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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 March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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