Tips for Better Essay Writing Style

As an essayist, do you think you sound clever when you use big words? The answer is no. As asserted in a 2005 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, complex writing makes you sound narrow-minded. To sound clever, you must stop trying to sound clever. Successful writing is simple writing; an idea delivered directly and clearly. Here are seven tips on how to improve writing style, which professional writers at have prepared for you.


Be Explicit

The first tip to make your writing better is: Be explicit. Consider two sentences:

  1. Last night, as I was walking home, I was attacked by a dog.

As you read this sentence, what kind of dog comes to mind? For some, it might be a monstrous Rottweiler, for others, a calm nipping terrier. Now, rewrite the sentence:

  1. Last night, as I was walking home, I was attacked by a Pit Bull.

Bingo! Suddenly, the picture becomes clear. Our dog comes to focus. Why? Because the word “pit bull” is more explicit than the word “dog.” Being more explicit, “pit bull,” even if it is one word, contains more information than “dog.” It contains information about size, type, shape, and behavior.

Always remember: Explicit words are more informative than general words. Be as specific as you can usefully be.


Limit your use of Adverbs

If you want to learn how to write better essays, you should know that it is integral to use fewer adverbs. Adverbs can be used to fill up space when you have five-hundred words to say, but an eight-hundred-word essay to write.

Experts emphasize that, when writing your essay, ditch adverbs and use stronger verbs. Do not say “Nancy said loudly,” instead, say, “Nancy shouted.” Even when there is not an obvious situation, deleting the adverb is advisable. Consider the difference between “Mary strongly asserts that children should not play on the field” and “Mary asserts that children should not play on the field.” The former places an emotional tone to Mary’s words; only use an adverb if you are okay with the implications of its meaning.


Check your Hyphens and Dashes

Number three of our tips for better writing is check you hyphens and dashes. When setting a clause – this is a perfect example – use the m-dash. If you do not have the m-dash function on your device, you can indicate this dash with two hyphens. Ensure that the parts preceding and following the dashes in your sentence will still make sense if you removed the dashes. In the above example, the sentence is readable with or without the clause inside the dashes.


You can also substitute a colon for an m-dash if you want to emphasize the words that follow: “The wall unit was lined with portraits of people she loved – her father, her siblings, and her favorite uncle.” Or, you can use it to indicate something surprising in a sentence: “Her family’s portraits were arranged on the wall unit; there were portraits of parents, siblings, grandparents, and Bruno, an Irish setter. Use the m-dash to set off parts of a sentence, and use a hyphen to join words: Forty-five, mother-in-law, good-hearted.



Use Concrete and Literal Language

Save abstract and flowery language for fictional works. This tip is beneficial when you want to write a good essay introduction. When writing to persuade, ensure that you use direct and clear language. This requires omitting any similes and metaphors, hyperboles, litotes, alliteration, and other literary techniques. You want your reader to understand your essay in a quick read-through. Abstract language will slow down your reader and make your essay less succinct.

Also, do not use vague language. You should not say something like, “I am good at many things.” Broad assertions like this will leave your reader wondering, “What things?” Instead, you should use specific and concrete language. Write something like “I was MVP of my soccer team two years in a row,” which conclusively demonstrates your achievement.


Omit Fluff Words

According to statistics,wich you can find at, fluff words lull you into thinking that it is okay to write your essay without revising while in essence; you are only using unnecessary words so that you can appear to be writing more than you are.

Among the most used fluff words are:

Just: “Just buy the dress, it is on sale.”

Really: “Did you really watch the whole movie?”

That: “The house that she rented was overpriced.”

Omitting these words does not change the intended meaning of the sentences; it makes them more concise.

Redundancy is also an effect of fluffy writing. “I walked out into the dark night,” or “I drove through the cold snow,” are redundant because snow is always cold and night is always cold.


Use our Spellchecker

This tip is beneficial for improving your writing styles in English. Most word processors have adaptable spellcheckers. You can preset them to autocorrect your most frequent typos, or, highlight words that you overuse. You do not have to refer to the dictionary continually. If you care about the distinction between en- and em-dashes, then you can ensure that they are highlighted too.

Experts from Oxford Royale advice writers to use spellcheckers by adding errors to your spellchecker as they occur when you are writing instead of trying to sit down and think of all the mistakes you made. Using spellcheckers will improve the grammar of your essay where red and green squiggly lines will indicate that you are making an error in your spelling.

So, if you have an opportunity to check your grammar and spelling, you should take it.


Avoid Split-Infinitives

A ‘split-infinitive’ is a specific kind of misplaced order.

Incorrect: He decided to immediately resign from his job.


An infinitive is a verb that comes after the word to: (to take, to eat, to study). When an adverb is placed between to and the verb itself, the result is a split infinitive.


To correct the sentence above instantly should be placed after the verb.

Correct: He decided to resign from his job immediately.


Split infinitives are regarded by some critics as anathema, something to be avoided entirely. Avoid split infinitives in the formal register of an essay and other pieces of academic writing.


For example:

He told me I had to quickly mow the lawn

He told me I had to mow the lawn quickly

There are instances when splitting the infinitive is clearer than alternative phrasing.


We cannot all be perfect writers, and academically, perfection is not expected from everyone. However, we can all improve our style and sound clever by following the above academic essay writing tips.








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