Essay Writing Manual: Adding the Finishing Touches
Once you write an essay there is a feeling of accomplishment (or, ideally there would be a sense of accomplishment). Do not be fooled- you are not done! Before feeling like you are accomplished and finished, there are some last touches to make to the essay before you really can consider it done.
How can you know if you completed the job? Below is a compiled list of check points that you can cross reference and ask yourself if you are done before you consider the essay complete.
- Thesis- Every essay should have a thesis and point to the story. The thesis should be stated in the first paragraph of every essay, in order to present to the readers what will be talked about in the pages to come. The minute you finish writing your last paragraph, refer to the first paragraph and read the thesis. Did you make your point concisely and address all of the related elements? If not, reconsider where you can add to the essay to make it more concise, readable, and above all- relevant.
- References- references are important especially in academic essays. It is essential to have each of the references listed within the essay, depending on if you are using MLA or APA style. If you have a reference that is listed in the bibliography, but is not listed in the actual essay, that is problematic. Similarly, if you do not list references at all, that is another taboo that needs to be fixed.
- Editing- It should go without saying that your essay will be edited. There should be several editing processes- the first editing happens when you are writing. The second editing is best done with the essay is complete and you can read it as an entire piece. The last, as recommended, is having a third source review the work to make sure there are no major mistakes that have been overlooked. Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to identify what has gone wrong, even if you are reading the same essay over and over again. Take caution, and it will pay off.
- Feedback- listen to any feedback that you may receive and consider adjusting the essay accordingly. While you may have a sense of vision of what you want to say, sometimes if it is not conveyable to the reader it is best to put your own ego aside and brush up your essay for clarity.
After you follow these steps, then you can feel a level of accomplishment for finishing your essay. Good luck!