A Go-To Guide to Researching, Writing and Referencing Your Essay

Step 1

Gathering Sources

Gathering sources for your essay can seem like a mammoth task in the digital age. Separating the reliable from the unreliable is not always easy. But, whether conducting a scientific survey or writing about a novel, it’s vital that you have a balanced and objective overview of what has come before.


Step 2

Making Good Research Notes

The next step in your research is, of course, making notes. This is an essential critical skill, as it will demonstrate your ability to deploy only the research notes that are relevant to your argument. Making good research notes is, in short, a test of your critical analysis skills. Having done the necessary groundwork in Chapter 1, it is also important to remember that it will be the quality and not quantity of your research notes that will ultimately score you higher marks.


Step 3

Planning Your Essay

Helping to plan your essay is a core part of our service. Careful planning separates good writers from great writers and means that your essay will have a structure which makes it deftly argued, but easy to follow at the same time. Essay planning is another skill which will show through in the final grade, as your argument will stand up to scrutiny. From writing a killer introduction, to a conclusion


Step 4

The Art of Re-Writing

The television writer Paul Abbott says “writing is re-writing”. In no other field is this more vital than in academic writing. Re-thinking, reshaping and re-drafting your essay is essential if your work is going to play to its strengths. Your argument will change, and you may of course have to go back and revisit Steps 1, 2 and 3.


Step 5

Footnoting and Writing Your Bibliography

Footnoting can often be the weak link in many people’s essays. If not done correctly, it can significantly weaken your grade and open up your essay to accusations of plagiarism. An important consideration here is to decide which style guide you are going to use. Different academic institutions and even faculties within the same institution will use different referencing systems, meaning that the formatting of footnotes and end-notes will be suitably different. Here are some handy links to some of the styles out there.