1. Read the instructions carefully.
Now, before anything else, please do read the instructions very carefully. Because the thing with essays is that sometimes they do not end up being answered by the students who are tasked to do them in the first place.
2. Make note of any formatting requirements.
As simple as this instruction is, this is where most students take this for granted, which results to unnecessary deductions.
From the paper size you are going to use to the font style and the font size you are going to type our document with to the margins and the indents that you have set in the word-processing software and even to the deadline as to when you are supposed to pass it. So double-check your formatting to make sure it is in order before passing the final copy to your instructor.
3. Pay attention to citation style requirements.
Citation is very important. There is the APA (American Psychological Association) style which is used by education, psychology, and sciences essays. While there is also the MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the humanities.
While the Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by business, history, and the fine arts kind of essays. But there are also cases wherein the instructor will decide to set his own set of instructions that the students of the course are supposed to adhere to.
4. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.
Do not be afraid when you ask for clarifications from your instructor or professor. It is actually better that you do than getting wrong submitting the wrong kind of essay. If you are too afraid or shy to ask your teacher, you can always bring it up to your friends and classmates if you are more comfortable with them.
Do not limit your query to just one or two. Make your questions as complete and as thorough as possible. Ask sensible questions and not the ones that can be found on the instructions.
5. Narrow down your topic.
Some topics are given. While there are some that will have to be selected by you. Some college instructors will limit their topic for you to a general concept or even a phrase.
Now, if that is the case, it is your job to simply narrow it down. From a general topic, make it more specific so that your task will be easier. Instead of simply searching Martin Luther King and his achievements, you can narrow it down even further to his message of racial discrimination and how it gained recognition from everyone of different races.