The web is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, making it tricky for students to find the advice they need when writing essays. So our academic experts have written the following suggestions to help you utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark.
Comprehend the question
This could, during the face from it, appear to be somewhat banal advice – but simple fact is the fact that failing to properly understand the question set is one of, if you don’t the most frequent reason for a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. Are you being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a particular circumstance? Assess the usefulness of a particular concept?
These are a few of the common phrases present in essay questions, and every indicates a different pair of expectations. If you’re asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, by way of example, you must gain a knowledge not merely of said theory, but additionally other common approaches. They must all be weighed against one another, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each and every theory and, importantly, you need to arrive at a well-justified and conclusion that is confident. May be the theory good? What exactly are its flaws? How can it is 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 really need to still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you should still note some strengths and weaknesses – nevertheless the almost all the task must emphasise the concepts usefulness that is practical. Probably the best approach is to locate one, or a few, case studies where in fact the theory has been utilized – what was the end result of this? Does the application of the theory reveal any shortcomings that are particular or strengths?
“Compare and contrast” essays, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid associated with the above – you’ll want to take a critical approach and evaluate the literature, however your focus has to remain solidly regarding the theories that you have been asked to online help for writing papers compare and contrast. It’s important to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a applied and theoretical level.
In essence, the wording for the essay question shall inform you the way the essay ought to be written. It’s going to indicate where in actuality the focus of one’s essay should lie while you research and write.
Plan and schedule
Understanding the real question is the first step, but it is incredibly important which you make efficient use of the time that is available. Students often underestimate the amount of work needed to write a good essay, which leads to two things: (1) late nights in the library, and (2) a disappointing grade. You should start planning your essay the moment you receive the essay question if you want to achieve a good mark. The next table might be a useful aid:
|Understand the question
|Map the essay chapters
|Read and take notes
|Finish first draft
By setting deadlines on your own and committing to stay for them, you might be making sure you won’t be left with an excessive amount of work prior to your hand-in date. Additionally it is important that you leave time, ideally a short time, between finishing your draft that is first and.
Perfect theories and academic approaches are rare – the clear most of theories, arguments, and studies have flaws. Being descriptive is okay that you are able to leverage critical reasoning in your dealing with academic materials if you are looking to scrape a pass, but for a higher grade you need to show. Which are the limitations associated with the theories you may be drawing on? How have these been dealt with in the literature? Just how do they impact the quality of arguments presented, and also to what extent do they limit our knowledge of what you are actually studying? What alternate explanations might offer depth that is additional?
Critical thinking is exactly what is going to make your essay be noticeable. It shows the marker you are not merely repeating the arguments which have been fed for your requirements through your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner. A good option to practice that is to cover careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique ultimately causing a gap for their own research.
Structure, flow and concentrate
The way you present your argument is nearly as important due to the fact argument itself, which explains why it is imperative that the essay follows a logical structure. A vintage piece of advice is to “tell them what you’re planning to tell them, then tell them, and inform them what you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of the essay.
Having a definite and logical structure will help make sure that your essay stays focused, and does not stray from the question being answered. Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value into the argument you might be presenting. When you are writing, it is good to take a step back and ask yourself “what value performs this sentence/section add? How exactly does it url to my overarching argument?” That you can’t answer that question, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your core argument, and you may want to reconsider the path you are taking if you find.
It’s also advisable to make sure that all of the different components of your essay fit together as a cohesive and logical whole, and therefore the transition from one argument to another is fluid. Students often treat essays as lists of arguments, presenting one after the other with little consideration for how they fit together, which inevitably contributes to a diminished grade. Make sure to tell your reader why you are transitioning from a single argument to a higher, why these are generally in this order that is particular and just how each argument helps shed light on a specific aspect of what you are discussing.
Whether you should read the article as a whole if you are still not a hundred percent sure, it is usually a good idea to skip to the conclusion – this usually contains a detailed summary of the study, which will help determine. You don’t want to waste time reading through and endless wide range of articles merely to realize that they aren’t actually relevant. Once you have identified a few solid articles, you need to (a) proceed through their bibliographies and take note of who they really are citing, since these articles will probably be of value for the research that is own (b) check on Google Scholar to see who may have cited them. To get this done, simply input the name regarding the article in the search bar and hit enter. Within the total results, click “cited by” – this can return a summary of all the articles which have cited the publication you searched for.
It’s important that you don’t rely too heavily on a single or a couple of texts, as this indicates towards the marker which you haven’t engaged using the wider literature. You need to be particularly careful in making use of course books (i.e. “introduction to management” and the like), since these are essentially summaries of other people’s work.
Quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism
Academic writing requires a careful balance between novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing an entirely ‘novel’ essay, without drawing on a single source, indicates which you haven’t produced a novel argument that you haven’t made yourself familiar with what has already been published; citing someone for every point made suggests. As a result, it’s important 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 overarching novel argument that you yourself are making.