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What you should do to make your academic essay better

Too many students think that writing one draft of an essay means they are finished with the essay. Unfortunately, those students usually do not have the skills to write a one-draft essay and call it finished. The majority of students need to take time to edit and revise their essays to make them much better than the first draft. While students are told over and over again by the instructors that editing and revising are vital to success on academic essays, too many students neglect this advice and turn in poorly written pieces. Students fail to edit and revise because they do not know what they can do to make their academic essays better. Here are some ways to improve academic essays:

  1. Revise for vivid verbs. Academic essays become dull to read because they contain too few vivid verbs. Instead of only using “to be” verbs, students should include verbs that show action. By adding vivid verbs, students improve voice and style.
  2. Remove useless words. These include words like things, many, very, and a lot. When these words are removed, students are more likely to use interesting words that catch the reader's’ attention.
  3. Look for sentence variety. Sentences should begin with different words. If you find that you have several sentences that start with “the,” then it is time to make some serious changes. Essay fluency improves when you use phrases and clauses at different points in your sentences.
  4. Add real examples. If you are trying to prove a point with your essay, then show the examples that will prove the point. In the eyes of instructors, student opinions are worthless unless they have powerful sources to back up the opinion. When you show you can find the proof, your professors are impressed.
  5. Remove conversational words. Too many students continue to use phrases like “in my essay I will” or “I hope you were able to see” or “I believe” or “now that I have proved” because they cannot move beyond their first essay-writing lessons from elementary school. By the time you get to your college courses, these phrases should no longer ever be used. If it feels like you are directly addressing the reader, then you need to stop and revise what you have written. Academic essays need to be written in a clear, professional voice, unless students are instructed otherwise.

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