One of the reasons why writing an essay is such a challenging endeavor is because there are so many rules, guidelines, and norms you need to adhere o in order to be able to write it properly. Arguably the most important requirement every good essay needs to fulfill is a particular tone in which it is written, and in which it addresses the reader.
While some of the best essays you will come across are infused with some degree of emotion and passion for the subject, it takes a skilled and experienced writer to be able to walk that fine line between facts and emotions. Needless to say, such a way of writing is pretty much unattainable for most students, at least in the beginning. What they should be focusing on is honing their academic essay writing chops.
An academic essay is characterized by a more neutral tone, which doesn’t require a lot of dramatic flairs, which is why it may be easier for students to start off that way. With that in mind, here are some tips on how students can avoid emotionalism in their essays.
1. Avoid Making the Same Mistakes as Everyone Else
Among the most common pitfalls of essay writing among students is the situation where they include their own personal views, opinions, and stances on a particular subject which is the topic of their essay. The whole purpose of academic writing, especially academic essays, is to allow students to demonstrate how much they have learned, or how well they’ve grasped certain ideas and concepts. But, in order to do that, they need to rely on facts, not their emotions and opinions. Even if they can’t help but infuse their essay with a personal opinion, it still needs to be backed up by arguments and facts.
2. Facts are Always More Effective
Plenty of students think that if they are passionate enough in their essays, they can make up for a lack of facts. Unfortunately, that is not true. Academic writing relies on a framework built around facts, and concepts which can be proved, or better yet, quantified. Opinion pieces and personal feeling are much better suited for a journal or a personal blog. While there is no getting around the fact that all essays have the same goal, which is to convince the reader of a particular claim, such goals should be achieved through careful research and appropriate facts, rather than trying to promote one’s own opinion.
3. Never Use Certain Words and Phrases
Certain phrases which are often used by students in their essays can diminish its impact in a big way, even though it may not seem like such a big deal at first. As soon as they introduce a personal and/or emotional element into their essay, they step away from the neutral tone, which is what they should aim for as far as academic writing is concerned. For instance, students may want to avoid sentences that start with “I think…”, or ‘You should…”. Also, constructions like “In my opinion…”, “Personally, I think…” shift the focus of the essay toward the emotional, whereas the focus should be on providing arguments and facts that support the essay. Ultimately, it should be about the topic of the essay, not about the person who is writing it.
4. Start off Simple
While there is certainly room for emotions inside an essay, students should focus on mastering the basics first, which is to write without using emotions, while relying on facts and neutral tone to prove a point. Only after they have figured out how to write like that can they start to work in some emotional elements inside their academic writing in order to get their message across and convince the reader in the strength of their arguments.
Writing an academic essay is complex, but these guidelines can help students stay the course, develop their writing skills, and help them learn to craft an essay that is rooted in facts, rather than their own personal opinions. After that, they can use what they’ve have learned as a basis, and develop their writing style even further. But, in order to do that, they must master the basics first.