As a second year literature student, I am definitely no stranger to writing essays. It is an unescapable element of my course, whether this be through coursework or exam settings. Not that I’m complaining as I knew what I signed up for! haha. However university assignments, especially essays with large word counts can be really daunting and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start.
SO I thought I would mention my top tips for essays, although these work across the board for other written assignments too! As I study literature, some of this may be redundant if you’re studying say, the Sciences or Law but hope you can all take something helpful from this post anyway.
1.) Keep a record of all your primary and secondary material
There is nothing worse than writing a 2500 word essay and coming to the end and then having to compile your bibliography and complete references. Keeping a record as you go along is much easier and way less stressful when you come to the end of the assignment!
Now, I say this as a person who doesn’t usually like planning work out too much, most of the time I have a rough plan and when I’m writing my ideas flow and I produce exactly what I want. However not everyone benefits from a rough plan and some people need a strict map of their ideas, you know what works for you but I’d advise a plan of some sort, even if it’s a list of points you’d like to include or key topics, thinking ahead is key.
3.) Write a little each day
Tackling an essay headfirst is much harder than doing a couple hundred words each day. For example: if your word count is 2000 words, even if you do 300 words each day you can get it done in around a week. This way makes sure you do work on it each day to keep ideas fresh and allows extra time for proof reading and editing.
4.) Email lecturers/ teachers if you need help
There are certain times when no matter how hard you try, you just can’t wrap your head around a question or a tricky part of an essay, in these times your lecturers are so valuable. Shoot them an email and I’m sure they’ll be helpful in clarifying anything or perhaps schedule a meeting with them.
5.) Use reliable critical material / resources
This seems like an obvious one but it’s easy to fall into the trap of an unreliable internet source, make sure everything you use is from a credited source whether this be online or in a book. It will make your work better if you use an established critic for example as it will also be easier to access their work and quote it when necessary. Sites like JSTOR are great for finding this material.
Hope you found this post useful guys and let me know if you want more of these uni related posts as I really do enjoy writing them♡
Until next time,