Your professor reads through a dozen of papers each time he/she assigns an essay. If you want to get a high grade, you have to ensure that your paper stands out from the rest. How can you do that? If you have mastered the basic writing techniques, here are five more advanced ones that you can use to set yourself apart from the rest.
1. Be Original
As often as possible, try to take a unique approach on the topic, offer an original perspective, or use your words in a fresh and interesting way. As your professor sifts through a dozen of papers, he/she does not want to see the same topic many times. Take a creative approach to the assignment that will help you stand out, and you will get a higher grade as a result.
Depending on the assignment, you should also write in your own unique voice. For some assignments, you may need to be extremely formal and academic. However, if you have a more creative assignment, use an informative conversational tone. Write the way you would speak to someone you respect and feel comfortable with. Allow your writing to reflect your own personality and your style as well. Writing in such a manner allows you to interact with the audience.
2. Tell a Story
If you have a practical, real-life anecdote that is related to the topic you are writing about, it is usually appropriate to tell briefly a story that illustrates your point. Not only this makes your point easier to understand, but it can also be entertaining for the reader. Many writers do not use this technique, so it is one of the ways to set your writing apart.
However, make sure that your story is directly related to your paper and is not off topic or unnecessary. Also, get to the point quickly without spending an excessive amount of time on the story. A few sentences are usually enough to entertain the reader and to express your point.
3. Show, Do Not Tell
This technique especially applies to creative writing, but it can be used in other types of writings as well. When you are writing, simple telling the reader some information, it is not really effective. It is better to show the reader through details, examples, and evidence. Paint a picture of the information you are trying to explain. In creative writing, this can include using the five senses to make your writing vital. Describe how something looks like, smells, feels, tastes, and sounds to create a vivid image in the reader’s mind. In informational or persuasive writing, such a technique can mean including examples and evidence to support the claims.
Instead of saying that Abraham Lincoln is the greatest United States president, show that he is the greatest United States president by providing evidence and giving examples. Instead of saying that you were nervous, talk about your sweaty palms and racing heart. This is one of the best writing techniques in English, and it will surely impress anyone who reads your paper.
4. Use a Call to Action
A call to action is better to use in persuasive writing. Such a technique invites your reader to take some sort of action, and it is an excellent item because it engages your audience and involves it in reading your paper.
A call to action can be anything that is relevant to your topic. For example, if you just have spent an entire paper convincing readers that every individual is responsible for the health of the planet, you could conclude your essay by encouraging your readers to recycle or conserve water. If you write a persuasive paper about a law that everyone should think about, you can include a call to action advising your readers to call legislators or sign a petition. The call to action should invite the reader to act and make them involved in reading your paper.
5. Use of Figurative Language
You have probably heard of figurative language before—this is the language that is used creatively and is not meant to be taken literally. Figurative language includes simile, metaphor, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, and symbolism.
You should definitely use figurative language in creative writing, but it can also be an effective technique in informational or persuasive writing. A well-placed metaphor can impress your reader and make your point more beautiful and understandable.
Next time you are assigned to write a paper, try using these techniques. Your professor will be surely impressed!