every point made. How does a writer do this? Has a writer read every book on the subject and then added a point from each book and journal into the essays?

No, that is not what savvy writers do. If you want to be a better essayist, then you need to write and complete your essay. Add in the references and sources as you go but concentrate on getting your essay done. Once you have done plenty of cutting and editing and your text is starting to look good, you go over all your points and add references and sources. Your bibliography should look like a 1990s phone book by the time you are finished.

Why Wait so Long to Add the References?

The fact is that during your edits, you will end up cutting out a lot of material, especially if you start to change or warp your direction through your edits and further research. There is no point in adding sources to your points if you are going to cut those points later.

What if I Cannot Find Supporting Points?

In reality, you only need to find references and sources that mildly agree with you. Your professor is not going to check every single source and references you put into your bibliography. Your professor is only going to check the ones that look very wrong, so all you need to do is find points and sources that “kinda” agree with the point you are making. Plus, thanks to Google, you can find just about anything to agree with you. No matter how crazy your point, there are probably hundreds of people out there who agree with you. Plus, Google lets you delve deep into the past and into historical aspects.

The Wikipedia Cheat

“Do not use Wikipedia, and do not add it as one of your sources in your bibliography.” That line, or some variation, is probably emblazoned somewhere on in your college/university rules. You are repeatedly told that Wikipedia is not a viable academic source. And, whereas you will find plenty of easy-to-use sources in Google Scholar, you shouldn’t overlook Wikipedia.

At the bottom of most Wikipedia pages, you are going to find a list of references, sources, and further reading. Check them out, click on them, and find them online. You cannot use Wikipedia pages as your sources, but most of the Wikipedia sources you follow are viable academic sources. If you are looking for some quick references to beef up your essay and get those extra marks for good research, do not shy away from the sources listed on relevant Wikipedia pages.