Well as we proceed through January, for us Students it means only thing… EXAMS (CUE: Scream of Horror) and ASSIGNMENTS. Anyway, this post is Assignment-Focused on one of those Assignments we ALL JUST HATE….. THE ESSAY. As a Masters Student, I can tell you writing essays doesn’t get any easier, although when were they ever easy to begin with. Nothing worse than that struggle to get your ideas together and fill that NEVER-ENDING Word Count. So as a “Veteran” of Essay Writing Let me provide you with a few tips I hope you will find helpful
It is vitally important that you plan out your essay from the Introduction to the conclusion. Plan out what you will discuss in Introduction, essay body and conclusion. Make notes and outline what way your discussion will play out and how your points illustrate your argument and when it comes to that darn word limit you will have plenty to write about if you have an idea of where you are going. Your sanity will Thank You in the end SO make a detailed plan and you will know you are making progress
2. FIND GOOD REFERENCES
Use Jstor, Google Scholar and any other academic journal databases you can find to find articles, writings and other sources that may contain material relevant to your topic. If you find an article that relates to what you are writing about then you can bring in a quote to strengthen your argument/point of view. References AS LONG AS YOU CITE WHERE YOU GOT THEM AND WHO WROTE THEM can be a blessing and again help you in your writing and there can be occasions where you find a new train of thought or a new idea to discuss. Just remember to cite and reference where you found the material, nobody wants to be done for plagiarism.
3. CRITICAL THINKING
Whether Under-Grad or Post-Grad we all have to think critically in our essays as otherwise, our work would be a load of waffle and waffling doesn’t work (unless you write Fake News). Critical thinking is all about looking at your chosen topic and possibly other ways you can interpret it or other arguments can bring in. For example I have just finished an Essay on LGBT Advertising and I have a section where I compare LGBT Adverts from the 90’s/Early 2000s to Today’s Adverts and looked at how they have changed in terms of how the LGBT community is perceived, viewed and how big brands are promoting the LGBT community and pride events. You don’t have to against your argument but find an angle you can analyze or contrast with what you are saying.
4. KEEP AN EYE ON SPELLING AND GRAMMAR
When we are trying to meet a deadline we will type like mad to get the work done and sometimes we have the tenacity to misspell a word or not put grammatical icons in the right places i.e. comma. So as you go along make sure to check everything and ensure there are no mistakes. Most colleges/lecturers deduct vital marks for bad grammar and after all, every mark counts so just an eye on things. It can be quite easy to spell a word wrong when you are constantly typing, I have done it a fair few times myself. Make sure to have Spelling and Grammar check, of course, depending on what platform you are writing the essay on.
5. BACK IT UP!!!!!!!!!!
When you finish for the day MAKE SURE to back up your work. Save it on a USB pen or a few, Email it yourself or family members. Technology has the potential to fail us now and again and you don’t want to be left broken-hearted if your laptop unexpectedly breaks down and you only had one copy SO BACK IT UP AS YOU GO ALONG
Above All, remember to relax as you go along, take breaks in between writing for a coffee or catch up with friends to clear your mind. At the end of the day put the books away, relax, watch a Movie or a Netflix Show. You need to take time out to relax your brain and come back in the morning with a clear head. Plus always ensure you get a good nights sleep as you feel very refreshed the next day.
Thanks for reading this post and hopefully it will help you in thinking about future or current essays.
STAY TUNED for my next post on tips to help with Exams.