Great Essay Writing Suggestions For Newbies: Read Carefully

Following are vitally necessary instructions for those who are dealing with paper writing:

  • Have a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement is the sentence at the end of your introduction that summarizes the rest of the paper. You should summarize whatever it is you are trying to prove, concisely, and discuss the steps or evidence you will use to prove it. State the thesis as a fact with the main points of your supporting evidence. Your thesis should always be ONE sentence. It may help you to not worry about your thesis statement when you start writing; sometimes your thesis statement changes as you write, and it’s a lot easier to summarize your essay in one sentence after you’ve written it! If you’re having difficulty summarizing your paper in one sentence, or following your own reasoning throughout the paper, it may be time to revisit the paper and clarify your main points so they stand out. Here are some examples of good thesis statements to give you an idea:
    • “In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses metaphor, imagery, and allusion to illuminate the corrupting effects of wealth.”
    • “Melting glaciers, extreme weather patterns, and ecological degradation all strongly point to global warming as a major issue facing mankind and the earth.”
    • “Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation efforts, economic strategies, and bipartisan compromises make him one of the most interesting and important presidents in American history.”
  • Keep track of your sources. You’ll need them later! Never use a quote or direct idea from an outside source without citing it. That’s plagiarism, and you will definitely get a failing grade, or worse. If you’re not sure whether or not to cite a source, you can ask your teacher; it’s a safe bet that if you’re not sure, you should cite it just to be on the safe side. Different papers require different types of citations, so discuss what kind is best with your teacher.
  • Use 12-point font, Times New Roman, double spaced. This is the academic standard and you can’t go wrong by using them. A teacher will never ask for a paper in Comic Sans! And you’re not fooling anyone using a bigger font, or bigger spaces between the lines. One tip to make essay-writing a little easier is to start writing your paper single-spaced; then, you’ll be amazed how much further along you are than you thought when you double-space it and see three pages turn into six!
  • Read your paper aloud to yourself. When you’ve finished, read your paper aloud. This helps you find any mistakes or poor sentences easily; your eyes can fool you, but when you are reading aloud it’s much harder to skip over mistakes! If something in your paper doesn’t sound right when you say it aloud, it’s a good idea to look over that area and figure out how to make it stronger.