Are you tired of receiving mediocre grades on your college essays? Do you wonder what your professors really want to see in your writing? We’ve got you covered! We’ve scoured a popular Reddit thread where an actual college professor shared insider tips and tricks on how to write a standout essay. In this article, we’ll discuss the top comments, so you can start impressing your instructors and acing your college essays.
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Answer the question, and only the question
One of the most upvoted comments on the thread comes from a professor who emphasizes the importance of answering the question asked. Many students make the mistake of writing about what they think the professor wants to read, rather than focusing on the actual question. Stick to the prompt, and you’ll already be a step ahead of your peers.
Keep it simple, and use clear language
Another professor advises students to avoid using overly complicated language and jargon. Using clear, concise language makes it easier for your instructor to understand your points and follow your argument. A well-articulated idea is worth more than a page full of academic-sounding fluff.
Outline your essay before writing
According to a high-scoring student, outlining your essay before you start writing can help you stay on track and ensure your essay flows coherently. Start with your main points, and then break them down into smaller supporting points. This will not only help you stay organized but will also make it easier for your professor to follow your line of thought.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One user shares a story about how asking for help led to an improved essay and a better understanding of the topic. Professors, teaching assistants, and writing centers are all valuable resources. They can provide guidance, review drafts, and offer feedback to help you refine your writing. Don’t hesitate to seek their assistance.
Edit, edit, edit
A college professor stresses the importance of proofreading and editing your work. Typos, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing can distract your reader and undermine your credibility. Carefully editing your essay not only improves the quality of your writing but also demonstrates that you’ve put time and effort into your work.
Engage with the material
In the thread, a user shares how engaging with the material made their essay more enjoyable to read. They suggest approaching the topic with genuine curiosity and finding a personal connection to the subject matter. This will not only make your essay more interesting but also help you better understand the content.
Be concise and avoid repetition
A professor advises students to be concise and avoid repeating themselves. Repeating the same point in different ways wastes your reader’s time and dilutes the impact of your argument. Instead, make your point clearly and concisely, and then move on to the next one.
Give yourself time to let ideas marinate
A commenter shares their personal experience about the importance of starting essays early. By giving yourself enough time before the deadline, you allow your ideas to develop and mature. This process often leads to a more thoughtful and polished essay. So, don’t procrastinate; start working on your essay as soon as possible.
Be open to changing your thesis
Another user recounts how they initially struggled with an essay until they were willing to change their thesis. Sometimes, your initial thesis may not be strong enough or may be difficult to support. Being open to revising your thesis can lead to a more compelling and well-supported argument.
Use evidence to support your claims
A student shares how they learned the importance of providing evidence to back up their claims. Professors are not just interested in your opinions but also in how well you can support them. Using solid evidence and examples will strengthen your argument and show that you have a deep understanding of the topic.
Learn from your mistakes
One commenter emphasizes the value of learning from past essay mistakes. By reviewing your graded essays and understanding the feedback provided by your professors, you can pinpoint areas for improvement and apply those lessons to future assignments. This growth mindset will help you become a more effective writer over time.
Make your essay interesting to read
A college student shares that they received higher grades when their essays were engaging and enjoyable to read. Incorporate anecdotes, use humor where appropriate, and vary your sentence structure to keep your reader interested. Your professor will appreciate the effort you put into making your essay more than just a bland academic exercise.
Customize your writing style for your audience
An insightful commenter highlights the importance of adapting your writing style to your audience. Different professors may have different preferences, and tailoring your writing to suit their expectations can make a significant difference. Pay attention to their feedback and any hints they may give in class, and don’t be afraid to ask them for clarification if needed.
Connect the dots for your reader
A user shares how they learned to explicitly link their ideas and make connections between different parts of their essay. This helps guide your reader through your argument and ensures that your points are clear and easy to follow. Don’t assume your reader will automatically make the connections—spell them out for them.
There you have it—secrets from a professor on how to ace your college essays! By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your instructors and improving your essay-writing skills. Remember to answer the question, keep your language clear and simple, outline your essay, seek help when needed, edit thoroughly, engage with the material, and avoid repetition. Happy writing!
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