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Get essay writing right

Sitting down in front of a blank screen or empty piece of paper can be daunting. These tips can help you write a good essay...

Choose your question carefully
You will often get a choice of questions. Try to pick a subject you find interesting and, if possible, don’t just go for the one that looks easiest – you risk writing the same answers as all your classmates, which makes it much harder for your assignment to stand out.
Read the question carefully
It's important to make sure you have understood the question properly. Try:
  • Reading the question through multiple times
  • Underlining key words and phrases
  • Looking at each part of your essay plan in turn and thinking about how it relates to the question
  • Rereading the question regularly when writing to make sure you aren't drifting away from it
Get planning
It can be tempting to just dive straight in to your essay, especially if you are in an exam or near to a deadline, but it's always a good idea to make a plan first. Your plan should set out your main points and the order you want to make them in. As well as giving you a framework to work with when writing, this will help to make sure that you don't forget anything, and make it easier to manage your time when you start writing.

If you decide to add, remove or move around points when you come to write your essay, that's OK - the plan is there to help you, not to tie you down.
Check your essay carefully
Make sure you read over your essay a couple of times before you hand it in – spelling and grammar mistakes won’t do you any favours.
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