Writing is not an easy task which is why so many of you avoid doing it. But I have great news. The more you do it, the easier it gets! Because writing an essay is compulsory for the TOEFL, FCE and IELTS I am going to give you five tips that will make writing easier and more efficient.
1.Regardless which kind of essay you are writing, Agree or Disagree, Preference, Description / Explanation, If / Imaginary, Compare & Contrast, the most important part of your essay is the Thesis Statement.
The Thesis Statement is more than the main idea, it tells the reader what the entire essay will be about and it acts as a guide for the paper. It usually reflects an opinion or judgment, but can also be used in comparative essays.
A typical independent writing task for the TOEFL is:
Some people feel you learn more from books than from watching television. Do you agree or disagree. Use examples and details to support your opinion.
I might write a Thesis Statement like the following: While technology is advancing at unprecedented speeds, I still believe we learn more from reading a book than from watching cable television.
2. Once you know the kind of paper you will be writing and you have formed your Thesis Statement, the best thing to do is to choose 2 or 3 points that support your Thesis.
In this case I would say:
- Authors spend years researching and writing books.
- Television often compresses large amounts of information into very small bits of concise information, whereby leaving out a great deal of knowledge.
- Commercials and advertisements of cable television interrupt learning and offer a great deal of distraction.
3. Here is where the fun part comes in! So now that you have your Thesis and you have decided on your main points we just need to fill in the gaps. How do we do this? With my special recipe: PERDS
- Point – Authors spend years researching and writing books where as many television programs and series are written in just a matter of months.
- Example – For example, it is said that Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mocking Bird, spent nearly 40 years writing her masterpiece.
- Restate example – That is nearly half a lifetime!
- Detail – On the other hand, the movie, likely took four months to adapt the screenplay.
- Summary – This is just one example of why I think books contain much more information than anything you could see on television.
These three tips should help your essay writing skills greatly! Not only will they help you to organize your information, but they will help your writing flow nicer and allow you time focus on your use of language rather than the structure in order to give your writing the polished touch!
Stay tuned for our creative writing tips in next month’s newsletter!
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