How To Stay On Topic While Writing An Essay

Essay Writing Tips: Avoiding Common Content Mistakes

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No matter how well-versed you are with grammar, punctuation and other areas that come into play for writing assignment essays, making a mistake with the content hurts your overall essay. Use these essay writing tips focused on common content mistakes to improve your essays on any topic.

No clear introduction or conclusion

Your introduction introduces your topic. It provides any necessary background information to set the stage for your thesis. Failing to craft an effective introduction leaves your readers unsure of what they are about to read and creates a haphazard start to your essay.

Similarly, if you fail to write a solid conclusion while writing an essay, your essay is left with a feeling of being abruptly cut off with no clear finality. A good conclusion restates your thesis and is a summary of your topic as it relates to and emphasizes the points you make throughout the essay.

Problems with thesis

Your thesis statement contains the main idea of your essay. It is meant to give your readers an idea of how you intend to develop the essay and where the focus lies with respect to the topic. It not only declares your position or argument, but it also puts your readers on the same page as they explore the topic with you through the words you write. When you fail to focus your thesis, your essay has no structure and no clear direction.

Just as important as writing a strong thesis, support for your thesis must be woven throughout your essay. With evidence, facts, statistics and logic, the body of your essay must support the thesis. Failing to support your thesis results in a poorly constructed essay that does not accomplish what you set out to convey.

In addition, if you cannot support a thesis with enough ideas to develop the thesis fully in the body of the essay, tweak your thesis as needed by using prewriting exercises to help you develop more focus or to formulate a new thesis. A poorly formed or unsupported thesis does not create the backbone necessary when writing an essay that is effective and well-planned.

No supporting examples

All of the ideas within your essay must be supported and clarified. The best (and easiest) way to accomplish this is by using examples to illustrate your points or arguments. Without adequate support, your essay lacks depth.

Ambiguous structure

Even with a strong thesis and ample supporting information, you can present the information in a way that hurts your essay. Shape your thesis methodically by presenting information, arguments and facts in a logical progression. Your readers should understand your essay and argument without any degree of difficulty.

If you are writing an essay and the overall flow or paragraph layout is ambiguous, create an outline of your main ideas. Then, reorganize and structure your essay in a way that drives conclusions from the ideas you are presenting. Start on the paragraph level to ensure you are structuring paragraphs well and providing smooth paragraph transitions.

Including too much information

Not staying focused is another common mistake. If you find yourself trying to cover 20 topics in 20 paragraphs for an assignment essay, you are including too much information. The problem often lies in two areas. You are either adding thoughts or ideas that are too far removed from the focus of the essay or you are writing an essay based on a thesis that is too broad in scope.

Identify which mistake you’re making by looking at the primary topic and examining how each idea fits in with the overall thesis. Adjust the information you are including or the scope of your thesis as needed to stay on topic and to provide the right level of information.

Failure to follow instructions

Read all assignment instructions carefully to understand the expectations clearly. For anything you do not understand, ask questions. If you do not understand what is expected, you cannot provide it in a well-planned and well-written essay no matter how many essay writing tips you follow.

Use of inappropriate or strong language

Along with the content and its structure, the right language impacts your overall essay. If you find yourself using jargon and other specific or technical jargon, reword as much as possible to avoid this. Unless you are writing to a very specific audience, you want the language you use to be interpreted easily by anyone who reads your essay. In addition, it is best to avoid the following forms of language and ways of presenting information when writing an essay for academic purposes:

  • Contractions
  • Idioms, colloquial expressions and clichés
  • Overly simplistic language
  • Emotional or strong language (unless it’s relevant to the overall assignment
  • Blind references to statistics without citing the source
  • Personal examples in any essay that does not require the first-person perspective

Use of the wrong POV

While some essay assignment writing clearly requires writing in a particular point of view, not all essay assignments do. Make sure you understand which points of view are appropriate for different types of essay assignments, and learn how to maintain the same point of view to form a more cohesive essay. Always consult your assignment instructions and/or your instructor when you are uncertain.

These essay writing tips address the most common mistakes students just like you make when writing academic essays. Knowing what to watch out for is the best way to ensure you craft a well-written, concise and on-topic essay with a well-supported thesis and solid structure. Keep these common mistakes in mind, and your essays are sure to be easier to write.

Why is it that writing seems the most difficult out of the 4 skills of communication: listening, speaking, reading and writing? And, as a student, you are often stuck when trying to complete an assignment on time.You must have come here to try and find some answers as to why you are unable to complete the high-quality essays you need as part of your assessment or for professional purposes. If so, you must realize, that the most important a pre-requisite to writing fine essays is: Focus. Without focus, there is every chance that your essay would be unstructured, lacking coherence and clarity. For others who are looking to order their essays- our custom essay writing service could come in handy.

But achieving the required focus to complete the desired task can be a challenge due to many reasons. And yet it is essential; high-quality work can only come out of sustained periods of concentration and focus. Let us check out some ways to increase focus so that you can produce good quality essays.

Staying focused can be challenging

There are plenty of distractions in and around us.  We have our own internal doubts and thoughts to manage. We are also surrounded by people and events that add to the chaos and disturbances, making it difficult to concentrate on writing our essays. The constant chatter may interfere with this process. If this is so, how can we develop and maintain focus?

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The focus is on centering yourself!

The main point of staying focused is to be centered. The beginning of focus is the very intention to write. So, when you sit down to write and prepare your mind for this action, you have already started working on getting focused. The key thing at this point in time is to retain this state of beginning attention, maintain and enhance it to sustained levels of prolonged concentration.The best way to attain and maintain this centering in oneself is to read the question/title of the assignment again and again until you have completely understood what has to be done. It is easier to get this concentration if you break up the question into bits and go at them one by one. This type of analysis of the question will help your subconscious mind to already start planning on the ways to go about answering it. Consequently, the focus will be now on the task to be done. Mindfulness is a concept that is practiced even in corporations to increase focus on the work-in-hand. This requires one to concentrate only on the task at hand and not worry about how it would end. This naturally leads one to the next level in writing as explained next.

Attain the state of “flow”

Sustained concentration leads to quality work and essays. A sustained concentration requires the attainment of what psychologists call a state of flow. This is the highest level of concentration which a person can achieve. The person is mentally and physically immersed in the creative work- he is fully engaged. You can visualize all the ideas you want to incorporate into your essay and you can produce a quality piece of work. This state of flow requires that you have to be entirely and fully be with yourself when doing the task. The feeling this state creates is similar to that created when a person engages in meditation or swimming or other such activities which require total immersion of mind and body.

To attain this state of flow, here are some suggestions which can help you defeat those distractions which tend to distort your focus.

  • Do not pay attention to the distractions. When you are trying to do work, many thoughts may come in and go out. Stop paying attention to these distracting thoughts. Let them enter and exit at their own pace. You cannot control your mental wanderings. The best way to do your work is to be comfortable with the fact that distractions and wanderings are natural.
  • Take breaks between long periods of sustained productive concentrated work. The brain will be happier. It will also give time to the brain to process the information and probably come up with better ways of using it.Alternating physical and mental work helps in relieving the stress on both. When the mind is tired, do some physical activity and vice versa.
  • A shift or change in location can also help to improve your concentration and the ability to do sustained work.
  • Organize the work required for your essay and chunk it. This helps better concentration and efficiency.
  • There are some things which your brain will do almost automatically such as picking sentences, structure and some kind of words, while you may have to focus on certain aspects on a conscious manner such as the kind of content and purpose. Do this and see your concentration improve and your essay shape up in a much better way.
  • For the time being, forget about what the essay/assignment should fetch you in terms of grades or commendations, and instead concentrate on writing the sentences as they flow out from your mind. Remember there is always an opportunity, when writing assignments, to review your work thoroughly and iron out any disconnects. An exam or a test does not give you as much time or chances to edit your work satisfactorily. So, read the question anew and the read through your work with detachment – like someone else has written it, and this will give you a chance to refocus on the writing.
  • It can help if you read the paper aloud while trying to edit it. This involves all your communication skills of reading, speaking and listening, and helps you to find out your shortfalls easier.

However, there are times when the concentration and focus are just impossible to achieve when there are so many distractions in college life. That is the reason you should use the services of a good assignment writing service, whose writers are trained to focus on the writing task and can help you earn good grades.

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