Writing Essays to Survive at the University
Imagine yourself on a beautiful deserted island under the palms with ocean waves kissing your feet. Nice, isn`t it? You spend a couple of hours like that and realize that you are hungry. But you know, you won`t survive long without knowing how to find fruits and fish on a deserted island. You need to train yourself to climb, swim, pick up good fruits and herbs before you prepare something really eatable or tasty.
Any new environment has its rules. University can be a really pleasant place with inspiring people, exciting projects, and cool friends (compared to the job or school) but you still need to learn a lot, and learning how to write academic essays is an absolutely crucial skill for your survival there. This process is more than important for those who study and work in an academic environment.
The educational process depends on the ability to find, analyze, and present information. First of all, you need to know where to go to find what you need. Second, it is not only your ideas and the work you do to search. It is equally significant for you to be able to express and prove your knowledge and to address to the wider audience. These are the things you can learn writing essays. Perhaps your ideas, findings, maybe even your style or approach to research will influence someone’s way of thinking in the end! Always remember that and never forget that a written word represents what stands behind it. So:
You should always be able to formulate clear question before you start answering it. In other words, you should understand completely what is required from you (hint: ask your prof again if you don`t understand).You can write three volumes, and your teacher will give you a bad mark if he does not notice the answer he needed.
When you know what you should say to answer a particular question or present some exact& definite material, you can start you search for the appropriate sources unless you know the material, question or issue completely and in whole (which is a rear case – if you are required to give your own opinion). In any way you are not able to keep everything in your mind. Accuracy should be your guide. First you find sources then you look them through, read, remember something and become more familiar with the nature of your work.
The beginning is half of your success. Wise ancient Greek knew that. Remember that a good start gives credit for a good way. Try to grab your reader’s attention and make him interested in what you will talk about in your essay. It is practically beneficial for you to inform reader briefly about the theme of your work. Before coming with a particular question and answering it, tell from what environment this question comes. You can grab your readers’ attention with a fresh start, joke, some shocking statistics, an interesting tale even, or you can just put a bright and appropriate epigraph.
In the first introductory paragraph of your work, you should always present a thesis statement. Thesis is a brief, clear and informative sentence in which you make your statement and formulate an answer or main message of your work. Thesis must never be a question. It cannot be quoted and thesis should always aim to provide specific arguments. It should not be obvious and trivial. It should represent your own observation on the topic.
Your body part paragraphs are a central part of your essay. It is everything except introduction and conclusion. Never forget to divide your arguments, statements, opinions, findings making new paragraph for your reader not to get lost in the text. When writing your main body paragraphs you must be sure to reinforce your arguments with supportive claims from the sources.
Organize your essay to make a unity of composition. Don’t say different things in the beginning and in the end. And never repeat yourself or use some new words if you think it is absolutely necessary.
Depending on the type of your essay you decide to use or not to use 1st person (I, We). In most cases you don`t. If the essay is a formal research, you should avoid 1st person narrative. But it is done other way when you are writing a personal review on a book or a film presenting your own point of view. In such case, your own experience makes an argument.
When writing an essay, you should always make a conclusion in the end of it. In this last paragraph your reader must be guided to conclusion matters of your work, your answer to the question you raised in the beginning, your solution to a presented problem or, in other words, a result of your essay. In conclusion paragraph, you should reassert your thesis.
These are some basic things that you should keep in mind when writing your brilliant essay. And survive in the jungles of your alma mater.