Published on June 3rd, 2015 | by Sarah Jubb
Tips For The Perfect Essay
Last week we gave some useful tips to help with studying for exams and this week we’re focusing on giving some helpful advice on essay writing. Essays are written at all levels of education, but the most common area are those all important university essays that require plenty of time to research, structure and write. So here at the Post Office Shop we’ve compiled a list of the best advice to ensure you produce the best essay you can.
Now this tip is only helpful if you have already written an essay, but it can be useful advice for newcomers going forward. Completed and marked essays are usually returned with valuable feedback from the marker, pointing out the good areas of what you’ve written along with what needs to be worked on. Once you have the feedback and you’ve read through it, pick up a pen and write the important comments into a notebook, it will help you to write a better essay in the future and gain higher marks.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of writing an essay is before you even begin to draft the content. Planning is crucial to ensure that you gather the correct information and make reference to appropriate resources to ensure that you understand what you are going to be writing about. A good way to do this is to take your chosen topic title and simply brainstorm around it such as creating two or three key points that you want to emphasise. Then find key facts that back up these arguments so that you have the basis of your paper. By doing this you can be sure that you will understand the question and what you are answering instead of rushing straight in. This can be done either in a notebook or by using Post-it notes on a wall for easy viewing.
Particularly in university, research is incredibly important for essay writing. For many UK universities, students may be expected to find their own resources such as books and academic journals. They are important to ensure that you have the necessary academic arguments to back up any points you make. If you find any relevant information, make sure to jot down the page number into a notepad or alternatively use some index tabs to mark the page so you do not lose any information that can help! The planning you will have done should help to guide your research, ensuring that you are not wasting time reading something that is not relevant.
Once you have written your essay, the most important thing to do is to read over what you have written. For longer essays, this may seem very time consuming and tedious, but it is crucial to catch any spelling or grammar mistakes. Print out your essay on some paper to proof-read it, highlighting any mistakes that you find. As well as catching grammatical mistakes, it will also help you to ensure that your essay makes sense when read and that all of your paragraphs are relevant to the question being asked. Now is also a good time to ensure that you are implementing any feedback you have been given.
- Use Your Time Wisely
Writing an essay should not be something that is done quickly, this is a sure fire way to make unnecessary mistakes. Use a wall planner or organiser to plan out plenty of time for your essay, ideally over two days so that you can come back to it fresh the next day. Take your time while writing and try to avoid any distractions by going somewhere quiet, as an essay will be easier to write if you’re 100% focused. Perhaps the most important thing about time keeping is not to leave the essay till the last minute! Plan and write your essay in advance of the deadline so you have plenty of time to check it over and hand in the perfect essay.