How to Write Best Essays: 7 Practical Tips

best essay writing serviceIf your teachers have told you several times that you express great ideas but that your essay writing needs polishing, do not panic. Here are some examples of techniques, best essay help that will definitely help you take your writing style to the next level and turn you into a great writer.

  1. Avoid repetition

When you have to write a five-page term paper on a single character or idea, it might seem impossible to avoid repetition. But when you use the same ideas over and over again the reader will consider it a sign of laziness. What you can do, is replace a specific word of phrase that you have already used with something similar, but avoid using words you are unfamiliar with just because they sound good.

You can also try to cross out the repetition. You can do this by circling only the important words that you want to keep and skipping those such as a ‘while, of, it’ etc. Now create another sentence in which to use only the circled words.

  1. Active voice

The active voice breathes life into your essay. To find the passive voice in your essay use for the verb ‘to be’ followed by a past participle, which is usually a verb ending in -ed. For example, “You wrote the article” is active voice, while ‘The article was written by you’ is passive voice. You just have to ask yourself who performs the action, move that person in front of the verb and make the other necessary grammatical changes.

  1. Transitions

Use transitional phrases, such as “moreover”, “furthermore”, “on the other hand”, or “by contrast” to show the reader that a section of the essay ends, and the other starts. It might be helpful for you if you consider them as equivalents of the spoken cues found mainly in formal speeches. They are very useful as they lead the reader from one paragraph to the other, without losing the main idea.

  1. Avoid the ordinary

Avoid all clichés and idioms and replace them with original thoughts and clever ideas. Leave out the metaphors and similes, especially if they are familiar ones. There might be situations when you consider you have come up with the perfect comparison that highlights the main idea of your essay, but an experienced reader might consider it just ordinary. Although there are some types of writing, such as speeches and advertising, that may call for this, in formal writing, they should have no place.

  1. Choose the literary present

Instead of ‘The forest symbolized the freedom of choice’ writer ‘The forest symbolizes the freedom of choice.’ Write everything in the present tense, no matter if you read the book last month or if the author wrote it 50 years ago. Write about the events and characters as if they still exist.

  1. Proofreading

It goes without saying that you always proofread your essay to make it best or anything that you write. It takes only a moment to run a spell check, but this moment will save you from getting a small mark. Read it carefully and find any error before your teacher does. No matter how brilliant your paper might be, spelling mistakes will make it seem junk.

  1. Second opinion

A fresh set of eyes can find flaws that you have missed, from spelling and grammar mistakes to inconsistency in your presentation or the lack of fluidity. Ask someone else to read it and just give their opinion on your essay. It might help you add a new idea or maybe take out some information that was not useful.

At the beginning focus on one or two of the points mentioned above and you will see how your essay-writing skills will significantly improve in time.

How to Write Better Essays: 6 Practical Tips

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Writing services

Writing an essay implies an interesting intellectual exercise to craft thoughtful arguments on a certain topic, sometimes within a particular word count. For each student, an essay means the chance of making it a little better than the last one. But how can you cross that line between good and better or even the best?

There are some techniques that can help you achieve your goal and improve your essay writing skills.

  1. Read what others have written

Similar to reading books, reading other people’s essays will help you build and develop your own essay writing styles. Try to read the essays of your academics and peers, on a wide range of subjects. Different disciplines might require diverse styles or arguments, so the wider you read, the more techniques you will get in contact with, that you could, later on, use in your essays.

When you read other essays, also try to be critical. Ask yourself what you like about them, what you don’t like, if the argument is a balanced one and if the writer has applied techniques that you have not seen before.

  1. Build a dictionary

A rich vocabulary will help you express clearly what you mean. You can even build you own dictionary in which to add words that you found somewhere and you would like to use them. Always work to expand your vocabulary as there are always new words that can help you express a point of view more effectively. This method will also help you reduce waffles and increase precision.

  1. Get organized

Before you begin planning your essay, you should think about what resources you will use (the internet, books, etc.) and also make a timeline. Write down everything that you want to read and try to gather all the material that you need. Prepare a timeline for how long you will spend researching and reading, writing and planning, and leave at least a day before the deadline to have time to make significant changes.

  1. Gather information

Some teachers give reading lists for essays; others don’t. But even if you are given such a list, you should go and find other sources yourself, to add depth, breadth and a fresh perspective to your essay. Remember to use only valuable and reliable sources such as academic articles.

  1. Make an outline

Planning is the most important step in creating an essay. Has your teacher ever said about an essay that it has unclear lines of argument or a poor structure? Well, that is why you should not mess this part up. Write down interesting ideas about the topic you want to write about and figure out which is the conclusion of your essay. From this point, you start working backward and create a skeleton with the main points you want to emphasize.

Start filling the skeleton with ideas and information that you have, arguments and nuances. Ask someone to read you plan to see if it’s relevant and if it makes sense. Remove anything that is irrelevant. Now you just have to polish your ideas and organize your thoughts.

  1. Punctuation, tone of voice and syntax

Check if your essay is easy for the reader to understand. Replace sophisticated sentence structures, as well as long and rambling sentences. Be careful about the punctuation, as poor grammar can kill your essay no matter how good it is. Is your tone of voice engaging and interesting? A confident tone of voice will show the reader that you are confident and know what you are talking about.

By applying these techniques, you will be manage to take your essays to the next level and avoid flaws that you used to make in the past.

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (June 24)

June 24, 2013




1 Comment

2013 Fiction Contest from HorseChannel
Word Count: Up to 1,500 words
Theme: Horse-inspired
Prize: Publication in Horse Illustrated; $100 Amazon gift card
Deadline: June 30

“Finish Roger’s Story” Contest from Chaz’s Blog at RogerEbert.com
Word Count: Unspecified
Theme: Write an ending to “The Thinking Molecules of Titan,” an unfinished story by Roger Ebert
Prize: Announcement on site is all that’s specified at this point
Deadline: July 18

Flash Fiction Fest 2013 from December House
Word Count: 3 pieces of up to 1,000 words each
Theme: The 7 Deadly Sins
Prize: Work included in Flash Fiction Fest in November; publication in event’s e-book (with paid royalties); chance to work with December House’s editor on a novel
Deadline: August 19

Summer 2013 Fiction Contest from Russian Life
Word Count: Up to 500
Theme: Photo prompt at website linked above
Prize: Publication in Russian Life; box of Russian Life swag valued at $50-$100
Deadline: September 1

The Dark Crystal Author Contest from Grosset & Dunlap and The Jim Henson Company
Word Count: 7,500-10,000 words representing the story you’d tell in a full-length Dark Crystal novel (50,000+ words)
Theme: Prequel set in Dark Crystal world at the time of the Gelfling Gathering, between Second Great Conjunction and the creation of the Wall of Destiny
Prize: Book publishing contract for publication of 50,000 word Dark Crystal young adult novel with Penguin Group, valued at $10,000
Deadline: Opens October 1, Closes December 31

Contest Resources:

Writing Contest News from Write Success

Contest Archives from Walrus Publishing, Inc.

Writing Contests & Book Contests from NewPages Classifieds

Submission Deadlines from Submittable

Recently Added Short Story Competitions from Short Story Competition HQ

Note: We do our best to copy details correctly from the original websites, but please verify for yourself before planning to enter any competition. 

Writing opportunities

The Monday Five: Writing Life – NaNoWriMo Tips & Resources (November 4)

November 4, 2013

Keri Mathews Resources, Writing Life, Writing Opportunities, Writing Process inspiration, legal tips, nanowrimo, writing process, writing resources, writing tips Leave a comment

How to Participate in NaNoWriMo
from various contributors at wikiHow

Nanowrimo Tips and Resources
from M.A. Chiappetta at The Chipper Muse

NaNoWriMo Tips & Resources
from Justin McLachlan at Justin McLachlan

25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo
from Chuck Wendig at terribleminds

Writing on the Ether: The Haunting of NaNoWriMo
from Jane Friedman at Jane Friedman: Writing, Reading, and Publishing in the Digital Age

Bonus Stuff:

The best fake #NaNoWriMo opening lines

17 Struggles Of Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo

You Can Do It! NaNoWriMo Success Stories

14 Published Novels Written During NaNoWriMo

It’s NaNoWriMo! Top 10 Legal Tips for Writers

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (June 24)

June 24, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities contest resources, writing contests 1 Comment

2013 Fiction Contest from HorseChannel
Word Count: Up to 1,500 words
Theme: Horse-inspired
Prize: Publication in Horse Illustrated; $100 Amazon gift card
Deadline: June 30

“Finish Roger’s Story” Contest from Chaz’s Blog at RogerEbert.com
Word Count: Unspecified
Theme: Write an ending to “The Thinking Molecules of Titan,” an unfinished story by Roger Ebert
Prize: Announcement on site is all that’s specified at this point
Deadline: July 18

Flash Fiction Fest 2013 from December House
Word Count: 3 pieces of up to 1,000 words each
Theme: The 7 Deadly Sins
Prize: Work included in Flash Fiction Fest in November; publication in event’s e-book (with paid royalties); chance to work with December House’s editor on a novel
Deadline: August 19

Summer 2013 Fiction Contest from Russian Life
Word Count: Up to 500
Theme: Photo prompt at website linked above
Prize: Publication in Russian Life; box of Russian Life swag valued at $50-$100
Deadline: September 1

The Dark Crystal Author Contest from Grosset & Dunlap and The Jim Henson Company
Word Count: 7,500-10,000 words representing the story you’d tell in a full-length Dark Crystal novel (50,000+ words)
Theme: Prequel set in Dark Crystal world at the time of the Gelfling Gathering, between Second Great Conjunction and the creation of the Wall of Destiny
Prize: Book publishing contract for publication of 50,000 word Dark Crystal young adult novel with Penguin Group, valued at $10,000
Deadline: Opens October 1, Closes December 31

Contest Resources:

Writing Contest News from Write Success

Contest Archives from Walrus Publishing, Inc.

Writing Contests & Book Contests from NewPages Classifieds

Submission Deadlines from Submittable

Recently Added Short Story Competitions from Short Story Competition HQ

Note: We do our best to copy details correctly from the original websites, but please verify for yourself before planning to enter any competition.

The Monday Five (Plus): Free-Entry Contests and Contest Resources (June 17)

June 17, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities contest resources, writing contests Leave a comment

Note: We do our best to transfer contest details correctly from the original pages, but please verify before planning to enter. We are not affiliated with any of the contests we list here.

Format is slightly different than usual; kindly blame it on our migraine and not on any personal fault of The Daily Word. Thanks.

The Contests

June Flash Fiction Contest
from Necon Comics
Theme: Must use required words listed on contest page (linked above)
Word Limit: Up to 100
Prizes: Publication on website and in Necon E-Books Flash Fiction Anthology; contributor’s copy of anthology
Deadline: June 30

Flash Fiction Contest
from Colors of My Soul
Theme: Must use photo prompt on contest page (linked above)
Word Limit: Up to 500
First Prize: $150, virtual badge, publication in ebook of winning stories (finalists and runners-up will receive various other prizes)
Deadline: July 7

Brattleboro Literary Festival Flash Fiction Contest
from Green Mountains Review
Theme: None specified
Word Limit: Up to 1,000
Prize: Publication in Green Mountains Review and opportunity to read at Brattleboro Literary Festival
Deadline: July 10

“Looking for Love” Fiction Contest
from Quirk Books
Theme: Unconventional love story (no vampires allowed)
Word Limit: 50,000+
First Prize: $10,000 and publication by Quirk Books
Deadline: October 1

Other, Less Conventional Contests

A Contest Within a Contest from Writerlious

Serial Contest from JukePop Serials

Indie Author Top Sales Contest from BookRix

Contest Resources

Write Jobs

Paul McVeigh

2013 Creative Writing Fellowships with NO Entry Fees

Creative Writing Contests (Manuscript Editing Services)

Stage of Life National Blogging and Writing Contests

The Monday Double Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests, Challenges, Resources (June 10)

June 10, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities writing contest resources, writing contests Leave a comment

Important note: We do our best to transfer contest details without error, but please verify for yourselves before preparing to enter any competition.

June Short Fiction Competition
from The Cult of Me
Length: Up to 500 words
Theme: Story based on visual prompt posted on site
Prizes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd – £50, £20, £10 Amazon gift cards, plus publication on site and free promotion
Deadline June 23
Note: First installment of monthly competition

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
from the English Department at San Jose State University
Length: Any, but recommended up to 50-60 words
Theme: “Compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels”
Prize: “A pittance” (and publication on site)
Deadline June 30

Flash Fiction Writing Contest
from Wisconsin Life
Length: Up to 600 words
Theme: Ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, etc.
Prize: Story will be aired on Wisconsin Life and attributed to author; possible publication on website and Facebook page
Deadline October 7
Note: Wisconsin Life reserves the right to edit story for clarity, brevity, or grammar and spelling

The Fresh Meat Writing Contest
from Sinister Grin Press
Length: Novel
Theme: Horror
Prize: Contract for your novel, advance, and royalties
Deadline October 31
What to submit by deadline: ”The title of your book, a one-sentence logline, a synopsis (1-2 paragraphs), and the first three chapters of your novel”
The contest: “We will choose 6 contestants. Each week, you will turn in 3 chapters of your novel in progress. The judges will critique those chapters, and you will use that information to assist you in writing the next 3 chapters that you will turn in the following week. Each week, one contestant will be eliminated. The judges will get a vote, but the public will be allowed to vote as well. All of your work will be posted online for others to see. The votes will be counted each week, and the author with the least amount of votes will be eliminated.”

The Iron Writer Challenge
Length: 500 words
Theme: Must involve four elements given at the beginning of the four-day writing period; any genre except erotica
Prize: Bragging rights, plus publication on website
Deadline: Ongoing challenge
Note: Must contact to schedule participation in the challenge. Four writers will have four days to write stories based on the same four elements. One winner will be chosen from the four based on votes from readers.

Contest Resources

Writing Contests from The Writer

Short Story Contest Deadlines by Month from Fiction Writing at About.com

Speculative Fiction Contests from David Barr Kirtley

Creative Writing Contests from Be a Better Writer

Writing Competitions from FirstWriterdotcom

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 29)

April 29, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities writing contest resources, writing contests 4 Comments

Writing Contest: Liquid Literature
from Literature and Libation
Theme is “Writing and Drinking”; 300-1,000 words
2 winners will receive feedback on submission and editorial review of another piece
Deadline May 3

“(Un)Conventional” Short Story Competition
from The Great Escape
Must be set at or strongly feature a convention or expo; 1,000-3,000 words
Winner will be published on website and in Winter 2013 issue, and will receive cash prize
Runners up will be offered publication on website and/or in anthology
Deadline May 30

A Midsummer Tale
from Toasted Cheese Literary Journal
Theme is “Retreat/Encounter”; story should take place during warm time of year; 1,000-5,000 words
Winning stories will be published in September issue
3 winners will receive Amazon gift cards
Deadline June 21

drawkcaB Fiction Contest
from Postcard Poems and Prose
Theme is “Backward”; 153-194 words
First prize is an Amazon gift card for $26.22
Judges comment on 50 entries picked at random
Deadline June 22

Weekly Micro Fiction Contest
from Flash! Friday
Theme and word limit are given each week
Winners will receive e-button, winner’s page on site, name on winners’ wall, and front page feature on Flash! Friday
Deadline Fridays

Bonus Resource:
Poet’s and Writer’s “Smart Approach to Contest Submissions”
from The Competitive Writer

The Monday Five: Writing Challenges/Prompts (April 22)

April 22, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities writing challenges, writing exercises, writing prompts Leave a comment

Concept Art Writing Prompt: Blue Girl in the Chemist’s Lair
from io9: We Come From the Future

Weekly Writing Challenge: Person, Place, Thing
from The Trash Bash

Writing Assignment: Fifty Words
from First Today, Then Tomorrow

300 Word Writing Challenge
from Chronicles (Science Fiction and Fantasy Community)

7 Creative Writing Prompts to Spark Your Writing
from Brian A. Klems at Writer’s Digest

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 15)

April 15, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities writing contests Leave a comment

A Very Short Story Contest
from Gotham Writers’ Workshop
10 words or fewer
deadline April 23

2013 Novella Contest
from Boroughs Publishing Group
25,000-40,000 words; based on the title of a song
deadline May 31

Writing Competition
from Dark Places
1,000-5,000 words
deadline June 15

International Short Story Competition
from GKBC Inc.
2,000 words or fewer; theme is CRIME
deadline June 30

Mystery Short Story Competition 2013
from Buddhapuss Ink LLC
3,000-7,000 words; theme is MYSTERY
deadline July 15

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Contests (April 8)

April 8, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities nanowrimo, writing challenges, writing contest resources, writing contest tips, writing contests Leave a comment

Always verify ALL details through the contest websites, please.

Stanford Story Slam 2013
from Ensemble at Stanford University
Collaborative story with a prompt
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline April 22

The Character-Driven Tale Contest, with David Corbett
from Scribophile
Character-driven short story, no required genre
Up to 3,000 words
Deadline April 30

15th Annual GPS Writing Contest
from Geek Partnership Society
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Alternate History Fiction
Up to 5,000 words
Deadline May 15

2013 Write Action 8th Annual Literary Contest
from Write Action
Theme: “A Different World,” open to interpretation
Up to 1,500 words
Deadline June 30

Young Writers of Earth 2013 Flash Fiction Writing Competition (ages 18-30)
from Young Writers of Earth
No required genre or theme
Up to 1,000 words
Deadline TBA

Bonus Group Writing Activity –
National Novel Writing Marathon
from NaNoWriMo
Happening April 13

Bonus Writing Competition Tips –
Entering Writing Competitions? Here Are Six Quick Tips!
from MaryChris Bradley at The AmWriting Blog

Bonus Writing Contest Resource –
@WritersContests on Twitter

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Novel-Length Manuscript Contests (April 1)

April 1, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities writing awards, writing contests, writing fellowships Leave a comment

Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize
from Black Balloon Publishing
Novel or short story collection, minimum 50,000 words
Deadline April 30

Henry Hazlitt Contest for Business Fiction
from Fiscal Press
Pro-business novel with theme of business, finance, entrepreneurship, or economics
Deadline April 30

St. Francis College Literary Prize
from St. Francis College
Open to writers who have recently published 3rd to 5th work of fiction (self-pubbed is okay)
Deadline May 1

Emerging Writer Fellowship
from The Writer’s Center
Must have 1 or 2 books published previously to be considered
Deadline May 3

Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award
from Binghamton University’s Center for Writers
deadline March 1, 2014

The Monday Five: Free-Entry Writing Opportunities (March 18)

March 18, 2013

Keri Mathews Writing Opportunities wrimos, writing contests 1 Comment

Weekly Writing Competition: March 24-31
from Rick Wayne at Google+ Writer’s Discussion Group
due March 31st, 2pm (PST)

Writers of the Future Quarterly Contest
from L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future
due March 31st, midnight (another quarter begins April 1st)

QAB Writing Contest
from Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers
due April 25th

The Flying Elephants Short Story Prize
from AndWeWereHungry
due April 30th

Camp NaNoWriMo
from the people who brought us NaNoWriMo
runs from April 1st-30th

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