Tag Archives: essay writing

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

a giy is sitting next to his computer writing in his notebook

Among all the various types of papers that students are assigned with in college or high school, a rhetorical analysis essay is considered to be one of the most challenging. It requires great analytical skills and critical thinking in order to break the topic into smaller pieces and analyze them in detail to get to the core of the subject – usually a written piece. Let’s find out how you can write a rhetorical analysis essay of your own.

Step 1. Preparation

Every essay begins with proper research and study of the topic, subject, or problem. When you have all the information, including the piece that you have to analyze, you should start breaking it into segments, answering the following questions:

  1. Who is the author of the piece?
  2. What is the background of it?
  3. What is the situation or problem described in the piece?
  4. What is the goal of the text that you are analyzing?
  5. What are the intentions of the author?
  6. Who are the people that the piece is addressed to?

Once you know what the piece that you are analyzing is about, you can start diving into it to be able to read “between the lines” and get a better understanding of what the intentions of the author are and how they achieve their goal when turning to a reader or audience.

Persuasive Methods

Before you start writing your rhetorical analysis essay, you should be aware of the methods that are usually used in pieces like the one that you are about to analyze. Here are these three persuasive methods that you should be able to identify in the text:

  • Ethos – a mode of persuasion that depends on the personal characteristics of the speaker or author, their authority and credibility.
  • Pathos – a way of convincing that creates an emotional response to a story or a situation that the audience is put in.
  • Logos – persuasion is achieved through logic – facts and reasons.

These three appeals are widely used by authors and speakers in order to convince the audience and make a speech or a written piece look credible and understandable.

Step 2. Information Gathering and Analysis

Once you understand the background of the piece, the audience it’s aimed at, and the main characteristics of it, you can start analyzing the piece if detail. Make sure you understand the structure of the piece and can identify the key elements of it. Here are the basic tips that will help you analyze the piece that you are assigned with:

  1. Identify the main point and phrase it clearly in one sentence, so you can use it in your essay. For example, “The speaker encourages people to consume less sugar in their diet.”
  2. Identify the structure of the piece and how it uses various claims, including the main and supporting ones, to persuade the audience and address the author’s point of view.
  3. Identify the motives (maybe a hidden message) and follow the author’s statements that prove your point of view.
  4. Put as many questions as you need to uncover the most detail about the piece. Such things as repetitions, syntax, figurative language, and literary methods are also important in order to make a final summary of the text.

After you analyze the piece and have an understanding of what you need to write about and what’s the main things in the text that you will refer to in your essay to support your claims, you can start writing your piece.

Step 3. Writing Your Essay

The majority of learning institutions, when assigning students with a rhetorical analysis essay, expect students to come up with a five-paragraph essay that would consist of three main parts – introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Introduction

The introduction of your essay shouldn’t be long but should provide some background information on the author, occasion, and subject of the piece. You should also point out the key message of the text and come up with a strong thesis statement.

You can also describe in a few brief sentences how the author develops their thesis, how they support their claims, and how they establish a connection with their audience throughout the text.

Body Paragraphs

The main part of your essay, where you put all of your claims and evidence usually consists of three body paragraphs. In the case of a rhetorical essay, this part should contain:

  • The explanation of the methods, devices, and strategies that the author used and what their target is (did the author succeed in their task?)
  • The supportive evidence from the text that helps to make your claims more credible.
  • Your opinion on the text as a whole, its tone, and mood, logical flow, etc.

It’s important to make sure you use the direct quotes from the text and avoid deviating from the topic, making your essay too theoretical instead of keeping it close to the text that you are analyzing.

Conclusion

The conclusion is the ending part of your essay that summarizes all the thoughts and ideas elaborated in the text. You should not put any new information in here except the claims that you have already put in your body paragraphs. Outline the key thoughts and points to make your essay’s ending even stronger.

These were our best tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. We hope that you find them useful, good luck!

Reflective Writing: A Complete Guide

a guy is sitting on a couch and writing something in a notebook

If it is the first time that you’ve faced reflective writing, then it’s obvious why you came here for some advice. Reflective writing can be tricky and complicated, especially because not every student understands why they need to complete such a task and how to do it properly. So, let’s find out.

What Is It?

Reflective writing is a process of analyzing, evaluating, and reflecting on various experiences. It is commonly assigned in order to teach students how to get to the core of the problem or question, improve critical thinking, and analyze your assumptions, beliefs, and values. 

There are many forms that reflective writing can be performed in, particularly:

  • Blog
  • Journal
  • Diary (essay diary and learning diary)
  • Note
  • Review
  • Self-assessment

Each of these forms may become an assignment for a student. For example, many literature and writing programs involve writing a blog or review. It might be a warm-up exercise or a way to learn creative writing.

The main specific of the process of reflecting writing is its structure. When writing reflectively, it’s crucial to avoid falling into details of what happened and where and instead concentrate on your reflection and reaction. However, it’s also wrong to pour your thoughts out uncontrollably. You should show not only your writing skills but your ability to analyze and put the information together, summarizing your experience. So, a piece of reflective writing has a skeleton – the main line of the piece, which is supported with evidence and has some sort of direction that it is elaborated in.

So, how can you create a piece of reflective writing if assigned and avoid making common mistakes? Here are a few tips from us. 

Focus on the Key Elements

When working on a piece of reflective writing, it’s important to understand its key features. 

So, what are the main components of reflective writing? No matter what form you have chosen or were assigned, your work will consist of the following elements:

  1. The event, experience, or phenomenon that you’re reflecting on with the description of what has happened and how.
  2. The analysis of the event and your reflection – how it made you feel, what the reasons were behind your reaction, etc.
  3. The outcomes – what the lesson was and what you should do if this event occurs again.

So, you can see that the structure of the piece of reflective writing is pretty much similar to the structure of an ordinary essay with the introduction, main body, and conclusion. The same structure is kept when you are reflecting on your learning. If you need some advice on writing other types of essays, for example, an exemplification essay, read our other blog posts.

Start with an Outline

Before you start working on your piece, start with a quick outline. A good and thoughtful outline will save you time and will ease the process of elaborating your opinion through the piece. 

When you work on your outline, break the piece of paper into three parts that represent the components of your piece. Put the key points into these three sections while you are thinking of what you are going to write about. For example, what the event was, what you have learned, what went wrong/well, what the impact on you was, etc. Just a few words will be enough to guide you through your writing and help you not miss anything.

The Three Core Features

Pay attention to the key features of reflective writing:

  • It should provide a description (what, where, when)
  • It should provide your expression (I think, I feel, I believe)
  • It should provide analysis and explanation (why, how)

The three features above are extremely important for a piece of reflective writing. They are the core principles that you should follow, and each of them should be present in your work, providing your opinion and thoughts. These are also the principles that you use when writing a critical response essay.

Answer the Questions

Reflective writing has steps or stages that you should follow in the process. When writing a piece like that, it’s essential to cover the particular points and answer the questions that help build a reflective analysis. Here are some of the most common questions that you should answer in your piece:

Revisiting the event or experience:

  1. What was your experience?
  2. What was significant about it?
  3. What details can you give?
  4. What was your role?

Examining your reaction and attitude:

  1. What was your reaction?
  2. What were you thinking about?
  3. Why did you react the way you did?
  4. Did you notice anything significant, unusual, disturbing?

Expressing and suggesting:

  1. What lesson have you learned?
  2. What suggestions can you give?
  3. What changes do you expect?

If you are reflecting on your learning experience, you can also use the same structure and answer the same questions focusing on the perception of the course and its content. It’s a great way to get a better understanding of what you are learning and even clarify the connections between various pieces of knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Reflective writing can be hard in terms of expressing your thoughts and analyzing them from the perspective of a particular topic. However, once you get an understanding of what your task is, create a quick outline, and write down some key points, you will see that writing the rest of your work is not that hard. However, if you face troubles with this or any other type of assignment, you can always count on our team of experts who can help you structure and express your thoughts. Just let us know if you need our help!

How to Write an Exemplification Essay

An exemplification essay is much alike to an argumentative essay but has its specifics. Such essays are based on various examples that are used to prove the author’s point of view and support a thesis statement.

Creating any type of school paper takes some time and skills. An exemplification essay is not an exception. When working on this type of essay, the majority of your time you will have to dedicate to the preparation step which implies searching for the right topic and for suitable examples that can support your claims and help you express your opinion.

The Preparation Step

So, before actually writing an essay, you have to find a subject that will make an excellent fit for your essay. For example, you shouldn’t choose a topic that is too narrow or too broad as you won’t be able to evolve your thoughts properly.

When the topic is too narrow, it’s hard to find the proper number of examples that you can use in your essay. If there are only two examples that you can find, you most likely won’t be able to create a paper of proper quality.

When the topic is too broad, you will have difficult times with picking the right examples to cover the whole topic and not just a part of it.

What is the purpose of details and examples in an illustration/example essay? They are used to support your thesis statement and find the answer to the main question of your essay or to solve the problem mentioned in it.

What are the good topics?

So, when searching for a topic, start with looking through the facts, cases, statistics, and other data that you can use in your essay. Here are some examples of exemplification essay topics:

  1. Do social media cause social anxiety?
  2. Will literature die out with time?
  3. Is online education as effective as school?
  4. Should more parents consider homeschooling for their children?
  5. Should parents help their children with homework?
  6. Robots can completely replace people at work in the future.
  7. Online communication makes languages poor and primitive.
  8. Is freedom of speech an essential part of a utopian community?

Make sure to find diverse examples to avoid making your essay one-sided. As it has some common features with an argumentative essay, you should pick the topic that would represent some problematic and address two argumentative sides.

For example, the topic “Are you obligated to have a college degree nowadays?” can be used for such type of essay as there is some space for discussion and proving a point of view through the evidence and facts. However, the topic “Are you obligated to have a college degree to work as a doctor?” clearly has only one side.

The research step is essential, so make sure to read our list of tips on how you can make your research more time-efficient. Once you have decided what the topic for your essay would be and what examples you will use in your paper, you can start writing an exemplification essay.

The Outline Step

Creating an exemplification essay outline is an essential part as it helps to structure and organize your thoughts and ideas. This step also helps you to understand and plan the order of the facts which you will use in your essay to evaluate your ideas and make them flow in a logical order.

Don’t forget about the main components – the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Remember that your introduction has to include a thesis statement – the main idea behind your essay.

Plan your body paragraphs considerably. All of the examples which you use in the body of your essay should support your claims and present arguments that you base your thesis statement on.

The Introduction

Any type of essay requires a strong and catchy introduction. The introduction part of your exemplification essay should have such a powerful beginning too. The first paragraph of your essay usually provides a reader with an understanding of what your essay is about and what the main idea of it is. However, it’s not enough. Your introduction has to provide a motive for your reader to keep reading.

How to start an exemplification essay?

If you struggle with an opening sentence for your essay that would catch attention, consider some of the following ideas which are great for the hook sentence:

  • A question
  • A quote
  • A historical fact
  • An intriguing sentence
  • An anecdote
  • An idiom

Your introduction part is the best place for your thesis statement. If you haven’t come up with one yet, don’t worry. Just start writing your body paragraphs and return to your introduction part later. You will see that creating an exemplification essay thesis statement with all of the main parts of your essay already written is much easier than starting with it first.

So, your thesis statement is basically the main idea of your essay. It presents your opinion on the topic and sums up all of your findings and research that you have performed. You can also mention the main points that you will discuss further in the text.

The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are the heart of your exemplification essay as they contain the main element of it – the examples which you use to support your opinion.

When getting to the new paragraph, start it with an example, a fact or a topical sentence to provide a brief idea of what this paragraph is about. After starting with such a sentence, you can evaluate your thoughts and the point of view. When closing a paragraph, add a transitional sentence.

A pro tip: categorize your examples by the importance before putting them into your essay. For example, the most powerful and illustrative example should be placed in the first body paragraph while those which you consider weaker should be placed near to the end of your essay.

The Conclusion

The final part of your essay has to summarize all of your findings and your thoughts as well as restating your thesis statement. Don’t just repeat your previous sentences from the introduction and your body paragraphs. Paraphrase them instead to summarize the work, mention the main points, and offer a solution to the issues which your essay covers. Leave your reader with a conclusive thought or rhetorical question.

The Final Step

Once you have finished writing your paragraphs, you can start proofreading and editing your essay. Make sure to check your grammar and punctuation as this is what your professor will pay attention to. If you are not confident about your writing skills or your literacy, you should consider requesting writing service to edit and proofread your essay or create it from scratch. Also, check out our article that will provide you with some useful pieces of advice on how you can improve your writing skills.

Wrapping Up

The process of working on an exemplification essay is similar to writing an argumentative essay as it also implies picking the suitable examples and evidence to support your point of view on the issue. Such an essay might take more time because of the preparation step so you might be interested in saving yours and turning to a writing team for assistance.

What Is a Character Analysis Essay and How to Write It?

Different literary courses often require writing critical and analytical types of essays. One of such essays is a character analysis essay that a student has to perform on the chosen book character (in other cases, on the movie character). If you need to complete such an assignment, then our tips on this type of essay writing will definitely come in handy. Keep reading to know more about how to write such essays.

Preparing for Your Essay and Picking the Character

Every essay starts with a topic. In the case of a character analysis essay, you need to choose the character that you are going to describe and analyze. If the character is not specified and you need to make a choice, consider the following points:

  • You might choose a major character or a secondary one
  • Make sure to identify the relationship of your character with the others, his or her role in the story, the development through the plot and symbolism involved
  • Find the quotes and description of the character in the text – details of the appearance, mentality, features, etc. Choose the character whom you can find enough information about in the source.

Consider the type of a character

Before making your choice of a character or multiple characters to analyze, pay attention to the type of the character:

  • Protagonist — a positive character.
  • Antagonist — a negative one.
  • Foil — contrasts the major character.
  • Major — leading characters who dominate in the story, the center of the plot.
  • Minor — characters who appear in lesser episodes.
  • Dynamic — the one who constantly changes.
  • Static — the one who remains the same.

The type defines the place of the character in the story and should be mentioned in your essay as well as the significant meaning or the symbolism of the character.

Take your notes

Once you have decided on what specific character you are going to examine in your analysis essay, you can start gathering all the information that you can find. Look through the original source and write down:

  • All of the scenes that your character appears in
  • All of the characters he or she interacts with
  • Description of the character that the author provides
  • Scenes with the character

After you have all of your notes ready, you can start working on your essay.

Writing an Outline

Start your essay with creating a character analysis essay outline. Consider that character analysis essay has the structure that is pretty similar to any other type of academic writing that you usually perform.

  1. Introduction. Make sure to start your essay with a catchy sentence. Quotes, intriguing questions or interesting facts make a great hook for character analysis essay. Also make sure to include your thesis statement that will represent your opinion, thoughts and the main idea of your essay. You can take your inspiration for your hook sentence from our article.
  2. Body paragraphs. These paragraphs should contain the main information about the character, the description, facts, etc. Don’t forget to support your claims with the evidence – the quotes from the original source.
  3. Conclusion. The summary of your text that restates your thesis statement and concludes the ideas in your essay.

If you would like to improve your writing skills, make sure to check some useful tips.

Writing an Introduction

An introduction is the main part of your essay as it sets the tone for the whole paper and catches the reader’s attention. If your introduction is good enough, it is a reason for a reader to continue reading further.

Make sure to make your character analysis essay introduction clear. Mention the main idea of your paper, which character you have chosen and why, what makes this character significant or what distinguishes him or her from the rest of the characters.

Also, phrase and write down your thesis statement. Sometimes your thesis statement might be unclear until you finish the body of your essay. So, if you are not sure about it, set it aside and write your body paragraphs.

Sample character analysis thesis statement

In his novel ‘Lord of the Rings,’ J. R. R. Tolkien makes Sam devoted, faithful, optimistic and to some extent naive to contrast and emphasize the loneliness and the vulnerability of Frodo caused by the ring.

If you want to find some other character analysis thesis examples, make sure to take a look at the samples works performed by our writing team. Or, you might also be interested in writing methods that famous writers used in their work which you can use too.

Writing the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your essay are the main representation of the information that you have found in the original source. They must include the quotes that will support your claims and provide a description of the character from the author’s perspective. You can also write a character analysis of multiple characters and their relationships.

Find the quotes that will provide a detailed description not only of the appearance of the character but also their relationships and the place of the character in the story. Make sure to provide your opinion and evolve your thesis statement idea, referring to the particular parts of the original source.

Writing a Conclusion

The analysis essay conclusion should be a summary of your work. Make sure to repeat your thesis statement in other words and add a brief explanation of your findings. You might also mention the correlation between the experience of the character in the story and the experience that we might get in real life, you might make a conclusion about the mistakes that the character has made.

Finishing

Proofread and edit your essay. Make sure to check if your essay follows the guidelines of your teacher or professor. If you are still confused about the process of writing this kind of essay or face difficulties with particular essay topics, you can always turn to a professional writing team and ask for help. You can order your essay or ask for editing service here.

Must-Dos For Improving Your Essay Writing Skills

how to improve essay writing skills

Most writers could stand to improve their essay writing skills. That’s because essay writing is an art honed over time and with practice. Though some people may be naturally good at writing, a good essay is more than that. It requires a tight, well-defined thesis, and a developed argument that’s simply stated and uses credible research to back it up. And of course, the artistry of writing requires precise vocabulary, transition words and active voice.

If you’re in need of some improvements in your essay writing, here are some areas to focus on:

Read more

One of the first things you can do to improve your essay writing skills is dedicate more time to reading. The more you read, the more you’ll be exposed to different styles of writing. Eventually, you’ll identify qualities that you want to adopt in your own writing.

Do research before you write

It’s important to do all of your research before you write. You should take notes while doing your research, but the actual essay writing should only come later. Make sure your ideas have had time to mature enough before you start trying to put them together.

Be patient and take things one step at a time. If you’ve done all of your research and taken good notes, the arguments you’ll use should be fairly easy for you to define. Rushing into the writing process prematurely can mean you have to change your arguments as you come up with more research. This will make for a jumbled essay in the end.

Avoid repetition

Writers often make the mistake of repeating the same word or group of words too many times in their essays. This causes boring reading. Use a thesaurus to see what other words you can use to capture the same idea. If there is no replacement for the word(s) you’re writing, try using third person pronouns more often (he/she/it/they) or abbreviations for long titles.

Example:
The Council of Elders of the Cherokee Nation met in January to vote on whether or not to allow a mining company do a land survey on their reservation. The Council of Elders of the Cherokee Nation voted against granting permission. The mining company attempted to file a law suit and the Council of Elders of the Cherokee Nation held a meeting at the city hall.

A better version:
The Council of Elders of the Cherokee Nation met in January to vote on whether or not to allow a mining company do a land survey on their reservation. They voted against granting permission. The mining company attempted to file a law suit and The Council held a meeting at the city hall.

Cite facts, statistics, dates and expert opinions

Using numbers and statistics gives credibility to your argument as well as creates an impact. Which of the following statements has a stronger impact?

There are far fewer polar bears in the Yukon today than there were a few decades ago.
Vs.
The population of polar bears in the Yukon has been reduced by 1,000% between 1980 and 2010.

Citing the opinions of experts in the field also allows the reader to trust the rest of your observations.

Example:
The devastation of the polar bear population in the Yukon is one of the most severe of any species on the planet.
Vs.
Dr. Sheffield from the University of Toronto gave a speech at a convention on wildlife conservation where he lamented that “few places on the planet have suffered such severe loss of a single species as in the Yukon.”

Improve your vocabulary

The more words you know, the more variety of words you can use in your essays. Simple math. A more ample vocabulary can provide you with the tools to write more interesting essays. It can also help you acquire a higher level of precision in your arguments. For example, if you’re writing about bee-keeping, you could use the word “apiculture” which is the technical word for bee-keeping.

If you’re writing about religious cults, you could use the word “indoctrinate” which means “teach a person or group of persons to accept a teaching uncritically”. Precise language helps you economize on explanations.

But know when to keep it simple

Writing with precise language is one thing. Showing off is another. Don’t litter your essay with sophisticated vocabulary words. Don’t use “insouciant” when you could use “indifferent” or “turgid” when you could use “tedious”. You don’t want to force your reader to reach for the dictionary every few sentences. The majority of readers wouldn’t bother. You want your essay to be readable to the layperson. The feature of your essay is your argument: if you present it simply, it will be easy to grasp. And that’s one of the goals of good essay writing.

Use transition words

Transition words are key to guiding the reader from one argument to the next. They help improve the essay’s readability and flow.
Some transition words to incorporate in your essays:

  • However
  • Furthermore
  • Moreover
  • Nevertheless
  • Also
  • Including
  • On the other hand
  • In spite of

Check out this site for a comprehensive list of transition words and when to use them.

Use active verbs

Writers often fall into the trap of using passive voice in their essays. Try using active voice instead. It’s more direct and gives more life to your sentences.

Example:
The research done on nuclear energy has left many questions still unanswered.
Vs.
Nuclear energy research still has many questions to answer.

The last surviving member of the Terena tribe had died the year before.
Vs.
The last surviving member of the Terena tribe died in 2014.

Use a writing app

Since we live in the digital age, there are apps that can tell you how your essay can be improved. Try one or all of the following:

Hemingway – highlights problem areas of your essay with color coding for things like passive voice, adverbs, complex sentences and more.
Grammarly – advanced spell checker and grammar checker as well as plagiarism detector.
ProWriting Aid – checks for grammar, style and readability.

7 Writing Tips You Will Never Hear in College

Writing Tips College

Most students learn how to write by composing essays, term papers and research projects for history, literature, political science and other classes. Writing classes themselves tend to be filled with people who already love to write and who simply want to find ways to hone their craft more fully.

While there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to the writing life, others simply need to find ways to compose papers that communicate effectively and stand out just enough to score a few extra points. There are plenty of standard tips on how to write more effectively, but here we’ve unearthed seven unconventional tips you won’t likely hear from your professors, but which can easily help you impress them.

1. Play to Your Strengths on Subjects

The old adage of ‘write what you know’ may work for struggling artists, but college students don’t always have that option. When your class is studying the colonization of the Americas, you can’t exactly turn in a paper about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. However, usually students are able to choose which specific story or slice of history their paper will focus on in addition to the type of paper it is. For example, early American history may still be new to you, but you can use your interest in post-apocalyptic movies to write about the challenges, obstacles and life threatening viral outbreaks settlers had to contend with.

2. Find Your Voice

When writing an essay, you’ll typically choose between writing a narrative, descriptive, expository or persuasive paper. In some cases, the tone of the paper may be assigned, but when you have the opportunity to choose the type of paper yourself, once again, play to your strengths. If you grew up arguing with brothers and sisters, a persuasive essay will be an easy approach for you. Conversely, if you’ve been described as having a Vulcan-like personality, an expository essay will allow you to deliver the facts and leave readers with the opportunity to draw their own conclusions. Choosing the right approach and the right topic can make your essay writing experience much easier.

3. Go Old School

The most difficult part of any writing project can be simply getting started. Recent studies in the field of neuroscience have suggested that writing in longhand stimulates different areas of the brain and can even have an impact on editing and even writing style. One study asked participants to write creatively both in longhand and using a keyboard. Participants changed the style in which they wrote with each change. Overall, writing in longhand appears to encourage more creative thinking and brainstorming than typing on a keyboard.

4. Watch the Jargon

Writing on a difficult or complicated subject at the college level lends itself to using plenty of jargon. Although you want to establish that you understand the subject and the field you’re writing in, stuffing an essay with too much jargon can cloud your message and make it hard for readers to understand what you’re saying. You don’t need to impress your professor with a jargon filled paper. Instead, use industry related terms and phrases sparingly and prove that you can discuss this complex issue or intricate topic in a way that makes it accessible and easy to understand for any audience.

5. You Don’t Have to Start at the Beginning

It’s human nature to feel as though we need to start at the beginning but writing doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you’ll know where you want to end up, so beginning with your conclusion gives you the chance to set the stage for your destination, then you just need to get there. Other times, you’ll have the perfect wording for the body of your essay even though you have no idea how you want to begin or where your essay may lead. That’s fine – start with what you know or where you feel more comfortable, the rest will come naturally as you write.

6. Write Drunk, Edit Sober

This bit of advice was originally made famous by Ernest Hemingway, who also warned that “The first version of anything is shit.” The art of writing has long been linked to the love of drinking and, for some, it’s the best way to loosen their tongue and get those creative juices flowing. Drinking lowers inhibitions and silences your critic long enough for you to pound out that all important first draft. Once you’ve gotten the bones of your essay written down, begin tweaking and revising at least a day later.

7. Read Out Loud

Reading through your final draft a few times is pretty standard advice. Reading through that final draft out loud, however, can highlight clumsy phrasing and awkward word choices that would otherwise get glossed over. Read your paper aloud or, better yet, have someone else read it for you. If they stumble over something or pause as they’re reading, chances are you need to tighten up your wording.