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How My Writing Has Improved Essay Outline

Academic essay writing is a style that anyone can learn to produce, once they know the basics of writing an essay. An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. Most research follows a standard set of guidelines. Remembering some basic principles for academic essay writing will allow you to create valuable, persuasive papers, even if you're under a time crunch.

Make an outline. Know what you are going to write about before you start writing.

Before you even start writing an essay, it is important to know what you want to say. The easiest way to narrow down a thesis and create a proper argument is to make a basic outline before you begin writing your essay. The basic structure of an academic essay includes the following elements: an introduction that includes the thesis; the body of the essay, which should include separate paragraphs discussing evidence that supports the thesis; and a conclusion that ties everything together and connects it to the thesis. When it comes to how much evidence should be included in an academic essay, a good guideline is to include at least three solid points that directly support your thesis.

Acquire a solid understanding of basic grammar, style, and punctuation.

Grammar, style, and punctuation are incredibly important if you want your research to be understood and taken seriously. Before writing an essay, make sure you have a solid understanding of basic grammar. Grammar basics include verb and subject agreement, proper article and pronoun usage, and well-formed sentence structures. Make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation. Be mindful of your comma usage and know when a period is needed. Finally, in academic essay writing, voice is important. Try to use the active voice instead of the passive whenever possible (e.g., "this study found" instead of "it was found by this study"). This will make the tone of your essay stronger. Ensure your language is concise. Avoid transition words that don't add anything to the sentence and unnecessary wordiness that detracts from your argument.

Use the right vocabulary. Know what the words you are using actually mean.

How you use language is important, especially in academic essay writing. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are trying to persuade others that you are an expert who can make an intelligent argument. Using big words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writing. If you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk using it incorrectly. Using obscure language can also take away from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before you pull out that thesaurus to change that perfectly good word to something completely different.

Understand the argument and critically analyze the evidence.

In the process of writing an academic essay, you should always have your main argument in mind. While it might be tempting to go off on a tangent about some interesting side note to your topic, doing so can make your writing less concise. Always question any evidence you include in your essay; ask yourself, "Does this directly support my thesis?" If the answer is "no," then that evidence should probably be excluded. When you are evaluating evidence, be critical and thorough. You want to use the strongest research to back up your thesis. Everything you include should have a clear connection to your topic and your argument.

Know how to write a proper conclusion that supports your research.

One of the most overlooked areas of academic essay writing is the conclusion. Your conclusion is what ties all your research together to prove your thesis. It should not be a restatement of your introduction or a copy-and-paste of your thesis itself. A proper conclusion quickly outlines the key evidence discussed in the body of an essay and directly ties it to the thesis to show how this evidence proves or disproves the main argument of one's research. There have been countless great essays written, only to be derailed by vague, weakly worded conclusions. Don't let your next essay be one of those.

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How Have I Changed As A Writer?

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In the past three months I feel like I have accomplished a great deal. As the semester comes to an end I find myself reflecting not only how I have survived the first semester but also what I have learned. The most important thing I have learned so far is how to become a better writer. I did not think it could really happen to me. I did not think I could handle all the work. I did not think I could actually become a better writer. Some how after all the hours of writing, and putting effort into the papers that I wrote this semester, I became a better writer. I did this because I concentrated on two very important areas, with the attitude of, if I could just become better in those then I would become a better writer. With help from an awesome teacher and a reliable tutor I have become a better writer by improving my skills in the areas of procrastination and content.

Procrastination has become such a bad habit for me. It is very hard to stop procrastinating everything once you have gotten into the habit of doing it. Once I had a term paper due for my religion class. It was to be ten pages long and we were told to spend a lot of time doing it. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited to the very last minute to do it. I waited until the night before to do most of it. Needless to say, I was up very late that night. In this class there was always a part of the paper due on a certain date before the final paper was due. Having things due before the final paper is due keeps me on task and keeps me from procrastinating until the day before the paper is due. There was one paper which we had to get sources for a while before the paper was due and it forced me to keep up with the paper, rather than let it go to the last minute. This class has taught me that the earlier you start the more positive your final result will be.

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Content is what makes a paper good. The content of my paper was, in the past, not as good as it could have been. Often it would be dry and some of the information would seem out of place. Since I have started to get my sources earlier and not wait until the last minute, I have more time to look through all of the information and pick out only the best facts. This makes my paper have better quality than it would if I had just picked out the first interesting facts that I saw. After retrieving better information, I have learned how to better organize my thoughts and put them on to paper. Personally, I think I can better put information together from most important to least important now than ever before. Better organizing information in my papers helps make me a better writer.

After not thinking that I could become a better writer and thinking I would only struggle with college writing, I think I have improved. I have been able to stop my procrastination, at least dropping it to a minimum. I have improved with getting better sources and getting them ahead of time, which makes me gather better information. All around I think this class has made me a better writer.