8 Questions to Ask Your Professor Before Writing an Essay

April 11, 2023

An essay is perhaps the most common type of written work that teachers of various subjects assign. So what is the secret of a quality paper? 

Before starting your essay, you must ensure that you clearly understand the essence of the task. After analyzing the topic, you need to gather sources and draw up a plan. This is followed by coming up with a draft that includes an introduction, body and conclusion. Once you’ve completed it, devote time to editing and proofreading to correct the mistakes.

Of course, the secret is to consult with the teacher regarding all these stages. It is them who will relieve you of doubts and guide you on your path. Below, we’ve collected 8 questions to ask the teacher: the answers will certainly bring you to a brilliant paper. 

However, there are times when you simply can’t come up with the essay on your own. Be it lack of time, enormous stress or burnout, there’s a great solution to free you from anxiety. Just reach out to a custom research paper writing service to order quality work from them. With the specialists on your side, your academic performance will certainly be under control, just as your mental balance. 

What is the Purpose of an Essay?

The style and structure of your essay will depend on its goal. Common essay types are:

  • Comparative: analyze the similarities and differences between two ideas, people, events, or works of art;
  • Narrative: tell a story;
  • Argumentative: provide evidence and examples to convince the reader of your point of view;
  • Informative: enlighten the reader on a particular topic.

What are the Formatting and Style Requirements?

Without proper formatting and styling, even the most brilliant work will fail. Therefore, find out such requirements as:

  • The essay’s volume;
  • Citation style;
  • Formatting, including margin size, spacing, font type, and size.

If you plan to outsource your assignment to the best paper writing services, don’t forget to mention the instructions and the author will certainly follow them. 

How to Narrow a Topic?

Depending on the assignment, you might already know the topic. But what if it’s too wide? Well, then you should narrow it down in order to answer all the key questions. The question or problem will be the foundation of your thesis and key arguments, so they must be as clear as possible.

If you struggle to decide on the structure to use, don’t be afraid to ask. The teacher will explain it to you and they may even give you examples of some brilliant papers.

Which Sources are Best to Rely On?

It’s best to learn what resources to look for. Basically, we recommend relying on scientific books and magazines. They are usually reliable data sources. Scientific databases like ERIC, IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect, or JSTOR are full of worthy information, so be sure to use them.

Plus, don’t forget to evaluate all sources. Unfortunately, some scientific articles by world-known scientists contain outdated information and inaccuracies.

By the way, as a rule, articles from Wikipedia aren’t considered suitable sources. But chances are, you may find something suitable in the References section at the end of the article.

Is the Standard Plan Right?

You will need a plan to structure key ideas. Usually, the thesis is stated in 1-2 sentences at the end of the introduction. In the following paragraphs, there will be arguments and examples.

You can start your essay with the most compelling arguments and move towards the less compelling ones. A typical plan looks like this:

  • Introduction;
  • Argument 1 with supporting examples;
  • Argument 2 with supporting examples;
  • Argument 3 with supporting examples;
  • Main counter-arguments;
  • Your refutation of counter-arguments;
  • Conclusion.

This is a typical plan but it’s best to make sure the teacher has nothing against it. How many arguments must be included? In fact, this question should be asked first, as too much or too little will significantly weaken the work. 

Are Counter Arguments Needed?

To make an essay more powerful, it is usually recommended to include arguments that don’t support your point of view. This way, you can prove your expertise by showing they are wrong. But sometimes the teacher may say that there is no need for a counter-argument. Therefore, clarify this question in advance to save yourself from unnecessary work.

How to Organize the Sources Correctly?

If you intend to use information from other sources or other people’s ideas, it’s crucial to provide a proper reference. This applies to generalizations or retellings as well as direct quotations. No doubt, the work’s requirements will certainly specify how the references should be organized. The teacher will tell you how to do it right.

What are the Most Common Mistakes to Avoid?

Teachers have read hundreds of papers and they know exactly what mistakes students make most often. Ask them to indicate what inaccuracies you should look for.

Later, when you’re done, try reading the paper aloud to catch points that your eyes might have missed. Here are the weaknesses of many essays:

  • Redundancy;
  • Unclear explanations;
  • Weird transitions or unlogical organization of the text;
  • Spelling or grammar mistakes;
  • Formatting issues;
  • The inappropriate tone of voice (slang or colloquialism).

To Wrap It Up

It is also not superfluous to ask the teacher if you can get feedback when the job is done. Perhaps they will recommend you a talented student to send you a review. In any case, you need constructive criticism to evaluate your work from the outside and see your strengths and weaknesses that need improvement.

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