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  1. #1
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    Default Tips for writing essays

    I always have trouble writing essays, especially when i have to "write" instead of directly typing it into computer, which is much faster.

    So any tips for "writing" good essays? since i always seem to find something to change here and there, its very difficult to do that in "writing".

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    .
    No way out of revision, Fame, if you want a decent essay. I used to create reams of scrap paper before the word processor was invented.
    .

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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    You need to plan your essay. Work out the basic outline first, perhaps something like this:

    Title: How to prevent violence
    1. Introduction: How big is the problem?
    2. Theories on why violence occurs
    3. Methods tried in the past and how successful they were
    4. New ideas and how successful they could be
    5. Conclusion

    Each section consists of at least one paragraph, and each paragraph contains one basic idea. You can now think about what each individual paragraph could say and list them in a similar way. Then you can start fleshing out your essay.

    Of course, handwriting means that you will have write a rough version (or, more likely, several rough versions) and then, when you're satisfied with it, rewrite it neatly. That's a lot of work, but it's what we all had to do in the dark ages before word processors.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    Thank you for your reply.

    Well if you have time, this method is ok. But what about in Examinations? When you have only limited time? Is it possible to write so many times? What technique, or should I say another good idea for that?

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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    Under exam conditions, don't make the mistake of immediately writing the first paragraph as soon as an idea comes into your head.

    First, read the question. That may seem like a no-brainer, but it's surprising how many people don't read the question properly and lose marks. Make sure you understand the question and what the examiner is expecting of you.

    Second, take some time to write down your thoughts and organise them. What is your essay about? What is your conclusion? What are the facts? Set out what you want to say, and take time to sort your ideas into a logical order.

    Third, don't try to say too much. If you have a limit of 500 words, write an absolute maximum of about 550 -- at most 10% more than is allowed. If you can get it down to exactly 500, so much the better. Surprisingly, most people write too much rather than too little; they think that the more words there are, the more impressed the examiner will be, but the opposite is true. If you try to write too much, especially if you have little to say, you end up repeating yourself and using lots of "padding" -- phrases or even entire paragraphs that mean nothing at all. Make sure you include as much relevant information as possible, but cut out everything that is irrelevant.

    Fourth, it's usually easier to start with the third or fourth paragraph. Once you've finished the essay, you can go back and write the introduction: you might find it easier that way, because you know exactly what direction your essay is taking. Sometimes the first sentence is the hardest of all to write, and you can waste a lot of time sitting there sucking your pen, trying to think of a great opener.

    Finally, read through your essay again. You won't spot every mistake, but you will find quite a few.

    If you start writing straight away and keep writing until the end, you will have a poorly-structured essay full of irrelevant details, repetitions, padding; and grammar, spelling and factual errors. Take time to plan it, and take time to check it. It's better to have a really good essay with too few words, than a bad essay with too many words.
    Last edited by rewboss; 09-Aug-2006 at 12:10. Reason: Added semi-colon in last paragraph to clarify meaning

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    Under exam conditions, don't make the mistake of immediately writing the first paragraph as soon as an idea comes into your head.

    First, read the question. That may seem like a no-brainer, but it's surprising how many people don't read the question properly and lose marks. Make sure you understand the question and what the examiner is expecting of you.

    Second, take some time to write down your thoughts and organise them. What is your essay about? What is your conclusion? What are the facts? Set out what you want to say, and take time to sort your ideas into a logical order.

    Third, don't try to say too much. If you have a limit of 500 words, write an absolute maximum of about 550 -- at most 10% more than is allowed. If you can get it down to exactly 500, so much the better. Surprisingly, most people write too much rather than too little; they think that the more words there are, the more impressed the examiner will be, but the opposite is true. If you try to write too much, especially if you have little to say, you end up repeating yourself and using lots of "padding" -- phrases or even entire paragraphs that mean nothing at all. Make sure you include as much relevant information as possible, but cut out everything that is irrelevant.

    Fourth, it's usually easier to start with the third or fourth paragraph. Once you've finished the essay, you can go back and write the introduction: you might find it easier that way, because you know exactly what direction your essay is taking. Sometimes the first sentence is the hardest of all to write, and you can waste a lot of time sitting there sucking your pen, trying to think To progress,of a great opener.

    Finally, read through your essay again. You won't spot every mistake, but you will find quite a few.

    If you start writing straight away and keep writing until the end, you will have a poorly-structured essay full of irrelevant details, repetitions, padding; and grammar, spelling and factual errors. Take time to plan it, and take time to check it. It's better to have a really good essay with too few words, than a bad essay with too many words.


    hi rewboss, i have had the same problem as fame does. while wrtting a time limit essay. for me, i am about to take my university qualification test and you are asked to write a 25min essay and you should at least write 4-5 paragraphs to earn a ideal score, besides that , you should provided good examples for what you have observe in real life , or from history as well.
    now , i am now practicing writting essay under time limit,
    i try to write an essay everytime i think of a topic myself, sometime if lucky, i could finish a essay in 25mins. but, as a result, the vocabularies or language,etc which i used were become extremly poor, all the good vocabulary words that i have acquired in the past 2 years thus, become useless, frankly, none of them can be used in my writting. the more the essay i write, the poorer the language it becomes.also, when i was asked to write a time limit essay, i always idling 5-10min without coming up a ideal and no information i can think of. but this might attributed to my lack of reading newspaper and find it's boring to learn history.

    can you provide me some suggestion on this occasion? thank you

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    Thank you rewboss for your detailed explanation. I would be taking an exam this sunday and I will try to use your advice. I have to write about 300 words in one hour. I really hope I can do it well.

    Thanks again.

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    Default Re: Tips for writing essays

    Quote Originally Posted by endeavor6636 View Post
    hthis might attributed to my lack of reading newspaper and find it's boring to learn history.

    can you provide me some suggestion on this occasion? thank you
    Read the newspapers.

    Seriously, you can't do enough reading, and the internet is full of great resources.

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