If you find essay writing stressful, you can take great relief in the fact that you’re amongst the majority. There are very few people who actually enjoy writing essays, and if they do, they certainly don’t enjoy the first stressful part of organizing ideas into a specific format. Time constraints and deadlines can make essay writing a tense affair, and because essays form such a huge part of your final grade, it’s important to know that you have all boxes ticked when you hand in a piece of work.
There are two main situations in which you’ll be asked to write an essay – a large essay assignment that you will do at home and have a chunk of time to complete, and during an exam, testing your writing and comprehension skills. In many ways, the first situation is a little easier because you have access to several resources, such as essay writing guides. You can find a range of guides that are all organized into types helping you to find inspiration and guidance in this situation. If you’re in an exam situation, however, you don’t have access to guides. In that case, it’s best to do your research beforehand and know about layouts and understand some useful essay writing tips you can use anytime.
How to Write an Essay Under Strict Conditions
If you take an exam, it’s easy to get into panic and wonder how you’re supposed to organize your thoughts and ideas into a structured essay. The key is to breathe and take a second to gather your thoughts. Yes, you are in a timed situation, but one second will not make a difference, and calming your mind is always a good go-to when the pressure is on.
Once you have calmed yourself, read the question carefully and understand it fully. Your mind will be firing out ideas at this point, but try and focus on what the question is. Far too many students become carried away in a wave of inspiration, assuming they’re doing well, only to realize that they never actually answered the initial question fully.
When you have grasped the meaning, brainstorm your ideas and begin putting together a plan. All you need in this situation is an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Exam essays are often far less detailed than essays you will be given to complete as assignments at home, with fewer scientific studies needed to be cited.
5 Essay Writing Tips to Fall Back on Every Time
No matter what situation you’re in, there are certain essay writing tips which will always help you out. Most of them are general, but they get the job done. Knowing the format you need to complete is the first step, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the different types, and choose the right one if it isn’t already specified to you in the brief.
Here are five essay writing tips to solidify in your mind, helping you to overcome your essay difficulties in the future.
- Remember the basic format you need to complete – introduction, body, conclusion. The introduction needs to be full and include a ‘hook’, i.e. it needs to grab attention and hold it. Without this, your essay is simply going to be a bunch of words and won’t be inspiring from the get-go;
- Ask yourself constantly, “does this point answer the question?”, or “is this point relevant to the question?” This will help you stay on track and avoid getting swept away from the original point of the essay. Remember, if it’s not relevant and doesn’t answer the question or make the point, you will not score well, no matter how much time you put into it;
- Read the question or topic very carefully before you start writing and then brainstorm ideas down on a separate sheet of paper, spieling every thought your brain comes up with. You can then use that muddle of information to form your plan;
- Formulate an outline before you begin writing. If you try and write without an outline, you’re going to find yourself babbling, or going off target. An outline keeps everything structured;
- Make sure that your conclusion ties up all loose ends and comes to a firm idea or answer.
Staying on track is the hardest part of essay writing, but ensuring you do so will give you the best chance of a high mark.