Monday, April 2, 2012

Essay Phobia

Do you have Essay Phobia?
Do you see the words “write an essay” and feel like a deflated balloon?
Did you ever write an essay you thought was brilliant, and got an “F” on it?
Do you feel like the way you write an essay is never going to have a big impact on your life?
Consider this: you will have to write essays for school in almost every subject. You will often have to write them as part of college applications, and also for scholarships. If you go on to graduate school, you will still be writing essays that will be a big part of your grades. The quality of an essay could make all the difference in a grade, an acceptance to a school, or being awarded a scholarship or not.

Some common mistakes in essays:
  • Run-on sentences (like when you write something that goes on for several lines and there isn't any punctuation and when people get to the end of it they feel like they need to take a breath like this one).
  • incomplete sentences (examples: 'Because I could.' or, 'Yesterday.')
  • Incorrect spelling
  • Incorrect use of apostrophes or dashes (it isn't 'Do your test's or 'pick-up your garbage.')
  • Descriptions that are too 'wordy' or too dramatic
  • Wandering off the subject

So, how do you know if your essay is written well enough to submit? Here are some suggestions: First, of course, use spell check. It will catch spelling mistakes, give you hints when you aren’t using the correct wording, and will let you know if you have incomplete sentences. Second, have an instructor check it over.  Third, if you know someone who has great writing skills, ask him or her to check it out.
And here is a terrific resource you can use to help you write a genius essay:  smarthinking.com!
At this website, you can submit your essay online for a review. It will be checked and returned to you with suggestions and corrections. You can also receive tutoring online in other subjects.
If you want to go directly to the writing help section, here’s the address:
Never fear: You can write a great essay!