Absolute length is of less importance than good essay structure and expression. It is important to take the first five minutes of your half-hour time limit to jot down a few key notes, organize your thinking, and devise the thesis sentence. I advise my students to think their essay through to the extent that they can compose a sentence of conclusion before they begin writing the actual essay. If you have a conclusion sentence prepared, you can then write until two minutes of the deadline. At this point, if you have not finished, add your previously-composed conclusion sentence to the end and spend the rest of the time checking for silly errors-- spelling, etc.
Quick Reply When you listen to a clear lecture, or read a clear book, you may feel you know the subject. Then, when someone asks you to explain it, you may feel you do not. The knowledge has not been internalised. It has not become your own. One of the best ways to take possession of knowledge for yourself is to write an essay about it. This will lead to intellectual development. The essay may get feedback from friends or a tutor. This will result in further intellectual development. Finally, essays are good practise for exams. So, all in all, there is probably nothing you do at University (academically) that is more important than essay writing.
Some suggestions for good essay writing:
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Develop your own essay writing strategy
Focus on the essay title
Do multiple drafts.
Do not pad. Try to ensure that everything you include is relevant to the essay title.
Include other opinions. Show that you have considered different sides to the question by discussing points of view that contradict your own.
Show what you have read.
Use technical terms correctly.
Fully reference what...