Being a university student means having to do a lot of academic writing. Most, if not all, college courses require different types of written submissions, and these assignments mostly aim to assess the following:

  • how much the student was able to comprehend from a particular topic,
  • how well the student can apply what he or she has learned in a given situation, or
  • how the student is able to apply his or her critical thinking skills to produce a cohesive and well-written piece.

If you are a university student (or in the process of applying to be one) who wishes to improve his or her academic writing skills, below are some tips to help facilitate the writing process and, in effect, help you get that high mark! 

Here are the 5 Fs to a first-rate academic essay:

Step 1: Find relevant sources.

Research skills are fundamental to a good written piece. Finding credible sources relevant to the topic does not only lay the groundwork for the entire writing process, but it also guides and inspires the writer, as well as provides validity, accuracy, and a strong foundation and basis to the points in the essay.

Step 2: Formulate the thesis statement.

Once the necessary sources based on the assigned topic are sufficient, the next step is to formulate the thesis statement, which is a one to two sentence summary of the main idea or message of the essay. This does not only guide the reader in understanding the entire piece, but it also guides the writer himself, so that he or she is able to easily exclude details and sources that do not relate to or support the thesis statement.

Step 3: Frame the paper’s structure using an outline.

A well-written piece is one that is clear and organised, and this can be easily achieved by drafting an outline prior to writing. An outline is yet another guide for the writer, so that he or she is able to present his thoughts and research in a logical and orderly manner—free from any irrelevant details and confusing presentation.

Step 4: Focus on the main idea and objective of the paper.

Especially when the writer gets too excited in the actual writing process, there is a tendency to veer away from the thesis statement and include information that actually need not be written into the essay. In academic writing, always remember to stick to the thesis statement, the outline, and the objective of your paper.

Step 5: Find time to reread and revise.

A bad habit among university students is submitting the essay to the professor immediately after writing that final line. To produce a well-written piece, remember to allot sufficient time to proofread your work. Check for spelling and punctuation errors, grammatical mistakes, and other lapses that tend to make any written piece confusing and less credible. Check, too, if your thesis statement is backed up by sufficient details and relevant insights, such that anyone who has finished reading your work will be left convinced and in awe by your composition.

Want some more tips and tricks? Motivated to write well and improve your overall academic performance? Join Your Language School’s EAP Courses!

EAP or English for Academic Purposes is an intensive small-group course that focuses on developing the learner’s language skills necessary for academic study, including, of course, Academic Writing. 

Click the link to enrol or learn more about EAP. We have some more in store for you when you join this expert-facilitated class, so go ahead and sign up now! 

Categories: English