How to write essays at the end of semester with the stress of exams and other looming academic deadlines is a question every student faces. You can improve your essay dramatically by keeping these tips in mind.
1) Address the question - Although seemingly obvious, students often fail to answer the essay question fully in their papers. Carefully read the essay question, analysing any quotations given. Be sure to make it clear in your essay how you are dealing with each component part of the question and quotation.
2) Be independent in your research - You need to display some research initiative and the ability to work independently when writing your essay. This means that you need to read sources from the reading list your professor has given you and cite them in your essay.
You should also try to display independence of analytical thought in your essay. This means that generally you should try to avoid relying primarily upon ideas and analyses which have been discussed in your class.
3) Use good quality references - Study aids and webpages can be good for giving a student a basic understanding of a text. However, you should avoid giving references to study aids such as Cliff Notes or webpages in your essays. In the academic community, these are generally considered to be of dubious quality. Try to incorporate more sources from the reading list instead.
Finally, don’t quote from the dictionary. You need to give the ‘signification’ of the word in the context of the question, rather than an exact dictionary definition.
Watch this space - more essay tips will be coming next month!