A good university essay is something that is quite elusive and like the perfect victoria sponge cake, some of us will mix all the ingredients together and produce a flop, whereas others will produce something worthy of the chef’s approval.
We all know the ingredients of a good essay – analysis, theory, good structure, clarity, focus and originality, but how can we be sure to mix all this together and get that ‘first’ we so desperately want? There are no conclusive answers, but here are a few tips that are useful rules of thumb.
What Target to Set?
Some students think that they need to spend a certain number of hours reading in the library before they can complete an essay. Others might feel that a certain number of sources need to be consulted, or photocopied. Generally, this is not a good rule of thumb, because there is a big difference between activity and productivity and not all activity is productive. It is better to set yourself the goal of thoroughly understanding the material you are writing about and meticulously planning what points to include in the essay. If you are not sure of something, it is sometimes better to speak to an experienced colleague, or your lecturer or supervisor, rather than to carry on and hope that all will work out in the end. Sometimes you just need some constructive feedback to help you focus your thoughts and research, and you won’t get this from a book, or a research paper.
An Essay Plan
Many suggest that you should create an essay plan before you embark on writing the essay, and while a plan is not essential for the perfect essay, one can help to marshal and organise your thoughts. Some students make the mistake of using the actual process of writing the essay as a starting point for the planning process, but many find that this approach makes it easy to become muddled, or to simply write a “descriptive” essay that is just a re-hash of what other people think. Another potential pitfall is a lack of balance in the essay and spending too much time arguing from one point of view. When writing an essay you should try to keep your analysis as balanced, fair and impartial as you can!
Great essay plans can save you a lot of work in future, as they will guide you through the process when you actually sit down to write your essay. Oxbridge Essays are a great option if you’re struggling to solidify your concept and put it in writing. Their academic writers have years of experience and will always be able to help out whatever your topic or subject.
It’s Only an Essay so don’t be Disappointed!
A final remark on the whole process of writing essays is to remember that an essay is just an essay, and failing to write a good essay is something that shouldn’t get you too down in the mouth.
Some exemplary essay writers go on to make the worst employees, and some of the smartest, most inspirational people in the world never even completed a college education – Steve Jobs is the perfect example. He dropped out of college, and went on to become mega rich. Richard Branson is another example – mega rich and not an essay in sight!
Not everyone was meant to write essays and if you are not good at it, it just means you have yet to find your work passion, so keep looking until you find what that may be!