8 tips for writing the perfect essay

Uni essays are hard; you’ll soon find that A-Levels were pretty easy in comparison because you got a lot of help and support. Those days are over. Welcome to stress and crying in the library at 9 pm the day before a deadline.

1. Start early

If you leave it until the last minute you’re just asking for a low mark.

2. Do the reading!

Don’t just read a paragraph or the introduction of a couple of articles and think you suddenly know enough to write 2000 words on the subject. It takes hours of preparation and notes before you can even begin to start formulating an argument.

3. Leave it

If you finish a draft early, leave it for a couple of days to clear your mind and then return to it. You’ll be able to see your mistakes a lot clearer.

4. Print it out

Again, it’s easier to see any mistakes if it’s printed. You could also get someone else to read it – two pairs of eyes and all that.

5. Read it aloud

If you’ve used the wrong tense or put two commas in, you’ll be able to spot it if you can hear the words.

6. Check your referencing

There’s always that one professor who deducts marks for incorrect referencing. You don’t want putting a full stop in the wrong place to be the reason you didn’t get a first.

7. Don’t use overly fancy language

When you’re into the swing of things it’s easy to want to be flowery and sound intellectual, but you’re just making your point harder to read. Keep it simple and straightforward. Pretend you’re the marker – you don’t want to read an entire paragraph of a million syllables just to get to the point at the end.

8. Go to your professor’s office hours

They’ll give you some tips for writing and you can talk through your argument.

Stephanie Bennett

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