Date of Publication: 02 December 2019
Want to improve your essay writing? Take a few tips from some of the best creative writing strategies to ensure your essay scores you top marks!
1.–Think About Your Reader
When it comes to writing, it is essential that you always bear your reader in mind. You need to have a clear understanding of who will be reading your essay and how you can write in a way that will hold their attention throughout it – you never know how many other essays they may have already read!
It’s important to remember hat if you are writing an essay for a teacher that has set you the question, then they probably have a clear idea of what they are looking for in an answer. Though it’s important for you to still include the obvious, it’s a good idea to try and be original in your writing – perhaps trying a new structure, or including arguments from lesser known but still relevant thinkers and writers which may spark the reader’s interests.
2. Create a storyboard/outline
Before it comes to putting pen to paper, creative writers always have an outline of what it is they want their writing to say. For essays, it should be no different. Though it does not need to be long, you should still create a basic outline which includes; the introduction/the thesis, the main points you want to discuss, followed by the conclusion that draws it all together and summarises an answer to the thesis.
3. Live within your writing
Any great writer will tell you that the secret to their success is by living amongst their writing. Not literally, but by knowing every minute detail that goes on within the realm of their story. For example – they may be writing a short story about a knight who is on a conquest to rescue a princess from a tower. However, if you asked the writer what that character ate for breakfast, or what time they went to bed the previous night, they’d be able to give you an answer because they know their characters so well.
This should be no different with your essay writing. Make sure you know and understand every detail of your essay, and, if you have the room, expand on it. The more you can convince the reader that you are a master of your topic, the easier they will find it to grade you highly!
4. An enticing opening
Creative writing often opens with a hook that will grab the reader’s attention from the start. Through ways of disrupting chronology and posing thought-provoking questions, they aim to achieve maximum excitement and entice the audience to continue reading/watching.
As with any good piece of writing, you need to ensure your essays have something enticing to offer the reader from the start. You could try using rhetorical questions or imagery to paint the scene of your essay, or include a quote from an authoritative writer to hook the reader.
5. Extra Details
Just as creative writers include plenty of detail and description to enrich their work, so should you with your essays. Essays can become quite dry if you solely focus on the academic, but you can include extra details to keep them exciting.
Though this may be difficult for essays with a strict word limit or ones that are quite scientific, you can definitely add relevant details to essays which are centred around the humanities, literature, theatre or history. For example, if writing about a play by Bertolt Brecht, you can mention the political changes that were occurring in his home-country in the time and how these influenced his work, thus, enriching your essay with interesting details and offering something more to the reader to learn.
6. Don’t end with ambiguity
Audiences are usually irritated by ambiguous endings because they want to know the full resolution of a story. So don’t make the same mistake when writing your essay!
Ensure you always fully conclude your essay so the examiner/marker understands what you have learnt during the process and what your final answer to the essay question is. With lots of essays to mark, they’re looking for a clear and concise ending point to be navigated to.
7. Edit, edit edit!
It’s near impossible to write the perfect essay in your first draft. Ensure that during your essay planning you leave enough time to review and edit your first draft. Go back to it after a break and read it through with a fresh pair of eyes. You may spot some glaringly obvious mistakes which you may have missed in the first draft!
8. Keep a note of your ideas
All great writers keep a notebook by their side, ready to jot down any ideas that they may think of or learn about. This is a great thing to do with essay writing too – you’ll be surprised how many ideas may pop into your mind randomly, such as when you’re out and about shopping, or on your commute to class – and they could be your best ideas yet!
And don’t be afraid to revert back to them when you get new essay topics – they may come in handy on another piece of work in the future.
So there you have it, our top 8 creative writing tips that will hopefully boost your essay. Let us know if they work for you by getting in contact on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We love to hear from you!