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It is worth attending to all of the suggestions and comments you receive, and trying to act on them.Common criticism given to students is that their essay: These elements will be used to give a broad overall structure to this Study Guide.
It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly. In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding.
It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title; asking yourself questions such as: What structure should I use? So, don’t feel you have to make that decision in your head before you write anything.
So don’t be afraid of writing down your ideas before they are fully formed, or in the ‘right’ order.
Writing is an active and constructive process; it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts.
Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process: the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become. The structure may be strong and clear, or it may be unobtrusive and minimal but, in a good essay, it will be there.
Underpinning the structure will be the ‘argument’ your essay is making.
As a tutor has said (Creme and Lea, 1997 p41): ‘When my students ask me about essay writing, there are three main pieces of advice that I give them. The Mini Guide: Essay terms explained, and Questions to ask about interpreting essay titles may be useful.
To start you off, and to minimise the likelihood of writer’s block, a useful exercise is to do a ‘brainstorm’ of all your ideas in connection with the essay title. It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.
It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions.
The first words you write do not have to be part of the final version.