The web is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, which makes it tricky for students to obtain the advice they require when writing essays. So our experts that are academic written the following advice for you really to utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to make certain your writing hits the mark.
Understand the question
This may, in the face of it, seem like somewhat advice that is banal but fact of the matter is that failing continually to properly understand the question set is one of, if you don’t the most typical cause of a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. Are you currently being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a circumstance that is particular? Assess the usefulness of a particular concept?
These are some of the common phrases present in essay questions, and every indicates a set that is different of. If you’re asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, for instance, you must gain an understanding not only of said theory, but additionally other common approaches. They must all be weighed against each other, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theory and, importantly, you must started to a well-justified and conclusion that is confident. Could be the theory good? What are its flaws? Just how can it be improved?
You don’t necessarily need to go into as much critical depth if you are asked to evaluate the usefulness of something, however. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you ought to still note some strengths and weaknesses – nevertheless the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness. Possibly the approach that is best is to find one, or a couple of, case studies where in fact the theory has been utilized – what was the outcome of this? Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?
“Compare and contrast” essays, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid of the above – you need to take a critical approach and evaluate the literature, but your focus has to remain solidly from the theories that you have already been asked to compare and contrast. It is essential to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a theoretical and applied level.
In essence, the wording regarding the essay question shall inform you how the essay should really be written. It will probably indicate in which the focus of the essay should lie while you write and research.
Plan and schedule
Knowing the real question is step one, however it is equally important which you make efficient utilization of the available time. Students often underestimate the level of work required to write a good essay, which results in a couple of things: (1) late nights during the library, and (2) a disappointing grade. Should you want to achieve a great mark, you should start making plans for your essay the moment you receive the essay question. The following table may be a useful aid:
|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 on your own and committing to stay in their mind, you might be making sure you won’t be left with way too much work right before your hand-in date. Additionally it is 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 okay if you should be looking to scrape a pass, however for a greater grade you ought to show that you will be able to leverage critical reasoning in your coping with academic materials. What are the limitations associated with the theories you will be drawing on? How have these been dealt with within the literature? Just how can they impact the quality of arguments presented, and to what extent do they limit our understanding of what you are actually studying? What alternate explanations might offer depth that is additional?
Critical thinking is what can certainly make your essay get noticed. It shows the marker throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner that you are not simply repeating the arguments that have been fed to you. A way that is good practice that is to cover careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will find that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique ultimately causing a gap for his or her own research.
Structure, focus and flow
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 classic piece of advice would be to “tell them what you are actually planning to let them know, then let them know, and let them know everything you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of the essay.
Having a definite and structure that is logical help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray through the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value towards the argument you might be presenting. As you are writing, it’s good to take one step as well as ask yourself “what value does this sentence/section add? How exactly does it link 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.
It’s also wise to make sure that all the various components of your essay fit together as a cohesive and whole that is logical and therefore the transition from a single argument to another location 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 leads to a lower life expectancy grade. Be sure to inform your reader why you might be transitioning from one argument to another, why they’ve been in this particular order, and just how each argument helps shed light on a certain facet of what you’re discussing.<Read widely
Writing will be the core task, but reading is equally important. Before you start writing your essay, you should conduct a diverse look for relevant literature. Learning how to dig through a large amount of information is an essential academic skill. You ought to begin by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a tool that is great this – using key term linked to your research topic. Once an article is found by you that sounds promising, go through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.
If you should be still not a hundred percent sure, most commonly it is smart to skip to the conclusion – this usually contains an in depth summary associated with study, which can only help see whether you should see the article all together. You don’t want to waste time reading through and endless quantity of articles in order to discover that they aren’t actually relevant. Once you have identified a couple of solid articles, you really need to (a) go through their bibliographies and pay attention to who they really are citing, since these articles is going to be of value for your own research; and (b) check up on Google Scholar to see who has got cited them. To get this done, simply input the true name for the article when you look at the search bar and hit enter. Within the results, click “cited by” – this will return a listing of every one of the articles which have cited the publication you looked 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 should be particularly careful in using course books (in other words. “introduction to management” and so on), as they are essentially summaries of other people’s work.
Quoting, essay writing paraphrasing and plagiarism
Academic writing requires a careful balance between novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing a completely ‘novel’ essay, without drawing about the same source, indicates which you haven’t produced a novel argument that you haven’t made yourself familiar with what has already been published; citing someone for every point made suggests. As a result, it is necessary that you provide evidence (a credible citation) when you’re making a statement of fact, or drawing on arguments, frameworks, and theories presented by other academics. These, in turn, should offer the novel that is overarching that you yourself are making.