Rules For Writing A Perfect Essay
Here are rules based on what is going to help you avoid angering your professor. The rules help you write a better essay by showing you how to avoid silly mistakes and give you advice that helps you move up the grading bands. Here are the rules for writing a perfect essay.
Read every question at least twice before answering
Ideally, you should memorize the questions before you even start researching. There are so many students that write pages and pages on a subject or question that they were not asked about. They confuse a word or simply skim read the question and make an assumption. A lot of amendments are going to be avoided if you read and memorize your essay questions before you start to answer.
Reference your data and your ideas
A common mistake is to add in something that was coined by another person without referencing it. The best example is when people write something about evolution in their essays. They forget that they need to reference Darwin in some way because even the word "evolution" is used as a descriptive word in everyday life.
You may get lucky and get away with something like that, but if you add in some sort of data, such as a statistic, then you need to show where you got that information from, even if you think it is common sense. Even a throwaway piece of knowledge such as "There are more female profiles on Facebook than male profiles" (which is common knowledge), will need some sort of referencing.
Make your introduction a promotional flavor of the work
You are trying to convince the reader to actually read your essay. But, you are also defining the point and content of your essay so that the potential reader recognizes if your work is not what they are looking for. Give people a flavor of what to expect and make sure you put in your overriding point (usually in the form of your thesis statement). Promote your work by showing what is on offer. A dull and dry introduction may put people off reading your essay when they may actually learn a lot from it.
Check what journals have referenced
The reference section of other peoples’ work is very handy. You can look at online journals and see what has been referenced so you can reference it yourself. It is especially good if the journal has data that has been mined from paid sources. You can reference the journal yourself, or you can add in the same reference that they used. If they have quotes that would work well in your essay, then use that quote, check the reference, and add in the reference itself (not a reference to the journal you are reading).
Paraphrase longer quotes in your work
There are times when a long quote in your essay seems appropriate, but it presents two damaging problems. The first problem is that if the work you are quoting from is similar to yours then you are going to lead your professor right to it. Do you really want your professor noticing how similar your themes and ideas are to the person you quoted? Especially if you have actually created a rewrite. Secondly, a long quote takes up a lot of your word count that you could be using for getting more marks. You could paraphrase the quote in order to cut it down and leave yourself more word count to score with.
Check your work for typos that are not flagged by your spellchecker
The whole idea of proofreading your work is not just to check for spelling, grammar, syntax, structure, consistency, weight and flow. It is also to check to see if you have written what you meant to write. You may have meant to write "none" instead of "non" and your spellchecker is not going to flag it as incorrect because "non" is not a spelling mistake.
Plan your essay and check your plan when you finish
Planning the essay will ensure that you get all the points you needed into your essay. Check the plan when you are done to be sure that each point has been added. If you have trouble planning then you are going to have trouble reaching your word count. It means more brainstorming, thought and research is needed before starting your essay.
Follow the formatting guidelines
It should be the easiest part of the essay because it is not even a content issue. Plus, it is only going to annoy your professor and show that you do not care enough to get it right the first time.