It is important to get your key arguments or strongest ideas down first. Remember, like a catchy pop record, it is useful to get into the ‘hook’ or major ideas of the essay early on. This may be crucial in terms of impressing an examiner!
The good essayists will train themselves to show discipline during an essay and always look back to the question. Even if the creative or analytical juices are flowing, it is sometimes easy to tangent and move ‘off-task’.
Similarly it is very useful to develop an analytical approach. Even if this means physically putting your pen down or moving away from the keyboard, make sure you are always looking back to assess the quality of your work. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just a brief perusal to make sure you’re not making silly errors.
When quoting, stick to these two rules. Don’t over-quote and always try and integrate or work your quotes into the explanatory sentence. This is much more sophisticated in the essay plan than simply quoting a phrase then explaining it.
Never forget to utilise the technical tools at your disposal. Even if the essay is not particularly expressive or creative, it is always a good option to write with a clear, crisp, simple style enriched with good vocabulary and a pleasing turn of phrase.
To that end, a working essayist should always have a good dictionary and a reliable thesaurus at their side. This will enable the writer to more explain ideas and theories clearly and explicitly and will provide further evidence to an examiner that this is a serious piece of work they are reading.
It is crucial to display a keen eye for the grammar, spelling and punctuation of a piece of work. Not only do many essays run the risk of losing style marks but a slipshod and half-hearted approach to such technicalities is likely to weaken the piece regardless of its content!
Once all the key arguments have been denoted, quoted on and explained, it is crucial to round off the essay with a neat, direct and thoughtful summary or conclusion. This should serve to encapsulate the major points or ideas. There may also be the necessity to outline the next part of the process or suggest further actions.
Once the written part is completer comes perhaps the most important part. It is good practice, as previously stated, to briefly be checking thorough as you go, making sure the task is being fulfilled and the writing is good. Do this again at the end but more thoroughly and with the keenest possible eye for unexplained ideas or technical errors.
With the work complete the good essayist has to ask themselves the crucial question. Is the essay complete or is it merely finished? It is in this appreciation of detail the good essay writer shines!