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The Internet is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, which makes it tricky for students to find the advice they need when writing essays. So our academic experts have written the following tips for you really to utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark.

Understand the question

This may, during the face from it, seem like somewhat banal advice – but fact of the matter is that failing woefully to properly understand the question set is regarded as, if not the most common reason for a disappointing grade with regards to essay writing. Are you being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a particular circumstance? Evaluate the usefulness of a concept that is particular?

They are a few of the common phrases present in essay questions, and each indicates a set that is different of. If you’re asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, as an example, you have to gain a knowledge not only 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 arrived at a well-justified and conclusion that is confident. May be the theory good? Exactly what are its flaws? Just how can it be improved?

If you should be asked to gauge the usefulness of something, however, you don’t necessarily have to go into just as much critical depth. Yes, you really need to still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you really need to still note some strengths and weaknesses – nevertheless the majority of the job must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness. Possibly the approach that is best is to locate one, or a couple of, case studies where in fact the theory has been utilized – that which was the outcome with this? Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?

“Compare and that is contrast, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid for the above – you will need to take a crucial approach and measure the literature, however your focus has to remain solidly regarding the theories that you have already been asked to compare and contrast. It is essential to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a applied and theoretical level.

In essence, the wording regarding the essay question shall inform you how the essay should be written. It’s going to indicate where in fact the focus of one’s essay should lie as you write and research.

Plan and schedule

Understanding the question is the first step, but it is equally important that you make efficient use of the time that is available. Students often underestimate the level of work needed to write a beneficial essay, which leads to a few 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 aid that is useful

Step Deadline
Understand the question (Insert date)
Map the essay chapters (Insert date)
Collect articles (Insert date)
Read and take notes (Insert date)
Start writing (Insert date)
Finish draft that is firstInsert date)
Proofread (Insert date)
turn in (Insert date)

By setting deadlines on your own and committing to stick to them, you are making sure you won’t be left with way too much work prior to your hand-in date. It’s also essential that you leave time, ideally a few days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.

Be critical

Perfect theories and academic approaches are rare – the clear greater part of theories, arguments, and studies have flaws. Being descriptive is fine if you’re seeking to scrape a pass, but also for a greater grade you’ll want to show that you are able to leverage critical reasoning in your coping with academic materials. Exactly what are the limitations for the theories you are drawing on? How have these been dealt with when you look at the literature? How do they impact the grade of arguments presented, and to what extent do they limit our comprehension of what you’re studying? What alternate explanations might offer depth that is additional?

Critical thinking is what could make your essay get noticed. It shows the marker throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner that you are not simply repeating the arguments that have been fed to you. A way that is good practice this will be to cover careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will find that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique resulting in a gap with their own research.

Structure, focus and flow

The method that you present your argument ‘s almost as important whilst the argument itself, which explains why it is imperative that the essay follows a logical structure. A vintage word of advice is always to “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and tell them everything you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.

Having a definite and structure that is logical 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 to the argument you will be presenting. As you are writing, it is advisable that you take one step back and ask yourself “what value performs this sentence/section add? How can it connect to my overarching argument?” If you find which you can’t answer that question, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your own core argument, and you will like to reconsider the path you’re taking.

It’s also advisable to ensure that all of the different components of your essay fit together as a cohesive and whole that is logical and that the transition from a single argument to the next is fluid. Students often treat essays as lists of arguments, presenting one after the other with little consideration for the way they fit together, which inevitably contributes to a reduced grade. Be sure to inform your reader why you may be transitioning from one argument to the next, why these are typically in this order that is particular and just how each argument helps shed light on a particular element of what you are actually discussing.Writing may be the core task, but reading is equally important. You should conduct a broad search for relevant literature before you start writing your essay. Learning simple tips to search through a lot of data is an important academic skill. You need to begin by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key term pertaining to your quest topic. Once an article is found by you that sounds promising, read through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.

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 couple of solid articles, you really need to (a) proceed through their bibliographies and pay attention to who they are citing, as these articles is going to be of value for your own research; and (b) check on Google Scholar to see who has got cited them. To achieve this, simply input the name associated with the article within the search bar and hit enter. Within the results, click “cited by” – this will return a list of most of the articles that have cited the publication you searched for.

It’s important that you haven’t engaged with the wider literature that you don’t rely too heavily on one or a couple of texts, as this indicates to the marker. You should be particularly careful in making use of course books (in other words. “introduction to management” and so on), since these are essentially summaries of other people’s work.

Quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism

Academic writing requires a balance that is careful novel argument, and drawing on arguments presented by others. Writing a totally ‘novel’ essay, without drawing on a single source, indicates which you haven’t made yourself acquainted with what was already published; citing someone for almost any point made suggests that you haven’t produced a novel argument. As a result, it’s important that you provide evidence (a credible citation) whenever you are making a statement of fact, or drawing on arguments, frameworks, and theories presented by other academics. These, in turn, should offer the overarching novel argument that you yourself are making.


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