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Factors That Matter When Writing an Essay

Factors That Matter When Writing an Essay

In school, you are bound to write countless essays, and from my experience, the entire process can be tedious. Teachers will push to ensure the essay is well structured and meets all the requirements. For example, many times teachers will like to see the entire process you went through before handing in your essay: They want to know how you chose your topic, formed a rough draft, and picked your thesis. For you to succeed, you’ll have to know how to write a proper essay.

Over the years, I’ve created a specific outline for myself to follow each time I’ve completed an essay assignment. Today, I’ll be going over some of the most important factors that matter when writing one. We’ll be looking at the following:

  • Picking an essay topic
  • Preparing an outline
  • Writing a thesis
  • Introduction
  • The body
  • The Conclusion

Picking an Essay Topic

If you have been given free reign, then focus on a topic close to you. I’ve noticed when I write about a topic that I’m knowledgeable about, I’ll have an easier time gathering sources and conducting research.

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Writing about a passionate topic will also ensure I have previous knowledge about it so I’ll know how to guide my writing. However, if your teacher has provided a topic, and you have to find something related, then pick one with many options. For example, it’s better to write about “link building in SEO” then “weight loss soybeans” because you’ll have a broader scope. From the top of my head, there are 15 link-building strategies, and having the ability to choose makes things easier.

Preparing an Outline

This is much easier than it sounds because you’re simply summarizing what you have planned. Start by stating your topic, what points you’ll be covering, your thesis, and what you’ll include in the introduction, body, and conclusion. You’ll also want to mention the research sources you’ll be using to gather all your material.

By taking what’s in your head and jotting it on paper, you’ll be able to see how everything connects. You’ll see the ideas more clearly and what’s missing. It’s a great way to find structure in your essay and it will help with the completion because you’re organizing before starting.

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Writing a Thesis

For those of you not aware, a thesis statement reflects the main idea of your paper. A thesis has two parts—and make sure you complete both when creating an outline. First, always state your main topic, and secondly, it’s important to state your main point. For example, “The United States And Its Impact on Europe” (topic), and your thesis statement would be – “The United States Has Negatively Impacted Europe By Reducing Its Currency” (the main point).

Introduction

I like to write this part last because it helps me stay focused since I know what I’ve written about in the body. In the introduction, you’ll provide a slight history on the topic and why it’s important to you. You’ll also state the main purpose of your paper with a strong emphasis on the thesis statement.

The Body

Take this time to go in-depth on your topic. Make sure you focus on the main points and always provide the sources to back up statistical statements.

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You can also include focus keywords that are relevant to your essay. For example, when writing about “The United States And Its Negative Impact on Europe’s Currency”, you’ll want to discuss some aspects regarding the “negative impact” throughout because this is your main idea…right?

Depending on your assignment rules, it’s important to format accordingly, stick to the word count, and include whatever else your teacher outlines for you.

The Conclusion

This part is easy because, unlike your introduction where you explain what you want to accomplish, in the conclusion you’ll focus on what you’ve done and summarize everything in short form. It’s also a great place to provide your own personal thoughts on the topic. At the same time, repeat your thesis and write about how you’ve proven your main point. The conclusion should be right to the point, with a summary statement mentioned as well.

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Final Thoughts

If you still need some guidance on how to write an essay or information on how to write specific essay formats such as how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, then do a quick search in Google. You’ll find a lot of free resources. However, you can always use this quick guide the next time you sit down to write your essay paper.

Featured photo credit: thesis-masternow.com via thesis-masternow.com

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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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