How to Write a Good Essay
Probably the most important thing you need to know in university is how to put together a good essay or assignment. In college, the grading of all essays, assignments, and theses is done in accordance with standard requirements, and yet year after year many students fail to understand what these requirements are. Indeed, it can be said that most undergraduates find that it takes them most of first-year – and beyond - just to get their heads around what takes to write a good essay. What does it take? Good written work depends on two main areas:
One is no good without the other. Format involves knowing how to present your work in a structured and organised manner, and in accordance with the demands required at this level. It also involves correct spelling, the use of correct grammar, correct punctuation, and correct referencing. Content involves not only showing that you understand the topic but also showing that you have something to say about the topic.
Firstly, before you take pen to paper, be sure that you absolutely clear about your topic, that you understand exactly what is requested of you. Secondly, make sure you answer what you have been asked: this includes also the overall format requirements from double spacing to the word count. You will be informed of these details by your college. Thirdly, whilst writing your essay, keep checking that what you are writing is relevant to the question: it is very easy to get carried away on a stream of thought that seems, at the time, to be most profound, only to discover later that you have strayed away completely from the real issue. This goes also for the exams! Remember that you can either agree or disagree with the line of the question: the main thing to show is that your answer is well argued, well structured, and well supported by evidence. Your essay should have an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. In simple terms it should...