Essay Papers Writing Online

Tips and tricks for crafting engaging and effective essays.

Writing essays

Writing essays can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and strategies, you can create compelling and impactful pieces that captivate your audience. Whether you’re a student working on an academic paper or a professional honing your writing skills, these tips will help you craft essays that stand out.

Effective essays are not just about conveying information; they are about persuading, engaging, and inspiring readers. To achieve this, it’s essential to pay attention to various elements of the essay-writing process, from brainstorming ideas to polishing your final draft. By following these tips, you can elevate your writing and produce essays that leave a lasting impression.

Understanding the Essay Prompt

Before you start writing your essay, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the essay prompt or question provided by your instructor. The essay prompt serves as a roadmap for your essay and outlines the specific requirements or expectations.

Here are a few key things to consider when analyzing the essay prompt:

  • Read the prompt carefully and identify the main topic or question being asked.
  • Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines provided, such as word count, formatting requirements, or sources to be used.
  • Identify key terms or phrases in the prompt that can help you determine the focus of your essay.

By understanding the essay prompt thoroughly, you can ensure that your essay addresses the topic effectively and meets the requirements set forth by your instructor.

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is conducting thorough research on your chosen topic. Research helps you gather the necessary information, facts, and examples to support your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

Here are some tips for researching your topic thoroughly:

By following these tips and conducting thorough research on your topic, you will be able to write a well-informed and persuasive essay that effectively communicates your ideas and arguments.

Creating a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a crucial element of any well-crafted essay. It serves as the main point or idea that you will be discussing and supporting throughout your paper. A strong thesis statement should be clear, specific, and arguable.

To create a strong thesis statement, follow these tips:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Be concise: Keep your thesis statement concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.
  • Be argumentative: Your thesis statement should present an argument or perspective that can be debated or discussed in your essay.
  • Be relevant: Make sure your thesis statement is relevant to the topic of your essay and reflects the main point you want to make.
  • Revise as needed: Don’t be afraid to revise your thesis statement as you work on your essay. It may change as you develop your ideas.

Remember, a strong thesis statement sets the tone for your entire essay and provides a roadmap for your readers to follow. Put time and effort into crafting a clear and compelling thesis statement to ensure your essay is effective and persuasive.

Developing a Clear Essay Structure

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is developing a clear and logical structure. A well-structured essay helps the reader follow your argument and enhances the overall readability of your work. Here are some tips to help you develop a clear essay structure:

1. Start with a strong introduction: Begin your essay with an engaging introduction that introduces the topic and clearly states your thesis or main argument.

2. Organize your ideas: Before you start writing, outline the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas.

3. Use topic sentences: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. This helps the reader understand the purpose of each paragraph.

4. Provide evidence and analysis: Support your arguments with evidence and analysis to back up your main points. Make sure your evidence is relevant and directly supports your thesis.

5. Transition between paragraphs: Use transitional words and phrases to create flow between paragraphs and help the reader move smoothly from one idea to the next.

6. Conclude effectively: End your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. Avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.

By following these tips, you can develop a clear essay structure that will help you effectively communicate your ideas and engage your reader from start to finish.

Using Relevant Examples and Evidence

When writing an essay, it’s crucial to support your arguments and assertions with relevant examples and evidence. This not only adds credibility to your writing but also helps your readers better understand your points. Here are some tips on how to effectively use examples and evidence in your essays:

  • Choose examples that are specific and relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Avoid using generic examples that may not directly support your argument.
  • Provide concrete evidence to back up your claims. This could include statistics, research findings, or quotes from reliable sources.
  • Interpret the examples and evidence you provide, explaining how they support your thesis or main argument. Don’t assume that the connection is obvious to your readers.
  • Use a variety of examples to make your points more persuasive. Mixing personal anecdotes with scholarly evidence can make your essay more engaging and convincing.
  • Cite your sources properly to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism. Follow the citation style required by your instructor or the publication you’re submitting to.

By integrating relevant examples and evidence into your essays, you can craft a more convincing and well-rounded piece of writing that resonates with your audience.

Editing and Proofreading Your Essay Carefully

Once you have finished writing your essay, the next crucial step is to edit and proofread it carefully. Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process that help ensure your essay is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you effectively edit and proofread your essay:

1. Take a Break: Before you start editing, take a short break from your essay. This will help you approach the editing process with a fresh perspective.

2. Read Aloud: Reading your essay aloud can help you catch any awkward phrasing or grammatical errors that you may have missed while writing. It also helps you check the flow of your essay.

3. Check for Consistency: Make sure that your essay has a consistent style, tone, and voice throughout. Check for inconsistencies in formatting, punctuation, and language usage.

4. Remove Unnecessary Words: Look for any unnecessary words or phrases in your essay and remove them to make your writing more concise and clear.

5. Proofread for Errors: Carefully proofread your essay for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay attention to commonly misused words and homophones.

6. Get Feedback: It’s always a good idea to get feedback from someone else. Ask a friend, classmate, or teacher to review your essay and provide constructive feedback.

By following these tips and taking the time to edit and proofread your essay carefully, you can improve the overall quality of your writing and make sure your ideas are effectively communicated to your readers.

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25 Scientifically Proven Tips for More Effective Studying

How to study tips for students

Staying on top of schoolwork can be tough.

Whether you’re in high school, or an adult going back to college, balancing coursework with other responsibilities can be challenging. If you’re teetering on the edge of burnout, here are some study tips that are scientifically proven to help you succeed!

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

2024 Ultimate Study Tips Guide

In this guide, we explore scientifically-proven study techniques from scientific journals and some of the world’s best resources like Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Cornell.

In a hurry? Skip ahead to the section that interests you most.

  • How to Prepare for Success
  • Create Your Perfect Study Space
  • Pick a Study Method that Works for You
  • Effective Study Skills
  • How to Study More Efficiently
  • How to Study for Tests
  • Memory Improvement Techniques
  • Top 10 Study Hacks Backed by Science
  • Best Study Apps
  • Study Skills Worksheets
  • Key Takeaways

This comprehensive guide covers everything from studying for exams to the best study apps. So, let’s get started!

Part 1 – How to Prepare for Success

Prepare to Study

1. Set a Schedule

“Oh, I’ll get to it soon” isn’t a valid study strategy. Rather, you have to be intentional about planning set study sessions .

On your calendar, mark out chunks of time that you can devote to your studies. You should aim to schedule some study time each day, but other commitments may necessitate that some sessions are longer than others.

Harder classes require more study time. So, too, do classes that are worth several credits. For each credit hour that you’re taking, consider devoting one to three hours to studying each week.

2. Study at Your Own Pace

Do you digest content quickly, or do you need time to let the material sink in? Only you know what pace is best for you.

There’s no right (or wrong) study pace. So, don’t try matching someone else’s speed.

Instead, through trial and error, find what works for you. Just remember that slower studying will require that you devote more time to your schoolwork.

3. Get Some Rest

Exhaustion helps no one perform their best. Your body needs rest ; getting enough sleep is crucial for memory function.

This is one reason that scheduling study time is so important: It reduces the temptation to stay up all night cramming for a big test. Instead, you should aim for seven or more hours of sleep the night before an exam.

Student napping after studying

Limit pre-studying naps to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Upon waking, do a few stretches or light exercises to prepare your body and brain for work.

4. Silence Your Cell Phone

Interruptions from your phone are notorious for breaking your concentration. If you pull away to check a notification, you’ll have to refocus your brain before diving back into your studies.

Consider turning off your phone’s sounds or putting your device into do not disturb mode before you start. You can also download apps to temporarily block your access to social media .

If you’re still tempted to check your device, simply power it off until you’re finished studying.

Research shows that stress makes it harder to learn and to retain information.

Stress-busting ideas include:

  • Taking deep breaths
  • Writing down a list of tasks you need to tackle
  • Doing light exercise

Try to clear your head before you begin studying.

Part 2 – Create Your Perfect Study Space

college student studying at desk

1. Pick a Good Place to Study

There’s a delicate balance when it comes to the best study spot : You need a place that’s comfortable without being so relaxing that you end up falling asleep. For some people, that means working at a desk. Others do better on the couch or at the kitchen table. Your bed, on the other hand, may be too comfy.

Surrounding yourself with peace and quiet helps you focus. If your kids are being loud or there’s construction going on outside your window, you might need to relocate to an upstairs bedroom, a quiet cafe or your local library.

2. Choose Your Music Wisely

Noise-canceling headphones can also help limit distractions.

It’s better to listen to quiet music than loud tunes. Some people do best with instrumental music playing in the background.

Study listening to music

Songs with lyrics may pull your attention away from your textbooks. However, some folks can handle listening to songs with words, so you may want to experiment and see what works for you.

Just remember that there’s no pressure to listen to any music. If you do your best work in silence, then feel free to turn your music player off.

3. Turn Off Netflix

If song lyrics are distracting, just imagine what an attention sucker the television can be! Serious studying requires that you turn off the TV.

The same goes for listening to radio deejays. Hearing voices in the background takes your brainpower off of your studies.

4. Use Background Sounds

Turning off the television, talk radio and your favorite pop song doesn’t mean that you have to study in total silence. Soft background sounds are a great alternative.

Some people enjoy listening to nature sounds, such as ocean waves or cracks of thunder. Others prefer the whir of a fan.

5. Snack on Brain Food

A growling stomach can pull your mind from your studies, so feel free to snack as you work. Keep your snacks within arm’s reach, so you don’t have to leave your books to find food.

Fuel your next study session with some of the following items:

  • Lean deli meat
  • Grapes or apple slices
  • Dark chocolate

Go for snacks that will power your brain and keep you alert. Steer clear of items that are high in sugar, fat and processed carbs.

Part 3 – Pick a Study Method That Works for You

List of Study Methods

Mindlessly reading through your notes or textbooks isn’t an effective method of studying; it doesn’t help you process the information. Instead, you should use a proven study strategy that will help you think through the material and retain the information.

Strategy #1 – SQ3R Method

With the SQ3R approach to reading , you’ll learn to think critically about a text.

There are five steps:

  • Survey : Skim through the assigned material. Focus on headings, words in bold print and any diagrams.
  • Question : Ask yourself questions related to the topic.
  • Read : Read the text carefully. As you go, look for answers to your questions.
  • Recite : Tell yourself the answers to your questions. Write notes about them, even.
  • Review : Go over the material again by rereading the text and reading your notes aloud.

Strategy #2 – PQ4R Method

PQ4R is another study strategy that can help you digest the information you read.

This approach has six steps:

  • Preview : Skim the material. Read the titles, headings and other highlighted text.
  • Question : Think through questions that pertain to the material.
  • Read : As you work through the material, try to find answers to your questions.
  • Reflect : Consider whether you have any unanswered questions or new questions.
  • Recite : Speak aloud about the things you just read.
  • Review : Look over the material one more time.

Strategy #3 – THIEVES Method

The THIEVES approach can help you prepare to read for information.

There are seven pre-reading steps:

  • Title : Read the title.
  • Headings : Look through the headings.
  • Introduction : Skim the intro.
  • Every first sentence in a section : Take a look at how each section begins.
  • Visuals and vocabulary : Look at the pictures and the words in bold print.
  • End questions : Review the questions at the end of the chapter.
  • Summary : Read the overview of the text.

Ask yourself thought-provoking questions as you work through these steps. After completing them, read the text.

Studying Online

Although these three study strategies can be useful in any setting, studying online has its own set of challenges.

Dr. Tony Bates has written a thoughtful and thorough guide to studying online, A Student Guide to Studying Online . Not only does he highlight the importance of paying attention to course design, but he also offers helpful tips on how to choose the best online program and manage your course load.

Part 4 – Effective Study Skills

1. Highlight Key Concepts

Looking for the most important information as you read helps you stay engaged with the material . This can help keep your mind from wandering as you read.

As you find important details, mark them with a highlighter, or underline them. It can also be effective to jot notes along the edges of the text. Write on removable sticky notes if the book doesn’t belong to you.

When you’re preparing for a test, begin your studies by reviewing your highlighted sections and the notes you wrote down.

2. Summarize Important Details

One good way to get information to stick in your brain is to tell it again in your own words. Writing out a summary can be especially effective. You can organize your summaries in paragraph form or in outline form.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t include every bit of information in a summary. Stick to the key points.

Consider using different colors on your paper. Research shows that information presented in color is more memorable than things written in plain type. You could use colored pens or go over your words with highlighters.

After writing about what you read, reinforce the information yet again by reading aloud what you wrote on your paper.

3. Create Your Own Flashcards

For an easy way to quiz yourself , prepare notecards that feature a keyword on one side and important facts or definitions about that topic on the reverse.

Writing out the cards will help you learn the information. Quizzing yourself on the cards will continue that reinforcement.

The great thing about flashcards is that they’re easily portable. Slip them in your bag, so you can pull them out whenever you have a spare minute. This is a fantastic way to squeeze in extra practice time outside of your regularly scheduled study sessions.

As an alternative to paper flashcards, you can also use a computer program or a smartphone app to make digital flashcards that you can click through again and again.

Small group studying together

4. Improve Recall with Association

Sometimes your brain could use an extra hand to help you hold onto the information that you’re studying. Creating imaginary pictures, crafting word puzzles or doing other mental exercises can help make your material easier to remember.

Try improving recall with the following ideas:

  • Sing the information to a catchy tune.
  • Think of a mnemonic phrase in which the words start with the same letters as the words that you need to remember.
  • Draw a picture that helps you make a humorous connection between the new information and the things that you already know.
  • Envision what it would be like to experience your topic in person. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells and more.
  • Think up rhymes or tongue twisters that can help the information stick in your brain.
  • Visualize the details with a web-style mind map that illustrates the relationships between concepts.

5. Absorb Information in Smaller Chunks

Think about how you memorize a phone number: You divide the 10-digit number into three smaller groups. It’s easier to get these three chunks to stick in your mind than it is to remember the whole thing as a single string of information.

You can use this strategy when studying by breaking a list down into smaller parts. Work on memorizing each part as its own group.

6. Make Your Own Study Sheet

Condensing your most important notes onto one page is an excellent way to keep priority information at your fingertips. The more you look over this sheet and read it aloud, the better that you’ll know the material.

Student making a study sheet

Furthermore, the act of typing or writing out the information will help you memorize the details. Using different colors or lettering styles can help you picture the information later.

Just like flashcards, a study sheet is portable. You can pull it out of your bag whenever you have a spare minute.

7. Be the Teacher

To teach information to others, you first have to understand it yourself. Therefore, when you’re trying to learn something new, challenge yourself to consider how you’d teach it to someone else. Wrestling with this concept will help you gain a better understanding of the topic.

In fact, you can even recruit a friend, a family member or a study group member to listen to your mini-lesson. Reciting your presentation aloud to someone else will help the details stick in your mind, and your audience may be able to point out gaps in your knowledge.

8. Know When to Call It a Day

Yes, you really can get too much of a good thing. Although your studies are important, they shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. It’s also important to have a social life, get plenty of exercise, and take care of your non-school responsibilities.

Studies show that too much time with your nose in the books can elevate your stress level , which can have a negative effect on your school performance and your personal relationships.

Too much studying may also keep you from getting enough exercise. This could lower your bone density or increase your percentage of body fat.

Part 5 – How to Study More Efficiently

How to study more efficiently

1. Take Regular Breaks

Study sessions will be more productive if you allow yourself to take planned breaks. Consider a schedule of 50 minutes spent working followed by a 10-minute break.

Your downtime provides a good chance to stand up and stretch your legs. You can also use this as an opportunity to check your phone or respond to emails. When your 10 minutes are up, however, it’s time to get back to work.

At the end of a long study session, try to allow yourself a longer break — half an hour, perhaps — before you move on to other responsibilities.

2. Take Notes in Class

The things that your teacher talks about in class are most likely topics that he or she feels are quite important to your studies. So, it’s a good idea to become a thorough note-taker.

The following tips can help you become an efficient, effective note-taker:

  • Stick to the main points.
  • Use shorthand when possible.
  • If you don’t have time to write all the details, jot down a keyword or a name. After class, you can use your textbook to elaborate on these items.
  • For consistency, use the same organizational system each time you take notes.
  • Consider writing your notes by hand, which can help you remember the information better. However, typing may help you be faster or more organized.

Recording important points is effective because it forces you to pay attention to what’s being said during a lecture.

3. Exercise First

Would you believe that exercise has the potential to grow your brain ? Scientists have shown this to be true!

Student exercising before studying

In fact, exercise is most effective at generating new brain cells when it’s immediately followed by learning new information.

There are short-term benefits to exercising before studying as well. Physical activity helps wake you up so you feel alert and ready when you sit down with your books.

4. Review and Revise Your Notes at Home

If your notes are incomplete — for example, you wrote down dates with no additional information — take time after class to fill in the missing details. You may also want to swap notes with a classmate so you can catch things that you missed during the lecture.

  • Rewrite your notes if you need to clean them up
  • Rewriting will help you retain the information
  • Add helpful diagrams or pictures
  • Read through them again within one day

If you find that there are concepts in your notes that you don’t understand, ask your professor for help. You may be able to set up a meeting or communicate through email.

After rewriting your notes, put them to good use by reading through them again within the next 24 hours. You can use them as a reference when you create study sheets or flashcards.

5. Start with Your Toughest Assignments

Let’s face it: There are some subjects that you like more than others. If you want to do things the smart way, save your least challenging tasks for the end of your studies. Get the hardest things done first.

If you save the toughest tasks for last, you’ll have them hanging over your head for the whole study session. That can cost you unnecessary mental energy.

Effective study skills

Furthermore, if you end with your favorite assignments, it will give you a more positive feeling about your academic pursuits. You’ll be more likely to approach your next study session with a good attitude.

6. Focus on Key Vocabulary

To really understand a subject, you have to know the words that relate to it. Vocabulary words are often written in textbooks in bold print. As you scan the text, write these words down in a list.

Look them up in a dictionary or in the glossary at the back of the book. To help you become familiar with the terms, you could make a study sheet with the definitions or make flashcards.

7. Join a Study Group

Studying doesn’t always have to be an individual activity.

Benefits of a study group include:

  • Explaining the material to one another
  • Being able to ask questions about things you don’t understand
  • Quizzing each other or playing review games
  • Learning the material more quickly than you might on your own
  • Developing soft skills that will be useful in your career, such as teamwork and problem solving
  • Having fun as you study

Gather a few classmates to form a study group.

Part 6 – How to Study for Tests

How to study for tests and exams

1. Study for Understanding, Not Just for the Test

Cramming the night before a big test usually involves trying to memorize information long enough to be able to regurgitate it the next morning. Although that might help you get a decent grade or your test, it won’t help you really learn the material .

Within a day or two, you’ll have forgotten most of what you studied. You’ll have missed the goal of your classes: mastery of the subject matter.

Instead, commit yourself to long-term learning by studying throughout the semester.

2. Begin Studying at Least One Week in Advance

Of course, you may need to put in extra time before a big test, but you shouldn’t put this off until the night before.

Instead, in the week leading up to the exam, block off a daily time segment for test preparation. Regular studying will help you really learn the material.

3. Spend at Least One Hour per Day Studying

One week out from a big test, study for an hour per night. If you have two big tests coming up, increase your daily study time, and divide it between the two subjects.

How to study for finals

The day before the exam, spend as much time as possible studying — all day, even.

4. Re-write Class Notes

After each class, you should have fleshed out your notes and rewritten them in a neat, organized format. Now, it’s time to take your re-done notes and write them once again.

This time, however, your goal is to condense them down to only the most important material. Ideally, you want your rewritten notes to fit on just one or two sheets of paper.

These sheets should be your main study resource during test preparation.

5. Create a Study Outline

Early in the week, make a long outline that includes many of the details from your notes. Rewrite it a few days later, but cut the material in half.

Shortly before the test, write it one more time; include only the most important information. Quiz yourself on the missing details.

6. Make Your Own Flashcards

Another way to quiz yourself is to make flashcards that you can use for practice written tests.

First, read the term on the front side. Encourage yourself to write out the definition or details of that term. Compare your written answer with what’s on the back of the card.

This can be extra helpful when prepping for an entrance exam like the GRE, though there are a growing number of schools that don’t require GRE scores for admission.

7. Do Sample Problems and Essays from Your Textbook

There are additional things you can do to practice test-taking. For example, crack open your book, and solve problems like the ones you expect to see on the test.

Write out the answers to essay questions as well. There may be suggested essay topics in your textbook.

Part 7 – Memory Improvement Techniques

Man studying before bed time

1. Study Right Before Bed

Although you shouldn’t pull all-nighters, studying right before bedtime can be a great idea.

Sleep helps cement information in your brain. Studies show that you’re more likely to recall information 24 hours later if you went to bed shortly after learning it.

Right before bed, read through your study sheet, quiz yourself on flashcards or recite lists of information.

2. Study Small Chunks at a Time

If you want to remember information over the long haul, don’t try to cram it all in during one sitting.

Instead, use an approach called spaced repetition :

  • Break the information into parts
  • Learn one new part at a time over the course of days or weeks
  • Review your earlier acquisitions each time you study

The brain stores information that it thinks is important. So, when you regularly go over a topic at set intervals over time, it strengthens your memory of it.

3. Tell a Story

Sometimes, you just need to make information silly in order to help it stick in your brain.

To remember a list of items or the particular order of events, make up a humorous story that links those things or words together. It doesn’t necessarily need to make sense; it just needs to be memorable .

Study to improve memory

4. Change Study Locations Often

Studying the same information in multiple places helps the details stick in your mind better.

Consider some of the following locations:

  • Your desk at home
  • A coffee shop
  • The library
  • Your backyard

It’s best to switch between several different study spots instead of always hitting the books in the same place.

5. Swap Topics Regularly

Keeping your brain trained on the same information for long periods of time isn’t beneficial. It’s smarter to jump from one subject to another a few times during a long study session.

Along those same lines, you should study the same material in multiple ways. Research shows that using varied study methods for the same topic helps you perform better on tests.

6. Quiz Yourself

Challenge yourself to see what you can remember. Quizzing yourself is like practicing for the test, and it’s one of the most effective methods of memory retention .

If it’s hard to remember the information at first, don’t worry; the struggle makes it more likely that you’ll remember it in the end.

7. Go Old-school: Use a Pen and Paper

The act of writing answers helps you remember the information. Here are some ways to use writing while studying:

  • Recopy your notes
  • Write the answers to flashcards
  • Make a study sheet
  • Practice writing essay answers

Writing by hand is best because it requires your attention and focus.

8. See It & Hear It

Say information out loud, and you’ll be more likely to remember it. You’re engaging your eyes as you read the words, your mouth as you say them, and your ears as you hear yourself.

Scientists call the benefit of speaking information aloud production effect .

Part 8 – Top 10 Study Hacks Backed by Science

Form a study group

1. Grab a Coffee

Drinking coffee (or your preferred high-octane beverage) while you study may help keep you alert so you don’t doze off mid-session. There’s even evidence that caffeine can improve your memory skills.

However, avoid sugary beverages. These could cause your energy level to crash in a few hours.

2. Reward Yourself

Studies show that giving yourself a reward for doing your work helps you enjoy the effort more.

Do it right away; don’t wait until the test is over to celebrate. For example, after finishing a three-hour study session, treat yourself to an ice cream cone or a relaxing bath.

3. Study with Others

Working with a study group holds you accountable so it’s harder to procrastinate on your work.

When you study together, you can fill in gaps in one another’s understanding, and you can quiz each other on the material.

Besides, studying with a group can be fun!

4. Meditate

It may be hard to imagine adding anything else to your packed schedule, but dedicating time to mindfulness practices can really pay off.

Meditate during study sessions

Studies show that people who meditate may perform better on tests , and they are generally more attentive.

Mindfulness apps can help you get started with this practice.

5. Hit the Gym

To boost the blood flow to your brain, do half an hour of cardio exercise before sitting down to study.

Aerobic exercise gives your brain a major dose of oxygen and other important nutrients, which may help you think clearly, remember facts and do your best work.

6. Play Some Music

Listening to tunes can help you focus. Studies show that the best study music is anything that features a rhythmic beat .

It’s smart to choose a style that you like. If you like classical, that’s fine, but you could also go for electronica or modern piano solos.

7. Grab Some Walnuts

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps your brain do its best work.

Good sources include:

  • Fish: cod liver oil, salmon and mackerel
  • Vegetables: spinach and Brussels sprouts

To calm your pre-test jitters, eat a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 foods.

8. Take Regular Breaks

Your brain needs some downtime. Don’t try to push through for hours on end. Every hour, take a break for several minutes.

Take regular study breaks

Breaks are good for your mental health . They also improve your attention span, your creativity and your productivity.

During a break, it’s best to move around and exercise a bit.

9. Get Some Sleep

Although studying is important, it can’t come at the expense of your rest. Sleep gives your brain a chance to process the information that you’ve learned that day.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have a hard time focusing and remembering information.

Even during busy test weeks, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

10. Eliminate Distractions

It’s hard to get much studying done when you’re busy scrolling Instagram. Put away your phone and computer while studying, or at least block your social media apps.

Turn off the television while you work, too.

If you’re studying in a noisy area, put on headphones that can help block the distracting sounds.

Part 9 – The Best Study Apps

Student using Study App on iPhone

1. iStudiez Pro Legend

Scheduling study time is a must, and iStudiez Pro Legend lets you put study sessions, classes and assignments on your calendar. Color coding the entries can help you stay organized.

istudiez pro study app

For each class, you can enter meeting times and homework assignments, and you can keep track of your grades.

2. Dragon Anywhere

Instead of writing notes in the margins of your textbooks, you can use Dragon Anywhere’s voice dictation feature to record your thoughts and insights.

Dragon Anywhere study app

Just be sure to rewrite your dictated notes in your own handwriting later for maximum learning!

3. Evernote

When you’re in school, you have a lot of responsibilities to juggle, but Evernote can help you organize them.

Evernote Study App

You can add notes and documents to store them in one digital spot, and tagging them will help you quickly pull up all files for a class or a topic.

4. Quizlet Go

Make digital flashcards that you can practice on your mobile device with Quizlet Go .

Quizlet Study App

This means that you can pull out your phone for a quick study session whenever you have a couple of minutes of downtime. You don’t even need internet access to practice these flashcards.

5. My Study Life

Enter your upcoming tests and assignments into My Study Life , and the app will send you reminder messages.

My Study Life Study App

The app has a calendar so you can keep track of your class schedule. It can even notify you when it’s time to go to class.

6. Exam Countdown Lite

You should start studying for tests at least a week in advance. Input the dates for your exams and assignments into Exam Countdown Lite so you’ll have a visual reminder of when you should begin your test prep.

Exam Countdown Study App

The app can send you notifications as well.

7. Flashcards+

With Chegg’s Flashcards+ , you can make your own digital flashcards or use ones designed by others.

Chegg Flashcards Study App

Because you can add images to your cards, you can quiz yourself on the names of famous artworks, important historical artifacts or parts of a scientific diagram.

Organize information into categories by creating a visual mind map on XMind . This can help you classify facts and figures so you see how they relate to one another.

Xmind Study App

This visual representation can also help you recall the information later.

9. ScannerPro

Do you have piles of handwritten notes everywhere? Once you have written them out, consider scanning them into digital form. ScannerPro lets you use your phone as a scanner.

Scanner Pro Study App

You can store your scanned files in this app or transfer them to Evernote or another organization system.

Part 10 – Study Skills Worksheets

Could you use more help to develop your study skills? Rutgers University has dozens of study skills worksheets online .

Study Skills Worksheets

These documents are packed with tips that can help you become a better student. The checklists and charts can help you evaluate your current strengths and organize your work.

Part 11 – Key Takeaways

Study tips summary

You’re a busy person, so you need to make the most of every study session.

By now, you should understand the basics of effective studies:

  • Schedule study time
  • Study regularly
  • Minimize distractions
  • Read for information
  • Write the important stuff down
  • Use creative memory tricks
  • Quiz yourself
  • Be good to your body and your brain

Put these study tips to good use, and you’ll soon learn that you’ve learned how to study smarter.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Habits — Study Habits: The Key to Effective Learning and Academic Success

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Study Habits: The Key to Effective Learning and Academic Success

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Published: Feb 7, 2024

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Study habits for effective learning, study habits for memory retention, study habits for exam preparation, study habits for online learning.

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College Admissions , College Essays

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The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.

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Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018

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Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.

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Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

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Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.

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An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.

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An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.

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Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.

body-gears-cogs-puzzle-cc0

#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .

body_next_step_drawing_blackboard

What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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Studying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder

Do you ever feel like your study habits simply aren’t cutting it? Do you wonder what you could be doing to perform better in class and on exams? Many students realize that their high school study habits aren’t very effective in college. This is understandable, as college is quite different from high school. The professors are less personally involved, classes are bigger, exams are worth more, reading is more intense, and classes are much more rigorous. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; it just means you need to learn some more effective study skills. Fortunately, there are many active, effective study strategies that are shown to be effective in college classes.

This handout offers several tips on effective studying. Implementing these tips into your regular study routine will help you to efficiently and effectively learn course material. Experiment with them and find some that work for you.

Reading is not studying

Simply reading and re-reading texts or notes is not actively engaging in the material. It is simply re-reading your notes. Only ‘doing’ the readings for class is not studying. It is simply doing the reading for class. Re-reading leads to quick forgetting.

Think of reading as an important part of pre-studying, but learning information requires actively engaging in the material (Edwards, 2014). Active engagement is the process of constructing meaning from text that involves making connections to lectures, forming examples, and regulating your own learning (Davis, 2007). Active studying does not mean highlighting or underlining text, re-reading, or rote memorization. Though these activities may help to keep you engaged in the task, they are not considered active studying techniques and are weakly related to improved learning (Mackenzie, 1994).

Ideas for active studying include:

  • Create a study guide by topic. Formulate questions and problems and write complete answers. Create your own quiz.
  • Become a teacher. Say the information aloud in your own words as if you are the instructor and teaching the concepts to a class.
  • Derive examples that relate to your own experiences.
  • Create concept maps or diagrams that explain the material.
  • Develop symbols that represent concepts.
  • For non-technical classes (e.g., English, History, Psychology), figure out the big ideas so you can explain, contrast, and re-evaluate them.
  • For technical classes, work the problems and explain the steps and why they work.
  • Study in terms of question, evidence, and conclusion: What is the question posed by the instructor/author? What is the evidence that they present? What is the conclusion?

Organization and planning will help you to actively study for your courses. When studying for a test, organize your materials first and then begin your active reviewing by topic (Newport, 2007). Often professors provide subtopics on the syllabi. Use them as a guide to help organize your materials. For example, gather all of the materials for one topic (e.g., PowerPoint notes, text book notes, articles, homework, etc.) and put them together in a pile. Label each pile with the topic and study by topics.

For more information on the principle behind active studying, check out our tipsheet on metacognition .

Understand the Study Cycle

The Study Cycle , developed by Frank Christ, breaks down the different parts of studying: previewing, attending class, reviewing, studying, and checking your understanding. Although each step may seem obvious at a glance, all too often students try to take shortcuts and miss opportunities for good learning. For example, you may skip a reading before class because the professor covers the same material in class; doing so misses a key opportunity to learn in different modes (reading and listening) and to benefit from the repetition and distributed practice (see #3 below) that you’ll get from both reading ahead and attending class. Understanding the importance of all stages of this cycle will help make sure you don’t miss opportunities to learn effectively.

Spacing out is good

One of the most impactful learning strategies is “distributed practice”—spacing out your studying over several short periods of time over several days and weeks (Newport, 2007). The most effective practice is to work a short time on each class every day. The total amount of time spent studying will be the same (or less) than one or two marathon library sessions, but you will learn the information more deeply and retain much more for the long term—which will help get you an A on the final. The important thing is how you use your study time, not how long you study. Long study sessions lead to a lack of concentration and thus a lack of learning and retention.

In order to spread out studying over short periods of time across several days and weeks, you need control over your schedule . Keeping a list of tasks to complete on a daily basis will help you to include regular active studying sessions for each class. Try to do something for each class each day. Be specific and realistic regarding how long you plan to spend on each task—you should not have more tasks on your list than you can reasonably complete during the day.

For example, you may do a few problems per day in math rather than all of them the hour before class. In history, you can spend 15-20 minutes each day actively studying your class notes. Thus, your studying time may still be the same length, but rather than only preparing for one class, you will be preparing for all of your classes in short stretches. This will help focus, stay on top of your work, and retain information.

In addition to learning the material more deeply, spacing out your work helps stave off procrastination. Rather than having to face the dreaded project for four hours on Monday, you can face the dreaded project for 30 minutes each day. The shorter, more consistent time to work on a dreaded project is likely to be more acceptable and less likely to be delayed to the last minute. Finally, if you have to memorize material for class (names, dates, formulas), it is best to make flashcards for this material and review periodically throughout the day rather than one long, memorization session (Wissman and Rawson, 2012). See our handout on memorization strategies to learn more.

It’s good to be intense

Not all studying is equal. You will accomplish more if you study intensively. Intensive study sessions are short and will allow you to get work done with minimal wasted effort. Shorter, intensive study times are more effective than drawn out studying.

In fact, one of the most impactful study strategies is distributing studying over multiple sessions (Newport, 2007). Intensive study sessions can last 30 or 45-minute sessions and include active studying strategies. For example, self-testing is an active study strategy that improves the intensity of studying and efficiency of learning. However, planning to spend hours on end self-testing is likely to cause you to become distracted and lose your attention.

On the other hand, if you plan to quiz yourself on the course material for 45 minutes and then take a break, you are much more likely to maintain your attention and retain the information. Furthermore, the shorter, more intense sessions will likely put the pressure on that is needed to prevent procrastination.

Silence isn’t golden

Know where you study best. The silence of a library may not be the best place for you. It’s important to consider what noise environment works best for you. You might find that you concentrate better with some background noise. Some people find that listening to classical music while studying helps them concentrate, while others find this highly distracting. The point is that the silence of the library may be just as distracting (or more) than the noise of a gymnasium. Thus, if silence is distracting, but you prefer to study in the library, try the first or second floors where there is more background ‘buzz.’

Keep in mind that active studying is rarely silent as it often requires saying the material aloud.

Problems are your friend

Working and re-working problems is important for technical courses (e.g., math, economics). Be able to explain the steps of the problems and why they work.

In technical courses, it is usually more important to work problems than read the text (Newport, 2007). In class, write down in detail the practice problems demonstrated by the professor. Annotate each step and ask questions if you are confused. At the very least, record the question and the answer (even if you miss the steps).

When preparing for tests, put together a large list of problems from the course materials and lectures. Work the problems and explain the steps and why they work (Carrier, 2003).

Reconsider multitasking

A significant amount of research indicates that multi-tasking does not improve efficiency and actually negatively affects results (Junco, 2012).

In order to study smarter, not harder, you will need to eliminate distractions during your study sessions. Social media, web browsing, game playing, texting, etc. will severely affect the intensity of your study sessions if you allow them! Research is clear that multi-tasking (e.g., responding to texts, while studying), increases the amount of time needed to learn material and decreases the quality of the learning (Junco, 2012).

Eliminating the distractions will allow you to fully engage during your study sessions. If you don’t need your computer for homework, then don’t use it. Use apps to help you set limits on the amount of time you can spend at certain sites during the day. Turn your phone off. Reward intensive studying with a social-media break (but make sure you time your break!) See our handout on managing technology for more tips and strategies.

Switch up your setting

Find several places to study in and around campus and change up your space if you find that it is no longer a working space for you.

Know when and where you study best. It may be that your focus at 10:00 PM. is not as sharp as at 10:00 AM. Perhaps you are more productive at a coffee shop with background noise, or in the study lounge in your residence hall. Perhaps when you study on your bed, you fall asleep.

Have a variety of places in and around campus that are good study environments for you. That way wherever you are, you can find your perfect study spot. After a while, you might find that your spot is too comfortable and no longer is a good place to study, so it’s time to hop to a new spot!

Become a teacher

Try to explain the material in your own words, as if you are the teacher. You can do this in a study group, with a study partner, or on your own. Saying the material aloud will point out where you are confused and need more information and will help you retain the information. As you are explaining the material, use examples and make connections between concepts (just as a teacher does). It is okay (even encouraged) to do this with your notes in your hands. At first you may need to rely on your notes to explain the material, but eventually you’ll be able to teach it without your notes.

Creating a quiz for yourself will help you to think like your professor. What does your professor want you to know? Quizzing yourself is a highly effective study technique. Make a study guide and carry it with you so you can review the questions and answers periodically throughout the day and across several days. Identify the questions that you don’t know and quiz yourself on only those questions. Say your answers aloud. This will help you to retain the information and make corrections where they are needed. For technical courses, do the sample problems and explain how you got from the question to the answer. Re-do the problems that give you trouble. Learning the material in this way actively engages your brain and will significantly improve your memory (Craik, 1975).

Take control of your calendar

Controlling your schedule and your distractions will help you to accomplish your goals.

If you are in control of your calendar, you will be able to complete your assignments and stay on top of your coursework. The following are steps to getting control of your calendar:

  • On the same day each week, (perhaps Sunday nights or Saturday mornings) plan out your schedule for the week.
  • Go through each class and write down what you’d like to get completed for each class that week.
  • Look at your calendar and determine how many hours you have to complete your work.
  • Determine whether your list can be completed in the amount of time that you have available. (You may want to put the amount of time expected to complete each assignment.) Make adjustments as needed. For example, if you find that it will take more hours to complete your work than you have available, you will likely need to triage your readings. Completing all of the readings is a luxury. You will need to make decisions about your readings based on what is covered in class. You should read and take notes on all of the assignments from the favored class source (the one that is used a lot in the class). This may be the textbook or a reading that directly addresses the topic for the day. You can likely skim supplemental readings.
  • Pencil into your calendar when you plan to get assignments completed.
  • Before going to bed each night, make your plan for the next day. Waking up with a plan will make you more productive.

See our handout on calendars and college for more tips on using calendars as time management.

Use downtime to your advantage

Beware of ‘easy’ weeks. This is the calm before the storm. Lighter work weeks are a great time to get ahead on work or to start long projects. Use the extra hours to get ahead on assignments or start big projects or papers. You should plan to work on every class every week even if you don’t have anything due. In fact, it is preferable to do some work for each of your classes every day. Spending 30 minutes per class each day will add up to three hours per week, but spreading this time out over six days is more effective than cramming it all in during one long three-hour session. If you have completed all of the work for a particular class, then use the 30 minutes to get ahead or start a longer project.

Use all your resources

Remember that you can make an appointment with an academic coach to work on implementing any of the strategies suggested in this handout.

Works consulted

Carrier, L. M. (2003). College students’ choices of study strategies. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 96 (1), 54-56.

Craik, F. I., & Tulving, E. (1975). Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 104 (3), 268.

Davis, S. G., & Gray, E. S. (2007). Going beyond test-taking strategies: Building self-regulated students and teachers. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 1 (1), 31-47.

Edwards, A. J., Weinstein, C. E., Goetz, E. T., & Alexander, P. A. (2014). Learning and study strategies: Issues in assessment, instruction, and evaluation. Elsevier.

Junco, R., & Cotten, S. R. (2012). No A 4 U: The relationship between multitasking and academic performance. Computers & Education, 59 (2), 505-514.

Mackenzie, A. M. (1994). Examination preparation, anxiety and examination performance in a group of adult students. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 13 (5), 373-388.

McGuire, S.Y. & McGuire, S. (2016). Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate in Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Newport, C. (2006). How to become a straight-a student: the unconventional strategies real college students use to score high while studying less. Three Rivers Press.

Paul, K. (1996). Study smarter, not harder. Self Counsel Press.

Robinson, A. (1993). What smart students know: maximum grades, optimum learning, minimum time. Crown trade paperbacks.

Wissman, K. T., Rawson, K. A., & Pyc, M. A. (2012). How and when do students use flashcards? Memory, 20, 568-579.

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How to Study More Effectively

Last Updated: February 14, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,036,637 times.

You may be putting in hours of studying, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re digesting the material. Learning to study more effectively will mean shorter and more efficient study sessions, and eventually, better grades!

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Step 1 Perform a resource reconnaissance.

  • If you are studying for an exam, look back on the previous quizzes. Some of that information is bound to come up again.
  • Quizzes are smaller than exams, and typically only cover information from the current section or chapter.
  • If you can't find a practice exam or study group, create your own!

Step 2 Create a study plan.

  • You can change your study schedule slightly, but try not to change it too much!
  • Make sure you give yourself more time than you think you need, specially if it is a subject that you struggle with.

Step 3 Get in a positive mindset.

  • Try saying something positive to yourself before you being studying, like, “I am going to ace this exam!”
  • If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts like, “I’m going to fail that quiz,” stop the thought in its track. Replace it with a positive thought, like, “I’m going to master this material and succeed!”

Step 4 Find a quiet study spot with minimal distractions.

  • Take advantage of the library. Find a cozy spot with light foot traffic and start studying.
  • Spend the afternoon studying in a quiet coffee shop.
  • Study when your roommate is at work or class, and you have the place to yourself.

Studying Smarter

Step 1 Study in intervals.

  • If you find that your concentration is starting to falter, you may have to pause studying for the day or switch to a different subject.
  • Do something relaxing during your break that doesn't take too much concentration, such as stretching or walking.

Step 2 Quiz yourself.

  • You can create a simple mock exam for yourself by copying all of the questions from your previous quizzes and answering them.
  • Consider taking a mock quiz or exam first. The topics that you struggle the most with are the ones that you should focus on when studying.

Step 3 Use as many senses as possible.

  • Memory games don't work for everyone. If you find yourself struggling to memorize information using this method, skip it.

Using Notes to Study

Step 1 Rewrite your own notes.

  • Consider rewriting your notes using the same ink color that you will be using for the exam. For example, if you'll write in blue ink, write your notes in blue ink.

Step 2 Put other people’s notes or outlines in your own words.

  • Putting information into your own words can help you remember the important stuff later on.

Step 3 Outline the information you need to learn.

  • You can also incorporate information from your textbook in the outline.
  • For example, you could create a brief PowerPoint using your notes, or write key talking points on index cards and use them to help you present the material.
  • 5 Try the Cornell note-taking method . This method of note-taking requires you to plug in essential answers to questions using the information in your notes. As a result, you will be better able to retain the information in your notes. [10] X Research source

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

1 - Study For Exams

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Reader Videos

  • If you're studying a chapter, go through the whole thing first. Before further studying take a break, think about your actions. Continue. Then draw a quick mind map about sequences in the chapter. Afterwards, study everything on its own and connect information together, thus strengthening your knowledge on the chapter. Thanks Helpful 37 Not Helpful 1
  • Highlighting information helps so that you can remember the important parts. This is good, especially if you are a visual learner. Thanks Helpful 38 Not Helpful 6
  • Seek tutoring if you are having trouble remembering information or taking notes. A tutor can help you with individual subjects or help you to build study skills in general. Thanks Helpful 38 Not Helpful 8

sample essay how to study effectively

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Stay Awake While Studying

  • ↑ http://www.stanforddaily.com/2017/05/10/stanford-researchers-reveal-how-to-study-more-effectively/
  • ↑ https://alis.alberta.ca/succeed-at-work/make-your-work-life-more-satisfying/a-positive-attitude-will-help-you-learn/
  • ↑ https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/listening/a1-listening/study-tips
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2011/11/study-smart
  • ↑ http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/are-you-studying-effectively-what-wash-us-science-memory-tells-us-about-best-way-learn#stream/0
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/enhancing-your-memory/
  • ↑ https://www.utep.edu/extendeduniversity/utepconnect/blog/november-2017/4-memory-techniques-for-successful-study-sessions.html
  • ↑ https://www.fnu.edu/7-techniques-improve-study-habits/
  • ↑ https://lsc.cornell.edu/how-to-study/taking-notes/cornell-note-taking-system/

About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

To study intelligently and effectively, break your study sessions into 30-minute chunks, and give yourself 5-10 minute breaks between sessions so your brain has time to rest and recharge. As you study, rewrite your notes and read them aloud so that you're engaging all of your senses and boosting your memory. If you're still struggling to memorize your study material, try creating a song, acronym, or mnemonic device to help you absorb the lessons! For help planning a study schedule and picking the perfect studying spot, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How To Study and Learn Effectively, Essay Example

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It is impossible for two people to study the same or exact way. One study technique might work for one person and it may not fully work for the other person. However, there are a few general techniques that can produce tremendous results among students.

Effective Study Skills

The first thing a student needs to do is to schedule time for the study. Scheduling time saves time because a student will set the right time when he is alert, ready to learn and also away from distractions. Scheduling the right time for study helps a student to plan how to read all the courses at the right time. It is very important for a student to read when the student is not under pressure or distracted. The right place to read is in the library, a quiet room or in a classroom that is very quiet.

Study Materials

Today’s society enables student to study with improved technology. Online studying has saved numerous students from visiting the library late at night. Using flash disks, DVDs and also printed papers has also helped students to study at night when they can not use the school’s studying resources. Books are also useful when studying for different courses in the sense that the books have a wide scope of information that is always edited in case new studies arise.

Process of Study

When a student is waiting for a lecture, the right thing to do is to study before the lecture so as to incorporate the information when the lecturer is teaching. When a student is waiting for a recitation class, it is advisable to study repeatedly with other students. When a student is reading for the examinations it is advisable to read with a purpose. The purpose of reading is often to educate students not only to pass the exams but also to apply the information in their daily lives.

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How To Write An Essay

How to Write an Essay

sample essay how to study effectively

How To Write An Essay

‍ Start by thoroughly analyzing the question to grasp its essence. Define your central argument or thesis. Support your argument with a combination of solid evidence, logical reasoning, and references to scholarly works. Ensure the essay is well-organized, presenting ideas coherently. Maintain clear and concise writing throughout. Finally, accurately cite all sources and evidence used, adhering to appropriate academic referencing standards.

All you need to know about essay writing is right here. So, let’s take some consistent baby steps.

Read through our guide until the end, and in time, you’ll become an exceptional essay writer, and the process will become automatic and natural to you. ‍ ‍

Pre-writing Tips

Get to know pre-writing tips to help you figure out how to write a good essay. Before you start writing, consider all of the following without skipping any steps:

  • Truly understand your task : Make sure you grasp what the essay task is asking.
  • Brainstorming : You can try to use techniques like mind mapping and freewriting to let yourself generate ideas in a free flow.
  • Create an outline : You’ll save yourself some time and effort by outlining. This helps you structure your ideas and main points.
  • Consider your audience : Make sure you remember who you’re writing for.

Lay the groundwork for your essay writing by considering the points above. If you want a smoother process, then work smart and not hard. 

Learning The Importance of Essay Structure

Structure and adaptation are important when it comes to figuring out how to write a good essay.

Organizing Your Essay Writing Process Effectively

Make sure that your college essay is well-structured. This is crucial, and it ensures you are presenting your arguments as logically and comprehensively as possible. You need your ideas to flow smoothly and to engage your audience. 

By organizing your essay, you convey your ideas logically and creatively. This boosts your power to not just inform but to persuade as well. Master how to write an essay in an organized manner, and you've already mastered half of it.

Adapt To Different Prompts

Adapting to various prompts involves fitting your writing to the specific requirements. Do this by remembering these tips: 

  • Analyze the prompt.
  • Identify the essay type and topic.
  • Tailor your writing style, tone, and approach to the criteria.

If you need help to write an essay don't forget Studyfy, since you'll find plenty of writing help on the platform.

Picking Your Topic

Picking the right topic is a crucial element in how to write a compelling essay. The right topic captures your audience’s interest easily. Moreover, the right topic also resonates with YOU. Still confused? If you need help writing an essay, you know where to go.

And please, do be mindful of the following: 

  • Consider what you’re interested in and what you already have prior knowledge of.
  • Take into account who your audience is.
  • Take into account the essay’s purpose and aim.
  • Make sure that your chosen topic is actually manageable to write but also allows for in-depth analysis and exploration.

Creating A Good Title

If you want to draw your audience in from the get-go and if you want to come off strong, after choosing your topic, you’ll want to create a captivating title. It should be engaging and relevant. Does this confuse you? You can send a “ write my essay ” order on Studyfy right now, and it’s off your hands and into an expert’s hands.

Here are a few pointers to remember: 

  • Create a title that’s relevant to your essay’s thesis but is also capturing/engaging. The first impression you give to your readers can set the whole tone for how they take in your essay.
  • Be concise but also descriptive. Find the good middle. 

Building Your Thesis, Body, and Conclusion

Writing an essay can be rewarding once you get the hang of it. If you learn and apply effective ways to construct and write its parts, you can truly create something impressive. The three central pillars of your essay are your thesis, body, and conclusion.

Whether you're writing admissions essays, five paragraph essay, argumentative essays or other types of college essays, the paragraph structure is very similar for any particular topic.

Like acts of a play, each part is vital. We’re going to learn the exact ways in which you can write great theses, bodies, and conclusions. Read carefully. 

Crafting a Compelling Central Argument - Guiding Your Essay's Direction

Good essay writing means starting with an effective and well-thought-out thesis statement. Think of your thesis statement as a compass. It serves to guide your writing. It needs to be clear and have conviction. Remember these pointers when making one: 

  • Zero in on the best potential “core” idea : After brainstorming, you should have a list of ideas you can sift through. Find the best one with the most potential to develop.
  • Take a stance while being informative : Thesis statements should represent your stance. They don’t merely inform. It needs to open up to debate or a perspective you want to prove/convey in the entirety of your essay. 
  • Be precise and engaging : Be specific but engaging at the same time when writing your thesis statement.
  • Remain flexible : When you write, remember that the topic has a chance of evolving or changing. Your thesis should reflect/change with it. If you need to refine it as you write, you should. Just make sure it’s relevant/related to what you’re writing.

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How To Write A Great Academic Essay Body: The Main Arguments

  • Start with a Topic Sentence, setting the paragraph's focus like a mini-thesis.
  • Elaborate on the Topic Sentence.
  • Present Supporting Evidence.
  • Examine and Interpret the Evidence.
  • Establish how it supports your main argument.
  • Conclude with a Transition to the next point.

Your body paragraphs are where you’ll develop your arguments that support your thesis. This is where you will present evidence and examples in a cohesive and impactful way through your writing. Always reference back to your thesis statement so as not to go off-topic. Remember these pointers: 

  • Arrange your points logically : This means ensuring each paragraph transitions seamlessly to the next. By structuring logically, you strengthen your arguments and persuasiveness, and you remain coherent. You convey your ideas smoothly to the reader. 
  • Develop each point completely : You should finish exploring and developing a point in its wholeness. Use evidence, present strong examples, and show the reader your unique stance/thoughts on the argument. 
  • Use transitions : For seamless reading, use academically approved transition words, like “Furthermore” or “Additionally.” 

The foundation of learning how to do an essay properly is by understanding that each part of the essay is a cohesive whole. To provide context means to glue the first sentence to the main argument and, for example, tie the main stages with transitional phrases.

How To Write An Essay: Ending with Impact

Another crucial element of how to write essays effectively is writing a strong conclusion. You should reinforce your thesis statements and your main points in this part. Here is what you need to remember: 

  • Revisit your thesis statement : Rephrase, reiterate and showcase your developed arguments.
  • Emphasize key findings and thoughts : Rewrite and recap the key points in your college essay to help your audience retain your core arguments.
  • Conclude with a strong thought : Conclude with a call-to-action, idea, or provocative question that encourages the reader to explore the topic of your essay even after they’ve read your entire paper.
  • Keep it concise : Be concise and focused in your conclusion. Don’t introduce new information. 

Bonus Tips: Improving Your Style and Argumentation

We’ve gone through all the main information you’ll need for essay writing, but you should know some of these additional tips to truly step up your writing game. Another way to step up your writing game is to consider Studyfy’s admission essay writing service and other writing services. Let’s dive deeper into bettering your style and arguments.

Becoming A Master Persuader

To become a true master at essay writing and never need help with writing an essay, you’ll want to practice the art of persuasion. You want to sway and influence your readers by engaging them deeply in your arguments. Remember these points: 

  • Analyze your audience : When tailoring your voice and writing for your audience, you should also tailor your ARGUMENTS to them so they resonate. Try to speculate your audience’s perspectives, values, beliefs, and thought patterns. This will give you a deeper insight when developing your arguments. 
  • Use strong opening sentences : Make sure to grab your readers’ attention right from the start. 
  • Persuasive language : Using words and sentences that foster a sense of importance and urgency and ignite curiosity. Integrate persuasive language throughout your essay, like call-to-actions, emotional appeals, rhetorical questions, inclusive language, and testimonials. 

Appeal to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

When writing an essay, a good way to strengthen your argumentation is to appeal to ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic) in your readers. Take a look at these pointers: 

  • Establishing credibility (appealing to ethos) : Use reliable sources, cite experts, use strong evidence, and use testimonials. By showing your audience you're backing up your arguments with credible facts, you strengthen your persuasion power. 
  • Connect on an emotional level (appealing to pathos) : When you have their heart, you have them. Use vivid language, relatable anecdotes, and examples, and tap into the power of emotion.
  • Logical reasoning is powerful (appealing to logos) : Using facts and logical points to present clear data and statistics can strengthen your argument significantly. An argument that has solid evidence is hard to deny. 

Bonus Tips: Empowering Your Writing Skills

When pondering on how to make an essay better, it’s important to look beyond the obvious advice. In this section, we remind you to go above and beyond. Let’s find out some additional techniques that you can apply to your essay writing to improve it even further.

Infusing Your Voice Into Your Writing

Overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to learn for essay writing? You can always pay for essay services and get a professional’s help any time. Now, to infuse your voice into your essay writing, take note of these pointers:

  • Be authentic and share your perspective : Your beliefs, experiences, and values should not be completely avoided when writing. If relevant to the topic, your stance can provide a fresh and new angle on your essay, and it can help your essay stand out.
  • Do not be afraid to be creative : Play with language by using metaphors, descriptive language, similes, and other literary tools. It makes your writing memorable and enjoyable when done right.

Cross-Referencing

If you need help with writing an essay to make it better, try to integrate interdisciplinary concepts into your writing. Cross-referencing other fields like history, psychology, science, and literature to provide deeper insights into your arguments can strengthen your essay. Ensure your references add to your arguments, and don’t go off-topic.

Develop Flexibility In Perception

Another way to empower your writing skills and determine how to write an excellent essay is to view and present arguments and statements from different angles. This niche skill is invaluable. If you learn how to master it, you can be a very persuasive writer. Find ways to examine and defend both sides of a topic. Present counter-arguments, and so on.

This requires a lot of practice to use effectively but is easily one of the best things you can develop in essay writing and life. Usually, an argumentative essay is a successful essay if its body paragraphs create a basic structure of opposing context for a specific topic. Your writing process and your introduction paragraph can open the way for the entire essay to delve into opposing topics.

Make sure to do proper research, develop a good idea about what the topics are different or similar to, and, for example, explain your main thesis in a few paragraphs. A clear thesis makes the main body almost write itself - in any type of essay, including an argumentative essay.

Bonus Tips: Remaining Ethical In Writing

Remaining ethical and upholding integrity and credibility in your essay writing is key to passing academia since your professors will double-check your work to make sure you haven’t engaged in cheating. How do you write an essay while remaining ethical? Let’s find out.

How To Avoid Plagiarizing

You’ll need to avoid plagiarizing completely. The degree of punishment you can get for plagiarizing will vary from institution to institution, with some proving to be more lenient while others will be less forgiving. Need help? Try Studyfy’s custom essay writing service and get an expert writer to help you.

 Remember these points to save yourself the grief: 

  • Remember : Plagiarism isn’t only copying text; it’s also using other people’s data, ideas, concepts, and so on without properly crediting them. 
  • You SHOULD paraphrase : Master paraphrasing by reinterpreting the information you’ve examined. Use your own words. 
  • Improve research and note-taking skills : If you research effectively and take notes on the data you collect, it will be easier to distinguish your original ideas from your resources.

Essay Checklist

If you’ve read everything thoroughly and applied what’s been stated in our guide, you should be much better at writing essays. To further improve your experience, here’s an essay checklist you can use to make sure you’ve done everything you need to. 

Remember to focus on the formatting issues as well, including common mistakes, passive voice, too much everyday experience, and ambiguous word choice.

Checklist Item

  • Strong and Clear Thesis Statement
  • Effective Introduction
  • Well-developed Arguments
  • Evidence and Support
  • Paragraph Structure
  • Transitions
  • Strong Conclusion
  • Correct Citations and References
  • Plagiarism-free
  • Editing, Proofreading, and Revision
  • Complied With Word Count
  • Correct Formatting

Did you like our article?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay writing services!

Which key elements make up a strong essay structure?

A strong introduction that grabs the audience and introduces the thesis statement effectively. A body that presents ideas and arguments that support the thesis. A conclusion that sums up the main points of the essay and reintroduces the thesis in light of the arguments stated. This is how to write an essay in English effectively.

How do I write a clear and strong thesis statement?

If you’re asking yourself, “How do I write an essay that has a strong thesis statement?” We remind you to narrow your ideas and zero in on a key idea. This idea should be specific, and it should be an idea that you can fully develop and explore.

This blog is here to provide guidance and ease the essay writing process - we're here for you from the moment you start writing to the moment you reach the central point and reach the next paragraph.

What can I do to ensure my essay is engaging and persuasive?

Be sure your introduction is compelling and uses strong, active verbs. Your arguments should be presented logically, and you should back them up with strong evidence. Make sure to use persuasive language like rhetorical questions, analogies, metaphors, inclusive words, call-to-actions, etc. Varying sentence structures will keep readers interested.

To keep the reader on the hook, most essays use clever paragraphs, a clear thesis, a robust main body, and a polished final draft.

What’s the best way to write an essay?

The best way to write a college essay is to be prepared. Read our guide thoroughly and give yourself enough time to write the whole essay. Don’t start at the last minute. 

When you begin writing, your writing process is in its first draft. What's important is that you remember that an essay outline is not the final essay, and your college essay can change and adapt as you go. Whether an introductory paragraph, main points or conclusion paragraph, make sure to catch the reader's attention and lead with concrete examples.

And don't forget to focus on editing. Double-check the line spacing, structure, outline, number of paragraphs, word choice, and the cohesion of the final paragraph.

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How to Study for Exams Effectively

  • College Life

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Getting yourself ready for exams might seem terrifying. With the help of our easy tips and tricks, you can effectively avoid all the stress and lack of sleep that the majority of students face when studying for their finals.

Study Smarter, Not Longer

The main rule that you, as a student, should remember is that studying for a long time does not equal studying effectively. The longer you try to stay focused, the less information you retain as your brain seeks a little rest and makes you distracted. But that is just what the majority of students do when they try to catch up and get ready for exams. You can often see students pulling all-nighters before their finals, drinking lots of coffee.

So, should you do the same? Certainly, not! Of course, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to spend time reciting your notes at all. It just means that you can achieve much more in less time.

Here are a few things that will help you spend your time studying more productively:

  • Pay attention to the note-taking method that you are using. Change it if you think that your notes are not convenient to navigate through. It might take a while to define what method suits you the best (or even a few of them for different classes), but you will thank yourself later when getting ready for your exam.
  • Create a schedule for every day that includes hours that you dedicate to studying. Stick to it.
  • Have breaks. Even a short 15-minute break can make a lot of difference.
  • Create a mind map.
  • Minimize distraction. Many students think that they are quite productive, while not even noticing that the majority of the time they spend on studying and doing their homework, they are procrastinating. Scrolling through social media or texting with your friends is not the way to get ready for the exam. You can do it later.
  • Have a comfortable place to study. Having a desk with a comfortable chair is not always possible. But you can still have a place to do your homework. Keep this area clean, and you will notice that your mind is much sharper.
  • Set goals. You will definitely need the motivation to study, so pay attention to the goals that you are trying to achieve. Break them into short-term and long-term goals and divide them into even smaller tasks that you can complete every day.

Now, let’s look at these points in detail.

Pay Attention to Your Note-Taking Method

Though many students know that taking notes is essential, not all of them actually pay attention to the method that they are using. However, if you want to be successful in your studies , this is the first thing that you should work on.

There are a lot of various note-taking methods that you should try. Each of them has pros and cons.

For example, you might try out the Boxing method and find out that it is pretty convenient for classes that are split into sections. At the same time, the Mapping method is great for lectures that contain a lot of structured information and also helps you out if you are a visual learner.

Try out the Cornel method, as it is effective for various lectures and classes. Once you make your notes work, you will be able to navigate through them easier and retain information better.

Create a Schedule

The schedule is an important part of the study routine of any student. It’s crucial to be able to dedicate enough time to do your homework and be disciplined when it comes to procrastination.

When you need to get ready for your exams, it’s important to plan your studies beforehand. Create a schedule and put in your classes and your study sessions. For example, three or four hours every evening. Be ready to study through the weekends, too, if you have a lot to catch up. Make sure you write down the dates of exams so that you are able to see how much time you have left.

Have Breaks

Even the sharpest mind needs breaks. It’s crucial to have rest in order to stay focused and organized. Take short breaks every 40-50 minutes of studying and spend them on snacking, listening to music, etc. You will definitely see the difference, as it will be easier for you to get back to studying.

There is also a method that is called the Pomodoro technique that every student should try. This is basically a time management method that implies working on short but intensive intervals alternated with breaks. For example, you can study for 30 minutes straight and then have a short five- to ten-minute break. Set the timers, so you stick to the schedule and have longer breaks (around 20 minutes) every 3-4 intervals.

Minimize Distractions

We all know that studying might be boring. That’s why a lot of students try to make this time a little bit more amusing by texting, watching TV, etc. However, this is just another form of procrastination.

Turn off your TV, and you might notice that it is actually much easier for you to stay focused on your studies. Mute your phone, and you will spend less time completing the same task.

Moreover, not all music is great for background noise. For example, if you are listening to songs that contain lyrics, it distracts your brain as it has to process the information that it receives through your hearing. That means that the information that you are reading at that moment won’t be retained as well as it could be. If you can’t focus in complete silence, you should definitely choose classical music or chill ambient music as they don’t create such a distraction.

One more thing that you should pay attention to is to be concentrated on one task only. Multitasking isn’t effective when it comes to studying. As there is a lot of information that your brain needs to retain, try not to mix it up, or else your studying won’t be productive. So, end the topic or section first and then start another one.

Have a Place for Studying

Having a comfortable and clean space is essential to have your thoughts organized too. It’s tempting to stay with your notebooks in your bed; however, try avoiding this. You will feel much more concentrated when sitting at the desk or in the library.

But why is it important to keep your place clean and neat? Some studies show us that cluttered and messy spaces tend to affect our concentration, mood, and productivity. So, just cleaning your desk from unnecessary things can boost your studying routine.

Moreover, your brain constantly makes associations with the setting around you. If you have a particular time and place for studying, your brain will get used to it, and study sessions will be much easier to handle.

Set Your Goals

Getting ready for the finals also means that you should stay motivated and goal-oriented through this time; otherwise you might not be as successful in your studies as you wish. That’s why we always recommend setting your priorities and goals when it comes to studying. For example, complete all the assignments on time , succeed in the finals, etc.

What can you do? Create a list of all the topics and questions that you need to cover. Many professors are honest about their tests and even tell you that particular information is going to be in your final, but not many students listen. So, pay attention to the information that your lecturer emphasizes as it is most likely to appear in the test.

After you create such a list, make sure to put it into your schedule and daily to-do lists, so that you can see that you are on time. Don’t try to manage big chunks of information at the time – better spread it over a few days. For example, you can write down that the next weekend you will dedicate to the first section of the course. You should also divide bigger assignments, e.g. a term paper , into smaller parts and work on them slowly.

When you have clear goals and tasks, it’s easier to keep track of your progress and your achievements. You can reward yourself with some treat or anything else that brings you joy every time when you complete another task.

It’s also crucial to set your priorities and stick to them while getting ready for the finals. Prioritize your studies and plan your study sessions first. We know that it’s hard, but this is what actually works for the majority of students.

Karen Palmer

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Studying for Essay Exams

  • Can you study for an essay exam? 
  • The challenge of essay exams
  • Study Strategy 1: Create a study guide
  • Study Strategy 2: Try to guess the questions
  • Study Strategy 3: Study from old exams
  • Study Strategy 4: Outline or write possible answers
  • Study Strategy 5: Study in a group

Can you study for an essay exam?

Yes, you can! Many students mistakenly think that, because essay exams focus on analysis rather than memorization, they cannot really “study” for an essay exam. However, essay exams generally require you to pull together information from different parts of the course to create a coherent answer and to support an interpretation with specific examples. That is pretty hard to do well if you haven’t studied the course material! Indeed, there are a number of study strategies that are well-suited to preparing for an essay exam.

The Challenge of Essay Exams

Essay exams require you to interpret a complex and often lengthy question, develop a coherent thesis statement that addresses this question, and write an essay that provides specific evidence to develop and support this thesis. And, it requires you to do all of this under time pressure.

Meeting these challenges will require that you study in ways that will allow you to recognize both the major themes and ideas of the course as well as the specific facts, events, authors, or examples that are associated with those themes.

Study Strategy 1: Create a Study Guide

Essay exams require you to show connections between details, to gather up the specifics and tie them together with the major themes of the course. One of the best ways to prepare for this is to create a study guide.

A study guide is a document that attempts to identify the major themes and synthesize information from different units or weeks of the course. In a study guide, you list information from different units together under thematic categories. Here are some tips on creating a good study guide.

Step 1 : Read through lecture notes and reading notes and list the main themes of the class. This is not a list of facts, dates, events or authors, but of themes and ideas.  For example, in your History 1500, this would NOT be a list of events or dates. It would be themes: terror and the state, religion and terror, technology and terror. In English 1000, your list would NOT be a list of authors or books that you have read. Instead, it would be a list of themes that are common to them: literary techniques, self and society, gender etc.

Step 2 : Now go back and read through your notes again. This time, you are looking for details such as authors, key terms, events, and examples. Use these details to flesh out your study guide and to show how the details build your understanding of the themes.

Sample Study Guide for History 1500

Theme: Religion and Terror

Module: Witch Craze

  • Catholicism and beliefs in white and dark magic
  • The Reformation/Wars of Religion brought social, cultural, and economic disruption, which bred anxiety.
  • Most intense hunting = 1550-1650 (religious wars = c.1540-1648)
  • Proximity to religious tension increases tendency to burn witches

Module: Crusades – List relevant examples

Study Strategy 2: Try to Guess the Questions

When professors write essay questions, they usually review the material they have covered and try to choose topics that will require students to bring together the major themes of the course. By guessing the questions that will be on the exam, you will engage in the same process. Look through your syllabus, lecture and reading notes, and study guide. What concepts or themes have been developed throughout the term? What questions would you ask if you were the professor?

Study Strategy 3: Study from Old Exams

While you are guessing the questions and preparing for an essay exam, it can be very helpful to consult previous exams in the course. While it is unlikely that a professor would use exactly the same questions again on your exam, it can be helpful to get a sense of the types of questions that have been asked in the past. Some professors share old exams with their classes. However, in classes where this is not the case, you can seek out sample questions from your textbook, syllabus, or assignment instructions. There are great online sources of sample questions from textbook publishers, but take caution when searching online. Some sites that crowdsource student work encourage acts of academic dishonesty; students should  never share old exam questions or answers. 

Study Strategy 4: Outline or Write Possible Answers

Trying to identify what questions might be on the exam is, of course, only one part of studying for the exam. You also need to try to create answers to these questions. You can do this by outlining answers. Begin with a clear thesis that addresses the question, and then create a section of the outline that develops each part of your thesis. Finally, add in specific examples that you would use to support your ideas in the appropriate section.

You can also write full answers to the essay questions you devise as you study. The act of writing will help you to remember the material, and although the identical question may not appear on the exam, you will usually be able to employ the connections and supporting details in a response that addresses similar issues.

Study Strategy 5: Study in a Group

One of the best ways to learn material is to talk about it with others. As you do, you deepen your understanding not only by having to explain concepts or themes to others but also by hearing their perspective on the central issues of the course.

While you will ultimately take an exam, and thus need to know course information, on your own, study groups can be a great supplement to independent study activities. Each group member could come prepared with one or two potential exam questions, and then other group members could try to answer them. Or, the entire group could review the course syllabus together and identify central themes or particularly challenging material. Through the process of discussing the information with others, you will increase your understanding and thus be studying for your essay exam.

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We’re here to connect Scholars and Alumni to the people and opportunities you need to reach your full potential.

Our partnerships bridge the gap between the nation’s brightest minds and the opportunities they deserve.

Learn more about who we are and how we help students dream big on their path to, through, and beyond college.

How to Write a College Essay

Let QuestBridge help you with college essay writing tips. We cover what to write about, how to get feedback, and more!

The low-income lens in college essays

Students from low-income backgrounds may not realize that they have a unique perspective to present to admissions officers. If your identity has been shaped by financial difficulties and other obstacles, consider writing about these challenges in your college essays so that admissions officers understand the full context of your successes and academic accomplishments.

Bring us into your world. We want to know you. We want to know your truth.

Student challenges and extenuating circumstances

You may describe specific challenges that you have risen above in your college essays, such as:

  • You hold significant responsibilities in your household, such as providing care for an ill family member, babysitting siblings, or preparing family meals.
  • You have a part-time job to pay for school activities or household expenses.
  • You live with people other than your immediate family or have been in foster care.
  • You experienced homelessness or other temporary housing situations.
  • A parent has passed away or is not present in your life.
  • You commute a long distance to attend school.
  • Your family or community is not supportive of your educational goals.
  • You faced obstacles because English is not your first language.

Proper tone for college essays

If you choose to write about challenges in your life, be careful to avoid using overly critical or negative language when writing a college essay. This is a good opportunity to emphasize your emotional maturity and how challenges in your life have helped you grow as a person. You may compromise that impression if your tone is resentful or excessively dramatic.

College essay topic choice

Giving admissions officers a window into difficult experiences can present your story in your college application, but there are other topics that can also make for a strong essay (e.g. a favorite book, a community service project). Whichever angle you select to tell your story, highlight the most important things that have shaped and continue to shape your identity.

The writing process: brainstorm, outline, and draft

Writing a college essay can seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Watch our webinar,  Write a College Essay that Stands Out , and download our worksheet as a template and foundation to help you craft a strong college essay. This college essay format may help you write your essay in a manner that goes beyond just a chronological explanation of your life or an expansion of your resume.

Essay feedback and revisions

Ask teachers, mentors, family, or friends for feedback on your essay. Reach out well in advance of any deadlines, and give them at least two weeks to provide feedback. Ask them in person if you can, but if you cannot, send them an email. If they agree to take a look, you can send them a message with your essay. Download a sample message below.

After receiving feedback, revise! You should plan on going through a few drafts. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • You do not have to incorporate all feedback. Accept what you think is most helpful. 
  • Edits and revisions should not remove your voice or completely alter your writing style. 
  • Pay attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, and even formatting. 
  • It may help to read your essay out loud to catch mistakes you might otherwise skim over. 
  • Read your college essay from an admissions officer’s perspective.
  • For more college essay writing tips, continue reading the FAQs below.

Detailed FAQs about college admissions essays

Mechanics, structure, and content are vital parts of a successful essay. Our Detailed College Essays FAQs page covers each category in detail to give your essay a strong start and finish. Learn about how to write a college essay, how long a college essay should be, and more.

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  • How to Do Research for an Excellent Essay: The Complete Guide

sample essay how to study effectively

One of the biggest secrets to writing a good essay is the Boy Scouts’ motto: ‘be prepared’. Preparing for an essay – by conducting effective research – lays the foundations for a brilliant piece of writing, and it’s every bit as important as the actual writing part. Many students skimp on this crucial stage, or sit in the library not really sure where to start; and it shows in the quality of their essays. This just makes it easier for you to get ahead of your peers, and we’re going to show you how. In this article, we take you through what you need to do in order to conduct effective research and use your research time to best effect.

Allow enough time

First and foremost, it’s vital to allow enough time for your research. For this reason, don’t leave your essay until the last minute . If you start writing without having done adequate research, it will almost certainly show in your essay’s lack of quality. The amount of research time needed will vary according to whether you’re at Sixth Form or university, and according to how well you know the topic and what teaching you’ve had on it, but make sure you factor in more time than you think you’ll need. You may come across a concept that takes you longer to understand than you’d expected, so it’s better to allow too much time than too little.

Read the essay question and thoroughly understand it

If you don’t have a thorough understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do, you put yourself at risk of going in the wrong direction with your research. So take the question, read it several times and pull out the key things it’s asking you to do. The instructions in the question are likely to have some bearing on the nature of your research. If the question says “Compare”, for example, this will set you up for a particular kind of research, during which you’ll be looking specifically for points of comparison; if the question asks you to “Discuss”, your research focus may be more on finding different points of view and formulating your own.

Begin with a brainstorm

Start your research time by brainstorming what you already know. Doing this means that you can be clear about exactly what you’re already aware of, and you can identify the gaps in your knowledge so that you don’t end up wasting time by reading books that will tell you what you already know. This gives your research more of a direction and allows you to be more specific in your efforts to find out certain things. It’s also a gentle way of introducing yourself to the task and putting yourself in the right frame of mind for learning about the topic at hand.

Achieve a basic understanding before delving deeper

If the topic is new to you and your brainstorm has yielded few ideas, you’ll need to acquire a basic understanding of the topic before you begin delving deeper into your research. If you don’t, and you start by your research by jumping straight in at the deep end, as it were, you’ll struggle to grasp the topic. This also means that you may end up being too swayed by a certain source, as you haven’t the knowledge to question it properly. You need sufficient background knowledge to be able to take a critical approach to each of the sources you read. So, start from the very beginning. It’s ok to use Wikipedia or other online resources to give you an introduction to a topic, though bear in mind that these can’t be wholly relied upon. If you’ve covered the topic in class already, re-read the notes you made so that you can refresh your mind before you start further investigation.

Working through your reading list

If you’ve been given a reading list to work from, be organised in how you work through each of the items on it. Try to get hold of as many of the books on it as you can before you start, so that you have them all easily to hand, and can refer back to things you’ve read and compare them with other perspectives. Plan the order in which you’re going to work through them and try to allocate a specific amount of time to each of them; this ensures that you allow enough time to do each of them justice and that focus yourself on making the most of your time with each one. It’s a good idea to go for the more general resources before honing in on the finer points mentioned in more specialised literature. Think of an upside-down pyramid and how it starts off wide at the top and becomes gradually narrower; this is the sort of framework you should apply to your research.

Ask a librarian

Library computer databases can be confusing things, and can add an extra layer of stress and complexity to your research if you’re not used to using them. The librarian is there for a reason, so don’t be afraid to go and ask if you’re not sure where to find a particular book on your reading list. If you’re in need of somewhere to start, they should be able to point you in the direction of the relevant section of the library so that you can also browse for books that may yield useful information.

Use the index

If you haven’t been given specific pages to read in the books on your reading list, make use of the index (and/or table of contents) of each book to help you find relevant material. It sounds obvious, but some students don’t think to do this and battle their way through heaps of irrelevant chapters before finding something that will be useful for their essay.

Taking notes

As you work through your reading, take notes as you go along rather than hoping you’ll remember everything you’ve read. Don’t indiscriminately write down everything – only the bits that will be useful in answering the essay question you’ve been set. If you write down too much, you risk writing an essay that’s full of irrelevant material and getting lower grades as a result. Be concise, and summarise arguments in your own words when you make notes (this helps you learn it better, too, because you actually have to think about how best to summarise it). You may want to make use of small index cards to force you to be brief with what you write about each point or topic. We’ve covered effective note-taking extensively in another article, which you can read here . Note-taking is a major part of the research process, so don’t neglect it. Your notes don’t just come in useful in the short-term, for completing your essay, but they should also be helpful when it comes to revision time, so try to keep them organised.

Research every side of the argument

Never rely too heavily on one resource without referring to other possible opinions; it’s bad academic practice. You need to be able to give a balanced argument in an essay, and that means researching a range of perspectives on whatever problem you’re tackling. Keep a note of the different arguments, along with the evidence in support of or against each one, ready to be deployed into an essay structure that works logically through each one. If you see a scholar’s name cropping up again and again in what you read, it’s worth investigating more about them even if you haven’t specifically been told to do so. Context is vital in academia at any level, so influential figures are always worth knowing about.

Keep a dictionary by your side

You could completely misunderstand a point you read if you don’t know what one important word in the sentence means. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep a dictionary by your side at all times as you conduct your research. Not only does this help you fully understand what you’re reading, but you also learn new words that you might be able to use in your forthcoming essay or a future one . Growing your vocabulary is never a waste of time!

Start formulating your own opinion

As you work through reading these different points of view, think carefully about what you’ve read and note your own response to different opinions. Get into the habit of questioning sources and make sure you’re not just repeating someone else’s opinion without challenging it. Does an opinion make sense? Does it have plenty of evidence to back it up? What are the counter-arguments, and on balance, which sways you more? Demonstrating your own intelligent thinking will set your essay apart from those of your peers, so think about these things as you conduct your research.

Be careful with web-based research

Although, as we’ve said already, it’s fine to use Wikipedia and other online resources to give you a bit of an introduction to a topic you haven’t covered before, be very careful when using the internet for researching an essay. Don’t take Wikipedia as gospel; don’t forget, anybody can edit it! We wouldn’t advise using the internet as the basis of your essay research – it’s simply not academically rigorous enough, and you don’t know how out of date a particular resource might be. Even if your Sixth Form teachers may not question where you picked up an idea you’ve discussed in your essays, it’s still not a good habit to get into and you’re unlikely to get away with it at a good university. That said, there are still reliable academic resources available via the internet; these can be found in dedicated sites that are essentially online libraries, such as JSTOR. These are likely to be a little too advanced if you’re still in Sixth Form, but you’ll almost certainly come across them once you get to university.

Look out for footnotes

In an academic publication, whether that’s a book or a journal article, footnotes are a great place to look for further ideas for publications that might yield useful information. Plenty can be hidden away in footnotes, and if a writer is disparaging or supporting the ideas of another academic, you could look up the text in question so that you can include their opinion too, and whether or not you agree with them, for extra brownie points.

Don’t save doing all your own references until last

If you’re still in Sixth Form, you might not yet be required to include academic references in your essays, but for the sake of a thorough guide to essay research that will be useful to you in the future, we’re going to include this point anyway (it will definitely come in useful when you get to university, so you may as well start thinking about it now!). As you read through various books and find points you think you’re going to want to make in your essays, make sure you note down where you found these points as you go along (author’s first and last name, the publication title, publisher, publication date and page number). When you get to university you will be expected to identify your sources very precisely, so it’s a good habit to get into. Unfortunately, many students forget to do this and then have a difficult time of going back through their essay adding footnotes and trying to remember where they found a particular point. You’ll save yourself a great deal of time and effort if you simply note down your academic references as you go along. If you are including footnotes, don’t forget to add each publication to a main bibliography, to be included at the end of your essay, at the same time.

Putting in the background work required to write a good essay can seem an arduous task at times, but it’s a fundamental step that can’t simply be skipped. The more effort you put in at this stage, the better your essay will be and the easier it will be to write. Use the tips in this article and you’ll be well on your way to an essay that impresses!

To get even more prepared for essay writing you might also want to consider attending an Oxford Summer School .

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sample essay how to study effectively

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

sample essay how to study effectively

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

sample essay how to study effectively

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

sample essay how to study effectively

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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  • How to Cite Social Media Sources in Academic Writing? 
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Examples

Study Techniques

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Studying effectively is crucial for academic success. This guide outlines various study techniques that can help you learn more efficiently, retain information longer, and perform better on exams.

Importance of Effective Study Techniques

  • Enhanced Retention : Improves memory retention and recall.
  • Better Time Management : Optimizes study time and increases productivity.
  • Increased Understanding : Deepens comprehension of the material.
  • Reduced Stress : Helps manage study-related stress and anxiety.
  • Improved Performance : Leads to higher grades and academic achievements.

1. Active Learning

  • Engage with the material : Ask questions, summarize information, and teach it to someone else.
  • After reading a chapter, write a summary in your own words.
  • Explain concepts to a study partner or even to yourself out loud.

2. Spaced Repetition

  • Distribute learning over time : Instead of cramming, review material at increasing intervals.
  • Use flashcards to review vocabulary daily, then every few days, and finally weekly.
  • Employ apps like Anki or Quizlet for spaced repetition schedules.

3. Practice Testing

  • Self-test frequently : Take practice quizzes and tests to assess your understanding.
  • Create practice exams from your notes and textbooks.
  • Use past papers and online quizzes for self-assessment.

4. Pomodoro Technique

  • Time management strategy : Break study sessions into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks.
  • Study for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat.
  • After four cycles, take a longer break (15-30 minutes).

5. Mind Mapping

  • Visual representation of information : Create diagrams that connect related concepts.
  • Draw a mind map of a history chapter to link events and dates.
  • Use software like MindMeister or draw by hand.

6. SQ3R Method

  • Reading comprehension strategy : Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review.
  • Survey a chapter for headings and subheadings before reading in-depth.
  • Formulate questions based on these headings, read to find answers, recite key points, and review the material.

7. Study Groups

  • Collaborative learning : Join or form study groups to discuss and review material.
  • Meet weekly to discuss readings and quiz each other.
  • Divide topics among group members to teach each other.

8. Mnemonic Devices

  • Memory aids : Use acronyms, visual images, or rhymes to remember information.
  • Use the acronym HOMES to remember the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).
  • Create a rhyme to remember the order of mathematical operations (PEMDAS: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction).

Tips for Implementing Study Techniques

  • Personalize Your Study Plan : Choose techniques that suit your learning style and subject matter.
  • Stay Organized : Keep a study schedule and prioritize tasks.
  • Create a Conducive Environment : Find a quiet, comfortable place free from distractions.
  • Stay Healthy : Ensure you get enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition to keep your brain functioning optimally.
  • Review Regularly : Regular review sessions help reinforce material and improve long-term retention.

Effective study techniques are essential for academic success. By incorporating methods such as active learning, spaced repetition, practice testing, and the Pomodoro Technique, you can enhance your learning experience, retain information better, and achieve higher academic performance. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you, and remember to stay organized, healthy, and proactive in your studies.

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sample essay how to study effectively

Essay Paper on How to Study Effectively

Study skills must be developed and practiced regularly in order to improve all the received and old knowledge. There are special study strategies that help to organize the time for studying and quicken a way to the progress.

It is advisable for students to ask themselves various questions concerning the text while learning. Those questions should lead to emphasis on the what, why, how, when, who and where of learning content. As students answer them, they will be able to make sense of the read material and remember it more easily because the process will make an impression on them. They will be able to retain matter easily and this also helps to retain better while studying.

While reciting students need to stop reading periodically, because this helps students to recall whatever they read earlier. They should also try to recall main headings, important ideas of concepts presented in bold or italicized type, and what different graphs, charts or illustrations indicate. Reviewing is another important aspect for students as it proves to be a survey of the material that the students have actually covered.

Properly used study strategies can lead to the essential improvement in knowledge and help to organize students study time rationally and effectively…

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Ultimate guide to writing an opinion essay, rachel r.n..

  • June 14, 2023
  • How to Guides

An opinion essay is often given to students at all levels of schooling. In this type of essay, the writer has to say what they think about a certain topic or issue and back up their point with evidence and examples. Students should learn how to write opinion essays because they teach them how to think critically and how to explain and defend a point of view. Opinion essays are an important part of academic writing, but they are also a great way to learn persuasive communication skills that you can use in your personal and professional life. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to write an opinion essay. It will also give you 50 examples and ideas to help you get started. We will talk about the basic structure of an opinion essay and how to make a strong argument and back it up with facts and examples.

This guide will give you the tools you need to learn how to write a good opinion essay, whether you are a student looking to improve your academic writing or a professional looking to improve your persuasive communication skills .

What You'll Learn

Understanding Opinion Essays

Opinion essays are a type of academic writing in which the writer has to say what they think about a certain topic or issue. In an opinion essay, the writer should back up their point of view with evidence and examples and try to get the reader to agree with them. The point of opinion essays is to teach students how to think critically and talk in a way that makes others want to agree with them. If students want to do well in school, on the job, and in their personal lives, they need to have these skills. Opinion essays are different from descriptive or narrative essays because the writer has to take a clear stance on a certain topic and back up their claim with evidence and examples. It’s also important to have a clear thesis statement that explains the writer’s point of view.

Elements of an Opinion Essay

An opinion essay typically includes the following elements:

1. Introduction paragraph : The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide background information on the topic. It should also include a clear thesis statement that outlines the writer’s position.

2. Body paragraphs: The body of the essay should provide supporting evidence and examples to support the writer’s argument. Each paragraph should focus on a single point and should begin with a topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement .

3. Supporting evidence and examples: It is important to use evidence and examples to support the writer’s argument. This can include statistics, facts, quotes, and personal experiences.

4. Counter arguments: It’s also important to address counter arguments or opposing viewpoints in an opinion essay. This shows the reader that the writer has considered alternative perspectives and has still arrived at their own position. Addressing counter arguments can also strengthen the writer’s position by showing that they have thought critically about the issue .

5. Conclusion paragraph: The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement . It should also leave the reader with a final thought or call to action.

Opinion essays are an important genre of academic writing that require critical thinking and persuasive communication skills. To write an effective opinion essay, it is important to have a clear thesis statement , use supporting evidence and examples, address counter arguments, and provide a strong conclusion. By mastering the elements of an opinion essay, students can develop their writing skills and become more effective communicators.

Opinion Essay Structure and Outline

Let’s look at an example of an opinion essay to comprehensively understand the structure of an opinion essay

The Impacts of Globalization on Local Economies

Globalization has become a heated topic of debate, with many differing perspectives on its effects. In this persuasive essay, I will form an opinion and provide a point of view on how globalization impacts local economies. As college students interested in reading different viewpoints, you’ll learn about writing an effective opinion piece.

To begin an opinion essay, the most important thing is to establish a clear thesis stating the main argument or belief. My thesis is: While globalization creates economic opportunities through trade and investment, it also poses challenges for local businesses trying to compete with larger multinational corporations. Both the positive potentials and negative pressures of globalization must be carefully considered.

The body of your opinion essay should logically organize evidence to support your stated perspective. One key benefit of globalization is giving local producers access to international markets, strengthening export revenues. Trade agreements facilitate selling goods and services across borders. Additionally, foreign direct investment from multinational companies can create new jobs and transfer technology/skills.

However, globalization also exposes local businesses to heightened competition which can be challenging for smaller firms. They may struggle to match the economies of scale, resources, and distribution networks of huge conglomerates. Domestic companies must innovate to avoid losing market share. There are also concerns about job losses if companies move production overseas.

While globalization allows corporations to efficiently manage worldwide supply chains and operations, this same flexibility enables circumventing local labor laws and taxes. Developing nations may engage in regulatory undercutting to attract investment, harming worker rights and the environment. Governments must strike a careful balance.

In crafting this opinion essay, I defined key concepts related to globalization’s impacts through examples local and international companies. Drawing on evidence from both sides strengthened my argument that globalization has significant trade-offs for local economies. For writers and students, seeing exactly how an opinion essay is structured with a clear thesis, body paragraphs explaining the perspective, and consideration of counterpoints can serve as a useful exercise.

Ultimately, opinion essays require logically organizing one’s thoughts and reasoning on a particular topic. Drafting an outline first, and then revising and proofreading, will improve the flow and persuasiveness. While all viewpoints are important to acknowledge, a good opinion piece persuades readers toward the author’s stance through a crystal clear thesis and well-supported arguments.

This basic opinion essay provides a simple guide on how to write persuasively about globalization’s effects. By establishing a position, giving evidence pro and con, defining key terms, and directly addressing the prompt of analyzing local economic impacts, the goal is to help the reader understand both sides while making a case for the writer’s perspective. For college students starting to pen opinion pieces, examples like this can strengthen essential academic writing skills.

Writing Process of an Opinion Essay

Writing an opinion essay requires careful planning and organization. Here are the steps to follow when writing an opinion essay:

1. Pre-writing strategies: Before you start writing, it’s important to brainstorm ideas and gather information on your topic . This can include researching your topic , making a list of arguments and counterarguments, and creating a mind map or outline.

2. Outlining an opinion essay : Once you have gathered your ideas, create an outline to organize your thoughts and develop a clear structure for your essay . Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

3. Writing the introduction: The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide some background information on the topic. It should end with a thesis statement that clearly states your position on the issue.

4. Developing body paragraphs: The body of the essay should provide supporting evidence and examples to support your argument. Each paragraph should focus on a single point and should begin with a topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement.

5. Using evidence and examples to support your argument: Use evidence and examples to support your argument. This can include statistics, facts, quotes, and personal experiences.

6. Addressing counter arguments: It’s important to address counterarguments or opposing viewpoints in an opinion essay. This shows the reader that you have considered alternative perspectives and have still arrived at your own position. Addressing counter arguments can also strengthen your position by showing that you have thought critically about the issue.

7. Writing the conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main points of your essay and restate your thesis statement . It should also leave the reader with a final thought or call to action.

Tips and Techniques for Writing a Strong Opinion Essay

To write a strong opinion essay, follow these tips and techniques:

1. Writing with clarity and precision: Use clear and concise language to express your ideas. Avoid using too many complex words or phrases that may confuse the reader.

2. Crafting an effective thesis statement: Your thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should clearly state your position on the issue.

3. Using transitional words and phrases: Use transitional words and phrases to connect your ideas and make your essay flow smoothly. Examples include “however,” “on the other hand,” and “in addition.”

4. Avoiding logical fallacies: Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning that can weaken your argument. Examples include ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, and false causality.

5. Editing and proofreading: After you have written your essay, take the time to edit and proofread it carefully. Look for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure that your ideas are presented clearly and logically.

Writing an opinion essay requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined above and using the tips and techniques provided, you can craft a strong and persuasive opinion essay that effectively communicates your position on the issue at hand.

10 Opinion Essay Examples

To help you understand what makes a strong opinion essay, here are 10 examples of well-written opinion essays, along with a detailed analysis of what makes each essay effective:

1. “The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet” by Jane Smith

2. The Importance of Early Childhood Education” by John Doe

3. The Negative Effects of Social Media on Teenagers” by Sarah Johnson

4. The Pros and Cons of Online Learning” by Tom Brown

5. “The Need for Stricter Gun Control Laws” by Emily Davis

6. “The Ethics of Animal Testing” by Rachel Lee

7. The Benefits of Exercise for Mental Health” by David Nguyen

8. “The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace” by Maria Hernandez

9. The Harmful Effects of Plastic Pollution on the Environment” by Alex Lee

10. The Need for Universal Healthcare in the United States” by Samantha Jones

Each of these essays effectively communicates the writer’s position on a particular issue and provides strong supporting evidence and examples. By analyzing these essays , you can learn important lessons about how to effectively structure and develop an opinion essay.

50 Opinion Essay Topics That Will Impress Your Professors

To help you choose a topic for your opinion essay, here are 50 unique and engaging opinion essay topics that are relevant and important:

1. The impact of social media on interpersonal communication

2. The benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling

3. The role of technology in modern education

4. The need for stricter penalties for hate crimes

5. The impact of climate change on the global economy

6. The ethics of genetically modified foods

7. The impact of automation on jobs and the workforce

8. The effects of video games on children’s behavior

9. The need for better mental health support in schools

10. The benefits and drawbacks of remote work

11. The impact of social media on mental health

12. The need for stronger anti-bullying policies in schools

13. The effects of the gig economy on workers’ rights

14. The benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence

15. The impact of fast fashion on the environment

16. The ethics of animal agriculture

17. The need for more affordable housing in urban areas

18. The impact of immigration on local communities

19. The effects of screen time on children’s development

20. The need for stronger gun control laws

21. The impact of social media on political discourse

22. The benefits and drawbacks of renewable energy sources

23. The need for stronger anti-discrimination laws

24. The effects of legalization of marijuana on society

25. The impact of automation on the environment

26. The ethics of human cloning

27. The need for more accessible healthcare in rural areas

28. The effects of income inequality on society

29. The benefits and drawbacks of online dating

30. The impact of virtual reality on society

31. The need for stronger data privacy laws

32. The ethics of artificial intelligence in decision-making

33. The effects of social media on democracy

34. The impact of globalization on local economies

35. The benefits and drawbacks of autonomous vehicles

36. The need for stronger measures to combat cyberbullying

37. The effects of air pollution on public health

38. The ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide

39. The impact of the sharing economy on traditional industries

40. The need for better access to mental health care for veterans

41. The benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrency

42. The impact of space exploration on society

43. The ethics of gene editing

44. The need for stronger measures to combat human trafficking

45. The effects of social media on body image and self-esteem

46. The impact of automation on the future of work

47. The benefits and drawbacks of a cashless society

48. The need for stronger measures to combat domestic violence

49. The effects of social media on relationships

50. The impact of artificial intelligence on education

Choose a topic for your opinion essay that is important to you and about which you have strong feelings. Use the ideas and tips in this article to come up with a strong argument and back it up with proof and examples . With these tools, you can write a great opinion essay that will impress your professors and get your point across clearly.

1. What is the difference between an opinion essay and a persuasive essay?

An opinion essay and a persuasive essay are similar in that they both require the writer to express their viewpoint on a particular topic or issue. However, a persuasive essay is more focused on convincing the reader to take a particular action or adopt a particular viewpoint, while an opinion essay is more focused on expressing the writer’s personal perspective on the issue.

2. Can I include personal anecdotes in my opinion essay?

Yes, personal anecdotes can be a powerful tool for supporting your argument and making your essay more engaging. However, it’s important to ensure that your anecdotes are relevant to the topic and that they support your overall argument .

3. How do I address counterarguments in my essay?

To address counterarguments in your essay, consider presenting them in a separate paragraph or section of your essay . Then, explain why you disagree with the counterargument and provide evidence and examples to support your position.

4. How do I choose a topic for my opinion essay?

Choose a topic that you are passionate about and that you have a strong opinion on. Consider current events , social issues, or topics related to your field of study.

5. What is the recommended length for an opinion essay?

The length of an opinion essay can vary depending on the assignment requirements. However, a typical opinion essay is usually around 500-800 words.

6. What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing an opinion essay?

When writing an opinion essay, some common mistakes to avoid are not having a clear thesis statement, using weak or irrelevant evidence to back up your argument, not addressing counterarguments, and not proofreading your essay for mistakes. It’s important to take the time to carefully plan and edit your essay to make sure it clearly shows your point of view and gives strong evidence and examples to back up your argument.

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How to Start a College Essay: 5 Effective Techniques

sample essay how to study effectively

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Impressionable Openers

Descriptions and demonstrations, show vulnerability, be authentic, stay personal, fun & quirky, common mistakes to avoid in your college essay.

  • Ways to Overcome Writer's Block

Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a College Essay

College essays are a huge part of your college career. If not huge, one of the biggest, and for someone who has been there and done that, I know the amount of pressure the beginning of a college essay, as well as the entire essay, can put on your shoulders.

Not only are you trying to juggle things like word count and grammar errors, but you're also trying to create the perfect college essay introduction that will attract admissions officers to your application or professors to your writing skills. And that, itself, can feel impossible, fill you with dread and self-doubt, but just breathe. I am here to help all present and future students know how to start a college essay.

Today is all about starting a college essay. I have come up with five easy and effective techniques that will help you create essays so good you're going to leave your readers wanting more , starting with your opening sentence! So, this is for all college students and college applicants. Stress no more! This guide was created to help you write a successful college essay. Let's get into it.

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sample essay how to study effectively

The beginning of your essay should, first and foremost, always have a strong opening sentence . This sentence sets the tone for not only your readers but for the entire essay. Having a wobbly, almost interesting opener can steer an admissions officer and/or professor away, so you want it to be strong. And it doesn't have to be complicated! Less is more in this situation. Here are a couple of ways you can accomplish this.

  • Look within and be relatable
  • Use your real life for inspiration
  • Think about ways to evoke emotion

Here are some examples of impressionable openers:

  • Example 1: When I was 11 years old, my mother told me she had cancer over breakfast.
  • Example 2: Maybe yellow isn't my favorite color.
  • Example 3: I sat next to this girl in class who made me feel stupid.

DISCLAIMER : your opener should ALWAYS adhere to the essay prompts. These are just a few examples that can capture your reader's attention almost immediately.

In order to keep readers interested, visuals are key . Image-based descriptions will not only add value to your writing, it will give your readers front seats to your essay's journey. These descriptions let actions speak for themselves.

Here is an example of a description and demonstration in an essay:

  • Example 1: "I was sitting on a bar stool when the word 'cancer' hit me like the smell of her coffee brewing on the stove. The Rice Krispies were popping in my cereal bowl, and MTV Jams was playing in the background, yet all I could hear was the sound of doom all around me. The lips of my mother were moving, but I was frozen, crumbling on this stool like my mother's health. She was sick, and I didn't know how sick or what that even meant, and that terrified me."

Why This Works:

Here you can clearly feel the writers emotional state: shocked, still, scared. Not only is this moment at breakfast traumatic, you feel frozen in time with the writer. Using descriptions like this will evoke so much emotion and leave your reader wanting more.

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Something one of my teachers told me in high school was any good essay will have personal elements in it, no matter the topic. That always stuck with me and became the way I approached my college essays. Showing vulnerability in your writing will always guarantee interest. It also evokes emotion.

You can show vulnerability by:

  • Being honest
  • Explaining what's going on inside underneath the exterior
  • Describe what's going on around you at the moment
  • Letting go of the fear of being seen
  • Connecting with the topic
  • Being transparent about mistakes/flaws

Examples of showing vulnerability:

  • Example 1 : My mother telling me she had cancer over breakfast was not on my bingo card this year.
  • Example 2 : I never thought losing someone I love would change me.
  • Example 3: I had to lose everything in order to gain everything.

I know being vulnerable can be tough for some , but showing this side of you to college admissions officers and/or professors will not only make you stand out, but it can also help free you of things that might be weighing on your mind. Not to sound corny, but it can be therapeutic and make you a better writer . Just make sure you are staying on track with the essay prompt, and you're set!

Whether it's believed or not, an admissions officer wants to see pieces of you in your personal statement, so starting your essay by showing authenticity is a major major key. Along with being vulnerable, there are a few ways you can achieve this.

  • Reflect : Take the time to reflect on your experiences, values, and beliefs that have shaped who you are today. Let your values, passions, and interests shine through in your writing.
  • Mind Your Voice : Write in your own voice and avoid trying to sound like someone you're not. Authenticity comes from being genuine and true to yourself.
  • Tell Your Story : Share personal anecdotes and insights that show your unique perspective.
  • Be True to You : Focus on what matters to YOU (as long as you're on topic!). Write about what is meaningful and important to you rather than what you think admissions officers want to hear.

Above all, be open . Showing introspection and self-awareness in your essay will show any admissions committee who you are beneath the surface, as well as your personal growth.

You can also begin your essay being as random and silly as you'd like . It goes hand-in-hand with other important factors like vulnerability and authenticity. But don't get too crazy . Beginning your essay with something strange will definitely draw readers in. Let me show you what I mean.

  • Example 1 : I start my mornings off in silence and solitude to keep people away from me.
  • Example 2 : Sometimes, I like to circle big words in complex articles to learn new words. Yeah, but to also keep one in my back pocket for later use.
  • Example 3 : Being the youngest child means getting away with everything you want, and that's exactly how I like it.

Do you see how each sentence draws you in? Not only are they light-hearted, but they also make you want to know why you want to keep people away in the morning and what kind of weapon you're forming against others with new words. And every youngest sibling will attest to feeling that exact same way. All of these examples are sure to make your essay fun, show who you are, and leave readers wanting more.

mistakes to avoid in college essays

Years of writing college essays have taken me through every high and low of the process possible. And when they're good, they're great! But for some reason, my mistakes stick out more than anything. So, I've compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid when writing your college essay .

  • Avoid Being Cliche - While you want to be captivating, you want to avoid overly used syntax and phrases that could potentially lose your reader's curiosity. For example, "in today's day and age," "follow my heart," "don't judge a book by its cover," etc. are all cliches that can be avoided by thinking outside of the box.
  • Using Vocabulary to be Impressive - I know you want to impress the admissions committees, but it's important to stick to what you know and not what you can allude to. That is, use verbiage that resonates with your personality. Using extravagant words can work against you, and they can also sound forced. College admissions officers want to see the real you, so show it to them.
  • Steer Clear of Controversy - Though it's not said enough, your college essay should tell your personal story and not touch on things that can stir the pot. For instance, talking about politics and religious beliefs may not be the route you want to take UNLESS it's called for in the college essay topic. And if so, stay on track with the essay prompts.
  • Procrastinating : Waiting until the last minute to start writing your essay will bite you in the butt. You will feel rushed and end up writing a poorly crafted piece. Give yourself enough time to complete an essay draft, edit the draft, and repeat this two-step cycle until your essay is complete.
  • Lack of originality : This goes hand-in-hand with avoiding cliches. Your college essay should exude a lot of your personality, so show admissions officers and teachers who you are! Include your cultural background, test scores that you're proud of, any future aspirations, etc. This all depends on the essay prompts, of course, but in my experience, every essay topic has room to show who you are.
  • Ignoring the prompt : This is a major key. STAY ON TRACK. Make sure to carefully read and understand the essay prompt, and write your essay accordingly. The last thing you want to do is write a college essay that has nothing to do with the prompt. Reading is essential here.
  • Lack of focus : If you want to know how to start a college essay, that means knowing how to stay focused. Find a quiet space, turn off electronics, hide your phone, and really nestle into how you want to capture your reader's attention. This will help you use your five senses clearly, keep your writing strong and not write an overly wordy essay. Focus is the tool here.
  • Poor organization : Make sure your essay has a strong structure with clear transitions between paragraphs. An outline will work best to accomplish this. If you go into starting your college essay without a plan, be prepared to hit all roadblocks.
  • Neglecting to Revise and Edit : Like procrastinating, don't fail to revise and edit your work. Always, always, always proofread your essay for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors , as well as clarity and coherence.
  • Not Seeking Feedback : Listen, I know that completing an essay is an accomplishment in itself, and you immediately want to submit it, but it's so beneficial to have others read your essay for feedback. You can only spot so many holes in your work when your eyes are constantly reviewing it, so a second, third, or even fourth set of eyes can help point out areas for improvement.

Above all, trust the writing process. Though I do want you to be aware of your jargon, don't get too wrapped up in thinking you're making a mistake. That's what editing is for! Once you complete your college essay, you should always revise and edit accordingly . What you thought sounded good might make you edit it to sound great. Just keep in mind that many colleges are looking for honesty and authenticity vs how well you can sound on paper . So, if you're aware of these factors, you'll be good to go.

ways to overcome writers block

Ways to Overcome Writer's Block

Take it from someone who has suffered from chronic writer's block, it's a pain to get through . Imagine being on a writing streak so good that when you stop, the entire essay writing process stops as a whole. It's definitely a challenge, but after 10 years of writing essays and really honing my craft, I learned a few things that have helped me get through even the thickest of writer's blocks, and I want to share them with you. Check them out:

  • Take a break : This works every single time. Take a short break and step away from your computer to clear your mind and come back with a fresh perspective. For me, 15 minutes is all I ever need. If you need more time, that's okay. Just try not to make your break a rest.
  • Freewriting : Sometimes, I'd start writing without worrying about my structure or grammar to get the ideas flowing, and surprisingly enough, I found my essay taking a pleasant turn.
  • Change your environment : Move around. Don't underestimate the effects of a different location or workspace to stimulate creativity. Try coffee shops, bookstores, a park, or a new room in your house. New environment, new energy.
  • Set small goals : This one is actually the most important. Some people get overwhelmed with the word "essay" for things like lack of proper writing skills, pressure to write a great essay, etc. But if you try breaking down your writing task into smaller, manageable chunks to make it less overwhelming, it can help. For example, set a goal of three paragraphs one day, take a day to edit those paragraphs, two more the next day, and so forth. Find a formula that works for you.
  • Brainstorming : Write down all your ideas--everything. No matter how small you think the idea is, write it down. Even if these ideas seem unrelated, they will help you generate new thoughts and connections.
  • Read or listen to music : It took me a while to realize this helps, but engaging in other forms of art can inspire new ideas and break through mental blocks. And new creativity can lead you to impress admissions officers.
  • Talk it out : As a writer, it's hard to let people in on the creative process, but discussing my ideas with a friend, family member, or colleague helped me gain new perspectives and insights.
  • Relax and Meditate : Hear me out: it works! Practice deep breathing and/or meditation to reduce stress and anxiety that may be contributing to writer's block.

I won't sugarcoat it: the college application process can be intimidating , but it doesn't have to throw you off your game. When it comes to college essays, I see them as opportunities to be fun and expressive. Trust me when I say if you have fun with it, you'll attract the reader's attention , paint vivid details, and write an essay that will leave the admissions officer wanting you at their school. So, take it one step at a time and watch your personal statement come to life.

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How can I make my college essay stand out to admissions officers?

Simply put, be yourself. As long as you stay on track with the essay's topic, showing pieces of yourself will allow admissions officers to know more about who you are. Essays are meant to show readers who you are, how you feel, and what you think naturally, not robotically, so be authentic in your writing, and you'll be sure to stand out amongst the rest.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a college essay?

Some common mistakes to avoid in your essay are using cliches and boring wording. You also want to avoid procrastinating, wasting time, not focusing, not editing, etc. When writing your essay, you want to make sure you give your writing the time and attention it deserves, so make sure you're aware of what is pulling you away from your writing. This will help you stay focused. If you have any other doubts, refer to the section about mistakes in this article and let it guide you to success.

How important is the college essay in the admissions process?

Your college essay is key in the admissions process . It's an admissions committee's first impression of you as a writer and potential student, so it should be taken very seriously. Trying to cut corners or rush through the writing process will be obvious, and it will stand out more than things like test scores, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and any other positive influence you've had in your life. So, don't take the easy way out and really work on your essay.

Feeling confident in your college essay skills and want to explore some other essay content? Explore our blog on the comma splice to enhance your technical writing skills!

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  • How to Motivate Yourself for Studying: 25 Study Motivation Tips
  • Learn English
  • James Prior
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  • Updated May 24, 2024

Study motivation

Studying can often feel daunting, especially when motivation is low. However, finding the drive to study is crucial for achieving academic success and personal growth. In this article, we look at how to motivate yourself to study and offer practical tips to enhance and maintain study motivation.

Table of Contents

25 Study Motivation Tips

It doesn’t matter if you’re studying for an exam or learning a new language, everyone needs some help to get motivated to study and maintain motivation. However, if you know how to motivate for study you’ll be one step ahead!

With that in mind, here are 25 practical tips to help you stay motivated and make studying a more enjoyable and productive experience.

1. Set Clear, Achievable Goals

Start by defining what you want to achieve. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. For example, aim to finish a chapter of your textbook by the end of the week. Clear goals give you direction and a sense of purpose, making it easier to stay focused.

Having clear goals allows you to break down your study sessions into smaller tasks, which makes them more manageable and less overwhelming. Instead of telling yourself you need to study for an exam, break it down into reviewing specific topics each day. This way, you can track your progress and see how much you’ve accomplished, which boosts your confidence and keeps you motivated.

2. Create a Study Plan

A well-structured study plan is essential. Having a plan reduces procrastination and keeps you on track.

Break your study sessions into manageable chunks. Use a calendar or planner to schedule study times. Ensure you allocate time for breaks to prevent burnout. Ideally, each study session shouldn’t last more than 60 minutes before you take a break.

When creating your study plan, consider your daily energy levels. If you’re more alert in the morning, schedule your most challenging tasks for then. If you find you have more energy in the afternoon or evening, plan your study sessions accordingly. Consistency is key, so try to stick to your schedule as much as possible to develop a routine and maintain your motivation to study.

3. Find Your Optimal Study Environment

Identify a study environment that enhances your focus. This could be a quiet room at home, a library, or a coffee shop. Ensure you have a designated study space that is free from distractions. A comfortable and organized environment can significantly boost your productivity.

Personalize your study space to make it inviting. Add elements that inspire you, such as pictures, plants, or motivational quotes about education and success.

Ensure your study area has all the supplies you need, like notebooks, pens, and a computer, so you don’t waste time looking for them. A dedicated study space signals to your brain that it’s time to focus, improving your concentration.

You should also never underestimate having a comfy chair. If you need to stay seated for a while the last thing you want is a chair that makes you want to stand up and leave your desk!

4. Use Active Learning Techniques

Active learning involves engaging with the material, not just passively reading it. Use techniques like summarizing, questioning, and teaching the content to someone else. Active learning helps you retain information better and makes studying more interactive and enjoyable.

Create flashcards with key concepts and quiz yourself regularly. Summarize information in your own words and create mind maps to visualize relationships between ideas. Teaching the material to a friend or even an imaginary audience can reinforce your understanding and uncover any gaps in your knowledge.

5. Take Regular Breaks

Studying for long periods without breaks can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, where you study for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. You can use online timers or your phone to keep track of this.

After a series of work intervals, take a longer break to recharge and enhance productivity. Regular breaks help you stay fresh and maintain your focus.

During your breaks, engage in activities that relax and refresh you. Take a short walk, stretch, or do a quick mindfulness exercise. Avoid activities that can become distractions, like checking social media. Short, focused breaks help you return to your studies with renewed energy and concentration.

6. Stay Physically Active

Physical activity can improve your concentration and mood. Getting some fresh air while staying physically active can further enhance these benefits. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, whether it’s a walk, a run, or a workout session. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and helps reduce stress, making you more effective in your studies.

Find a form of exercise you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Exercise with friends or join a class to make it more social and fun. Regular physical activity not only boosts your cognitive function but also enhances your overall well-being, which supports better study habits.

7. Maintain a Healthy Diet

What you eat can impact your energy levels and concentration. Eat balanced meals rich in fruits, vegetables, and proteins to support brain function. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugary snacks, as they can lead to energy crashes.

Include brain-boosting foods in your diet, such as blueberries, nuts, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast to fuel your brain and keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. Proper nutrition supports cognitive function and helps you stay focused during your study sessions.

8. Get Enough Sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function and memory retention. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Establish a regular sleep schedule and avoid late-night studying. Well-rested brains are more efficient at learning and problem-solving.

Create a bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Avoid screens at least an hour before bed, as the blue light can interfere with your sleep. Instead, engage in relaxing activities like reading or listening to calming music. Quality sleep improves your ability to concentrate, retain information, and perform well academically.

9. Reward Yourself

Study sessions can be powerful motivators. Set up a reward system for completing study goals. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, like watching an episode of your favorite show, a snack, or a fun activity. Rewards provide positive reinforcement and make studying more enjoyable.

Choose rewards that are meaningful to you and match the effort required to achieve your study goals. For smaller tasks, opt for smaller rewards like a short break or a piece of chocolate. For larger accomplishments on your to-do list, treat yourself to something special, like a dinner out or a movie night. Rewards make the process of studying more satisfying and help maintain your motivation.

10. Study with a Group

Studying with peers can provide motivation and accountability. Join or form a study group with classmates. Discussing topics and teaching each other can deepen your understanding. Group studies can also make learning more engaging and less isolating.

Set clear goals and guidelines for your study group to ensure it stays productive. Assign each member a topic to research and present, encouraging everyone to participate actively. Group discussions can offer new perspectives and clarify concepts you might find challenging on your own.

Collaborative learning fosters a supportive environment and keeps you motivated to keep up with the group.

11. Stay Positive and Patient

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. Believe in your ability to learn and improve, and find ways to feel motivated, such as setting specific study schedules or breaking tasks into smaller steps with rewards. Be patient with yourself, especially when tackling difficult subjects. Progress may be slow, but consistent effort leads to success.

Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Instead of saying, “I’ll never understand this,” say, “I’m making progress and will get better with practice.” Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and view challenges as opportunities to grow. A positive mindset helps you stay resilient and motivated, even when faced with obstacles.

12. Visualize Your Success

Visualization is a powerful technique. Imagine yourself succeeding in your exams or understanding complex topics. Visualization can boost your confidence and motivation, making the hard work feel worthwhile.

Spend a few minutes each day visualizing your goals. Picture yourself acing your exams, receiving praise from your teachers, and feeling proud of your accomplishments. Visualization creates a mental image of success, making it feel more attainable and inspiring you to work towards it.

13. Limit Distractions

Identify and eliminate distractions during your study sessions. Turn off notifications on your phone, use apps that block social media, and inform family or roommates of your study times. A distraction-free environment enhances concentration.

Create a list of potential distractions and develop strategies to minimize them. For example, if social media is a major distraction, use apps like Freedom or StayFocusd to block access during study periods. Let those around you know when you’re studying so they can respect your focus time. Minimizing distractions helps you stay on task and makes your study sessions more productive.

14. Use Study Aids and Resources

Utilize various study aids like flashcards, mind maps, and educational apps. These tools can make learning more dynamic and cater to different learning styles. Don’t hesitate to seek additional resources like online courses, tutorials, and textbooks.

Explore different types of study aids to find what works best for you. Flashcards are great for memorizing facts, while mind maps help you understand relationships between concepts. Educational apps can offer interactive and engaging ways to learn.

Supplement your textbooks with online videos or articles that provide different explanations and perspectives. Using diverse resources keeps your study sessions interesting and effective.

15. Reflect on Your Progress

Regularly reflect on what you have achieved. Studies suggest that reflection helps in maintaining motivation. Review your goals and track your progress. Celebrate small victories and acknowledge improvements. This will help you stay motivated and see the value in your efforts.

Keep a study journal where you record your goals, study sessions, and reflections. Note what strategies are working and which ones need adjustment.

Reflect on the challenges you’ve overcome and the knowledge you’ve gained. Regular reflection reinforces your progress and encourages you to continue striving towards your goals.

16. Seek Support

If you’re struggling, seek support from teachers, mentors, or friends. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification. Support systems can provide encouragement and guidance, making the learning process easier.

Join study groups, attend tutoring sessions, or seek advice from more experienced students. Sharing your struggles and successes with others can provide new insights and motivation. Supportive relationships foster a sense of community and accountability, helping you stay committed to your studies.

17. Balance Study and Leisure

Balance is key to maintaining motivation. Ensure you have time for hobbies and relaxation. Engage in activities you enjoy to recharge your mind. A balanced lifestyle prevents burnout and keeps your motivation levels high.

Schedule leisure activities into your study plan to ensure you have time for relaxation. Whether it’s playing a sport, reading a book, or spending time with friends, make sure you have moments to unwind. Balancing study and leisure helps you maintain a healthy and sustainable study routine.

18. Use Technology Wisely

Leverage technology to aid your studies. Use educational apps, online courses, and digital textbooks. However, be mindful of the potential for distraction. Set boundaries for recreational screen time to stay focused on your studies.

Identify apps and tools that enhance your learning, such as language learning apps , productivity tools, and educational platforms. Use digital calendars and reminders to keep track of your study schedule. However, be strict about limiting non-educational screen time during study periods to maintain focus and productivity.

19. Manage Stress

Stress can be a major demotivator. Practice stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Find what works best for you to stay calm and focused. Managing stress improves your overall well-being and productivity.

Incorporate stress-relief activities into your daily routine. Start your day with a few minutes of meditation to set a calm tone. Take deep breaths during study breaks to relax and refocus.

Engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Effective stress management helps you stay motivated and prevents burnout.

20. Adapt and Be Flexible

Be adaptable and flexible with your study strategies. If something isn’t working, try a new approach. Flexibility allows you to find the most effective methods for your unique learning style, keeping your motivation high.

Experiment with different study techniques to discover what works best for you. If you’re struggling with a particular method, don’t be afraid to switch things up. Stay open to new strategies and be willing to adjust your approach based on your progress and feedback. Flexibility ensures that you’re always optimizing your study habits for maximum efficiency and motivation.

21. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to developing a habit. Stick to your study schedule as much as possible. Over time, studying will become a routine part of your day, requiring less effort to start.

Commit to a regular study routine, even on days when you don’t feel like it. Consistent effort, even in small increments, builds discipline and makes studying a natural part of your day. Track your daily progress to reinforce your commitment and celebrate your consistency.

22. Personalize Your Study Techniques

Tailor your study techniques to fit your preferences. Experiment with different methods like visual aids, auditory resources, or kinesthetic activities. Personalized techniques can make studying more enjoyable and effective.

Identify your learning style and use techniques that align with it. If you’re a visual learner, use diagrams and charts. If you learn best through listening, try audiobooks or lectures. Kinesthetic learners might benefit from hands-on activities or teaching the material to others.

Personalizing your study techniques keeps you engaged and enhances your learning efficiency.

23. Create a Supportive Network

Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage your academic goals. Share your progress and challenges with them. A supportive network provides motivation and helps you stay committed to your studies.

Engage with classmates, join study groups, and participate in academic forums. Share your goals with family and friends who can offer encouragement and accountability. A strong support network creates a positive and motivating environment, helping you stay focused and driven.

24. Keep a Study Journal

Maintain a study journal to track your progress, reflect on your learning, and plan future study sessions. Writing down your thoughts can clarify your goals and enhance your motivation.

Use your study journal to document your goals, daily achievements, and reflections. Record what study techniques are working and any challenges you encounter. Review your journal regularly to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. A study journal provides a tangible record of your efforts and achievements, boosting your motivation.

25. Stay Inspired and Motivated

Find sources of inspiration related to your studies. Watch documentaries, read articles, or attend lectures that ignite your passion for the subject. Inspiration fuels motivation and keeps you engaged with your learning.

Identify role models or experts in your field of study who inspire you. Follow their work and learn from their experiences. Attend events, seminars, or webinars to connect with others who share your interests.

Staying inspired helps you see the bigger picture and reminds you of the importance and impact of your studies.

Conclusion: Ready to Study?

Motivating yourself to study requires a combination of strategies tailored to your unique needs. By setting clear goals, creating a conducive study environment, and maintaining a healthy balance, you can boost your motivation and achieve academic success.

Remember, consistency and a positive mindset are key. Stay patient, stay curious, and enjoy the journey of learning.

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Academic Essay Writing Made Simple: 4 types and tips

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The pen is mightier than the sword, they say, and nowhere is this more evident than in academia. From the quick scribbles of eager students to the inquisitive thoughts of renowned scholars, academic essays depict the power of the written word. These well-crafted writings propel ideas forward and expand the existing boundaries of human intellect.

What is an Academic Essay

An academic essay is a nonfictional piece of writing that analyzes and evaluates an argument around a specific topic or research question. It serves as a medium to share the author’s views and is also used by institutions to assess the critical thinking, research skills, and writing abilities of a students and researchers.  

Importance of Academic Essays

4 main types of academic essays.

While academic essays may vary in length, style, and purpose, they generally fall into four main categories. Despite their differences, these essay types share a common goal: to convey information, insights, and perspectives effectively.

1. Expository Essay

2. Descriptive Essay

3. Narrative Essay

4. Argumentative Essay

Expository and persuasive essays mainly deal with facts to explain ideas clearly. Narrative and descriptive essays are informal and have a creative edge. Despite their differences, these essay types share a common goal ― to convey information, insights, and perspectives effectively.

Expository Essays: Illuminating ideas

An expository essay is a type of academic writing that explains, illustrates, or clarifies a particular subject or idea. Its primary purpose is to inform the reader by presenting a comprehensive and objective analysis of a topic.

By breaking down complex topics into digestible pieces and providing relevant examples and explanations, expository essays allow writers to share their knowledge.

What are the Key Features of an Expository Essay

sample essay how to study effectively

Provides factual information without bias

sample essay how to study effectively

Presents multiple viewpoints while maintaining objectivity

sample essay how to study effectively

Uses direct and concise language to ensure clarity for the reader

sample essay how to study effectively

Composed of a logical structure with an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion

When is an expository essay written.

1. For academic assignments to evaluate the understanding of research skills.

2. As instructional content to provide step-by-step guidance for tasks or problem-solving.

3. In journalism for objective reporting in news or investigative pieces.

4. As a form of communication in the professional field to convey factual information in business or healthcare.

How to Write an Expository Essay

Expository essays are typically structured in a logical and organized manner.

1. Topic Selection and Research

  • Choose a topic that can be explored objectively
  • Gather relevant facts and information from credible sources
  • Develop a clear thesis statement

2. Outline and Structure

  • Create an outline with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion
  • Introduce the topic and state the thesis in the introduction
  • Dedicate each body paragraph to a specific point supporting the thesis
  • Use transitions to maintain a logical flow

3. Objective and Informative Writing

  • Maintain an impartial and informative tone
  • Avoid personal opinions or biases
  • Support points with factual evidence, examples, and explanations

4. Conclusion

  • Summarize the key points
  • Reinforce the significance of the thesis

Descriptive Essays: Painting with words

Descriptive essays transport readers into vivid scenes, allowing them to experience the world through the writer ‘s lens. These essays use rich sensory details, metaphors, and figurative language to create a vivid and immersive experience . Its primary purpose is to engage readers’ senses and imagination.

It allows writers to demonstrate their ability to observe and describe subjects with precision and creativity.

What are the Key Features of Descriptive Essay

sample essay how to study effectively

Employs figurative language and imagery to paint a vivid picture for the reader

sample essay how to study effectively

Demonstrates creativity and expressiveness in narration

sample essay how to study effectively

Includes close attention to detail, engaging the reader’s senses

sample essay how to study effectively

Engages the reader’s imagination and emotions through immersive storytelling using analogies, metaphors, similes, etc.

When is a descriptive essay written.

1. Personal narratives or memoirs that describe significant events, people, or places.

2. Travel writing to capture the essence of a destination or experience.

3. Character sketches in fiction writing to introduce and describe characters.

4. Poetry or literary analyses to explore the use of descriptive language and imagery.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The descriptive essay lacks a defined structural requirement but typically includes: an introduction introducing the subject, a thorough description, and a concluding summary with insightful reflection.

1. Subject Selection and Observation

  • Choose a subject (person, place, object, or experience) to describe
  • Gather sensory details and observations

2. Engaging Introduction

  • Set the scene and provide the context
  • Use of descriptive language and figurative techniques

3. Descriptive Body Paragraphs

  • Focus on specific aspects or details of the subject
  • Engage the reader ’s senses with vivid imagery and descriptions
  • Maintain a consistent tone and viewpoint

4. Impactful Conclusion

  • Provide a final impression or insight
  • Leave a lasting impact on the reader

Narrative Essays: Storytelling in Action

Narrative essays are personal accounts that tell a story, often drawing from the writer’s own experiences or observations. These essays rely on a well-structured plot, character development, and vivid descriptions to engage readers and convey a deeper meaning or lesson.

What are the Key features of Narrative Essays

sample essay how to study effectively

Written from a first-person perspective and hence subjective

sample essay how to study effectively

Based on real personal experiences

sample essay how to study effectively

Uses an informal and expressive tone

sample essay how to study effectively

Presents events and characters in sequential order

When is a narrative essay written.

It is commonly assigned in high school and college writing courses to assess a student’s ability to convey a meaningful message or lesson through a personal narrative. They are written in situations where a personal experience or story needs to be recounted, such as:

1. Reflective essays on significant life events or personal growth.

2. Autobiographical writing to share one’s life story or experiences.

3. Creative writing exercises to practice narrative techniques and character development.

4. College application essays to showcase personal qualities and experiences.

How to Write a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays typically follow a chronological structure, with an introduction that sets the scene, a body that develops the plot and characters, and a conclusion that provides a sense of resolution or lesson learned.

1. Experience Selection and Reflection

  • Choose a significant personal experience or event
  • Reflect on the impact and deeper meaning

2. Immersive Introduction

  • Introduce characters and establish the tone and point of view

3. Plotline and Character Development

  • Advance   the  plot and character development through body paragraphs
  • Incorporate dialog , conflict, and resolution
  • Maintain a logical and chronological flow

4. Insightful Conclusion

  • Reflect on lessons learned or insights gained
  • Leave the reader with a lasting impression

Argumentative Essays: Persuasion and Critical Thinking

Argumentative essays are the quintessential form of academic writing in which writers present a clear thesis and support it with well-researched evidence and logical reasoning. These essays require a deep understanding of the topic, critical analysis of multiple perspectives, and the ability to construct a compelling argument.

What are the Key Features of an Argumentative Essay?

sample essay how to study effectively

Logical and well-structured arguments

sample essay how to study effectively

Credible and relevant evidence from reputable sources

sample essay how to study effectively

Consideration and refutation of counterarguments

sample essay how to study effectively

Critical analysis and evaluation of the issue 

When is an argumentative essay written.

Argumentative essays are written to present a clear argument or stance on a particular issue or topic. In academic settings they are used to develop critical thinking, research, and persuasive writing skills. However, argumentative essays can also be written in various other contexts, such as:

1. Opinion pieces or editorials in newspapers, magazines, or online publications.

2. Policy proposals or position papers in government, nonprofit, or advocacy settings.

3. Persuasive speeches or debates in academic, professional, or competitive environments.

4. Marketing or advertising materials to promote a product, service, or idea.

How to write an Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays begin with an introduction that states the thesis and provides context. The body paragraphs develop the argument with evidence, address counterarguments, and use logical reasoning. The conclusion restates the main argument and makes a final persuasive appeal.

  • Choose a debatable and controversial issue
  • Conduct thorough research and gather evidence and counterarguments

2. Thesis and Introduction

  • Craft a clear and concise thesis statement
  • Provide background information and establish importance

3. Structured Body Paragraphs

  • Focus each paragraph on a specific aspect of the argument
  • Support with logical reasoning, factual evidence, and refutation

4. Persuasive Techniques

  • Adopt a formal and objective tone
  • Use persuasive techniques (rhetorical questions, analogies, appeals)

5. Impactful Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points
  • Leave the reader with a strong final impression and call to action

To learn more about argumentative essay, check out this article .

5 Quick Tips for Researchers to Improve Academic Essay Writing Skills

sample essay how to study effectively

Use clear and concise language to convey ideas effectively without unnecessary words

sample essay how to study effectively

Use well-researched, credible sources to substantiate your arguments with data, expert opinions, and scholarly references

sample essay how to study effectively

Ensure a coherent structure with effective transitions, clear topic sentences, and a logical flow to enhance readability 

sample essay how to study effectively

To elevate your academic essay, consider submitting your draft to a community-based platform like Open Platform  for editorial review 

sample essay how to study effectively

Review your work multiple times for clarity, coherence, and adherence to academic guidelines to ensure a polished final product

By mastering the art of academic essay writing, researchers and scholars can effectively communicate their ideas, contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and engage in meaningful scholarly discourse.

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10 Tips on Writing an Admission Essay

sample essay how to study effectively

An admission essay is your chance to reveal your personality to the admission committee. One way to get a quality admission essay is to order it on  WritingCheap . However, there also are tips that can help you to write it yourself. 

The college season is well under way, and you should write an amazing application essay. How can you make your essay stand out? What does the admission committee want to read about in your essay?

You just need to stay calm and consider proven tips to help with your college admission essay.

Tips for Writing an Outstanding Admission Essay

1. identify your strongest traits of character.

Simplify the task of writing by listing your strengths, and all that comes to mind when you think about who you are. This is an important step for entrance exams to give an admission committee a glimpse into your life. Summarize the facts which were not included in the resume and test results.

2. Avoid information included in your resume

As a rule, college admission essays should contain no more than 650-700 words. Do not shorten your admission essay to a list of your accomplishments in academic and extracurricular activities. Admissions officers will feel like they are reading your resume again, which is annoying. Interest them by exposing your personality. This gives them a reason to read further with greater concentration, and you can show how your life experience is unique. When you tell your story in an attractive way, it sets you apart from other candidates. For example, you can discuss the difficult times in your life and how you have overcome them. This helps to reveal more information about who you are and what gives you the right to enroll to a particular college, and it is more effective than just presenting a simple list of achievements.

3. Focus on a specific topic

Some colleges have questions or suggestions for writing, while others give students the freedom to choose topics. In both cases, select a focused topic rather than a general one. It can be your interest or a unique experience. Extend your topic using your interest or experience or relate them to a topic or question (if you have one). Adhere to this point of view throughout the admission essay. 

If the college asked a question, it is better to immediately answer it and not go astray. Use an outline of the points before you start writing the essay to convey your message properly and answer the questions completely. 

4. Show your writing skills 

Write your essay in such a way as to demonstrate your writing skills. To be more successful during the admission process, you should have strong writing skills. It is important to show your skills as a writer and communicator, as admission committees equate this with intellectualism. With your essay, the college can determine your ability to state and confirm a fact that a standardized test cannot do. Some college departments pay great attention to applicants’ writing skills, especially those who apply for creative and language programs. 

5. Be honest  

It is not a secret that you want to impress the admissions office as much as possible. However, you must honestly talk about your experience without trying to distort yourself. Members of the admissions committee may notice uncertainty in the answers of applicants who write to simply make an impression. It is better to write on issues that matter rather than exaggerate or lie. If there is a hero in your life, just mention how this person influenced your life, and, accordingly, increased your interest in this college. If you write more about this person, you are informing college admissions officers about him or her, not about you.

6. Remove unnecessary parts

After reading your essay, if you start yawning at a certain point, do not hesitate to rewrite or even delete the particular part. If your own writing style bothers you, the admissions committee will probably also not enjoy reading it.

7. Make it neat and accurate

Do not include photographs and graphics. Make sure your essay is neatly formatted and easy to read.

8. Be original

Try to read your essay like you are member of the admissions committee. Try to think about the banal stories that they read in most cases – do not repeat them.

9. Take a chance

With possible side effects in mind, you can consider risky options for attracting attention, if necessary. An example of this approach can be some unexpected recognition or being a little more sincere in your admission essay.

10. Edit, relax, and wait

Before submitting an essay, proofread and edit it. When you read it, ask yourself if the paper sounds like you. After you have done everything possible to polish your paper, sit back and relax. At the moment, you cannot influence the result. Hope for the best, and an admission letter may arrive before you even begin to worry.    

I hope that all these tips will help you to succeed in writing your admission essay. Good luck!          

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Best 10+ Argumentative Essay Examples for Effective Writing

Discover top-notch argumentative essay examples that will elevate your writing skills and help you craft compelling arguments effectively.

Argumentative essays are a common assignment in academic writing that requires students to present a strong argument and support it with evidence. These essays aim to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's viewpoint on a particular topic or issue. To help you understand the key elements and techniques of writing an effective argumentative essay, we have compiled a list of the best 10+ argumentative essay examples. These examples will not only inspire you but also provide you with insights into different types of argumentative essays and how to write them successfully.

sample essay how to study effectively

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents a well-reasoned argument on a specific topic. The goal of this essay is to convince the reader to adopt the writer's perspective or take a certain action. In an argumentative essay, the writer presents evidence, supports claims with facts, and provides counterarguments to address opposing views. This type of essay relies heavily on logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Types of Argumentative Essays:

Classical Argument : This type of essay presents a clear argument, supports it with evidence, and refutes counterarguments.

Rogerian Argument : In this approach, the writer seeks to find common ground and establish mutual understanding between opposing viewpoints.

Toulmin Argument : The Toulmin model emphasizes using evidence to support claims, identifying and responding to counterarguments, and acknowledging the limitations of the argument.

Deductive Argument : In a deductive argument essay, the writer starts with a general statement or premise and provides specific examples to support it.

Inductive Argument : The inductive argument essay begins with detailed observations or examples and uses them to draw a general conclusion.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay:

To write an effective argumentative essay, follow these steps:

  • Choose a debatable topic: Select a topic that is open to different interpretations or has contrasting viewpoints.
  • Conduct thorough research: Gather relevant and credible sources to support your argument and address counterarguments.
  • Develop a clear thesis statement: Your thesis statement should express your main argument and provide a roadmap for the essay.
  • Outline your essay: Organize your thoughts and evidence in a logical order. Create sections for your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • Write a compelling introduction: Grab the reader's attention with a hook, provide background information, and present your thesis statement.
  • Present your argument: Each body paragraph should focus on a separate point and provide evidence to support it.
  • Address counterarguments: Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and refute them with evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Summarize and conclude: Restate your thesis, summarize your main points, and leave the reader with a thought-provoking conclusion.

Now, let's explore the best 10+ argumentative essay examples that will serve as inspiration for your own writing endeavors.

Example 1: Should the use of cell phones be allowed in schools?

  • Introduction: Cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives, but their usage in schools remains a topic of debate.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Cell phones can be used as educational tools as they provide access to a wealth of information and resources.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Allowing cell phones in schools can enhance communication between students, parents, and teachers.
  • Body Paragraph 3: The use of cell phones can promote safety and security as students can quickly contact authorities in case of emergencies.
  • Counterargument: Opponents argue that cell phone usage can lead to distractions and disrupt the learning environment.
  • Refutation: Proper guidelines can be implemented to regulate cell phone usage and minimize distractions.
  • Conclusion: Allowing cell phones in schools, with appropriate restrictions, can have numerous benefits for education and overall student well-being.

Example 2: Should animal testing be banned?

  • Introduction: Animal testing has long been a subject of ethical concern, and the debate about its necessity continues to rage on.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Animal testing has contributed to numerous scientific breakthroughs and advancements in medicine.
  • Body Paragraph 2: The suffering and unethical treatment of animals during testing is morally wrong and goes against our duty to protect animal rights.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Alternative methods, such as in vitro testing and advanced computer simulations, can provide more accurate results without the need for animal experimentation.
  • Counterargument: Critics argue that without animal testing, scientific progress and medical advancements would be hindered.
  • Refutation: Increased funding and focus on alternative testing methods can lead to further advancements while eliminating the need for animal testing.
  • Conclusion: Banning animal testing is a necessary step towards a more ethical and effective approach to scientific research and medical advancements.

Example 3: Is social media beneficial or harmful to society?

  • Introduction: Social media has rapidly become a powerful force in our lives, but its impact on society remains a contentious issue.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Social media allows for global connectivity and facilitates the spread of information and ideas.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Social media provides a platform for marginalized groups to raise awareness, mobilize, and effect positive change.
  • Body Paragraph 3: The addictive nature of social media and its negative impact on mental health is a cause for concern.
  • Counterargument: Critics argue that social media promotes excessive self-comparison, depression, and cyberbullying.
  • Refutation: Education and awareness campaigns can help individuals navigate social media's negative aspects and promote healthier online behavior.
  • Conclusion: While social media has its downsides, its positive aspects outweigh the negatives, making it a valuable tool for communication and societal progress.

Example 4: Should college education be free for all?

  • Introduction: The rising cost of college education has sparked a debate about accessibility and affordability.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Providing free college education can ensure equal opportunities for all, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Free college education can lead to a more educated society, benefiting the economy and promoting social mobility.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Critics argue that free education would result in oversaturation of the job market and devalue the worth of a college degree.
  • Refutation: Strict admission criteria and high-quality education can maintain the value of a college degree while ensuring broader access.
  • Conclusion: By making college education free, societies can break down barriers to education and create a more equitable and prosperous future.

Example 5: Is the death penalty an effective form of punishment?

  • Introduction: The death penalty has long been a topic of ethical and moral debate.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Supporters argue that the death penalty deters potential criminals and ensures justice for the most heinous crimes.
  • Body Paragraph 2: The death penalty is irreversible and carries the risk of executing innocent individuals, making it ethically unacceptable.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Alternative punishments, such as life imprisonment, can achieve the same objectives without the risk of wrongful execution.
  • Counterargument: Some claim that the death penalty is a necessary retribution for the most severe crimes.
  • Refutation: Life imprisonment can serve as a just punishment, allowing for potential reformation and avoiding the irreversible loss of innocent lives.
  • Conclusion: Abolishing the death penalty is a crucial step towards a more humane and just criminal justice system.

Example 6: Should genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be labeled?

  • Introduction: The use of genetically modified organisms in food production has become a topic of public concern, raising questions about transparency and consumer choice.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Labeling GMOs allows consumers to make informed decisions about their food choices based on personal preferences and health considerations.
  • Body Paragraph 2: The potential risks and long-term effects of GMOs on human health and the environment necessitate transparent labeling.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Opponents argue that mandatory labeling of GMOs would increase food prices and stigmatize biotechnology.
  • Refutation: Proper regulation and accurate labeling can provide necessary information without significantly impacting food prices or stigmatizing GMOs.
  • Conclusion: Labeling GMOs is a matter of consumer rights, allowing individuals to make informed choices and promoting transparency in the food industry.

Example 7: Should plastic bags be banned?

  • Introduction: Single-use plastic bags have emerged as a major environmental concern, prompting discussions about their impact and the need for regulation.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Banning plastic bags can reduce plastic pollution, protect wildlife, and mitigate the harmful effects of plastic waste on ecosystems.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Alternatives to plastic bags, such as reusable bags, are readily available and provide a more sustainable option for consumers.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Critics argue that banning plastic bags would inconvenience consumers and negatively impact businesses.
  • Refutation: Encouraging the use of reusable bags and providing alternative solutions can address these concerns without compromising the environment.
  • Conclusion: Banning plastic bags is a necessary step towards reducing plastic pollution and promoting a more sustainable future.

Example 8: Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

  • Introduction: The debate surrounding the voting age hinges on the question of youth political engagement and civic participation.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Lowering the voting age to 16 can promote youth involvement in local, national, and global issues.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Today's youth are well-informed and actively engaged in social and political matters, justifying their right to vote.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Critics argue that 16-year-olds lack the necessary maturity and life experience to make informed voting decisions.
  • Refutation: Many 16-year-olds contribute to society, work, pay taxes, and drive, indicating a level of responsibility and ability to make informed decisions.
  • Conclusion: Lowering the voting age to 16 can empower the youth, thereby fostering a more democratic and inclusive political landscape.

Example 9: Should schools implement mandatory dress codes?

  • Introduction: The issue of school dress codes often sparks contentious debates regarding self-expression, professionalism, and fostering a suitable learning environment.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Implementing mandatory dress codes can promote a sense of unity, reduce peer pressure related to fashion, and minimize distractions.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Dress codes can prepare students for future professional settings and teach them the importance of appropriate attire.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Critics argue that dress codes limit individual expression and can perpetuate gender stereotypes.
  • Refutation: Dress codes can be flexible and inclusive, allowing for self-expression within certain guidelines while still maintaining a suitable environment for learning.
  • Conclusion: Implementing dress codes, when thoughtfully designed, can strike a balance between individual expression and maintaining a conducive learning environment.

Example 10: Is online learning as effective as traditional classroom learning?

  • Introduction: The rapid growth of online learning has initiated discussions about the efficacy and widespread adoption of this educational format.
  • Body Paragraph 1: Online learning provides flexibility, accessibility, and the opportunity for self-paced learning, catering to diverse student needs.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Traditional classroom learning promotes face-to-face interactions, immediate feedback, and a sense of community among students.
  • Body Paragraph 3: The integration of technology and interactive platforms in online learning can replicate the benefits of classroom settings.
  • Counterargument: Critics argue that online learning lacks the social and collaborative aspects of traditional classroom learning.
  • Refutation: Online learning can be augmented with virtual discussions, group projects, and video conferencing to foster similar collaborative experiences.
  • Conclusion: Online learning, when combined with interactive and collaborative features, can be just as effective, if not more, than traditional classroom learning.

In conclusion, argumentative essays provide opportunities to explore various perspectives on contentious topics and present evidence-based arguments. By examining different viewpoints, rebutting counterarguments, and offering refutations, these essays can contribute to critical thinking and effective communication.

Best 10+ Argumentative Essay Examples for Effective Writing

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  29. Best 10+ Argumentative Essay Examples for Effective Writing

    Inductive Argument: The inductive argument essay begins with detailed observations or examples and uses them to draw a general conclusion. How to Write an Argumentative Essay: To write an effective argumentative essay, follow these steps: Choose a debatable topic: Select a topic that is open to different interpretations or has contrasting ...