Essay writing is a tough job; there are no two ways about it. Otherwise, students would not have been using online academic assistance services like www.affordablepapers.com to get help with their papers. Whether you study in high school or college, you probably already had your fair share of trouble with this sort of work. However, there is good news as well – most of the difficulties students encounter when they write essays are fairly predictable and repetitive, and with the right approach, they can be overcome. So what are the main challenges you are likely to encounter when writing an essay? Here is our list, as well as cheap and dirty solutions to them! Procrastination AKA Writer’s Block
Everybody who ever wrote anything knows that creeping feeling of dread and helplessness that sometimes comes to you when you stare at an empty sheet of paper or a blank screen of your computer. You do not know what to say. You do not understand where to start. You can think of no way to bring your thoughts into any sort of cohesive form. As a result, you start to procrastinate, either performing some kind of mindless activity like checking your social medial feeds or persuading yourself that you need to do some additional research before starting.
Don’t. Paradoxically, the best way to beat your writer’s block is to start writing something, anything. Whatever thoughts on the subject you currently have in your head, write them down, and do not be afraid of writing something self-evident, silly, or just plain wrong. You are not going to hand in your first draft anyway. Your purpose right now is to get yourself to write – you will be able to delete or correct what is not to your liking later on.
Finding Reliable Sources of Information
You cannot write a serious essay without resorting to additional sources of information. While you may have an impressive store of knowledge on the subject, no academic assignment exists in isolation from other works on the same topic. If you want your research to be treated seriously, you have to show that you are building on the foundation of data found in trustworthy sources.
But how does one find such sources and how does one distinguish them from the unreliable ones? There are many ways to gauge the source’s quality, but one of the most popular ones is the CRAAP test. When reading a source, consider its:
- Currency. Is its information timely? When was it published? Do you know of any significant findings on the subject since then?
- Relevance. Does it have anything to do with the topic? Is it important to answer your question? Does its level coincide with the level of your audience?
- Authority. Does the author have the necessary credentials to talk on the subject? Who is the publisher?
- Accuracy. Does the information in the source contradict other reliable sources? Is it supported by evidence? Does the source appear to be biased?
- Purpose. For what purpose was the source published? Is its goal to persuade or to inform?
Using Quotations Properly
There are many hidden pitfalls associated with using quotations – however, you still have to use them, so learn how to do it properly. The most important thing here is to always refer to them as quotations or paraphrases. Even if you accidentally forget to use a quotation mark, you are likely to be accused of plagiarism – and it is a much greater problem than getting a poor grade. Therefore, always carefully check your text for quotations and make sure you format them properly, according to the selected style guide. Also, try not to overuse them – after their density achieves a certain value, it begins to look as if you have nothing of your own to say.
Clichés are phrases that have been used so commonly that they almost lost their meaning. In their current state, they are nothing but verbal garbage that clogs your speech without adding anything to it. “Clear as a bell,” “don’t judge the book by its cover,” “only time will tell” are just a few examples. There is only one thing to do here: avoid them at all costs. There is no easy way to determine what is a cliché and what is not. You can find many lists of common clichés online, and eventually, you will develop a sense that will help you set them apart.
When you notice a cliché, get rid of it. Sometimes you can just cut it, as they rarely add anything of value to the text. Sometimes you can replace it with something fresher or more imaginative.
Many students have a bad habit of using redundant and self-evident expressions that do not add anything to the argument. It gets especially bad if one is used to writing to meet a certain word count because one starts to add them almost unconsciously to create padding and make the text appear larger without writing anything of value. For example, the phrase “In our modern world” is unnecessarily convoluted. The meaning of “our” and “modern” overlap, there is no need to use them both. And, for that matter, the entire phrase can be replaced by a much shorter “today.”
Of course, this list is far from conclusive – students meet all kinds of difficulties when writing their essays. But if you learn to deal with these few crucial obstacles, you will make your writing much more effective and efficient.