essay tips

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How to make sure your essay reads well

The readability of your essay relies heavily on the style and syntax you use. How you put down words will either ease or impede the reading process, so it’s important to learn some basic writing guidelines to ensure your essay achieves the former rather than the latter. These six tips are some of the many that you can use to improve the reading flow of your essay. Practice them with every writing assignment you receive and you’ll soon start seeing an improvement in the readability of your work.

Three-dimensional writing

If your writing was flat, it would be considered one-dimensional by the person reading it. This means that the tone of your writing is monotonous and un-engaging. To prevent this type of tone, try to picture yourself as a narrator of a story or a documentary. When you write, write it as if you were speaking, while at the same time keeping it formal.

Three-dimensional writing also means being descriptive. If you are describing something that happened, make sure the reader can picture it happening in their minds. If you are relaying instructions on how to carry out a task, write in such a way that the reader can see themselves performing that task themselves.

Repeating of words

A writing error that prevents content from flowing is overly repeating words or phrases. This is commonly done in the repeating of questions (without answering them) or in repeating the key idea of the topic over and over. Try your best to come up with synonymous phrases to describe what you are trying to say. Also remember that your reader is intelligent enough to figure out what you are speaking about most of the time. Repeating words can be unnecessary at times, so learn to tell the difference.


Words such as ‘won’t’, ‘it’s’, and ‘you’re’ may seem to make your essay flow better, but teachers have an aversion to them because of their improper use in academic essays. If you feel tempted to shorten the word count of your essay by combining two words, resist at all costs! Readability entails writing down each word in its individual form at all times.

Sentence length

If your essay contains a bunch of sentences that are too short, your writing will seem choppy and annoying to read. There are students who are so confused about where to use a comma, that they simply don’t use commas at all, and instead, write short sentences without combining them correctly.

Sentences that are too long will also hinder your reader. If your sentence starts to exceed thirty words, find a way to shorten it. You can also use semicolons and hyphens to convey additional ideas in the same sentence without breaking the flow.

Sticking to the point

An essay that reads well has more than just good syntax. The content itself can also prevent your essay from flowing properly. Veering off the point is one way students destroy their flow. It really helps to remind yourself periodically of what you are writing. Check your notes, your topic title, and your former paragraphs often in order to keep yourself on track.

Too many cooks...

You’ll be surprised how much your personality changes from one day to the next. Our moods will always reflect in our writing. For this reason, it’s important to finish your essay in one sitting. Proofreading can and should be done with breaks in between, but when it comes to writing your essay, force yourself to convey one general idea per essay. If you do part now and part later, your essay may seem as if more than one person wrote it.

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