College essay writing: restating main ideas

Your essay is made of several supporting ideas that surround a central theme. You may need to restate these ideas for several reasons. If ever this situation arises, make sure you understand why so that you can employ the following steps to arrive at a new explanation of your essay's ideas.

  1. If the idea is too risque
  2. Use euphemistic language that gets your point across without offending the sensibilities of any readers who are a bit conservative. Admittedly there are some topics for which there is no appropriate euphemism that still conveys the full meaning that your essay is based upon. In this case you may need to rethink the topic itself. If you are certain that writing the essay in its original form is worth risking offending people who grade your work, proceed. You may just have your courage rewarded.

  3. If your language was unclear
  4. The point of your essay can be lost if the ideas it contains are couched in ambiguous language. Imagine for a moment that you have to explain your idea to an eight year old of average intelligence. Can you? Most likely the writing that appears in the final draft of your essay will be at a higher level than that, but simply being able to think of a simpler, clearer version of your idea can greatly increase the clarity of your essay.

  5. If your tone was too familiar
  6. Academic writing is different from texting, from casual emails and even most article writing. To writers who are more accustomed to those other types of writing, making the switch can be a pain. Luckily, in time and with practice it can become second nature to you. In the meantime, if you receive feedback that your tone needs to be more academic, refer to published essays in a similar field or even in other fields. The more academic writing you read the easier it will be for you to write. Take little notes along the way about phrasing and word choices to guide you if ever you get stuck.

  7. If your idea is boring
  8. You may have accidentally picked one of the most overdone topics in your field so that all the ideas you come up with seem unoriginal. If this is the case, take a moment to brainstorm new angles from which the idea can be approached. Incorporate them into what you already have.

A few simple changes may end up drastically improving your final essay. Keep writing!

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