Top 5 Tips | Essay Writing

June 21, 2019

This year, I’ve had to write more essays than study for actual exams – the perks of studying a masters. I feel that essay writing is a completely different process for each individual but when I did a Q & A on Instagram about studying at Uni, one of the most requested answers were my essay writing routine – so today I’m sharing with you my top 5 tips in order to make sure that essay is a good’un!

1 – Always start by reading an article or a book: I find that the most important thing about writing an essay is understanding. You can’t write an essay if you don’t know what you’re talking about, your structure won’t feel right and you’ll have no understanding of what the outcome will be. Start by finding a good scientific source for your essay – most of the time you will have received a reading list from your tutor and it’s there for a reason.
2 – Carry out your research and do more reading: writing an essay is a process, primarily which shouldn’t be done over night. Your research will then help you shape your essay into its final form. Every University has its own Legal Database and you can access everything on there – you can even use Google Scholar.
3 – Write down notes: I always say to read a piece of information first before writing anything down. This way, the second time you read it you know what is useful information and was is just jargon. Having notes won’t feel so daunting for when you start writing your essay.
4 – Make sure you have a clear structure for your essay: This is the most important part of your essay – having a well structured essay will most probably be the result of you getting a high mark. If an essay has bad structure, this will reflect in the marks. The most important thing about the essay is that the conclusion should answer the research question or hypothesis.
5 – Plan and write: Once you’ve carried out all of your research and feel you have enough information, it’ll be time to sit down and write. If you’re an organised person or quite strict with your time then you should definitely have enough time to write it. One of the best tips I have carried throughout this year is setting myself a word-count for the day, over a set number of days. This helps to keep me motivated and gives me a realistic time frame of how I can write my essay. Always make sure you have a day or two before deadline so you can re-read, re-draft or tweak things. You’ll be surprised at how many errors you can make – fresh eyes are the best for spotting this.
As I’m currently writing my Masters Dissertation, I find all of these points really helpful. It helps me keep organised, have realistic targets, and helps to reduce the stress. One of the hardest things about writing an essay is being stressed or having writers block, if this happens then don’t be too harsh on yourself – you need to remember that one missed day won’t impact you badly if you’re well organised. Sometimes taking a break from something helps you feel more motivated and helps you to see things from a different perspective. Is there anything that you find really helps you when you’re essay writing?

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