Essay writing is an obligatory academic assignment, regardless of course of study and institution.
However, few students find the essay writing process easy. Of course, practice makes perfect and by the time students hit their senior year in college, most of them can write an essay in their sleep.
However, no one wants to learn from their own mistakes so knowing the most important dos and don'ts of essay writing will help make this experience less stressful and more productive.
There is no universal template that can solve every college essay trouble.
However, the following rules of writing are standard and applicable to all types of academic essay, no matter what the course and topic:
The Do's of Essay Writing
Do Make your Essay Easy to Read
Because of the large number of essays that have to be graded, many instructors admit that they skim read essays to get an idea if a student is competent in the topic and how well they have adhered to the style guidelines. Therefore, it is a good idea to structure your essay so the key points are visible when skim reading and are clear enough to get the message across.
Get rid of extra words and phrases, use clear constructions and stick to the point.
Do Include a Thesis Statement in the Introduction
A thesis statement is an important part of introduction and the essay in general, so it should never be neglected. The thesis statement should reveal the main idea of the essay in a concise format.
Although it is an obligatory part of the introduction, never make your thesis statement the opening sentence of your essay. It is a good idea to place it at the end of the introductory paragraph so it serves as a transition to the main body of the essay.
Do Use Transitions Between Paragraphs
Sometimes paragraphs sound like separate pieces of text put together. This is the wrong approach to writing.
Your essay should be smooth and coherent, leading the reader from one point to another. This is why you should use transitions – the phrases that help to connect each idea with the previous one, serving like bridges between paragraphs.
Examples of phrases you can use for transitions include:
- Despite the previous arguments…
- Speaking about this…
- Regarding this…
- With regards to this…
- As has been noted…
- To put it briefly…
Do Cite Examples
Any example you use – from literature, scientific work, etc. - should be cited.
Only examples from your own experience do not have to be cited. If you want to include mention of something that you have read, even if you are not using a direct quotation, it is best to reference the source of the information. This way, your examples will be more convincing and form more reliable evidence of the points you wish to prove.
Do Discuss Literature in the Present Tense
When writing literary reviews or essays based on literary works it is advisable to use present tense – historical present or narrative present, as it is called. It makes the storytelling more engaging and real, increasing the feeling of presence.
‘Romeo and Juliet experience true love the moment they see each other. Love makes them forget everything else. From the very beginning they are somehow aware that they are doomed to die – they have given up their lives to love. Not only love, but every emotion in the play is heightened and leads to terrible consequences.’
Book Reviewed by Amrita Dutta, Source: http://www.book-review-circle.com/Romeo-And-Juliet-William-Shakespeare.html
Do Use Advanced Vocabulary
The aim of an essay is to not only to reveal your knowledge of the topic, but to show your ability to choose appropriate vocabulary and show your language expertise.
You should show that your vocabulary has progressed since high school. That means using advanced vocabulary and replacing ‘good’ and ‘nice’ with more appropriate synonyms to reflect the shades of meaning.
Do Respond to the Prompt of the Essay
The prompt of the essay is intentional.
No matter how much you want to ‘go with the flow’ and write whatever your inspiration dictates, you should remember you are writing an academic assignment and, as long as it has a prompt, you should stick to it.
If the prompt is complicated and consists of several parts, analyze your final draft and check if you covered every point of the essay prompt.
Do Use Simple Sentences
Complicated sentences may be confusing, not only for the person reading and grading your essay but for the students themselves.
Writing complicated sentences doesn’t indicate elaborate writing style. Rather it may show your inability to convey information in a simple and readable format, or to break the sentences in a logical way. What’s more, complicated sentences increase the risk of grammar errors and stylistic mistakes. Famous writers, like Hemingway or Fitzgerald, wrote simply and that didn’t make their writing any worse.
Do Choose Proper Type, Style and Format
A good essay is not about style and formatting, of course, but style influences the first impression your paper makes.
First and foremost, professors want to see the correct essay style and structure depending on the topic and essay type students have to tackle. In many cases, the style meant to be used in the essay is laid out in the directions or has been established beforehand. You may easily figure out the style based on the type of essay.
Do Choose the Right Language
The language you use in the paper indicates your ability to research and analyze the topic, prove your opinion, and explain your points clearly and vividly.
It also shows the level of your language proficiency, knowledge of grammar and syntax, and ability to develop rich vocabulary. It is important to remember the academic style of writing and use the appropriate language. The following phrases work well to introduce and support your points:
- There seems to be no compelling reason to argue that …
- The argument can be made …
- Current research on [your topic] shows …
- The most common argument in favor of (or against) is …
- There is a growing body of evidence to support …
Do Revise your Writing Thoroughly
Before you hit ‘Save’ and print the final version, check your essay thoroughly to avoid spelling mistakes, typos and incorrect sentence constructions. Apart from language mistakes, check if you followed all the requirements: number of words/pages, text formatting, essay structure, etc.
See our page: Assignment Finishing Touches for more information.
The Don'ts of Essay Writing
Now that you’ve learnt the major Dos, let’s move to some Don’ts – the things you’d better avoid in essay writing.
Don't Overwhelm your Essay with Information and Facts
Though essays should be meaningful and detailed, learn to filter the information and choose only important points.
There is a temptation to include every single detail of your research to make the essay holistic and complete. However, your aim is to narrow the topic, show that you are able to analyze and structure information, and choose only the most relevant facts to prove your points.
Don't Neglect Formatting Details
No matter what your style and formatting requirements are, you should not forget to pay attention to the following points: paper size, spaces, font size, margins, and page numbers.
Also do not forget about narration types. For example, narrative essays tell stories from first person while persuasive or argumentative essays require that you leave emotions out and base your views on the solid facts, so no first person narration is appropriate.
Don't Use Too Many Clichés
While using set phrases, avoid overwhelming your essay with clichés.
Remember that not all clichés are good for every type of essay. What's more, professors expect your work to be original and truly value students with fresh ideas and views. Also, beware of using informal language. This doesn't mean that your writing should be reminiscent of a scientific thesaurus rather than real speech, but academic writing requires a certain level of formality.
See our page: Avoiding Clichés for more.
Don't Let Typos Ruin your Essay
Although typos do not indicate your language proficiency or grammar knowledge, they may show your professor that you are not attentive enough or do not care enough to proof read your essay.
Submitting a paper that looks like a draft can be interpreted by a professor as disrespectful.
Don’t Rely Only on Spell Checkers
Though spell checkers are good way to automatically proof read your writing, don’t rely on software alone.
These programs may miss a lot of spelling errors that that human eye will definitely notice. So, take time to proof read your essay. It is better to print out the final version on paper as spelling mistakes can be missed when reading from the screen. It is a good idea to ask someone else to have a fresh look at your essay and to proofread it for spelling mistakes.
Do Not Plagiarize
This rule should be clear for every student.
Plagiarism is a form of cheating, and when detected it is always punished.
Do not risk your reputation and your place in higher education. Plagiarism is easily detected today with the help of software and Google, so be honest with yourself and your educators and write on your own.
Reference every source to make sure you are not committing plagiarism, even unintentionally. It is a good idea to ‘know your enemy’ and read about the kinds of plagiarism possible and best ways to avoid it.
See our page: Academic Referencing for more information.
Do Not Address the Reader
No matter what type of essay you are writing, academic writing rarely reveals the author nor engages in the conversation with the reader. Addressing the reader is more a mark of fiction than an academic essay. While writing a college essay you should be detached, objective and analytical rather than appeal to the reader’s emotions and personality.
Don’t Start an Essay with “in this/my essay” Phrase
The introduction has to present the main idea of the essay and reveal what you are going to talk about.
Writing an effective introduction and including a thesis statement is enough to lead the reader into the context of your essay topic without using this meaningless high school phrase ‘In my essay I’m going to focus on…’
Don’t Use Negative Language
Negative language doesn’t mean vulgarisms. It means words with negative suffixes, phrases with negation, etc.
For example, painless is not a negative word in its meaning. However, using it makes the reader focus on pain instead of its absence. So it is better to replace so called negative language with more positive, synonymous expressions, like using economical instead of inexpensive, or comfortable/pleasant instead of painless.
When writing an essay you should walk a fine line between presenting a clear idea of the established knowledge and proving that you understand it well enough to make an independent assessment.
Show your professor your ability to format an essay correctly, choose the right style, express your point of view and prove it with facts. Learn to balance the form and meaning and essays will no longer be challenging for you.
About the Author
Tracy Collins is a writing instructor, education enthusiast and the author of the academic essay writing site EssayUniverse.org.
You can find her on Google+ and Facebook
English language classes usually require a lot of writing. When you're a middle school student, you don't feel the pressure. But high school and college students are assigned complex topics. They are rarely free to choose their own idea, so it makes the situation even more complicated. An argumentative essay should be based on three major set of skills of any good student:
- Research skills
- Writing skills
- Analytical skills
If one of these is your weak point, you would probably need online academic writing assistance. Anyway, you should try writing a persuasive paper on one of the chosen topics on your own. This is a good practice for your communication and research skills. Argumentative essays are assigned to train your debating abilities. This assignment has a great influence on how a student will perform or give a public speech later.
HOW TO SELECT DEBATABLE ARGUMENTATIVE TOPICS TO DISCUSS
You might think that it's better when your teacher assigns a particular argumentative topic to you. Having a right to develop your own idea is always better. When working on the persuasive essay, a student has to collect all valuable and time-tested sources to prove his knowledge of the certain issue. You may be encouraged to use such primary sources as:
- Academic journals
- Scientific magazines
- Official reports
Even if you are an expert in a certain field, don't hesitate to use and cite external sources. It will point to your ability to collect and select only the most relevant sources. Besides, direct and indirect quotes are needed to support your knowledge of academic writing style. If you are not sure in your writing skills, turn to professional writing agency to buy a winning argumentative essay on a variety of topics for cheap.
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BEST ARGUMENTATIVE PAPER TOPICS
Easy argumentative essay topics
- Education should be free for everyone
- Why are the US citizens rapidly becoming more obese?
- Internet access must be limited to students
- Young people must have a right to choose when it comes to military
- Each student must have a right to pick only those disciplines he is interested in
- What are the advantages US educational system offers to international students?
- Which secondary languages are worth studying today?
- Is education too commercialised nowadays?
- Is current academic grading helpful in performance?
- Are tests like SAT and ACT effective?
- Advantages and disadvantages of MBA program.
Sports argumentative essay topics
- What can be done to assist teenagers in maintaining a healthy weight?
- Physical education in the school system.
- Does participation in NCAA negatively influence the academic performance?
- What is the top unbreakable record in sport?
- Is Michael Jordan still a basketball star?
Argumentative essay topics for middle school
- What is the real relationship between food, fitness, and weight?
- What are the negative effects of diets?
- Society should fight with anorexia
- To regulate health issues, people should think about their sleep more
- Is golf still demanded?
- Steroid takers must be banned from team sports activities.
- Is swimming really the best type of sport?
- Hockey and other dangerous sports.
Argumentative essay topics for college
- Production and sales of tobacco must be made illegal
- Death sentence should be activated in every country of the world
- Smoking in public places has to be banned
- Alcohol usage should be controlled
- They should not sell alcohol beverages after 11 P.M.
- Energetic drinks should be banned and made illegal
- Should court proceedings be documented for television?
- The most suitable age to have a right to vote.
- When can citizens start drinking and smoking (specific age)?
- On the whole, is there justice for all?
- Was the Industrial Revolution a Europe-wide phenomenon in the nineteenth century?
Classical argument topics
- It should be forbidden to use species of animals for research purposes and cruel experiments
- Should rainforests destructions be punished?
- To what extent are electric vehicles a solution to global pollution?
- Pros and cons of globalisation.
- Was Roosevelt right about building a Panama Canal?
- Are you on the side of King-Kong or militaries who interrupted his world to study it using violent measures?
- The risks the United States may face in terms of rapidly changing climate conditions.
- Earthquakes and their consequences.
- Tsunami: the death wave.
- Beautiful forests of Amazonia.
- Which species should be included in the Red Book (Liber Novus)?
- How can students add up to the social movement for nature's safety?
Controversial argumentative essay topics
- Third World War should be Prevented by Russian and US Governments
- Existing public school policies must be changed
- Is gun control an effective way to control the crime?
- Government should forbid same-sex marriages
- Society is turning over-regulated
- The countries with the highest levels of corruption.
- Are some political authorities engaged in illegal activities in the US?
- Should people with physical disabilities be accepted by the government?
- To be a politician: art or a born talent.
- Can anyone be above the law?
- Pros and cons of Monarchy.
- Is CIS a better alternative for the USSR?
Argumentative essay on technology
- Violent video games should be prohibited
- Does technology make people feel alone?
- YouTube Owners Should Check and Fix Comments That Involve Filthy Language
- Are people becoming technological zombies?
- Will humanity reach the time when there will be no more technological advancement?
- Influences of mobile phones: pros and cons
- Technology and education
Argumentative essay on social media
- Is technology limiting creativity?
- The role of communications in social networks for modern education.
- Are contemporary people too much reliant on technology?
- Are online friends more effective than imaginary?
- Is censorship of Internet necessary?
6th-grade argumentative essay topics
- First aid and medical help, in general, should become free
- People are good at heart (download and use an example now)
- People must spend less time on official work without any effect on their salaries
- Social movements must be financed by governments
- Parents have no right to control the lives of their children above 16
- Cloning must be banned
- Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
- Are abortions legal?
- Cross-cultural marriages add up to racial tolerance
- Is it OK to date a younger male?
- What us incest?
- What should be the role of partners in relationship and family?
- Is online dating safe and productive?
- Will people start marrying their computers soon?
Funny argument topics
- Would Batman be in law in a real world?
- 2D vs. 3D vs. 4D: What's Next?
- Can the chip control the human mind like they do in superhero movies?
- Does Griffins Family correspond to the typical American family?
- Graffiti is an illegal art. How should it be punished?
- Marijuana should be legal.
- Should parents be soft on their children?
Art, Music & Movie Ideas for Papers
- Does art pay?
- Can music and cinematography be called an art too?
- Is gothic art the most preferred and magnificent in history of mankind?
- Can you succeed in life working in the field of art?
- Are today's music tracks educational or meaningful at all?
- Is modern lyrics too explicit for a young audience?
- There is no plot in the majority of up-to-date movies.
- How long should a motion picture last?
DOWNLOAD MORE ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY SAMPLES
VALUABLE TIPS & SIGNS OF THE GREAT TOPIC IDEAS
If you wish everyone to read your piece with the bated breath, try to:
- Pick a topic that everyone is currently discussing. Pay attention to the rumours.
- Select a question an answer to which is still unknown to many people.
- Choose an audience that does not agree with your point.
- Decide on the problem on which everyone has a specific point of view.
- Choose an issue based on your own interests, but don't go too far!
Here we have shared some of the most effective tips:
- No obvious argumentative paper topics!
- Do not stop on those topics that do not arise any arguments. Topics that state scientific facts proved by centuries do not work.
- A debatable essay must focus on the critical issue which leads to the global conflicts.
- Almost every second problem related to politics is a good choice. You may also write something about your school, college or university policies that annoy you or make students argue with their teachers and principals.
- Skip topics that people tend to agree on.
- At the same time, it is better to pass by argumentative essay topics connected with religion, gender, race, and other sensitive episodes of human life. Otherwise, your subjective opinion may be graded subjectively.
- It is better to write your essay following APA style. You may read how to format academic papers in APA here.
Remember: the world is not black-and-white. There are always two sides of the coin. So, even if you're pretty sure in your claim, and the majority of people tend to support it, consider the arguments of the opposing side. Only then your argumentative paper will be graded respectively high.
As you can see, the procedure is everywhere the same. But the idea is to choose the most exciting argumentative paper topics in order to impress both your audience and your teacher. It's like a competition, where the highest grade is your prize. Whenever you need immediate help with your assignment, turn to the professional writing service which can compose an argumentative essay on any topics in several hours.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT STRUCTURE
Just like any other academic paper, argumentative essay requires such steps as:
- In-depth research
- Gathering of information
- Picking the most credible and up-to-date sources
- Writing a draft
- Writing compare and contrast essay itself
- Revising (at least twice)
Speaking about the organisation and structure of the argumentative essay, we offer a five-paragraph paper outline. Let your original ideas flow in this manner:
A conclusion is, no doubt, the most important part of the argumentative essay as you can either support the good impression or destroy it entirely. If you want to avoid typical mistakes, find valuable recommendations in this article.
It all seems easy: just select, draft, write and revise. You may keep your argumentative essays for your future job portfolio in case they are highly graded. We recommend fixing them a bit once your teacher returns the checked version to you. The next time, the process would seem much easier to you.
If you have no desire to waste time on selecting the best topic and writing the whole argumentative essay from scratch, don't forget that you have a loyal team of professionals by your side. We are always ready to help for affordable prices - just contact us in the case of any questions or need for additional information. Expand your horizons by ordering an outstanding argumentative paper from expert US writers!
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