What is the secret to writing essays?

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Although homeschooling is still frowned upon based on outdated misconceptions, the sheer amount of homework students receive has made it possible for both parents and students to experience what homeschooling would be like.

However, homeschooling networks are designed holistically, utilizing the latest communication and online learning platforms for collaboration and feedback. The hybrid model of public schools, which gives students lots of homework, is bereft of such infrastructure, leaving students and parents to figure things out on their own.

It makes one wonder why to settle for the hybrid model of education when a homeschooling alternative is by all accounts and performance studies superior.

While you ponder on that, here are some tips on competently resolving your kid’s homework. In particular, when it comes to writing high-quality essays.

American schools are very fond of giving students essay assignments and for a good reason. As self-directed work, essays represent a few examples of government schools encouraging independent thinking. More importantly, essays reveal if a student has mastered some degree of coherent thinking. They could be made subjective, as an argumentation from a personal perspective, or they could be made analytical, as relying on hard data to form arguments. Likewise, depending on the subject, the tone of the essay can be formal or informal.

Whatever the case may be, an essay writer must keep one feature of any essay in mind – it’s all about structured thinking. Writing, in general, has been portrayed by movies erroneously. You will usually see some actor, playing as a writer, having a so-called “writer’s block”. It might happen if one is writing long-form fiction, but any trained writer is well-aware that it’s not so much about a writer’s block, but more about muddled, unfocused thinking and environmental distractions.

Writer’s block certainly doesn’t apply to school-given essay assignments, especially now in the age of the internet, where every information conceivable is a few clicks away. If you were given a topic, this topic already holds all the keywords that would lead you to vast online repositories of knowledge. Therefore, it is only a matter of building upon them and structuring your text coherently and engagingly.

First, focus on a single idea you want to express with your essay given the topic title. If a person reads it, and a few weeks later, you ask about what he/she remembers about it, what would be the one thing they would remember and express? If they can’t even remember what it was about, it means you failed at creating the foundation for your essay. Besides, this almost always indicates that your essay is incoherent and boring.

Once you have that as a foundation of your essay, the rest is easy. It’s all about creating pillars for that central idea within a structure that consists of:

  • Introduction of the idea.
  • Detailing the idea and adding subpoints.
  • The conclusion that accounts for the added subpoints.

If it sounds easy, it is because it is. With practice in structured thinking, there is no topic you can’t cover.

With that said, the quality of your essay will also largely depend on the technical side of things:

Are your sentences too long and meandering?

Would the reader be distracted from all the points you are making by battling your poor grammar and spelling?

Thankfully, there is a remedy for that in the form of machine learning algorithms. Even if you think you mastered English grammar, it would be prudent to plop your text in one of many online grammar correction websites. One of the better ones is Grammarly. Not only does it detect spelling mistakes, grammar, punctuation, and word choice, but you can also set the tone of your writing. It then compares your text to your set goals, which can range between four main categories:

  • Audience type
  • Formality variation
  • The domain of the topic
  • Tone

It is by no means perfect, but it is a vast improvement from AutoCorrect options you will find in MS Word. As you tinker with your text, you will notice what the AI registers as poor based on your set goals. While doing that, it is important to use your judgment, as the algorithms they deploy still don’t extend beyond the subtleties of the human mind.

After all, your essay will be looked at by a fleshy teacher, not an AI bot. Accordingly, accounting for your teacher’s ideological and personal peculiarities would be a relevant factor to consider. Something that would not be necessary for a homeschooling setup.