ESSAY ADVICE

16:47

For those of you at university or college this can be a really tough time of year. As we get closer to the inevitable deadlines and exams it can be easy to lose focus and for panic to set in. I know this feeling all too well and so I have put together a list of hints and tips which, hopefully, will help you the same way they help me.





1. START IN ADVANCE
Although at first the deadline sounds like you have plenty of time it is always good to get ahead of the game. This allows you to have enough time to concentrate more on your writing instead of panicking about the amount of time you have left.



2. PRE READ
Pre-reading makes it so much easier for starting an essay. It means I am far more aware of the topic and what kind of arguments I might need to present.



3.CHOOSE QUESTION EARLY
If you need to choose out of a choice of essay questions it usually means that it is on a first come first serve basis. The essay title can be so important to how well you do and so getting the right question can make all the difference.



4. PLAN PLAN PLAN
If you come up with a plan before you begin writing it usually makes it easier to get started. The plan doesn't need to be any great detail, it could just even be the subheadings of your sections and you then can go on to fill in the gaps.


6. PROOF READ AS YOU GO
As well as that final proof read at the end of your essay, if you proof read as you go along it is much easier to spot any mistakes, especially words that aren't going to show up when you spell and grammar check.  Proof reading as you go also means you can check back to see if sentences are constructed correctly and that they make sense.


7. REFER TO YOUR NOTES
You sat through all of those lectures for a reason!


8. USE MANY REFERENCES AS YOU CAN - GET TO THE LIBRARY FIRST
If you're like me and you go to a small university this usually also means they have a small library with a limited amount of resources. Whilst many of the books are available electronically and there are literally thousands of journals online using the site JSTOR, sometimes it is easier to read holding the physical book.


9. CONSISTENCY
Be consistent in your writing style and don't use words which are quite clearly outside of your usual vocabulary. The most important thing to be consistent with is your referencing - choose your style and stick to it. I use the Harvard Referencing system and there are many guides available to help you with this.


I really hope this helps and I wish you all the luck in the world with your exams and essays! If you are still struggling do not be afraid to ask for help from your lecturers or your campus guidance team, it is what they are there for. Hopefully I can translate my own advice and get myself the grades I want!


See you soon,


Beth x

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