Articles under 'Life at University':
You will be given substantial work which includes writing essays and assignments. You may be familiar with essay writing from high school, but a few tips will certainly help, especially in a new environment.
Make use of the library and databases
Library staff can offer a lot more help than you’d think. They can help you find what you need very quickly, providing you with more precious time to read through the material. Online databases are another useful tool, with many focusing on a certain field or topic of study.
Read task sheets and assessment criteria
Task sheets and assessment criteria will tell you exactly what the lecturer wants you to cover. They outline the criteria that your work will be marked against. When you have completed your essay, it is always prudent to check that you have met all the requirements.
Plan your essay to the word limit
The word limit for your assignment indicates how broad or narrow your tutor would like your discussion on the topic to be. If the word limit is quite low, then focus on a particular case study, person or issue, rather than giving a broad outline of the whole topic.
Present an argument
If you can’t summarise the main theme or argument of your essay in a single sentence then you need to rethink and focus your essay around a main theme or argument. Structure your essay around this. Each new piece of information you introduce should link back to and help elaborate on your main argument.
Check your references
Any idea that isn’t your own should be referenced to acknowledge the original writer and contributor. It is important that you use the correct style of referencing and that it is consistent throughout your essay. It is easier to reference as you go, rather than trying to find and write up all your references at the end.
Stick to a simple format In general, an essay should consist of the following elements:
- Introduction: The introduction should present the main theme or argument or main theme of your essay and explain how you will expand or explore this argument.
- Body paragraphs: Each body paragraph should present an argument, provide evidence to back it up and relate back to the main theme of the essay. The body paragraphs is the place where you introduce a specific evidence, examples and academic references, which should point towards what you’ve stated in the introduction.
- Conclusion: A conclusion brings together everything you have described in the body paragraphs in one clear final statement. Your conclusion should complement your introduction