It’s Halloween and deadlines are coming up – so much scarier than and werewolves or vampires I would say. Writing an essay is not easy business; it takes time, effort and can often lead to you questioning your existence. Or that could just be me.
As someone who spent the last year writing essays for university, and is in the process of writing two more, I thought I would share a few of my top tips for those who may be struggling or just interested.
1) Start early. This has been said thousands of times, for countless things, not just essay writing. But it is so true. Starting early means less stress and more time. You can make sure that it is up to a standard you are proud of and when you’re done and everyone else is still struggling over theirs, it’s a good feeling.
2) Break out the Flashcards and Highlighters. If you don’t quite know how to structure and essay, using flashcards and highlights can help considerably. By writing each point, or even each bit of information, on a flashcard, you have the freedom to visually restructure your essay with relative easy. All you need to do is move around the flashcards. Highlight them helps makes each relevant point show up more clearly as well.
3) Go beyond the set reading. If you are writing an essay, and references have been given, a way to increase your marks is to go beyond that reading. It shows you are interested and makes your writing more credible, as well as more interesting for the marker. To do this you can search in libraries or online for the relevant topic. But you can also follow the references in the set reading to find more specific articles and go more in-depth.
4) Edit against the mark-scheme. If you have a mark-scheme for the essay available, use it. Check your essay for each point in turn. Though it may sound tedious, it can make your essay stand out from the others, and it makes the marker’s life easier. By editing your work to suit the scheme, you are ensuring that it includes everything it needs to get top marks, thus allowing you to relax.
5) Reward yourself. Bribery, I’ve found, is one of the best ways to encourage work. I am a procrastinator. A big one. So in order to motivate myself, I go out and buy treats. This can also be done without using any money, such as allowing yourself to watch a certain movie if you get so much done, but food works best for me. I have small rewards for each section completed (such as introduction), and then a cheesecake for when I hand the essay in.
Those are five of my top tips for writing essays for university, though they could also be applied to other bits of work and levels of education as well. I hope they helped, or were reasonably interesting to read. Until next time. Happy Halloween!