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

Gary Provost

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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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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