If you have an essay-writing tip of your own to share, feel free to leave it below in the comments.
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It’s worth checking through the words and phrases that people commonly get wrong just to be sure you’re not making any mistakes. Hopefully, you’re already editing your essays before handing them in – if not, definitely make that into a habit.
Don’t just look out for typos and spelling mistakes: think about areas where you haven’t made your thinking clear, or where you haven’t backed up a statement with a reference or fact.
(Be really careful here that you don’t end up accidentally using any of their ideas or phrasings as your own – that’s plagiarism and it’s a serious academic offence.
So if you take notes based on their essays, label those very clearly so you don’t later think that they’re part of your own work.) The rules about formatting essays – particularly things like footnotes and bibliographies – can seem rather arcane and confusing.
You might be totally different – perhaps you can concentrate really well between, say, 7pm and midnight – but what matters here is knowing yourself.
Figure out your best hours for writing and try to use them where possible.
With anything you write, though, you’ll find it much easier if you plan ahead – and I think this is especially true for essays, which generally need a strong structure that supports you in making a particular argument.
Depending on the length of your essay and how much you like to plan ahead, your plan might be a short list of bullet points and some ideas about key sources to reference – or it might be a detailed paragraph by paragraph outline.