3 Last Minute Essay Boosting Tips

What are the tricks to make an essay better fast? In this post I’m going to describe the things you can quickly do to massively improve the quality of your essay.

This might be especially useful at this time of year. You might have a lot of deadlines. You might have to submit ToK essays, Internal Assessments, Extended Essay work and even homework. So what techniques can you use to make those things when your deadline is imminent?!


Tip 1: Have a Main Argument

You should start by knowing what the Point of Your Essay is.


If you’re answering the question:

‘How Effective is Technique X in Completing Process Y’

then you should know how effective the technique is. Is it useful or not? Extremely useful or only a little. Then you will spend the rest of the essay explaining why your answer is true.

If you don’t have a clear answer to the essay question in your mind then you will not be able to produce a clear essay.


Tip 2: Each Paragraph Must Contain One Idea

  • Writing an essay is like building a house.
  • The roof is your idea (your thesis).
  • You want your thesis to be well supported.
  • Each paragraph contains one idea to support the thesis.
  • Each paragraph is therefore like a wall to support your roof.

A huge mistake is to try and cram too much information into one paragraph. This makes the paragraph confusing and the reader is unsure what your point is. Separate every key idea into a separate paragraph to keep the essay logical and coherent. Each Paragraph should support to the Point of Your Essay (see part 1)


Tip 3: Every Sentence Must be Relevant

It is easy, when writing an essay, to start rambling. You may feel that writing interesting and related material is a good idea. In reality, you should only write ideas that directly support your thesis. Every sentence you write should directly contribute to the overall whole.


How can you make sure every sentence is relevant?

As you know from above, every paragraph contains one big idea that in some way supports your argument. Every sentence you use should support the idea of the paragraph it is in.

To check whether your sentence is relevant, do the following:

  • Write out the purpose of the paragraph. If you can’t do this then your structure is not clear and you need to revisit part two of this post (above).
  • Write out how your sentence contributes to the purpose of your paragraph

If your paragraph is about ‘how memory can be unreliable’ then every sentence must relate to that idea. If your sentence is not directly about ‘how memory can be unreliable’ then it is not needed in this paragraph.

This means that you should eliminate:

  • Interesting, but irrelevant facts: ‘memory is important for all animals.’
  • Unsupported ideas: ‘everyone knows that memory is the most common WoK’
  • Pointless references to your own work: ‘As I mentioned earlier, sense perception is a very common WoK. Memory is also a very common way of knowing’

When you get rid of these, your essay will be clearer, more logical and will score more points.

These three tips can be applied quickly to any essay and are sure to boost your grade.

Confused? Watch IB Study Tip Videos Here!

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