The Internet is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, making it tricky for students to find the advice they need when writing essays. So our academic experts have written the following tips so that you could utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark.
Comprehend the question
This may, in the face of it, appear to be somewhat banal advice – but fact of the matter is that failing woefully to properly understand the question set is one of, if not the most frequent cause of a disappointing grade with regards to essay writing. Have you been being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a circumstance that is particular? Evaluate the usefulness of a concept that is particular?
They are a few of the common phrases present in essay questions, and every indicates a different collection of expectations. You have to gain an understanding not only of said theory, but also other common approaches if you are asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, for instance. They must all be weighed against one another, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of every theory and, importantly, you have to arrive at a well-justified and confident conclusion. Could be the theory good? What exactly are its flaws? How can it be improved?
If you should be asked to gauge the usefulness of something, however, you don’t necessarily have to go into the maximum amount of critical depth. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you ought to still note some strengths and weaknesses – but the almost all the job must emphasise the concepts usefulness that is practical. Possibly the best approach is to get one, or a couple of, case studies where in fact the theory has been used – the thing that was the outcome for this? Does the effective use of the theory reveal any shortcomings that are particular or strengths?
“Compare and that is contrast, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid associated with above – you ought to take a crucial approach and assess the literature, but your focus has got to remain solidly on the theories which you have already been asked to compare and contrast. It is critical to show which you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a applied and theoretical level.
In essence, the wording of the essay question shall tell you how the essay should really be written. It’s going to indicate where in fact the focus of the essay should lie while you research and write.
Plan and schedule
Knowing the real question is the first step, but it is equally important which you make efficient utilization of the time that is available. Students often underestimate the level of work necessary to write a good essay, which results in a couple of things: (1) late nights during the library, and (2) a disappointing grade. If you want to achieve a good mark, you should start making plans for your essay the moment you obtain the essay question. The next table may be a aid that is useful
|Understand the question||(Insert date)|
|Map the essay chapters||(Insert date)|
|Collect articles||(Insert date)|
|Read and take notes||(Insert date)|
|Start writing||(Insert date)|
|Finish first draft||(Insert date)|
|turn in||(Insert date)|
By setting deadlines for yourself and committing to stick to them, you might be ensuring that you won’t be left with an excessive amount of work prior to your hand-in date. It’s also essential that you leave time, ideally a couple of days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.
Perfect theories and academic approaches are rare – the majority that is clear of, arguments, and studies have flaws. Being descriptive is fine that you are able to leverage critical reasoning in your dealing with academic materials if you are looking to scrape a pass, but for a higher grade you need to show. Which are the limitations of this theories you are drawing on? How have these been dealt with into the literature? Just how do they impact the grade of arguments presented, and also to what extent do they limit our understanding of what you’re studying? What alternate explanations might offer additional depth?
Critical thinking is really what can make your essay be noticeable. It shows the marker that you are not only repeating the arguments which were fed to you throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner. A way that is good practice that is to cover careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap with their own research.
Structure, flow and focus
Itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure how you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument. A vintage word of advice is to “tell them what you are actually navigate to this web-site planning to inform them, then tell them, and tell them everything you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.
Having a clear and structure that is logical help make sure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray through the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value to your argument you will be presenting. When you are writing, it’s advisable that you take a step as well as ask yourself “what value performs this sentence/section add? How does it backlink to my overarching argument?” That you can’t answer that question, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your core argument, and you may want to reconsider the path you are taking if you find.
You should also be sure that all the different areas of your essay fit together as a cohesive and whole that is logical and that the transition in one argument to the next is fluid. Students often treat essays as lists of arguments, presenting one after the other with little consideration for the way they fit together, which inevitably results in a lesser grade. Make sure to tell your reader why you are transitioning in one argument to another location, why these are typically in this order that is particular and how each argument helps shed light on a certain aspect of what you are actually discussing.<Read widely
Writing may be the core task, but reading is equally important. You should conduct a broad search for relevant literature before you start writing your essay. Learning how to dig through a large amount of data is an important skill that is academic. You really need to start with searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key phrases linked to your quest topic. Once you find a write-up that sounds promising, go through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.
Whether you should read the article as a whole if you are still not a hundred percent sure, it is usually a good idea to skip to the conclusion – this usually contains a detailed summary of the study, which will help determine. You don’t want to spend your time reading through and number that is endless of simply to discover that they aren’t actually relevant. Once you’ve identified a couple of solid articles, you ought to (a) go through their bibliographies and take note of who they are citing, as these articles will probably be of value for the own research; and (b) check up on Google Scholar to see that has cited them. To work on this, simply input the true name for the article in the search bar and hit enter. Into the results, click “cited by” – this will return a summary of all of the articles that have cited the publication you searched for.
It’s important that you haven’t engaged with the wider literature that you don’t rely too heavily on one or a couple of texts, as this indicates to the marker. You need to be particularly careful in using course books (i.e. “introduction to management” and so on), as these are essentially summaries of other people’s work.
Quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism
Academic writing requires a balance that is careful novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing a completely ‘novel’ essay, without drawing on a single source, indicates which you haven’t made yourself acquainted with what had been published; citing someone for each point made shows that you haven’t produced a novel argument. As a result, it is necessary you are making a statement of fact, or drawing on arguments, frameworks, and theories presented by other academics that you provide evidence (a credible citation) when. These, in turn, should offer the overarching novel argument that you yourself are making.