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Essay and Article Writing Tips

 

- The 5 W’s

Whatever you write – think about the questions the reader might want to ask and answer them all. Train yourself to include all the 5 w’s – who, what, when, where, and why. Planned and organized writing is good writing.

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- Plan your essay

Prepare your ideas before writing an essay. Build an outline with these ideas, and then write your essay based on this outline.

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- Create intrigue in your introduction

Make the introduction of your essay grab the interest of the reader. Make it raise questions in the mind of the reader, thus forcing him/her to read on. But be careful not give away too much, otherwise no one might read the rest of the essay. In brief, do not summarize, only create intrigue in your introduction.

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- Pattern of supporting paragraphs

The supporting paragraphs form the body of an essay, hence they are also sometimes called ‘body paragraphs’. Each of these paragraphs should discuss a different point and must follow this pattern - topic sentence, supporting points, elaboration of supporting points. The topic sentence is the first sentence of the paragraph and tells what the paragraph is going to be about; the supporting points explain the topic sentence; and the rest of the sentences elaborate on the supporting points. 

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- Flow in sentences

Make sure the sentences of your essay flow smoothly from one to another. Make use of transition words, such as “therefore” and “however”, where necessary to refer to a thought in the previous sentence.

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- Researching the topic

While researching the topic of your essay, take regular breaks. Doing it in one stretch can be tiring for the brain, making comprehension difficult.

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- Choice of words

Write your essays concisely and clearly. Make every word count by using the right words. Look them up if you are unsure of them, but make sure the words you use communicate your precise ideas.

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- Writing for the audience

Before writing your essay, decide why and for whom you are writing, and then accordingly choose your writing style.

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- Do not preach

Respect your audience by not telling them what to think on a subject. The best approach is to lay out the facts in the most logical and convincing manner and then leave the reader to make his own conclusions.

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- Use of “there is” and “it is”

Whenever possible, eliminate "there is" and "it is" from your essay or article. Replace the pronoun with a noun and the intransitive verb "to be" with an action verb.

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- You and your essay

Read as many essays as possible to understand how to write them. See how the topic has been introduced, developed, and then concluded. Look at how the information has been organized and presented. But when writing your essay, be yourself. Let the ‘you’ shine through every sentence and paragraph.

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- Use of other’s words and ideas

Do not use somebody else’s words or ideas in your essay or article, this is cheating. If you must, then properly site them as a source.

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- Focus on ideas first

Write a draft of your essay or article first, focusing only on your ideas. Then re-write giving proper structure.

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- Proofreading for spellings

During proofreading for spellings, read your document backwards. You are more likely to come across spelling errors when words are looked at, outside the context of a sentence.

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- Show, don’t tell

Draw your readers into your article by including people and their experiences. Let the people tell your readers about the topic of your article. For example: If your article is about publishing, get some publishers to talk about their business. Also get some writers to talk about how they got, or didn’t get, their works published.                  In short - Show, Don’t Tell.

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- Paragraph breaks

An essential element of a good article is its format. Create several areas of short breaks by keeping your paragraphs short and simple. The more paragraph breaks, the more inviting your article is.

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- Check your facts

Check your facts before writing an article, and back your arguments with solid evidence. You wouldn’t want to pass on wrong information.

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- Main points of your article

Keep the most important points of your article in the beginning. Then summarize them at the end. Readers often don’t read the whole article, so if your main points are in the beginning, they will get the idea of what you want to say.  

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- Stay on your topic

When writing an article, stay firmly on your topic. If your topic is narrow, then try and find subtopics and develop them into paragraphs. But never branch off to other areas, or else you will lose your readers.

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