Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Best Practices for Student Essay Writing

The art of writing a polished essay requires extreme attention to detail. Some students possess an innate talent for writing a compelling paper, while others require a more stringent methodology to achieve the same results. While natural writing abilities can vary from student to student, a solid writing process can improve most results. Many of the standard writing practices utilized in the current education system have long roots hashed out many years ago. Proven methodology and new technologies can help the current generation of students achieve their full potential when writing an essay.
Every research paper has one key ingredient: the research. Even the most compelling, imaginative writer cannot out produce the substance at the heart of a well researched essay. Facts, figures and hard sources will always achieve better results than smoke and mirrors. In the old days, research required an absolute commitment to lengthy library sessions and a highly developed understanding of the Dewey Decimal system. Fortunately for today's students, the internet provides instant access to an unlimited wealth of resources at the click of a mouse. This paradigm shift has generally resulted in more sources per a paper with each source having more specific information.
During the research phase a student will generally develop a thesis or specific argument for a paper. The thesis is the guiding force for the entire document. A well formed thesis should grow out of a broad research phase and guide the more specific research activities required to gather supporting sources for the thesis. Forming a thesis can be a difficult process and many writing classes will dedicate significant time to the concept and process of thesis creation. A thesis is the main creative sentiment in a paper. Despite modern technologies' contribution to the research phase, thesis creation remains solely in the hands of the writer.
The body or framework of a paper is intended to provide supporting points that make the thesis more convincing. These supporting paragraphs should include the most compelling information from the papers resources. The average student essay provides limited real estate to prove a point. With this knowledge in mind, the supporting paragraphs of a paper should be optimized to put forth the strongest facts first. A student needs to organize the sequence and focus of each supporting paragraph to form the strongest foundation possible to support their thesis. Once again, while research elements will help dictate the focus of a paper's supporting paragraphs, the creation of a paper's framework is still completely in the hands of the writer.
Once a paper is complete a standardized review process can make the difference between an average essay and a great essay. Incorporating obvious tools like computer aided spell check and grammar check are a first step. Once a rough draft is complete, the student needs to self examine the paper for flaws in the argument and unnecessary language. Generally the more succinct a paper the more compelling it is. After a read through, additional third party review sessions can greatly add to any insights about issues with clarity or argument. The review process can vary from class to class, but generally it will either include peer review with feedback or direct review by the educator.
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