11 Quick Tips To Improve Your Essay Writing

11 Quick Tips To Improve Your Essay Writing

Finals season: It's the happiest season of all!

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Finals are coming up: it's that happiest season of all. But really, what do you prefer? Studying for days for a test or spending days writing an essay. Writing an essay can be frustrating because it really seems like if you work hard, you should get the perfect grade. There is minimal room for tricks, but somehow it can feel impossible to get the perfect grade.

As someone who would prefer to write essay and loves to edit my friends', here are a few quick tips to get through your essays this finals season.

1. Know the prompt

This could go without saying, but don't mess this part up. Know exactly what your professor wants before you start anything. It could be your worst mistake to write a whole essay and then find out you misunderstood what the prompt meant.

2. Research until you are sick of it

Read, listen, look at everything you can. The better you know your topic, the better you can speak about it. Don't just google it: look in the library, go to a museum, listen to a podcast. Know your topic like the back of your hand.

3. Don't write until you've researched everything

Wait until you are completely informed. Collect all the data and quotes you will use, and then you can add it all easily. Make sure you keep track of where you got the information.

4. Word vomit your thoughts on the essay

Starting is the hardest part. Personally, I like to word vomit onto a document, so I know all my thoughts on a topic. Then, I reorganize and see how I can actually write this essay. With all of your thoughts organized, you can create a strong outline. Now you have a working essay with claims and evidence.

5. Go to office hours if you can!

I think office hours can be underrated. Remember, this is the professor giving you the grade. If you have any questions, it is always better to ask. Even if you just want to run an idea by someone, it is better to run it by the person who is grading the paper. It also shows the professor your thoughts outside the physical paper, which could help your grade in the long run.

6. Download Grammarly

It's okay to admit it's been a while since your last grammar lesson. Everyone has slip ups! But Grammarlywill catch every small mistake. The free version does your basic grammar, and many schools offer discounts or free premium memberships.

7. Run the essay through Hemingway Editor

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This website has been a lifesaver for me since freshman year of high school. This website goes through your essay and gives you stats on reading time, sentences, paragraphs, and your writing level. It will show you sentences that need to be shortened, lengthened, or rephrased.

8. Change the font and text size

This one sounds crazy but I swear it will work. If you have been looking at the same paragraph for hours, it can be hard to notice a mistake. But a different font and/or text size will force you to change perspective and you'll notice something new.

9. Read it out loud

This will help you notice if a sentence is too hard to read or any small errors. It seems tedious but will always catch something.

10. Make someone else read it

While it is tempting to have someone informed on the topic read the essay, it is actually better to have an uninformed reader. Give the essay to someone who knows minimal information, because they look at it with new eyes. Your essay should include everything—from the background information to the complex claims. Someone new to the topic should read this and have new information, not confusion.

11. Write confidently!

With all of these tips, you will know your information like the back of your hand, have strong claims, and catch any small mistakes. Know that you can get an A and get it!

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Stopped Maintaining My Hair Because I Could Barely Maintain My Life

Mental health and natural hair matter.

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When I big chopped my hair in May of 2018, I thought that I would become what would be comparable to a chia pet. I aspired for my damaged, kinky 4C type hair to depart from me to make way for manageable coiled locks that would grow fuller and healthier at a faster rate. That day in the salon was one I will never forget. Looking in the mirror at my new tapered cut made me feel genuinely beautiful. I could see me and not the hair that I tried to hide my identity with. With the knowledge of new hair products and routines, I felt confidence in beginning my hair growth journey.

The first few months after, I noticed that my hair was thicker and had become more manageable. My new routines were paying off. Diligently applying oils and masks had helped me see results. Having shorter hair was a different but liberating experience. It was going all smooth until I got to the awkward phase. I spent hours watching YouTube videos to attempt various styles but the influencer's hair was either too long or short and never awkwardly in between as my hair was.

Later on in the year, my journey came to a halt. I was in between jobs, could barely afford to pay rent and would skip class to go to work because I needed to pay bills and rent. I was a mess and so was my hair. I stopped doing weekly conditioning routines and would let my hair matt up and not detangle properly because I was often in a rush. My anxiety caused me to twist pieces of my hair at high points of stress. I would wear wigs and attempt protective styles to prevent this but still neglected to treat the hair that was underneath. I stopped maintaining my hair because I could barely maintain myself in this hectic period of my life.


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Seeing the film Nappily Ever After made me resonate with the fact that this is a common occurrence in the natural hair community. Saana Lathan portrayed a woman, Violet who used her hair as her sole identity. She displayed how she hid the damage to her natural hair to live a life for others and not herself. It wasn't until she cut her dry, damaged hair that she had she had truly blossomed into the graceful women she truly is.

Natural hair and mental health go hand in hand. Growth can be inhibited by mental health and that goes for many aspects; hair is just one of them. If one takes care of their mental health, they feel more inclined to nourish their roots as well. This is why self-care matters in the black community.

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