Have you ever written an academic essay, sure of yourself and thinking you will do oh so well, but received results that proved otherwise? It happens more often than one would think. It can even lead to losing interest in writing!
It’s quite unfortunate to experience that. However, we are confident that this article can give you that clean break that you deserve.
Although the skills of speaking and writing may convey the same message, there is a fundamental difference between them in terms of the manner in which they are expressed.
It is usually easy to convey emotions and thoughts with the help of facial expressions and different mannerisms when speaking. It’s not as easy to express thoughts and emotions when writing. Only people like novelists and professional college essay writers can be considered masters of this craft.
Yet, simple students need to excel at writing too. This necessitates some form of guidelines or rules in order to communicate as accurately as you would when speaking.
For instance, it will be impossible for your readers (examiners) to distinguish between statements, questions, and quotations in your essay without the use of full stops (.), question marks (?), and quotation signs (“ ”) respectively.
That is why it is essential for students to know when and how to apply the rules of writing in the English language.
Here are a few helpful tips that you might have forgotten about but are nevertheless essential to improving your writing skills.
To begin with, the rules of English grammar dictate that the verb must always agree with the subject of the sentence. For example: “Cats like sitting on windowsills.”
Based on the rules of the English language, it is incorrect for a plural subject (cats) to have a verb that ends in “s” in a sentence. As such, this sentence is grammatically correct. This is a universal principle that applies to this and every other sentence in the English language. Ergo, you should be capable of writing excellent essays so long as you are mindful of the subject-verb agreement relationship in your sentences.
Use The Active Voice
It is usually preferred that students write in the active voice rather than the passive voice when writing academic essays unless stated otherwise by the professor. This is because the active voice ensures clarity of sentences.
This and many more are some of the basic things examiners look out for when marking your papers.
Correct Use of Punctuations
Punctuation signs are used to convey the precise thoughts of the speaker. As such, it is essential that you know when and how to use them. Examples include:
- ● full stop (.)
- ● question mark (?)
- ● apostrophe (‘)
- ● comma (,)
- ● quotation marks (“ ”)
- ● exclamation point (!).
Formal Tone is Preferred
It is a common occurrence for students (even natives speakers) to use slang and informal language in their essays.
Unfortunately, doing this will gravely affect you when your essay is getting graded. Make a conscious effort to distinguish between formal and informal words so that you don’t mix them up in your essay.
The Right Use of Prepositions
The right use of prepositions is probably the most daunting task for non-native English speakers. Especially the issue of when and how to use prepositions like “in,” “on,” and “at.”
The good news is that it’s possible to master the correct usage of prepositions. After all, a lot of professional writers aren’t native speakers. And if they can do it, so can you.
It is unfortunate that many students (especially non-native speakers) still struggle with verb tenses in their day-to-day speech, which reflects in their essays. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time or effort to learn the tenses of both regular and irregular verbs.
Correct Spelling of Words
Little technicalities like the correct spelling of words are what make writing in English a bit of a challenge for both native and non-native speakers alike.
There are many words in the English language whose spellings are nowhere near to how they sound when mentioned. As such, you might use some fancy words or expressions in your essays, but it might cause you to get less than favorable results because you are lacking in the spelling department.
In conclusion, learning the ins and outs of writing usually takes time. You will make a couple of mistakes before you get a grip on some ideas. Be patient with yourself during the try and error phase.
And if you continue with diligence, you might even make a career out of it someday!