Writing a Winning International Essay/Research.
NOTE: Though this article is targeted at people writing an essay competition, it would be an priceless asset for Students, Researchers and help in improve your daily writing skills.
Writing a winning essay requires the writer to understand effective writing style that would capture the judges’ interest and challenge them to patiently read what the writer has to say. On the other hand, a clumsy writer style waters down a writer’s message and kills the reader’s interest. In addition, Economy of language, naturalness of expression, variety of sentence structure and length, avoidance of unintentional ambiguity and of vernacular English, and sensitivity to what the intended audience already knows or needs to be told are the hallmarks of writing which every writer must aspire to cultivate in order to write a winning essay.
Below here are what’s right and wrong in essay writing:
YOUR ESSAY SHOULD
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding the subject matter and it’s implication (if necessary).
- Show that the author has personally wrestled with the nature and character of compassion.
- Demonstrate the writer’s own serious reflection on the current and future problems facing the subject matter.
- Be focused and well reasoned.
- Use correct spelling and grammar.
- Do not repeat yourself unnecessarily.
- Do not use more words or fewer words than are required. Avoid wordiness, verbosity or redundancy.
- Write naturally. Avoid a forced attempt to impress the judges with flowery, flamboyant use of language. Simplicity is a key virtue in writing.
- Do not let your mother tongue intrude on how you express yourself in English.
- Avoid ambiguity.
- Do not always presuppose that your audience already knows what you have in mind.
- Vary the structure and length of your sentence.
FREQUENT MISTAKES IN ESSAY WRITTING
- No paragraphs:
Many writers submit their essay as one block text with no line breaks or paragraphs. Not only is this improper English, but it’s a turn-off to judges who will find it hard to read.
- Underlining or ALL caps:
Don’t use them! You’re not chatting in instant messenger; you’re not trying to impress your essay judge. Let your words and strong writing speak for itself.
Be careful not to make words possessive that shouldn’t be. A prime examples of a misused apostrophe is the common mistake of confusing “its” and “it’s”.
Use capital letters properly! This means they should be used at start of a sentence and for proper names.
- Misspelling and poor grammar:
If you’re unsure about your grammar, take it to your school’s English Lecturer, Writing club or have an adult or trusted friend look over it. Ask yourself, does this make sense? And if nothing else, run a spell check (Microsoft word and many software have this inbuilt).
- Answer the question:
In this example, the writer sometimes doesn’t answer the question properly. Instead of sticking to how to manage money in current economic times, he forecasts a worst case scenario and explains how to deal with it.
- Keep it formal:
Even a fun or promotional essay contest should not be informal. By all means, feel free to include an off-beat idea or a unique or creative answer-this is encouraged! But remember to write in a professional tone. Your essay should not read as though you’re chatting with a friend.
- Do some research:
Even in an opinion piece, try to back your ideas up by research. The essay writer should have better researched his thesis statement. If you put your money in a bank, not only will it collect interest but the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) will insure your account for up to N200,000. That means that even if the bank goes bankrupt, you’ll still get your money. Need another reason not to keep your money in your house? What if you get robbed or the house burns down? A little research goes a long way.
CRITERIA FOR JUDEGING ESSAYS.
- Awareness of the problem:
Demonstrate knowledge and depth of understanding about the issue form your research.
- Quality of analysis:
Develop your own perspective on the issue. This perspective should be reflected on your analysis of the issue and your personal response to it. Upon reading your essay, the judge wants to answer these questions – is your essay convincing, substantial and understandable?
- Style and mechanics:
Use proper spelling and grammar. Your response to the topic should be clear and original.
Even though the topic has been discussed in various publications, is the author’s approach innovative?
- Quality of writing:
How professional is your style of writing? How clear and organized are your ideas?
- Thoroughness of the research:
Types and varieties of source materials used.
- Interest of the subject matter.
Best wishes in your essay writing.
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