Writing Techniques: Unlock Your Mind and Avoid the Worst Traps April 3rd, 2012
Do you want to make your essays flawless and your writing process smooth? Certainly, you do. Then, you should look through these examples of best and worst writing techniques, so that you can complete perfect papers and enjoy good grades for them.
Writing techniques definition
What are writing techniques? Writing techniques are the mechanisms you use to write your papers. Each step you take in the essay writing process can influence the results you achieve. Though there is no universal recipe for writing all types of essays, some mechanisms have proven to be more effective than others.
Writing techniques to unlock your mind
The first steps in essay writing can be rather intimidating. “Hello, my dear friend” says the writer’s block, and you do not know where to start, but look blankly at a white computer monitor. Stop torturing yourself and try these truly effective essay writing techniques:
- Brainstorming. First, you should forget about criticism and write down all ideas coming into your head (even the silliest of them). Then, you should evaluate and test them, selecting only the best ones. To get your creativity going, you need to remove all barriers. In brainstorming, you first generate as many ideas as you can, and only later evaluate their quality.
- Free writing. Though this writing technique is criticized by some instructors, a lot of students like and appreciate it. Free writing means you do not need to worry about grammar and punctuation (not until proofreading papers). Your main goal is to free your brilliant ideas. You may set on a timer and write for a certain period of time (10-15 minutes) any thoughts that come into your head.
- Directed questioning. If you cannot decide what to include in your paper, you may ask yourself directing questions. E.g. How can I define this concept? How can I investigate this problem? Why does this problem interest me? How does this problem affect other subjects?
- Outlining. By making an outline, you can accelerate your writing process. Start from writing a thesis statement, then find convincing arguments for body paragraphs, and formulate them in the form of topic sentences. Then, support these central ideas with additional evidence. You will complete your essay before you could say Jack Robinson.
Writing techniques to persuade your readers
Another important aspect essential to improving your writing style is to find good content for your papers. These are proven writing techniques that will make your papers better:
- AIDA formula. Attention + Interest + Desire + Action = a good essay. This formula is used by marketers in advertisements, but it can be helpful for any papers. Try toput yourself in your readers’ shoes and think from their perspective. Respect your audience and think of what might interest them.
- Rhetorical triangle. Though it was created by ancient Greeks, it can be helpful for you too. The main components to include are logos (logical explanations, examples, and evidence), pathos (appeals to readers’ feelings and emotions), and ethos (ethical concerns – show that you as a writer have enough knowledge and competence to discuss certain problems and therefore readers can believe you).
- Repetitions. Repetitions are highly valued by psychologists. Make certain to use repetitions wisely, so that you don’t bore your readers. Echo the idea indicated in your thesis statement throughout your paper in topic sentences and conclusion. You should use various forms for repetitions, such as narratives, examples, logical reasoning, quotations of outstanding thinkers.
- Addressing objections. When developing your arguments, try to address the arguments of your readers before they even think of them. Imagine your instructors reading your essays and saying: “What about…?”
Writing techniques to avoid
Now that you understand what strategies can help you improve your writing skills, you might also want to check these worst techniques for writing essays, to know what to avoid:
- Positive commentators. Some students think that if they write an essay in a positive key, their teachers will like it. This is wrong. Be objective and make certain to offer convincing arguments instead of simply stating that the book was “unforgettable”.
- Open-hearted fellows. This group of students thinks that they can impress their instructors by using colloquialisms and personal details. This is wrong. You should not use an informal style unless it is requested by your teacher.
- Garbage collectors. This group of students thinks that they can include all information that is in anyway related to the subject matter and get a good grade for this collection of interesting but irrelevant facts. Such students keep a lot of information in their short-term memory and absolutely nothing, even essay questions, will prevent them from including these facts into essays.
- TERMinators. The name of this category is derived from the word “term”. These students are fond of complicated terms and their definitions. This is wrong. You should not provide unnecessary definitions, unless they are valuable for your discussion.
- Magicians. These students can make tricks and illusions with essay questions. Their essays start well, but the essay question disappears by the time you read the conclusion part. “While” is their favorite word. E.g. In an essay on a marketing strategy: While a marketing strategy is important for the company’s success, change management is also important for making progress. Change management techniques are…
- Philosophers of contradiction. These students assume that all questions are controversial and use this assumption as their writing technique. They do not want to take a concrete stand and in their essays, they simply repeat the idea that the essay question is really controversial and can be viewed from different perspectives.
So, now that you see the difference between best and worst writing techniques, you will be able to make the right choices, unlock your mind, avoid the traps and make your essays just perfect.