Homework and school papers are just a normal part of learning. Students often have excellent thoughts but struggle with how to express them clearly and grammatically. Getting a better grade on written work can definitely be done with a small amount of focused effort. Identify areas in which teachers or professors have taken away points and then hone layout, sentence structure, and grammar to further perfect essay writing skills.
Learn from Mistakes
Reread the teacher’s notes on previously graded essays. The more criticism read will help identify areas that need improvement. The notes written in the margins, crossed out words or phrases, and any other feedback provides excellent insight into problems that keep occurring in different assignments. Use that feedback to address and fix past mistakes so that they don’t keep recurring.
After being provided a topic or selecting one of your choice, take a few minutes to brainstorm ideas. This doesn’t have to be organized or even full sentences but is really a simple way to put thoughts on paper before beginning an essay. Next, create an outline of what will be discussed in each paragraph using the brainstorm sheet for content ideas. Having an existing outline prior to writing the first draft helps ideas to be combined in a way that flows rather than rather thoughts thrown together in a paragraph for filler.
A common mistake in sentence structure is incomplete and run-on sentences. Sentence structure is quite simple once the basics are understood. Changing the way sentences are written makes the meaning clear and easy to understand while also creating a flow for the reader. All complete sentences contain a subject and a verb. An incomplete sentence does not finish a thought and leaves the reader hanging. These can often be identified by proofreading an essay out loud. Run on sentences are the opposite; they contain too much information. Run-on sentences can be easily fixed by adding a period where it sounds natural and turning one sentence into two.
Grammar is often one of the biggest point deductions on school papers. Utilize Word Processor grammar checks and install a free web plugin that identifies grammatical errors. These digital checks will catch some, but not all grammatical problems. Be sure to proofread the paper multiple times, especially after each draft. This is an excellent time to double check common grammar mistakes like using the wrong version of affect vs. effect, which vs. that, who vs. whom and may vs. might. Another simple tip is to ensure that the entire paper is in the same tense.
Improving a class grade often depends on how well the student performs on essay since they are often worth a significant portion of the grade. Taking steps to identify and improve past mistakes is the first step to regaining points. Creating a flowing layout, good sentence structure, and excellent grammar further hone writing skills. A better grade is sure to follow.