7 Most Effective Essay Writing Techniques

In: How to

Writing can be very lonely and demanding activity. Sometimes it is even nerve-wracking when you can’t manage put your thoughts on paper. You might have many ideas, be very interested in the subject, but as soon as you start writing it all turns into chaos. You get lost in the stream of ideas and don’t know which ones to pursue. This is why you need to learn how to use some invention techniques that will help you to get the hold of your thoughts and see which are worth further development.  If you are interested in some other techniques and want to read more articles about essay writing, you can find everything you need at this blog.

These techniques are meant to help you to explore ideas on the chosen subject before you start writing your essay.  With them you will be able to discover new angles of your subject, fully develop existing ideas and shape them into a neat comprehensive essay that everybody would want to read. You also can order any type of essay to be written for you by one of our professional writers here. There are several invention techniques we are going to talk about. I would recommend you to try all of them to see which one works the best for you.

The essay writing invention techniques include:

  • Freewriting. It is a very simple technique that can be divided into two types. One type will allow you do free your mind from any bothering thoughts that distract you from concentrating on your subject. Just write down for five or ten minutes everything that comes into your head, without thinking about grammar or composition. The point is to clear up your mind from distracting thoughts. You don’t need to read what you have written and you might as well throw away that sheet of paper. Another type of freewriting supposed to help you to discover as many ideas as possible on the chosen subject. At the top of the page write down the subject you are going to write about, then relax and let go of your inner critic. It is very important to stay calm and relaxed because only then you will be able to get into the flow of creativity. Set a timer for ten minutes and begin writing everything that comes into your head regarding the subject. Do not stop to think, you have to keep moving the pen no matter how absurd some ideas will seem to you. You have to remember that this writing is meant for your eyes only, that it is just a form of brainstorming that nobody will see or criticize. Afterwards read what you wrote and see if there are any original thoughts you could use in your essay.

It is a fairly popular technique not only for prewriting essay but also for unleashing your creativity and discovering your voice. It is used by many fiction writers. One of the most famous advocates of this technique is a writer Natalie Goldberg, who dedicated many books to teaching this writing method;

  • Listing. When you have decided with the topic you can start making a list. This technique is similar to freewriting because you have to write down as many ideas as possible and as soon as they come into your mind. Only this method is faster since you write down just words or short phrases instead of sentences. Listing is especially good when you need to come up with a lot of examples about a certain subject;
  • Wh-questions. This technique is always used by news reporters and writers. When they compose an article or a report they try to answer these questions about the subject they have: who, what, when, where, why and sometimes how. If you apply this method in your writing it will help you to discover more details and to clarify your topic. It could also help you to restart if you got blocked with your writing. Just try to ask yourself those questions about the subject and write down the answers. You might be surprised how much it can open up the topic and how many new details will appear;
  • Clusters or branches. The human brain saves the information by associating it with already stored one. For example, one day you walk down the street and smell the aroma of freshly baked sugar buns and suddenly a particular from your childhood comes to your mind. You almost see in front of your eyes how your grandmother rolls the dough while you are playing beside her. This is how our minds work and you can use this mental capacity in your writing. It is a simple and fun way to discover new ideas for your essay.  Take a big sheet of paper and write down your subject at the centre. Then below the subject make a list of words that you associate with it. Don’t pause to consider your choices. After that list is done, beside it, write down associations to each word on the list. Keep doing it until you run out of associations. When you are finished you can revise all items and organize them into groups, categories or clusters, that later would help you in composing your essay. There are some online tools available that will help you to make the process of creating clusters and branches easier and more visual. You can consider using mind mapping web sites like mindmapfree
  • Looping. This technique is similar to freewriting but focused rather not on discovering ideas but on finding the main core idea of your subject. It is useful when you have too many thoughts and ideas about your topic and you don’t know which to focus on. First you have to write down your subject and keeping it in mind to freewrite for five minutes anything that comes to your mind. When finished, read what you just wrote and try to summarize it in one sentence. This is the end of your first loop. Then again, focusing on that sentence write for another five minutes. When done, read it and sum it up in one sentence. This is your second loop. Usually after three loops you will be able to capture the essence of your subject;
  • Cubing. It means looking at your subject from six different points of view. Each point symbolizes one side of a cube. You should consider your topic for few minutes and examine it from six following angles:
  1. Describe it. What does it look like?
  2. Compare it. Is it similar to something or different?
  3. Analyze it. What are its parts? What is it made of?
  4. Associate it. Does it remind you of something?
  5. Apply it. What can it be used for?
  6. Argue for or against it. Take either side, find its positive sides and flaws.

            After you are done, you will have several perspectives to ponder on while writing your essay;

  • Outlining. This is so called classics of writing techniques, that most of the writers use not even being aware that it is an actual technique. This method can serve as a transition between invention techniques and actual composition. It is a way to organize your ideas, to create a structured plan of your future essay. Just make notes on which ideas will go into an introduction paragraph, which ones into the body of the essay and so on. Many famous writers like J.K. Rowling and William Faulkner used this technique when creating their masterpieces. You can see their impressive handwritten outlines at the Flavorwire web site;  

Writing an essay or other academic paper may seem as a very complicated task that only few lucky minds can master. Sometimes you feel like know everything about the subject bus as soon as you sit down in front of the blank page your mind goes blank too. Maybe you have many ideas but they just don’t seem to fit together in one paper. Either you have too many ideas or none at all these essay writing techniques will help you a great deal in organizing your paper. If you need more inspiration you can read some essay samples at this blog.

Did any of these techniques prove to be helpful to you? Are there any other essay writing or editing tools you are interested in? Don’t hesitate to tell us about it here, we want to know what you think. In case you need some help with writing or editing your essay our professional writers will be happy to offer you their service.