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Five tips to essay success

By Emily Wilkinson

We all know essays can be stressful and none of us really like them, but for the next three or four years, your time at university will be filled with them. However, if you follow these tips the whole process should be bearable, and you should come out with success and a solid grade.

1. UNDERSTAND – Ensure you know what the question is asking you so you are able to answer it to your full ability. Refer back to the previous point and research all avenues of your question to full extent to get the full potential out of your answer. If anything is unclear, don’t feel uncomfortable about asking your tutor for more information. That’s what they are paid to do.

2. PLAN – Planning is key to a successful essay. Before even beginning to write out your essay, it’s beneficial to write out a structure of what you want to say. That way, when it comes to writing it, everything can go smoothly.

3. ORGANISE – Make sure you plan out the timings for your essay. You will know your deadline well in advance so work backwards from that date. Plan when you want your first draft completed and set yourself deadlines for each element of your essay. It’s always best if you leave yourself enough time to leave it for a few days, then look it over and make any changes before submission.

Keep due dates in check to stay organised. Photo by Eric Rothermel.

4. RESEARCH – Knowing your topic is key to a successful essay. Research the question and know what you’re talking about, then you’ll be able to reel off the essay in no time. Make sure you have enough sources and that you reference them correctly, and cite them in your bibliography. And remember that copying and pasting – even if you cite the source – is still plagiarism, unless you put the material quoted in quotation marks.

5. RESOURCES – Use all the resources that you possibly can. London Met has a vast library and mentors as well as academic tutors, make sure you put them all to full use. Of course, the internet is also at your peril too, a useful tool that will never let you down – if you know how to use it correctly.

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