Essay writing ALWAYS feels like a chore.

I bet you’re like me, and I bet you always leave your essay writing until the last minute, despite the fact you’ve spent the last month doing nothing but watching bad TV and chatting to friends on Facebook?  Even important essays can’t get in the way of those trashy TV shows!

This guide aims to strip away the last minute angst by giving you 5 ultimate tips for writing essays (and getting a good grade in the process!)

So, if you’re struggling to get started, feeling baffled by the books or just in need of inspiration these tips will really help you!

Tip #1 – Choose an unusual topic

Rather than picking the most obvious topic, choose something a little ‘out there.’

Think of a topic that your peers aren’t researching and that your lecturer will find both refreshing and engaging.  Remember, don’t choose anything too quirky and ensure that your writing makes sense.  For example, don’t disagree with a whole body of research just to be quirky.

Choose an unusual topic and you’ll feel more motivated towards your research, unlike a standard boring topic, which wouldn’t be any fun to study and will end up dragging on for months.

Tip #2 – Plan your essay before diving in

Now you’ve selected a topic, write a plan and stick to it!  Try and put dates/times next to your plan too, so you know exactly what work you need to do and when for.

Remember, plan in FUN events around your essay writing to segment the day.  (Though, of course, this works better if you PLAN EARLY and leave enough time before your deadline!)

Tip #3 – Conducting research, finding references

Look through your key texts and note down any books that have been quoted.  Next, get these books out of your library and investigate them.  Keep going until you have a large list of references to read.

Also, try looking through academic websites and essay databases for references cited within the body of the essay, and research these too.

Great research tools:

• Google Books contains over 10 million scanned publications, which you can search, read and save for free.

• Google Scholar searches through articles, full-text journals, technical reports, theses, books and other scholarly documents for any key word you input.  You can also search for specific documents and see what other works they’ve been cited in.

• Scribd is a PDF sharing site, which many lecturers upload their notes to.  If you search here you may find information from another lecturer’s notes, which you can go off and research for yourself.

• iTunes U distributes content directly from universities that participate in the site.  You can find lectures, conferences, audio books and videos on practically any subject imaginable.  They come directly from the universities (US, UK and worldwide) AND they’re totally free to download.

Tip #4 – Organisation is key!

Keep your notes organised and don’t assume you’ll remember what you meant when you come to read your notes ‘down the line.’  Because I assure you, you won’t.  You’ll end up getting the book out of the library again and spending time re-reading the section you’re confused about!  What a waste!

Remember:  Highlight key points, make thorough (but not exhaustive) notes and keep them organised with a neat filing system, for ease of retrieval later on!

Tip # 5 – It’s all about style:

If you feel your writing isn’t ‘academic enough’ grab some well written essays (from the Internet or from your library) and read them though.  Get a feel for the tone, style and words used within the piece.  The more you immerse yourself in well written work, the better your writing style will become and you’re more likely to get a better grade too.

About the Author: Archie Grey is guest writer with expertise in essay writing. She currently helps people write and improve their essays at UK

2 comments on “How to write an amazing essay: 5 tips

  • When writing about a topic related to education, please learn to spell correctly. The word “organization” is spelled with a ‘z’ not an ‘s’.

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