A word of warning: words you find in a thesaurus can’t always be used interchangeably; even words with similar meanings can differ subtly in a way that makes them inappropriate in certain contexts, so find examples of a word used correctly before you use a new word for the first time.
– Learn prefixes, suffixes and roots – it sounds boring, but this shortcut will help you learn a great many more words.
Your Elevator Pitch for your essay should sell the idea of it to a reader, leaving them wanting to read the essay in question.
This is quite a tough exercise, as it forces you to be ruthlessly concise in your thinking and choice of words; but you can use this summary to help you write your introduction, and it’ll help you achieve clarity in what you’re trying to say.
Read the opinion pieces and dissect how the writer has supported their points with evidence, and again, be critical; note where they’ve left things out to try to persuade you to a particular opinion.
Essays should be balanced, so you can learn from the best of these writers and pick up some techniques to help you shape a balanced piece.We’ve mentioned this on a previous article on essay writing, but it seems pertinent to mention it here too.Essays are a chance for you to show off how widely read you are, so make sure you quote other people’s opinions, and original sources, on what you’re writing about.For example, if you were to write a history essay on early religious practices in Britain, you could quote original texts on that topic (such as Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People) and also mention what a range of modern scholars have to say about the topic.Contrasting views should be sought; it’s unlikely that everyone agrees on the topic, so show you’ve looked at all the possible angles.What’s more, deploying a good vocabulary displays intelligence and allows you to be more persuasive in your essay-writing.Here are some ways in which you can build your vocabulary: – Subscribe to a ‘word a day’ email (such as this one from Merriam-Webster).One way of ensuring that you can communicate clearly and to the point is through accurate and effective use of advanced vocabulary.A good essay writer should never rest on their laurels when it comes to vocabulary; it’s something you should be working on continually, as there are always new words to learn that could help convey a point more effectively.Read essays on a wide variety of subjects, not necessarily just those that you’re studying; different disciplines might apply different kinds of arguments or styles, so the wider you read, the more possible techniques there are for you to pick up and use in essays of your own. Has the writer used any techniques you’ve not seen before?As you read other people’s essays, don’t just take them at face value. Another good source of essays is the broadsheet newspapers.