Academic Essay Quick Check
Application Essay Quick Check
You Can't Write an Essay If You're Sick!
When you are at home your body builds resistance to sickness-causing bacteria that it encounters but when you attend college your body comes into contact with billions of unfamiliar bacteria. Your body will build immunity but while that slow process develops some of the bacteria that are in the classroom may make you very sick. To help yourself to stay healthy take two BLIS K12 lozenges immediately you sense the start of a cold or sore throat. Ideally use BLIS K12 every day and build yourself a formidable defense against sickness-causing bacteria before college semesters start.
1 College Academic Essay Writing
Because academic essay or report writing is focused solely on the question being addressed it is important to clearly understanding what that question is. Getting this right will help you avoid writing about interesting ideas that are totally irrelevant to the assignment question.
2 The 1st Student Study Group Meeting
When you think you know the essay purpose arrange a student group meeting to hear what your friends think.
Being a member of a study group is an essential part of the 12-Step academic essay writing process. If you are not aready a member of a group either form a new one or join an existing one. More about student study groups. The intention at this point is to check that you really have understood the requirements of the academic essay writing assignment and to start generating some grade-enhancing synergy by dividing the supplementary background reading among group members.
3 Academic Essay Writing Research
Your main texts and supplementary reading is to:
Carefully selected citations made during the academic essay reading research are like roof supporting props that support the load of a tunnel roof during mining operations. It's important to find and carefully place your writing props in the academic essay at points where they will support statements you make. It's also important to correctly cite those props using the APA or the MLA citation style. Follow the academic essay citation requirements of your tutor but if there is no specified standard I suggest that you use the APA style.
4 Make Reading Research Notes
Making academic essay notes from textbook reading is similar to making Walter Pauk's standard Cornell Notes but with additional information about the textbook or journal title, and the location of the citation. If you are using a large library it's a good idea to note the library floor/room location and the shelf reference in case you want to find the reference again later.
During your essay research you may find similar information appearing in several chapters in a textbook but in a different context. You need to record those cross references and use the citations that provide the best support for your academic essay assignment topic. In my own textbooks I'll pencil these in the page margins but please don't do that to library books!
5 Analyse the Reading Research Notes
About 3-4 days after the first meeting the study group should meet again to share copies of the supplementary reading notes that the members have made. If all members use Walter Pauk's Cornell Notes style for their research notes you will all be able to use them for recitation learning later.
6 Academic Essay Outline Brainstorm
The next task for the group is to use a brainstorm to get the best outline for your academic essay writing task. More about academic essay writing brainstorms ...
The next task is to write the academic essay using the combined resources that the group members have created but with no further help from the group members.
When you leave the 2nd study group meeting all group members will have:
You are now able to write a draft academic essay. Before you start gather the following;
Writing the 1st draft academic essay is fairly easy because all the preparatory work has been done and it's now just a matter of pulling all the parts together by filling out the essay outline with some details and perhaps re-arranging points so they flow logically from one point to the next. The draft academic essay is written at one sitting, which means that you turn off your cell-phone, lock the door, sit at a desk and start typing the essay. You do not leave the room until the draft academic essay writing task is complete!
You can add the essay introduction and conclusion at this stage if you wish to, but they can just as easily be added later. Personally I find it better to add them after the first draft academic essay writing is finished.
Don't bother to correct the spelling errors at this stage because the aim is to get some 'body' around the outline you have created. You need a filled outline that flows easily from paragraph to paragraph so stopping to correct typos or count the words will interfere with your thoughts flow. Those details can all be fixed later. Just keep the essay writing going until you have finished the draft!
8 Add Examples and Illustrations
When the 1st draft essay is done you should have a filled-in academic essay outline that has many spelling errors and typos! These issues aren't important at this stage. It's more important to now add strength, or 'muscle', to your academic essay skeleton by adding carefully selected citations and illustrative examples.
The strength of your essay writing will come from the library research reading citation props. How you use those props to support your academic essay writing ideas will influence your academic essay grade. If you use too many 'props' your own argument will be smothered by the citations, so your citations need to be brief and used only where they add strength to your essay writing. Too few 'props' will produce a weak academic essay that will get a low grade score.
Repeating information, or presenting long illustrations, wastes your available word-count which could be better used adding new ideas. Adding unnecessary words as padding to reach the required word-count is a further indication of a weak essay and it will lower your assignment grade. If you find that your academic essay is too short either add additional information or check whether any short paragraphs need a citation prop, or an illustration.
9 Revise and Improve
You should now have a fairly strong academic essay with some appropriate examples or illustrations, and some citation support taken from your group research reading. You will also have many typos, spelling errors, possibly some poor grammar, and hopefully, far too many words! This is the time to correct those problems.
It is also a good time to add the introduction and conclusion paragraphs if you have not already done so. The introduction briefly states what's in the essay, and the conclusion summarizes what was stated in the essay body. There are no examples and no new information in the introduction or conclusion. That all goes into the essay body.
The Art in Academic Essay Writing
A good academic essay is more than just the reporting of facts and opinions that answer a set question. It should also be pleasing to see and balanced in an artistic way.
For this academic-essay-writing-as-art approach the paragraphs should be approximately the same size. If one paragraph is too large there may be two or more ideas in it that need to be split and placed in separate paragraphs. If splitting a paragraph makes one too short then an illustration to fill it out needs to be considered, or more likely, you will need to return to the library to get more information!
Make sure that you have balanced the number of words used for each main point you make. Your academic essay will be unbalanced if you use 300 words for one point and only 100 words for a second equally important point.
The other items that require balance are the illustrations, examples, and citations. There should be just sufficient citation and example support to strengthen your argument and to clarify complex points. Your examples and citation 'props' should be short and roughly the same size. They should also be spaced evenly in the essay writing which helps to maintain essay balance. Your tutor may assume that you didn't bother to research some points if s/he sees several props in the first half of the academic essay but none in the second half!
11 The Citation Check
Unless your tutor requires something different, your citations will be the same format as one of the international cataloguing systems such as the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Modern Languages Association (MLA). Check out Purdue and Waikato for some APA style examples.
12 Academic Essay Writing Presentation
Follow your tutor's presentation instructions. If there are no instructions you may like to use these settings:
The Final Checks
Many standard spelling and grammar errors can be found by a computer software grammar check such as Grammerly, but your ideas and the way you have expressed them should be checked by someone who has a good understanding of English language.