Essay Writing Resolutions

By Bailey Werner on November, 2 2021

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Essay Writing Resolutions

You’ve just been assigned that paper over Of Mice and Men in English Composition, or the Heritage Essay in Diversity class. Or was it an artist review in Drawing II? The point is, no matter what classes you take in college, you’re likely going to run into a writing assignment.

For college students, essays are nothing new. If you celebrate New Year’s, you’re also familiar with resolutions. These are the little goals you set to improve yourself. “I’m going to do this!” “I’m not going to do that!” This article is all about essay writing resolutions and how you can turn that self-improvement energy towards becoming a better student!                                             

If you’re already stressing out over your assignment, I doubt you’re in the mood to make writing goals. That’s why I’ve made them for you with this list of resolutions and how to reach them!

Some of these resolutions are designed to keep you on task. Others inspire you to change your point of view. As long as you’re willing to stick to these resolutions (unlike that fitness goal I set back in January) your next essay is sure to be an improvement over the last. Time to change things up! Get cracking on that essay and challenge yourself to meet each of these goals.

Write with Purpose

Your reason for writing an essay shouldn’t be “because I had to.” Start looking at each assignment as an opportunity! Show off what you’ve learned. Open the doors to a new point of view—your point of view.

Strive to create something new. Even if you’re using recycled research, you’re still sharing it in your own way. Make it so it’s worth reading your paper over the source material. Condense the information you’ve learned down and put it into layman’s terms. This shows that you’ve learned the subject instead of just mindlessly copied information.

You want more out of this essay than just an A; you want to inspire whoever reads it. Strive to teach or convince them of something. Make an essay worth reading… something you would share outside of the classroom. Writing an essay is much easier if you have something to say!

Keep it Simple

You don’t need to know (or share everything you know) about the subject! Create a thesis statement and base the entire essay around it. If what you’re writing doesn’t pertain to this statement, cut it.

Good writing is all about showing a progression. Each point should flow into the next. Don’t get drawn off-topic. Don’t beat around the bush. There’s no need for the fancy jargon that professionals use. Your goal is to explain your point as simply as possible. By the end of your essay, the reader shouldn’t feel under or overwhelmed with information. Let its substance be measured by the strength of your statement and the material you use to back it, not by how much mindless information you managed to cram in.

Have a Plan

This time around, resolve to work on your essay prior to the night before it’s due! Hopefully, you’re looking to raise the bar a little further than that, but it’s a start. Try breaking the assignment into segments and plan when you want to be done with each. For example: “I plan to have my rough draft done by the 15th.”

Set aside time to write, so you’re working on the project consistently over the time you’re given. If you want to keep motivated, consider setting a word goal for each day. This can be as little as writing 50 words per day. Even a simple plan ensures progress.

Be Enthusiastic

“Ah, man! Not an essay!” If this was your first thought at being given the assignment, it’s time to change your point of view. The more you tell yourself you hate writing, the more you’ll start to believe it. Be optimistic. Look on the bright side! The more you write, the better you get at it. The more research you do on a subject, the more knowledge you have to show off! Have fun and be creative with your writing, even if you have to edit it out later.

Be Realistic

If you set goals and truly try your best on each new essay, you’re bound to improve as a writer. That being said, you’re not always rewarded for it. It’s impossible to predict what grade you’ll get on a paper. While one professor might see it as A-worthy, another might grade tougher. Even if you get a worse grade on this essay than the last, it’s not necessarily a worse essay. Be proud of your self-improvement.

You’re not going to become a master writer after writing one essay. It’s ok if it has a couple of grammatical errors. Your words aren’t going to move the masses. While it’s great to strive for perfection, don’t be too hard on yourself. No matter what grade you end up getting on the assignment, reward yourself for the hard work and let it be.

Expect a lot of effort to go into writing your essay. Even if you start early, you might be working on it until the last minute. You’re not going to have it right where you want it after the first draft. This doesn’t make you a bad writer. It makes you a busy college student! Don’t overstress the assignment. Just do your best and get it done.

Last, but Not Least, Keep at It!

I always hit that point in an essay where the words stop flowing. Push past it. Even when you think your essay’s finished, keep working on it. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” From the day you’re given the assignment until the minute you turn it in, you should consider it a work in progress. There are always edits to make. You can always rewrite something. You don’t have to spend every waking hour writing, but don’t stop working on it if you finish early. This resolution, in combination with the rest, is sure to make this essay better than the last. Just do your best, don’t stress, and have no regrets. Happy writing!

Bailey Werner

Mild-mannered student by day, writer by night... but typically by day, I’m Bailey Werner, current junior and graphic design major at Fort Hays State University. With a passion for storytelling that stemmed from 3rd grade writing hour, I’ve been crafting worlds and characters as a hobby for over a decade. Now, as a part-time content creator for the school, I’m living out my dream of writing professionally. If I’m not in my room reading, gaming, or making art, you can find me at the lake. I strongly believe in the power of storytelling, and I’ll continue to use my writing skills after graduation, in my work as a graphic designer.


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