This Study Guide addresses the topic of essay writing.
The essay is used as a form of assessment in many academic disciplines, and is used in both coursework and exams. Thought mapping; Referencing and bibliographies; Avoiding plagiarism; The art of editing.
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.
Producing incisive and clear written work within a word limit is an important skill in itself, which will be useful in many aspects of life beyond university.
Good, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing.
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.
If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time.
Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways: While a certain level of efficiency is desirable, it is also important to remain flexible enough to identify relevant and interesting ideas that you had not anticipated.