How to Write a Successful Essay

How to Write a Successful Essay

Whatever you are studying, during your time at university you will be assessed through an essay. So it's important that you understand how to write an effective essay. Writing a high-scoring essay can be made easier using these tips;

1. Arguably the most important aspect of any essay is the referencing. It is crucial that you thoroughly research your topic question, find and include as many sources as you can. It is important that you gather a wide range of sources (books, articles, websites) that are reliable and not out-dated. This is so important as it shows the marker that you have done your research and also understand different points of views from a range of sources.

2. Make sure that you understand the question; A lot of students start writing an essay without having a full grasp of the essay question. Usually the question is not there to trip you up, however certain keywords place an emphasis on how the essay should be written, and this has to be understood. For example, does the question say discuss, explain, analyse, evaluate? All of these words mean different things and will help you decide how to approach the essay.

3. Understand how to write a strong introduction and conclusion; The start and end of your essay brings it all together, therefore is crucial. Your introduction should be balanced and introduce what you are going to be talking about, whereas your conclusion should provide an overview of the full essay, and importantly make sure that you ‘choose a side’ of the argument.

4. You should write a first draft then continuously look to make changes and improvements. You cannot expect to write a first draft that is perfect. An essay requires a rigorous process of reading and making changes, ensuring you produce an essay that is of a high standard. It is also smart to have somebody else look over your essay - ‘a fresh set of eyes’ may find some mistakes you may have missed yourself.

5. Writing an essay requires a lot of time; It is not smart to leave it until the last week to start writing an essay. You won’t have the necessary time to research and check over it to produce the best essay that you can. Plan your assessment schedule out and make enough time for your essay(s).

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