Easy Essay Writing Tips and Tricks for ESL Students

LifehacksWriting Tips
Feb 2, 2020

It is no news that there are a lot of students who attend international schools or choose universities outside their respective countries. There is also nothing wrong with that, however, the number one concern is language since many of these international students are ESL students. “English as a second language” or ESL is now a formal term to describe students who are studying in English-speaking countries, but do not speak the English language well. Speaking in English is one thing, and writing in English is another – having the latter as a so much more complex and significant skill. Writing essays can come easy, but it can provide quite a scare to those who do not use English as their mother tongue. Speaking in English can be a little easier because listeners can understand messages by taking cue from context clues. Any error in grammar can easily escape the ears of a listener, however, this is not the case when writing academic essays in English . The universal language, like all the other languages, have syntax rules and these rules are more observed in writing than speaking, especially in each and every university around the world.

Easy Essay Writing Tips and Tricks for Better English Essays

Understand that you cannot perfect an essay on your first try. There are millions of essay writing tips and tricks to write college essays in English so much better, but here are the essay writing tips and tricks that really matter:

Easy Writing Tips for ESL students and ELL (English Language Learners)

  1. Check out highly useful writing apps for your writing projects.  With the advent of technology combined with the internet, really there is barely nothing that you cannot research. Take advantage of this era and find the best powerful writing app to assist you with your writing projects . Online resources are accessible anywhere at any time of the day, all you need is your mobile phone and an internet connection. Learning the English language, much like learning any other new language, poses a challenge because of all the details you need to keep in mind. It also needs time and serious attention for you to improve, and thankfully, we now have these apps to aid us whenever and wherever we are.
  2. Always bring a dictionary with you.  In order to further improve your English speaking and writing skills, you need to get out of your comfort zone. By that, we meant you cannot use only the words that are familiar to you. In any aspect of life, you need to understand that in order for you to improve, you need to learn something new. Accept that you cannot speak of something that you do not know, so the first step you need to take is to widen your vocabulary. You can take these few basic tricks to keep learning new terms for your English essays:

    → Every morning, find a word in your dictionary which you are unfamiliar with and find out its definition . Then grab your phone, and check how that term is used in a sentence.Then formulate sentences of your own to master that word, which you can do while taking your shower, drinking your coffee, or eating your breakfast. If you get an essay assignment, use the words you recently learned if applicable.

    → When writing your essay via your computer, check the "Synonyms" option for a word which you think you have been repeating since the first word of your paper. This way, you can familiarize yourself with more words, which meanings you already know. This is also a good trick to escape redundancy or the unnecessary repetition of words or thoughts.

    Play scrabble online with strangers . Social media is now highly interactive, to the point that you can play tons of games with people all over the world. Find those word games, and start familiarizing yourself with words that your opponents used. This definitely is a great way to learn while having fun.
  3. Word banks work. Aside from the thesaurus and dictionary, word banks will further improve your vocabulary. Word banks refers to searching for words which are related to your essay topic. For instance, you are working on an essay on bullying . Take your main topic “bullying”, and think of words you can relate to it, such as abuse, children, harassment, and threat. From those words, you can then branch out to the related topics such as cyberbullying and depression. Repeat. All the words you can think of builds your word bank, and that word bank can assist you greatly in drafting your outline and improving your essay.
  4. Research.  There is no essay or essay topic that you cannot address if you know how to research and evaluate your sources . Back in the day, students used to rummage through heaps of index cards kept in possibly rusty drawers to find that one book that they think can help them with their essays or research papers. Today, students are so lucky since they can access any information almost immediately in just a few clicks. Furthermore, universities utilize online libraries already, which means you do not have to spend two hours trying to find where that reading material is. Use this advantage at all times, because the best trick you can pull off when writing English essays is to use accurate information.
  5. Cite your sources. Keep in mind that even if you are as skilled as Shakespeare in writing, you cannot pass your writing exercises if you do not cite your sources. Always cite your sources , unless otherwise instructed. Save these link to guide you in various academic referencing styles:

    APA Citation Style . The APA Citation Style is the most common academic style utilized across the world, making it a standard referencing format for most papers. You can use APA if you are required to cite your sources, but there is no specific referencing style noted in the instructions. The APA style uses the author and year of publication for its in-text citations e.g. (CustomEssayMeister, 2020).

    MLA Citation Style . The MLA Citation Style is commonly used for review of literary works   because of its author and page number style in-text citations e.g. (Faulkner, 100). It works best in literary analysis because you can easily point your reader to the page where your evidence is present.

    Harvard Referencing Style . The Harvard Referencing Style is like a more detailed APA and/or MLA style, because you can use the basic author and year format and add a page number when necessary e.g. (Flaubert, 2015, p.107). This way, the reference is clearer and more specific.

    Chicago Referencing Style . The Chicago Referencing Style uses footnotes, thereby preventing any disruption from the reading process. However, some professors prefer their students to use the author and year of publication format, and this aspect looks like MLA.
  6. Check both sides of the coin. It is normal for one to take a position especially on controversial debate topics , and it is indeed a good exercise for the mind. However, when writing academic essays, it is best to tap on all aspects of your topic regardless of the length of your essay. This is to ensure the accuracy of your essay. Aside from looking at both sides of an argument, you also need to review past and present arguments related to your topic. Outdated information can fail your essay, which is why you really need to do your research.
  7. Combinations, separation, punctuation marks.  The rule is if your sentence is too long, separate your clauses. If it is too short, combine it with another unless you are aiming for a short statement to emphasize the power of words. And above all, know your punctuation marks . The best trick to impress your English teacher and ace your English essay to utilize punctuation marks and to utilize them correctly.
  8. Take it slow.  Even for professional writers, writing in English language can be a little confusing at times especially with the rules on tiny details such as the articles and other parts of speech. This is why you have to go slowly, and stop procrastinating or cramming. The better time management you got, the more time you can use to polish your essay. Again, accept that you cannot write a perfect essay on your first try. Understand that even English teachers and professors take time to proofread their works. This is exactly why even those who write books for a living have to hire professional proofreaders.
  9. Get a writing buddy.  It does not matter who it is, and it does not even matter if they are native English speakers or not. What is important is you are writing with a partner beside you who you can ask immediately if you encounter something confusing. Two minds is always better than one, besides, writing with a buddy can also alleviate the stress it brings when finishing academic tasks. Furthermore, you can exchange your works and check if your partner can understand what you have written. This way, you can adjust your work accordingly.
  10. Hire a professional writer to guide you. Hiring a professional writer does not only mean that they will write your essay for you . As mentioned, even the greatest novelists have their won proofreaders who go through a standard editing checklist to ensure that the document is perfect. As an ESL student, you can use online professional writing services such as CustomEssayMeister to guide you with how you should write your essay - be it an improvement in your outline, addition in your key points, and of course, proofreading and formatting. Practice makes perfect, but it can speed up your improvement if you get to work with someone who is an expert so you can absorb whatever they do to your papers.
  11. Conciseness and the active voice.  It is terrible to believe that longer sentences make essays better, compare to shorter or less verbose statement. This is not true. In fact, longer sentences tend to confuse the readers more mainly because a long statement loses its meaning one the reader encounters a run-on. It is always best to write in short sentences to ensure that your thought is intact and can transition your thought from one sentence to another. Longer sentences are often in passive voice as passive voice uses more words than active voice, so stick with the basic subject-verb-object format instead of using clauses.

BONUS ON SPELL-CHECK: Proofreading from the last word of your paper.  For better spell check, read your paper backwards. Start form the last word up to the first word of your paper, so that you can trick your mind into forgetting what you just wrote, because sometimes our hands skip a letter or two while our mind misses it because what we are thinking is correct.

Get a professional writer to guide you any time!

Writing an essay sounds like an easy task. The challenge comes in with writing an essay for all your subjects to pass. For ESL students, writing English essays can be difficult especially if the assignment drops all at once. Getting a professional writer to help you with your essays is actually your best choice when you are running out of both time and ideas. By hiring a professional writer from legitimate online writing services like CustomEssayMeister, you can free up your schedule and focus on more important matters that you need to attend to. English essays can only hit a good score if you are able to present your ideas correctly and clearly, and no tips or tricks can miraculously improve your writing if you need to finish four essays at the same time.

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