The Internet is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, rendering it tricky for students to get the advice they need when writing essays. So our academic experts have written the following suggestions for you to utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark.
Understand the question
This may, in the face of it, appear to be somewhat banal advice – but simple fact is the fact that failing continually to properly comprehend the question set is regarded as, or even the most frequent reason behind a disappointing grade with regards to essay writing. Will you be being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a particular circumstance? Evaluate the usefulness of a particular concept?
They are some of the common phrases present in essay questions, and every indicates a different group 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 each other, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theory and, importantly, you must arrive at a well-justified and conclusion that is confident. Is the theory good? Exactly what are its flaws? How do 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 need to still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you need to still note some strengths and weaknesses – however the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness. Probably 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 end result for this? Does the application of the theory reveal any shortcomings that are particular or strengths?
“Compare and contrast” essays, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid of the above – you ought to take a critical approach and assess the literature, however your focus has to remain solidly from the theories that you have been asked to compare and contrast. You should 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 will let you know how the essay ought to be written. It will probably indicate where in fact the focus of one’s essay should lie as you research and write.
Plan and schedule
Comprehending the question is step one, however it is incredibly important which you make efficient use of the available time. Students often underestimate the amount of work needed to write a good essay, which results in two things: (1) late nights in the library, and (2) a grade that is disappointing. If you’d like to achieve a beneficial mark, you ought to start planning your essay the moment you will get the essay question. The following table might 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)|
|Hand in||(Insert date)|
By setting deadlines that you won’t be left with too much work right before your hand-in date for yourself and committing to stick to them, you are ensuring. Additionally it is essential that you leave time, ideally a few days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.
Perfect theories and academic approaches are rare – the clear almost all theories, arguments, and research reports have flaws. Being descriptive is fine if you are looking to scrape a pass, but for a higher grade you will need to show that you will be able to leverage critical reasoning in your dealing with academic materials. Which are the limitations of this theories you are drawing on? How have these been dealt with when you look at the literature? How can they impact the quality of arguments presented, and also to what extent do they limit our comprehension of what you are actually studying? What alternate explanations might offer additional depth?
Critical thinking is really what is going to make your essay stand out. It shows the marker that you will be not simply repeating the arguments which were fed for you during your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner. A way that is good practice this can be to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will find that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique resulting in a gap for their own research.
Structure, flow while focusing
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 word of advice is always to “tell them what you’re planning to tell them, then tell them, and tell them what 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 make sure your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray through the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value to the argument you are presenting. When you are writing, it is advisable that you take one step as well as ask yourself “what value does this sentence/section add? How can it connect to my overarching argument?” If you find that you can’t answer that question, there clearly was a higher risk which you have strayed from your own core argument, and you will wish to reconsider the trail you are taking.
It’s also wise to make sure that all of the different areas of your essay fit together as a cohesive and whole that is logical and that the transition from one argument to another is fluid. Students often treat essays as lists of arguments, presenting one following the other with little consideration for how they fit together, which inevitably results in a lowered grade. Make sure to tell your reader why you might be transitioning from 1 argument to the next, why they’ve been in this order that is particular and exactly how each argument helps shed light on a particular facet 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 just how to search through a great deal of data is an essential skill that is academic. You need to begin by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a tool that is great this – using key words linked to your research topic. Once an article is found by you that sounds promising, go through the abstract to make sure that it’s relevant.
If you are still not one hundred percent sure, it is usually a smart idea to skip to your conclusion – this usually contains a detailed summary associated with study, best quality writing paper which can help see whether you really need to see the article all together. You don’t want to spend time reading through and endless number of articles simply to discover that they aren’t actually relevant. Once you’ve identified a couple of solid articles, you really need to (a) go through their bibliographies and take note of who they really are citing, since these articles is going to be of value for your research that is own (b) check on Google Scholar to see who has got cited them. To get this done, simply input the name of the article into the search bar and hit enter. When you look at the results, click “cited by” – this may return a listing of all the articles which have cited the publication you looked for.
It’s important that you don’t rely too heavily on one or a few texts, since this indicates into the marker that you haven’t engaged because of the wider literature. You ought to be particularly careful in using course books (i.e. “introduction to management” and the like), 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 in one source, indicates which you haven’t made yourself familiar 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 novel that is overarching that you yourself are making.