Just the other day, I was wondering how bad the people around me are in terms of essay writing. Don’t get me wrong, I never said I am good, I just feel I am at least better compared to a lot of folks around. Think about it, how many times have you seen a Nigerian graduate give out a job application letter out for someone to write for him/her? How many times have you heard “so called science students” claim writing is not their thing after they had made an avoidable mistake while expressing themselves in writing?
You don’t need to go far, what subjects are the most failed subject in WAEC and NECO? Mathematics and Use of English right? Why do they fail English? Because majority of them flopped at expressing themselves in writing. You all know what examiners check in essays and you just will agree with me that only few Nigerian students can write essays that meet the requirements of the examiner.
This is why it is best for every Nigerian student to consciously learn how to write essays. While growing up, my secondary school director in person of Mr. Edoga Christopher of Knowledge is Power Secondary School (KPSS) made it compulsory for us to read a book titled; Model Essays and Letters. If you can get that book to read and practice the exercises, it will help groom you in the art of writing.
Here are the best tips for you if you want to start writing better essays.
1. Make reading a habit
Let me make this clear; good readers make good writers. If you don’t read, you might not know how to write. Read other peoples write-ups, critically observe their word usage and placement and from there, you can start developing your style.
2. Write, Write and Write!
There is no better way to say this than to repeat it at least 3 times. You only get better in writing with time. If you want to be a good writer, you need to write, every day. Even if you are not going to use it, write it and dump it, you will be surprise how you get better by the day. However, asking you to write every day does not mean you should rush the process, if you do, you wouldn’t enjoy it and God forbid I do what I don’t enjoy. Besides, rushing it will not aid you in writing; it will only aid you in being a crappy writer. Making writing a habit will really build your confidence.
3. Build your own arsenal of words
You own a dictionary, yes, I know! But one thing I want you to do is to have book where you write out words you come about that you never knew they existed. Learn about these words and incorporate them in your writings.
4. Get feedback and never give up
You probably wouldn’t know how good of a writer you are becoming without getting others to check out your work. However, they usually will be a few errors here and there. In the case where you are corrected, accept it; in good faith. Criticism are not meant to bring you down, they are meant to make you a better person. Never give up on you wanting to be a good essay writer; you might just be a step away.
In conclusion, it is important that while there are born writers, many others are good in writing today as a result of a conscious effort to be good writers. So if other can be good at writing, I tell you this; you can be better!