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Ways to Write a Unique Essay

by Soheila Battaglia

Whether you are assigned an essay as an assignment or you write a statement as part of an application, the more unique your writing the stronger the overall product. Anyone can make their writing unique. To make your essay stand out, select a topic you care about, start with a creative title, don't use clichés and give specific examples throughout.

Choose an Interesting Topic

Before you begin writing, select a topic that interests you. If you are not engaged by the essay's subject matter, you cannot expect to engage the reader. If there is a topic you want to learn more about, you are already interested in or you have a lot of opinions on, then that is the subject you should select. Choosing a topic that you find intriguing you allows you to reflect on and articulate your true feelings, experiences and points of view. This personalization of the content makes the overall paper more unique.

Avoid Clichés

A cliché is essentially a word or phrase that is supposed to represent a specific meaning, but which has been repeatedly employed to the point that it no longer communicates its original meaning. The University of Richmond's Writing Center describes clichés as "trite, overused, and plain tired expressions." Examples of clichés include "every cloud has a silver lining," "the children are our future," "sands of time," "easy as pie" and "when it's all said and done." This method of writing is unoriginal and dims the effectiveness of the essay. Therefore, when you find yourself describing an idea or feeling with an expression that you have heard many times before, find a different way to say it.

Provide Examples

When you are writing a scholarship essay, an argumentative essay or orally presenting your paper as a speech, incorporating specific examples will make the message unique. Specific examples can serve as evidence, support or imagery in an essay. The more specific the examples you select, the more specific the essay becomes. Examples can include statistics, personal experiences, hypothetical situations and quotations. In addition to providing specific examples in body paragraphs, analyze each example thoroughly to show how specifically it proves or displays the point you are making.

Give It a Title

An interesting and distinct title can positively impact the entire essay. Strategies for formulating titles include humor, rhyming, and using a more academic two-part method. The Hamburg Area School District states that in a two-part title, you might "use colons to separate an eye-catching subject and a more specific description." For example, if your essay is a study on the pantyhose company L'eggs, you can write the following title: "She's Got L'eggs: The Rise of the Pantyhose Empire." Starting with a creative title allows your essay to be unique from the start.

About the Author

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

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