What can be done if you want to improve your essay? Revision, revision, and revision.
The Beauty of Revision
The revision stage of essay writing is my favorite. Do you know why? Because that is when you really begin to see the writing flourish, glow, and become a sparkly work of genius. When I began taking doctoral level courses, away from all the students I pursued my masters with – all the ones who waited until the night before to start writing their essays (so they said—I later found out they were lying), I felt free to do my own thing. I started working on my papers in October if they were due in December—and what I learned that semester is that a paper can become a paper worthy of publication in an academic journal, if you keep polishing, polishing, and polishing.
Allow Yourself Two Weeks At Least – Just Try It
That semester taught me more about writing than I have ever known. So leave yourself plenty of time for this stage of the process and watch what you think is a D paper become an A+ paper in three weeks! Plus instead of that exhausting 24 or 48 hour marathon writing session you would have to do otherwise, one that will probably annihilate your performance on other tests and papers from sheer burnout—you can work on it a little at a time and some days take a break from it altogether.
Learning to Write from Other Writers Too
If you are writing a research paper, nothing will improve the tone and quality of it more than high quality research that sounds just as astounding as it is informative. Take your time to gather that research that will really showcase your research skills—and those are best revealed by the quotes you use and the quality of books and journals you select your research from. See, one thing professors want to see in your work is that you’ve acquired really robust scholarly research skills—that you can separate the wheat from the chaff (the good from the bad) in terms of source materials. So use high quality journals from respected presses and books from university presses. If you do not know what are the most respected journals in the field you are writing about (American literature, quantum physics, math) then either Google it or ask a professor in that field.