Monday, 26 January 2015

7 Tips For Writing Great Essays

You have most probably just walked out of a lecture and you've been given a task - write an essay on the economics of china's hotel economy, or Maslow's hierarchy of needs in Organizational learning. Chance are, you have just started your course or got through the last academic year producing Mediocre essays at best. Below are 7 tips to help you submit great essays.
1. Plan it well and start NOW
OK. I know you will have heard it a lot recently - you need to plan your time, but its true. You need to put aside time from your lectures and socializing with your friends (not to mention a few hours earning money in your job) to actually understand what you will be researching and writing in your essay. Starting straight after you get set the task will put you in a better position than starting a day before submission.
2. Establish clear direction and understanding
If you are wanting for people reading your essay to know that you are confident in writing essays and understanding your topic, then you yourself should be clear about what direction the essay is headed in. Oh, and it could be good if you establish a direction for your research, structure and argument - they're winning aspects of a great essay.
3. Your thoughts and research materials need to be organized
Just to make a clear point, you have to actually read and understand research materials - some students fail to notice that. If you organize these materials, by highlighting, alphabetical-Ising and ensuring you know which quote is where then you should be able to find information to address quickly and find opinionated arguments to support your flow of argument.
4. Learn from other writers
Are you confused about what or how to write? Then go take a look at other people's essays - how have they leaped you glued to their paper and managed to keep consistent in their writing style? Is it interesting to read or does the paper jump around from one position to the next? Have a word with your lecturers/professors and librarians to see other essays from the previous year - are you up to par with them?
5. Plagiarism is a NO, NO
If you are managing your research material right, then you should be keeping track of the references and quotations, don't pass your work off as someone else's as it just won't work - you will get caught. Your professor marking your essay is a professional and expert in the subject you are writing about - they will have read all the sources of the works you have written and know the style of certain authors. If you copy something from an author, and don't reference it, then they will spot it a mile off, just don't do it.
6. Draft a copy
Writing a first draft to check over your work is imperative, not only because you will probably re-write some bits because they don't make sense, but also because you will want to ensure you have got everything in. Miss out the introduction and conclusion at this point though, as you will want to make sure your essay body is done.
7. Presentation is everything
Being a genius and submitting something that is perfect is only seen in the movies. Being human means we can't notice mistakes in grammar, spelling and flow of argument all of the time - our brains simply don't let us. You may spell check your document, but do you have it proofread by another person? If not, then you are making a huge mistake - not only will your essay look poorly written, but the illogical flow of argument and bad sentence structure could me the difference of a few percentage in your mark. The result - it could be the difference between a 1st and a 2:1 to your final grade, or you missing out on a distinction on your masters, even because of a few mistakes in a couple of essays - they all add up.
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