Students often underestimate the amount of work required to write a good essay, which results in two things: (1) late nights at the library, and (2) a disappointing grade.
If you want to achieve a good mark, you should start planning your essay the moment you receive the essay question.
The following table may be a useful aid: By setting deadlines for yourself and committing to stick to them, you are ensuring that you won’t be left with too much work right before your hand-in date.
It is also important that you leave time, ideally a couple of days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.
A good way to practice this is to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap for their own research.
How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure.most common reason behind a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. If you are asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, for instance, you have to gain an understanding not only of said theory, but also other common approaches. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you should still note some strengths and weaknesses – but the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness.Are you being asked to critically evaluate something? They must all be weighed against each other, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theory and, importantly, you must come to a well-justified and confident conclusion. Perhaps the best approach is to find one, or a few, case studies where the theory has been used – what was the outcome of this?In the results, click “cited by” – this will return a list of all of the articles that have cited the publication you searched for.It’s important that you don’t rely too heavily on one or a couple of texts, as this indicates to the marker that you haven’t engaged with the wider literature.You should start by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key words related to your research topic.Once you find an article that sounds promising, read through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.A classic piece of advice is to “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and tell them what you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.Having a clear and logical structure will help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray from the question being answered.It is important to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a theoretical and applied level.In essence, the wording of the essay question will tell you how the essay should be written.