Whether the essay is a college application or a research paper, there are a few must have steps for being able to submit high quality writing.
1) Get Multiple Readers
Even if you think your writing sounds good, the point is someone else who isn’t inside your head will be reading your writing. You want to make sure you rework any portions of your essay that other people find difficult to understand. Taking such input will dramatically improve the clarity of your paper.
2) Read Out Loud
This is more for grammatical errors but it is still just as important. Reading your essay out loud will make you catch grammar mistakes and oddly phrased sentences that you wouldn’t see if you were just skimming your writing in your head.
3) Don’t Get Attached
Writing is a difficult process but you don’t want to get attached to your first completed draft. Be open to making dramatic changes during the revision process. Your paper will be better for it. Be willing to rearrange the structure or to change the ideas that you have presented in the paper.
4) Take Time Away
Finish a draft at least two days before the due date. Then ignore that paper for a day. Come back to it and you will be looking at your paper with a fresh set of eyes. You will see things you have never seen before and come up with new ideas.
Writing is a process that requires hard work. It isn’t always fun but if you’re going to be pouring energy into it anyway, might as well make your essay good.
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About Myka Yamasaki
Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.
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