Whether you are writing an essay on Chaucer’s influence on literature; the impact of the industrial revolution; or the life cycle of a plant, you want to ensure that you get the most pertinent information across in the most fluent way. There are several aspects of the essay writing process that should be adhered to if you want to make it something to be proud of. Here are our personal recommendations on how to write a first class essay.
Make sure you know the topic you are writing on inside out. It doesn’t matter how much you plan or how well executed your argument might be; if you don’t know your subject matter, your essay will be amateur at best. Read voraciously around the topic, and make it routine to take notes of salient points.
It is very important to plan your work. There is no greater guarantee of failure than putting pen to paper without thinking about exactly what you are going to write. Write a plan that is a clear map of what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it. For each paragraph, you should write two or three bullet points. To ensure the production of a first class essay, you should include evidence for every point. That evidence could take the form of statistics or direct quotations from important sources. Put all your evidence into your plan, so that every point you raise is clearly relevant and gives strength to your argument.
When you’re writing your essay, do it in a quiet space that is free from distractions. Avoid playing music or having the television on, you need space to think. Make sure you have had enough sleep and eaten well, as this can directly impact on your performance. Use your plan as you write. If you are finding it especially difficult to get started, write a starter sentence for each paragraph before you get stuck in. This should help you to develop a writing ‘flow’ that should see you through to the end.
When you have finished your essay, re read it, circling or underlining phrases, words or sentences that you deem not quite right, or not in fitting with the tone of the piece. Re write those parts, then go through the process again. Check for spelling and grammar errors with a fine tooth comb. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if your essay is written in a way that is hard to read and understand. If you find it difficult to see errors like this, ask a friend or family member to help. The best essay writers, and indeed writers of any other medium, will draft and redraft until their work is perfect. Draft, re draft, and draft again: the importance of this cannot be underestimated.
Writing a first class essay can often seem like an extremely daunting task. However, thorough research and careful planning is half the battle. If you’re not a natural writer, it might help to have a look at essays written by your contemporaries for a bit of inspiration. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time, and remember, there is no such thing as undertaking too many drafts in the quest for perfection!