The college essay - it is hands down THE most dreaded type of assignment college students are given in class. After gathering up all of your sources and references, it's time to hunker down and get writing. But staying focused and on topic throughout your essay can be a bit challenging, as your head becomes filled with ides the more you write. Staying on topic is a crucial component of writing a proper essay. Here are 5 tips to stay focused:
1 - Come up with one main point or topic for your paper. This is also considered you thesis, so make it strong, and as clear and concise as possible. You want to be making a stand, so make sure you don't allow for any room for "maybe" or "possibly". Don't panic if you haven't solidified your thesis as of yet. You can always go back and revise it as you see fit, as long as the body of the essay and the arguments within it support the thesis.
2 - Draft an outline. Doing so will help you lay out your ideas, and help you to designate the perfect spot for each argument that you use to continuously back up your thesis statement. Start with a rough outline, then perhaps get more detailed by actually setting out each paragraph's topic.
3 - Highlight your thesis statement. This way, every time you look at your introductory paragraph, as you are writing you will always be reminded of your topic and what you should be continuously focusing on. It's easy to go off on a tangent, and forget about your initial argument in the first place.
4 - Develop a number of aspects of your thesis statement. Devote each paragraph to one aspect, or topic, in order to clearly dedicate the argument, sources and description of that aspect fully before moving on to the next paragraph, which should logically tie in with each other. Do not throw in too many ideas in one paragraph - doing so will not give you enough time to elaborate on one aspect, and confuse the reader with information that doesn't necessarily pertain to the original aspect discussed.
5 - Make sure your conclusion ties into your introduction. The concluding paragraph should basically reiterate what you stated in your thesis. Each point that you made in each paragraph should be completely tied into your thesis, and lead the reader to a logical conclusion. Don't leave your reader hanging! Make sure you have been able to answer any questions they may have on that topic in order to leave them satisfied.