My tips for writing an essay.

By Sandip
  
 
If you are in your first year of university, you will quickly find that the type of assessment, both in regards of what is expected of you and the quality of the work required is a world apart from what you would have been doing previously. Assignments at universities can seem daunting and challenging at first, but if you follow my simple tips below, you will find yourself breezing through your assignments.

The Plan

Whether you are a humanities student writing essays or a physics student writing up lab reports, the most crucial step in writing your assignment is formulating a plan. This is from the moment you begin your research, all the way through to the moment you submit it to your university. Most likely, you will not just have one assignment due in during the semester, but you will have multiple assignments of varying length and weighting. Therefore being able to plan your time accordingly is of the most importance. The plan can consist of readings you have to do, lab work you need to carry out, the time to write up the first draft and finally editing the assignment before you submit it.

Essay planning is an ideal way of mapping out your essay and the points you want to make. This will also allow you to knit-together your assignment and ensure that each point or observation in your assignment is relevant to answering the question. Another useful tip that can emerge from this is ensuring that your introduction and conclusion tie together. Essentially you do not want to be introducing any new concepts in your conclusion, which is essentially repeating your introduction with a brief overview of the evidence you consulted within your essay.

Queen Mary's Royal Literary Fund Fellows   

One of the unique aspects of Queen Mary is the employment of professional writers’ to provide guidance on written assignments to students. These sessions run each week with appointments lasting up to 50 minutes. There is no charge to using the service, and they have fellows who can provide you feedback and guidance on any subject matter. The fellows, being published writers can offer you great insights into your work and ways to improve it and achieve a higher grade. 
(For more information http://www.learningdevelopment.qmul.ac.uk/appointments-rlf-fellow)


Referencing 

The bane of every assignment for more or less any student is the referencing. Now depending on your department or school the type of referencing they use may be different. However, for most universities they use the Harvard Referencing Style. Referencing can take a while to complete, but it is something that you must ensure that you do get correct. For instance, most universities will run your assignments through a plagiarism software, Turn-it-in, to check that your work is your work. Therefore any sources you have used within your assignment has to be correctly referenced otherwise you could find yourself being accused of plagiarising. If you are unsure of how to reference you, should contact your tutor, but you can also make use of the app RefMe that is a useful automated citation tool.


The Content


The biggest difference from school to university is that the latter allows you to have an opinion. Of course, the opinion you have has to be backed up by sources and evidence. Nevertheless, the lecturer reading your assignment wants to read your opinion and thoughts on the topic in-hand. Therefore, do not shy away from challenging the conventional opinion and pushing through a new idea. Just remember, to ensure that your argument has the evidence to back it up. You may think that you need to use complex language and long difficult words, but in reality, the best essays are those that written in a clear manner where the argument of the essay is clearly presented using simple language –do not over-complicate your assignment unnecessarily.

The most important tip of writing an assignment at university is to ensure that you are answering the question. That is why essay planning is so crucial and where the Literary Fellows can help you to ensure that, you are achieving this within your essay. There is nothing worse for a maker than reading a quality essay, which does not answer the question set. Therefore, plan your time carefully, plan the essay out, and ensure you have left plenty of time to edit your essay.


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