5 Writing Techniques Guaranteed to Improve your Essay Grade

Jane Gibbons By Jane Gibbons, 26th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/x_r_7_9s/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Writing is at the heart of academic life, so it’s essential you get the basics right. Here are five writing techniques that can help to improve your grade.


In a recent survey at the University of Essex, staff were asked to identify the core skills required to write a good essay. Their response was the interrelated skills of writing and reasoning. However, when asked which skills students most often lacked, writing was again at the top of their list.

Despite inexorable technological change, one of the elements required to achieve a top grade has remained the same: the ability to write. With an increasing number of distractions all vying for our time, children spend less of their formative years reading and more of their time distracted by electrical devices.

The truth of the matter is that the majority of mistakes students are making are the same, so, with the help of a few tips from the essay writing service Oxbridge Essays, we’re hoping to iron out a few common faults.

Structuring your essay

Structuring your essay is a critical part of the writing process. Regardless of its wording, the title of every university assignment includes a central question that your essay must answer. However concise and well reasoned your response may be, if you haven’t answered the question, you could end up with no marks at all.

A clear structure is equally important for the reader and the writer. It should provide a logical routemap through the piece of work which shows clearly how the argument will develop. If it helps you to stay on track, divide the main body of your essay into sections and subsections. You can always remove the headings once the piece is written.


One of the most common complaints university lecturers have is the improper use of syntax. Syntax is the technical word used to describe sentence structure, and in essay writing, it is extremely important. A well ordered sentence makes it easy for the reader to understand your meaning. Simply playing around with syntax and word order can greatly improve the readability of your writing.

If you’re in doubt, read your sentence aloud. If it doesn’t sound right to you, then it won’t make much sense to the reader.


We’re all guilty of this misdemeanour at one time or another, but get it wrong consistently and your essays will be a muddled mess. When you’re introducing an individual’s opinion, it’ preferable to use the present tense. Putting people’s views in the past tense makes their views sound dated, i.e. ‘Clarke says’ or ‘Clarke believes’, rather than ‘Clarke said’. However, if the individual is now dead, it does make sense to us the past tense.

Some undergraduates also write the introduction to their essay in the future tense, i.e. ‘The aim of this essay will be to…’, which can sound uncertain; by using the present tense ‘The aim of this essay is to…’, the work sounds more assertive and confident.


With the possible exception of colons and semi-colons, apostrophes are the most misused punctuation mark of all. If used incorrectly, apostrophes can completely obscure the meaning of a sentence. But there is really is no need to be making this type of mistake. Correct use of apostrophes at university level is expected, and the rules are relatively simple. So, if you’re guilty of this grammatical faux-pas, it’s probably time you did a little reading up courtesy of the Apostrophe Protection Society.

Speech marks

Speech marks are another area of punctuation commonly misused by undergraduates. One of the problem areas is the difference between speech marks (“_”) and inverted commas (‘_’). As a general rule, speech marks should be used when something is being said, not expressed in writing. Therefore, a lot of quotations in academic work will actually require inverted commas.

One method to distinguish them is to remember that speech requires two people, a speaker and a listener, hence the “double inverted commas”. Something referenced in a book requires just one person, so ‘single inverted commas’ will do.


Essay Guidelines, Essay Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Jane Gibbons
Digital marketing executive, I like to write in the financial technology niche, I also run my own personal finance blog.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
30th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks for sharing your article.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Apr 2015 (#)

Valuable tips, we overlook even simple mistakes when writing/posting in a hurry - siva

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8th Jul 2016 (#)

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author avatar JenniferWalker
18th Jul 2016 (#)

nice post

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