Writing essays is something that most students dread, especially when they are worth a huge amount of your final grade. In the UK essays are a large part of the curriculum, so you’ll need to learn how to write them and write them well. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to grasp good essay practices. Here’s what you should keep in mind when you’re writing an essay if you want to do well.
Most teachers, lectures or exam bodies will have a clear set of expectations when it comes to essays. Perhaps there is a set structure you should be following, or there are requirements for you to reference your sources correctly. Whatever the requirements are, make sure you know and understand them before you begin writing. This will help you to write an essay that ticks all of the boxes!
If you’re really engaged with your essay’s subject matter, you might find you’ve got a lot to say. This is great, as it’s always easier to write an essay when you’re genuinely interested in the topic. However, it’s all too easy to get carried away and lose your focus. Remember that not everything you research will end up in the final piece of work you need to be selective. Only include relevant information and make sure you stick to your topic or argument throughout the essay.
On the topic of research, it’s an essential part of writing a good essay so make sure you don’t skip this step! It’s this initial stage of essay writing that most students dread. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it; research is an essential step for writing a good essay so you’ll need to use plenty of sources and commit to some long hours in the library. The more credible sources you have the better. Once you’ve got your research sorted, make sure you reference it correctly to support your argument.
The easiest way to keep track of all the essential parts of your essay is to make a clear, detailed plan. You can keep this in front of you while you write to make sure that you don’t overlook any essential pieces of information or sources. You’ll find the whole essay writing process much more manageable if you have a clear idea of what you’re going to be writing in each paragraph before you get started.
It’s no use writing a thoroughly researched and well-argued essay if you’re going to submit it littered with mistakes. Make sure you leave a couple of days before the deadline to check for spelling and grammar errors properly. Relying on your computer’s spell check feature is risky as small mistakes can often be overlooked. The best approach to checking for mistakes is to ask a friend or family member to read it for you; they will be able to look at your essay with a fresh pair of eyes and spot mistakes that you may have missed.