Turn a Boring Essay Into an Interesting Paper

Turn a Boring Essay Into an Interesting Paper
Smooth Transitions and More Make an Essay Better

Why are some essays fun to read while others are difficult to get through? What things can students do to make their papers better to read?

Believe it or not, subject matter is not the only reason an essay is interesting to read. More often than not, it's the way the writer writes that makes the essay interesting more than what he's chosen to write about. Varying sentence structure is just one way a student can improve an essay. Here are other tips for students who want to make their essay more appealing (and less boring).
Smooth Transitions Make for a Better Essay
Few things will pull a reader out of enjoying an essay faster than clunky transitions. When readers aren't consciously aware that they are reading an essay (that is, when they become absorbed in the writing), they follow along and appreciate the writing without over-thinking it. But when the writer pulls the reader back into "reality," so to speak, a reader will have a hard time getting back into reading. While misspellings and poor punctuation can do the same thing, transitions are sometimes fairly easy to remedy. Here is a poorly written transition that could stand some improvement:
In most of literature and history, the pariah has been distanced from the rest of the community either as a punishment or because he is perceived as a threat to society. Toni Morrison's pariahs are not outcast. They are necessary to the survival of the community.
There is nothing actually "wrong" with the above example, but a smoother transition will not only make the writing feel seamless, it will also emphasize the point she is trying to make:
In most of literature and history, the pariah has been distanced from the rest of the community either as a punishment or because he is perceived as a threat to society. However, in Toni Morrison’s fiction, pariahs serve a higher purpose. These outcasts are not banished from the land but live among the rest of society and are necessary not only to the survival of the community either as serve as catalysts for change in the stagnant communities or relationships they are part of.
Meet Reader Expectations
Writers should strive to never disappoint their readers. If a reader is "promised" something in the essay, the writer should deliver on that promise. For example, if the writer says that he intends to "prove" why nationalized health care is a good idea, he should present as convincing an argument as possible. However, there are also small ways in which a writer should try to meet his readers' expectations.
We also see outcasts in Shakespeare’s history plays. In more recent times, we find The Outsidersin S. E. Hinton’s book of the same title which deals with a group of outcasts ostracized because of social status.
Because the writer mentioned Shakespeare, the reader expects a reference. Before moving on to "more recent times," the writer needs to either remove the Shakespeare reference or explain what he means (thus meeting his readers' expectations). He could do it this way:
We also see outcasts in Shakespeare’s history plays. Two examples are found in Richard II. Both Bolingbroke and Mowbray are banished by the king, Mowbray because he murdered the Duke of Gloucester and Bolingbroke because he has accused Mowbray and stirred up trouble (but in reality because the king ordered Mowbray to murder the Duke). The king rightly fears Bolingbroke, who later returns to England and takes the throne from Richard to become Henry IV.
A writer who satisfies his reader's curiosity will keep that reader reading!
Revising One's Essay is the Best Way to Make it Better
Sometimes it's best to get the rough draft down as quickly and easily as possible. But then a reader needs to go through his essay as a discriminating reader and look for things that will make his essay harder to read and less enjoyable and then do his best to fix them. Smooth transitions and fulfilling reader expectations are two ways to make an essay more interesting to readers.


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