Category Archives: Essay Writing Process

Academic Essay Writing: What is a Self Edit?

Academic Essay Writing: What is a Self Edit?

Part two of the Revise and edit stage (step 4 in academic essay writing) is self edit. A self edit means you check your first draft for any errors. It’s like polishing your car. You make sure your essay is a polished piece of academic writing for others to read.

When you do your self check in English academic writing you should check for things like:

Title

  • Is the title appropriate?
  • Have I use the rules of titles?

Essay and Paragraph Format

  • Is my essay and paragraph format correct?

Essay and Paragraph Organisation and Structure

  • Does my essay address the topic?
  • Do my paragraphs have a good topic sentence and concluding sentence?
  • Do my transition signals connect my ideas correctly?
  • Do my paragraph transition signals connect my paragraphs?
  • Do my examples to support my ideas?
  • Does my paragraph follow the rules of unity and coherence?

Grammar and Sentence Structure

  • Do I have any sentence errors?
  • Have I used a combination of sentence types like simple, compound, and complex?
  • Have I varied sentence openings by using some prepositional phrases or dependent clauses?

Punctuation and Capitalization

  • Have I used a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end of each sentence?
  • Have I used commas according to the commas rules?
  • Have I used capitals correctly?
  • Is my spelling correct?
  • Have I used reported speech correctly?

And finally, you should also check or add any academic cited sources that you have used for your supporting evidence.

How to Edit Your Own Work Before You Self-Publish Your Book
Writing coach and indie writer Derbhile Graham shares practical tips to help you make your self-published book the best it can be, even on the tightest budget.”

English academic writing requires that these two phase of the academic essay writing process be completed. With out doing the revise and edit stage of the academic writing skills process, you will appear as week and incompetent writer.


See Part 1 – Peer Review

Academic Essay Writing: What is a Peer Review?

Academic Essay Writing: What is a Peer Review?

As with everything we do in life, we check our actions. It comes from our leanings using the PDCA cycle. PDCA means plan, do, check, and act. The same applies to your academic essay writing.

By the time you get to step 4 when you write an academic essay, you have completed the “PLAN” and “DO” stage, and now you are into the “CHECK” phase in the writing process.

We normally do 2 kinds of reviews or checks for our academic essay writing. In this post I’ll describe the Peer review process when you write an academic essay. In a peer review, a peer reviewer should read your essay, ask questions about your it, and they should make some comments on what they think is good, or what they think should be changed to make your essay more clear.

When selecting a reviewer for your essay writing, look for someone such as a respected classmate, an instructor, a parent, or perhaps even a mentor you may have. It must be someone who is impartial and prepared to give you quality constructive feedback, and someone whose knowledge and skills you value and respect.

The idea is the reviewer should help improve your content and essay organisation, so they do not check for grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

The review itself should be an interactive dialogue between you and the peer reviewer.

Remember the critic is there to help you. You selected them because you value their feedback, so don’t take their comments the wrong way. Learn from their feedback, and you will become a more professional essay writer. In fact the more you listen and use their comments, the better your next written essay, so you should expect less feedback each time as you improve your academic essay writing skills.

The peer reviewer should check for things like:

  • Is the topic clear?
  • Was the paragraph interesting?
  • Did the reviewer learn anything?
  • Did they understand everything?
  • Do they need more information?
  • Should something be included in the paragraph?
  • Should something be removed from the paragraph?
  • Is the paragraph on topic?
  • Is the paragraph coherent?
  • Does the conclusion summarize or restate the topic sentence in different words?

Well there’s not much more too it. However, a peer review is only half of the review and edit phase in step 4. Read more about a self-edit here: Academic Essay Writing: What is a Self Edit?

Read More in Step 2 of Revise and Edit

Academic Essay Writing: How to Write your First Draft

Academic Essay Writing: How to Write your First Draft

Step 3: Write Your First Draft

Academic Essay Writing: How to Write your First DraftStep 3 is where you put pen to paper. This will be your first draft. In this step you follow your outline to write your first draft. Write it as quickly as possible, and don’t worry about too many mistakes. It’s ok to make some mistakes at this stage because after all, it is only a draft.

 

You will fix any errors you make in the next step. At this stage, it is perfectly acceptable to add any new ideas you think of.

To help you understand a little more, when writing an academic essays or other types of essay academic writing, chunk you time. What do I mean? I mean write in blocks of time, so you don’t get confused or burnt out. In brief, plan your pen to paper time for larger academic essay writing assignments.

You begin by writing academic essays with general statements that lead to your thesis statement. Then start on your paragraphs making sure you use transition signals within the paragraph and between paragraphs. Pay attention to the rules of unity, coherence, and parallelism. Add varying sentence openings outlined in Varying Sentence Openings. Then finally, finish off by using general statements in your concluding paragraph, and write your concluding sentence(s). Don’t forget to add a final thought if you want to.

When writing academic paragraphs for essays, you must provide supporting evidence to prove your point. For example, in opinion essays, you must be able to convince the reader that that your opinion is the right one. Your academic essay may help them to change their mind. Another example is in definition paragraphs where you may be required to explain something. So, don’t forget to add your examples from your outline into your essay, and ensure you cite your references as well.

Also note, when you have finished your first draft, you may need to write a second draft if you want a great essay. I sometimes do this for larger essay academic writing if I want the perfect academic essay. You too could try this to see if your results improve.

This a great video on penning your first draft:

 

 

For more detail on Academic Essay Writing get my my book “The 5 Step Essay Writing Process” from Amazon

Academic Essay Writing: Organise Your Essay Writing

Academic Essay Writing: Organise Your Essay Writing

Step 2: Organise

Academic Essay Writing: Organise Your Essay WritingMost students tend to understand academic essay writing outlines, but they fail to recognize that doing an academic essay outline is actually a part of the organizing step 2 of the essay academic writing process. When you organize your pre-writing you follow these two sub steps.

First, you look at your list (or cluster) and group your ides logically. Circle ideas you want to use. Delete ideas you believe are unnecessary or are duplicated points. Sometimes your ideas may be better organised into a table with category headings, so that you can use the categories for your main academic ideas.

Once this part is completed, you do an outline. An English academic essay writing outline helps you organize or arrange your ideas in a logical order. In my example of building a house, first, you lay the foundations. Then you build the walls. Finally you add the roof. Your organization is the foundation of your essay. Outlines can be simple or detailed. When writing essays, I suggest you use a detailed outline.

practical academic essay writing skills practical academic essay writing skillsReferring to the figure in the section Essay Outline (detailed outline), the number of main supporting points can be more or less, and the amount of supporting detail can be more or less. It all depends on you, and how much you need to write. You may have no supporting detail for a particular main idea, or you may have five or six supporting sentences. The amount of detail is up to you!

 

 

When writing an academic essay outline include you paragraph transition signals and your supporting evidence. For instance, your examples, quotes, or facts and statistics you have found during academic research. Including this detail at this stage of the academic essay writing process will help when it comes to putting pen to paper in the next step.

Understanding The 5 Step Essay Writing Process

Understanding The 5 Step Essay Writing Process

Understanding The 5 Step Essay Writing ProcessAcademic essay writing skills are an essential skill for universities, colleges, and other tertiary educational institutions. Moreover, English writing skills form a  part of the assessment requirements of many courses at university, college, or even high school.

Essay writing is not a simple task, however, as a student, it is important for you to have the necessary practical essay writing skills, so you can get the best possible results for your essays.

ESL Students must be determined because essay writing is one of the most important aspects of your university education. Basically, it alone determines the grade and final result of your degree.

In my experience, as a TESOL Instructor, It seems that many international students do not really understand the importance of the English writing process.

In this book, You will discover how to write an academic essay using a practical 5 step essay writing process to create a successful academic essay for your professor.

As the book details a practical essay writing process, you will need to draw on the main points that are of interest to you and which you need to improve. This International students essay writing guide will help solve some of your practical essay writing problems.

The book outlines the basic 5 steps for English essay writing which includes:

1. Prewrite
2. Organise
3. First Draft
4. Revise and Edit
5. Final Polish Version

The benefits to you are:

1. You wil have a proven practical academic essay writing process.
2. You will improve your basic English academic essay writing skills and knowledge.
3. You will become a faster, stronger and more proficient essay writer.
4. You will show your classmates how easy English academic essay writing skills are.
5. You will boost your self confidence in English academic essay writing.
6. You will impress your professor at university or your lecturer in your regular English classes.
7. You will look like a more professional academic essay writer.

And best of all; Your grades will improve. And let’s face it. That’s what you want, isn’t it!

Although, I wrote The 5 Step Essay Writing Process for my ESL Students, anyone such as an international student, high school student, undergraduate or graduate student, and even a mature age student can benefit from understanding and applying this practical 5 step essay writing process.

In conclusion, before you get into the “5 Step Essay Writing Process”, it must be said that this essay writing guide is for people who are prepared to APPLY the process. That means do, not just say! As an International student, you must follow the 5 step essay writing process if you want become a more professional writer and receive better grades.

Apply the essay writing process. Just don’t be an academic, take action and you will write your way to a BA.

It’s all up to you, simply apply the learning and get the results you want by reading and follow “The 5 Step Essay Writing Process – English Essay Writing Skills for ESL Students”.

Oh, and incidentally, as a bonus, the checklists and some graphics have made downloadable, so you can use them to supplement your essay writing skills.

The Academic Essay Writing Process

The Academic Essay Writing Process


Academic Essay Writing Process

You might asking, “Why do I need to follow an academic essay writing process?” Well the simple answer is you become a more effective and efficient writer. The academic essay writing process establishes the discipline to become a good essay academic writer. One which produces outstanding paragraphs or academic essays each and every time.

The academic essay writing process consists of 5 key steps. Follow the academic process if you want to write a good academic essay!

You can write an academic essay easily by duplicating the following process.

Step 1: Pre-write


Prewriting is the first step in the process you use to write any academic essay. Pre-writing helps you to get ideas on a topic. In this step, you write down your thoughts in any way or form that helps you remember them. There are a number of techniques or kinds of pre-writing that you should learn for academic purposes.

  1. Note taking

With this prewriting technique, you usually do some kind of interview or research to get information about your topic. You take notes on the information given or found.

  1. Free Writing

Free writing is a technique where you start writing without stopping until you reach your desired topic. In this techniques sentence structure, spelling, and grammar do not matter. The main aim is keep writing, and not to stop until you reach your topic idea that you wish to write about.

  1. Listing

Listing is another technique which is really divided into two parts. In the first part, you make general notions about the topic you have been given. In the second part, you choose one of the suppositions and make a more detailed list about the chosen topic.

  1. Brain Storming

The brainstorming technique only has one rule. You should set a time limit when brainstorming. Brainstorming is similar to listing. You start by writing the topic at the top of the page, and then you write your thoughts down in list on your paper. Make sure you write everything done. Just keep writing ideas down in words or short phrases, and it doesn’t matter about any mistakes you make. You can change or delete ideas latter in the writing process.

  1. Clustering

This process uses circles on paper with connected ideas. You begin clustering by drawing a circle in the middle of your page and write the topic inside. When you think of related points, you write these points in circles around the topic circle. Each related idea in turn produces more related reflections. Once you have finished the clustering process you can easily see where most of your rich concepts are. The rich points become the basis for your paragraph. Clustering offers the further advantage of grouping your ideas logically.

These are all different techniques or ways to prewrite to get ideas about your topic. Which one is best? Well that’s up to you, but in my experience, brainstorming and clustering are the preferred methods used by most ESL students before they being to write an academic essay.

Step 2: Organise


The second step of the academic writing process is organisation. Most students tend to understand outlining, but they fail to recognise that outlining is actually a part of the organising step. When you organise your pre-writing you follow these two sub processes.

1. Look at your list of ideas and group them logically. Circle ones you want to use. Delete those you believe are unnecessary or duplicated points.

2. Once this part is completed, you do an outline. An outline helps you organise or arrange your ideas in a logical order. It’s like building a house. First lay the foundations, then you build the walls, and finally you add the roof. Outlines can be simple or detailed. When writing an academic essay, I suggest you use a detailed outline.

Step 3: Write Your First Draft


Step 3 is where you put pen to paper. Here you follow your outline to write your draft essay. Write it as quickly as possible, and don’t worry about too many mistakes. It’s ok to make some mistakes at this stage because it is only a draft. You will fix any errors in the next step. At this stage of the process, it is perfectly acceptable to add any other ideas you think of. Don’t forget to add your concluding sentence(s).

When writing some kinds of academic essays, you must provide supporting evidence to prove your point. For example, in opinion essays, you must be able to convince the reader that that your opinion is the correct one, which may may make them change their mind. You do this by using examples.

Use of examples is expected by readers when writing academically. You should use examples which are either reported speech, statistical facts, real life examples, or a combination of all of these. Examples can be expressed with words like he said, for example, for instance, such as, or like. Use them to show the reader how you are supporting your ideas. Also note you may have to write a second draft if you want a great paragraph or academic essay.

Step 4: Edit and Review


As with everything we do in life, we check and review our actions. The same applies to your academic essay process. We normally do two kinds of reviews for our writing.

  1. Peer Review

A peer review means a peer reviewer, friend or classmate, should read your paragraph, ask questions about your essay, and make some comments on what they think is good, or what they think should be changed to make you essay more clear. They do not check for grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

The peer reviewer should check for things like

  1. Is the topic clear?
  2. Was the paragraph interesting?
  3. Did the reviewer learn anything?
  4. Did they understand everything?
  5. Do they need more information?
  6. Should something be included in the paragraph?
  7. Should something be removed from the paragraph?
  8. Is the paragraph on topic?
  9. Is the paragraph coherent?
  10. Does the conclusion summarize or restate the topic sentence in different words?
  1. Self Edit and Review

A self edit means you check your draft for any errors. It’s like polishing your car. You make sure your essay is spic and span for others to read. When you do your self check you should check for things like.

Paragraph Title
Is the title appropriate, and does it follow the title rules? Note the rules are simple. Capitalize the first and last word in a title, and all the major words. Don’t capitalize small words like articles and small prepositions.

  1. Paragraph Format
    1. Is my paragraph format correct?
  2. Paragraph Organisation and Structure
    1. Does my paragraph address the topic?
    2. Does my paragraph have a good topic sentence and concluding sentence?Do my transition signals connect my ideas correctly?If writing an essay, do my transition signals connect my paragraphs?
    3. Do my examples to support my ideas?Does my paragraph follow the rules of unity and coherence?
  3. Grammar and Sentence Structure
    1. Do I have any sentence errors?
    2. Have I used a combination of sentence types like simple sentence?
    3. compound sentences, and complex sentences?
    4. Have I varied sentence openings by using some prepositional phrases or dependant clauses?
  4. Punctuation and Capitalisation
    1. Have I used a period, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end of each sentence?
    2. Have used commas according to the commas rules and sentence structure?
    3. Have I used capitals correctly?
    4. Is my spelling correct?

Step 5: Write Your Final Copy


Of course the last step in the academic process is to complie your essay. Once you have your feedback from your peer review and completed your self edit, you should write your final polished version following the English academic skills you have learnt.

Your finished! The process is complete. Great, so its not all that difficult if you follow the academic essay writing process.

Oh, one more thing, don’t forget to hand it to your teacher, instructor, professor or boss, who ever is appropriate, for reviewing.