Essay writing can seem extremely daunting, especially if it’s been a long time since secondary school! Some students relish the challenge of writing essays because they offer a chance to exercise their academic research skills and construct stimulating arguments. Essays allow the student to demonstrate their level of knowledge, understanding and intellect in an imaginative way – provided you keep within the word count!
What are Essays Actually For?
No matter what the academic level of the student is, essays are designed to test many different skills:
- Knowledge – helping to consolidate what you’ve read and learned, and your ability to make sense of and clearly explain certain complex concepts and issues.
- If you can understand the question and produce a considered response.
- The ability to write a balanced and rational argument that considers a range of viewpoints.
- Essay’s showcase your level of written English skills.
- Time management – essays must be planned, prioritised and delivered to a high standard on time.
Before you Start Writing
One of the most important factors in essay writing is to start out with a clear idea in your mind of what you want to say in your essay and how you will structure your arguments. The simplest way to do this is to write an essay plan and from there, you can simply start typing your essay! Easier said than done, I know, but your essay should include an introduction, a series of paragraphs that develop an argument, and a conclusion that weighs up all of the evidence. It is important to establish who you are writing this essay for, what their marking criteria includes and exactly what they want form you in terms of an essay style.
Give a Balanced Argument…
Good essays give both sides of an argument, presenting information impartially and considering multiple points of view, in an attempt to provide the evidence comprehensively. Using connectives like; however, moreover, consequently, alternatively, it could be argued that, additionally etc., are all a great way to formulate sentences together and construct an argument.
…but remember your opinion matters too! Show that you can have a sensible opinion on the subject, weighing up all views and evidence. This shows that you have absorbed the knowledge you’ve learnt and are able to offer an independent opinion.
How many times have you typed “form” instead of “from”? That’s just one of a huge number of errors that spell check would simply miss. It’s always best to get someone you know with a relatively high level of English, be it your partner, parent or work colleague, to check your work several times before submission as your English should be impeccable. Clear and intelligent sentence structures, no erroneous apostrophes, no typos and no grammar crimes are difficult for seasoned writers to accomplish. If you are the only person to read it, you end up reading an essay so many times that in the end the sentence reads how you visualise it to, not necessarily how it actually reads aloud.
Keep an Eye on the Clock
The cliché of writing your essay last minute is all too common – if you want to be taken seriously in the essay writing field and you have time of course, then its best to prep as early as possible. Then you can write small chunks at a time, over a period of a few weeks, this will allow you to keep coming back to the essay with a refreshed perspective and a clear head. Not to mention it will reduce your stress levels a week before deadline day! You could write a finest essay, but if you deliver it late, it won’t be looked upon favourably! If you don’t have time to prepare your essay as it is an online or timed essay then its best to practise, and keep practising. If you are unsure what format your exam is going to be taken in then always double check, it may not necessarily be paper based! If that is the case, then it may be a good idea to brush up on your typing speed before you sit the exam.
Depending upon the course, level and subject you’ve chosen will mean the rewards will be entirely different! Whether you are doing the course in order to attain a new role, progress further within your existing company or just for fun. If you are doing a course for work then make sure you let your boss know, you never know they might even present you with an engraved glass award in recognition of your hard work at the next work event! Good luck!