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Plagiarism search The perfect guide to writing an essay

The internet has an abundance of help when it comes to essay writing, but not all of it is accurate and written by professionals. With this in mind, our team of qualified experts have decided to come up with a few tips to ensure you are getting the right help.

Fully understand the topic and question

Although this might sound like an extremely obvious piece of advice, the reason why we decided to start with this is that it’s the most common mistake made by students writing an essay.

Have you been asked to compare and contrast, or critical evaluate something?

Or are you going to analyse a certain circumstance?

These are some of the most common types of approaches you’ll be asked to take when writing an essay. If, for example, you were asked to critically evaluate a theoretical approach, you’d have to achieve an understanding not only of that particular theory, but of other common approaches. You would then be expected to weigh these theories against each other and also highlight the strengths and weaknesses.

In the end, you should come to a justified and positive conclusion. Was the theory good? Where there any flaws or mistakes? Is there any room for improvements?

If you have any doubts about the understanding of the essay topic, you should always go to your tutor for help. Writing an essay without a good understanding of the topic will only end with a low grade.

You can find a guide to each type of essay here.

Plan your time

Now that you have a good grasp of how you’re going to approach the essay, the next vital step is to consider and plan the amount of time you have before your deadline lands. There is no time like the present and putting it off and assuming you can nail it at the last minute is a poor choice to make.

A huge factor involved in attaining a less than average grade is often down to poor time management, and writing an essay in a last minute rush is guaranteed to lower your grade when comparing it to an essay written well before the deadline.

Why wait? Why put it off? The second you are given an essay to write you should begin straight away, even if you are brainstorming, writing a draft, or just conducting some initial research.

There is nothing to be gained by letting the days slip by whilst the deadline gets closer and closer. The less time you have, the more likely you’re going to cut corners and give yourself a higher chance of writing below your achievable level. Every student that rushes an essay to meet the deadline will have regrets, so why let it get to that stage when you can get cracking right away!

A great way to manage your time is to create a list of things you want to do on certain days. Having a list of steps on your calendar will ensure you get ahead and give yourself adequate time. Even if you stray slightly from your plan, you will still be in a much better position than having no plan.

Structure and focus

How your essay presents the argument is just as important as the actual argument itself, which is why it is vital that your work conforms to a logical structure and flow. Your essay should have an introduction, main body and conclusion – essentially informing the reader that:

a. Tell them what you’re about to write about

b. Then write about it

c. And then tell them what you told them

Having this clear and focused structure will ensure your essay flows perfectly, and sticks to the core matter of answering the question. Another great tip is to remember that every word and sentence you write on your essay should add value to your argument. When writing an essay it can be very easy to stray from the topic at hand, so don’t be afraid to take a step back and check over what you’ve written. If it begins to steer away from the argument, then it may need to be removed and brought back in line with your title.

Finally, make sure that each line, paragraph and section of your essay flows naturally and is relevant to the overall argument. Be careful not to go off on tangents and instead you should ensure that everything stays relevant and connects to each other.

ps. Don't forget to use a decent plagiarism checker!

Writing essays

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About the Author:

Doctor Jan

Doctor Jan is a Ph.D. qualified university lecturer at a leading UK university with over 30 years experience in Higher Education.