How to Write an Essay for College or University
So if you are concerned about your writing skills, consider getting some help with things like paragraph structure, punctuation and grammar and spelling. Most colleges provide this free and you will also be able to find many free resources online. The first thing you need to be clear about before you start your essay is the type of essay you will be writing.
There are many different essay styles and it is crucial to know what is expected of you. Universities, colleges and individual tutors will tend to have their own preferences and so it’s important to make sure you know the right formula for your course. You can find a lot of information to help you online, but do check everything with your tutor or writing support tutor before you go ahead with writing your essay.
Types of Essay
There are many different types of essay and the names may vary according to where you live. These include argumentative essays, academic essays, cause and effect essays, descriptive essays and narrative essays. You might also have to write an admissions essay if you are applying for a place at university or you could be asked to write an essay for a scholarship. Other types of essay include comparison essays and research essays. Knowing the type of essay expected will help you to come up with the best format. If you are new to essay writing, ask your tutor to explain.
Understanding the Essay Title
This is one of the most important aspects of essay writing. You can write a brilliant essay, but will get very low marks and probably fail your assignment if you have not answered the question which was asked. So before you put pen to paper make sure you have interpreted the title correctly. If you are asked to choose your own essay title, it is a good idea to check with your tutor that it is suitable.
Brainstorming Once you have a firm essay title and are clear what it means, you can have a brainstorming session to come up with as made ideas as you can which relate to your essay title. If you have a lot of ideas, the next stage is to narrow them down to the most important and most relevant points.
Depending on the topic of your essay, you may need to do some background research. This could be to find evidence to support your point of view or argument or to find out what people who are experts in the field thing about a particular subject. Or it could be to find scientific or historical facts or statistical data.
You will need to keep a record of your sources so that you can include them in your bibliography. So when you find useful information which you might use, write down the name of the book or journal, the edition, page number, author, date of publication and publisher
Or the website, with the exact URL and the date on which you accessed it. If you do this as you are doing your research, it will save you a lot of time later. It’s very annoying and time consuming if you find you have a wonderful piece of information or a great quotation and you can’t remember where you found
Planning Your Essay
Planning your essay involves organizing your ideas into a logical order. You can do this by creating a mind map or by making a list of headings with bullet points under each. Your essay needs to be well structured
Before you begin, make sure you know the word limit for your essay. You will usually be given a definite number eg 1500 words or 2000- 2500 words. If you are given a fixed number, it is usually acceptable to write 10% fewer or 10% more words. If you are given a range, try to stay within that range. However, check this with your tutor as you don’t want to be penalized.
You will need to write an introduction which explains what you are writing about, introduces your central idea and the point of view you plan to support.
Then you will go through each of the relevant points, linking them in a way that flows and makes sense of the topic.
Finally, you will write a short conclusion which reminds readers of your main argument and summarizes the way in which you have supported that argument, adding strength to your position. In some essays you will include additional material to the conclusion, for example pointing out areas which still require research or the limits of your own research, but this is something to discuss with your tutor or study skill support staff who are teaching you how to write an essay.
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How to Prepare for Exams?
Exams play an important role in the education of a student. During the time of exams, a student is mentally as well as physically stressed. Everyone wants to do well in exams and pass them with good marks. However, it is not as easy as it sounds and you need to develop a schedule to deal with the exams effectively. Following are some good study tips that will help you to prepare better for the exams.
Plan the study schedule
Preparing for exams requires time and thus you should give yourself adequate time to prepare them. A lot of students leave everything for the last minute, which is a wrong practice. You should set out a timetable for your study and organize it. Some subjects or topics might need more attention than the rest and you should plan accordingly.
Organize the place of study
The room where you are studying must be comfortable, well-lit as well as free from any kind of disturbance. You should also organize your stationery and reference notes so that you don’t have to spend time searching for them while studying.
Refer old question papers
Another useful study tip is that you must refer to the previous exam papers so as to know more about the layout. This will also help you to know about the important topics of a subject which requires more attention.
Take a Break
Avoid studying continuously for hours. It is recommended that you take a fifteen-minute break after each hour of study. Develop a routine that suits you the best. Taking a break will help to refresh your body as well as mind.
Adequate food and sleep
During exam time, a large section of students tends to ignore food and sleep, which is not recommended. To score well in the exams, you need to keep your body as well as mind fresh and active. A proper diet along with a correct sleeping pattern will make you healthy and alert.
Even if you are an average student or have not done well in the previous exams, there is no need to panic. You should keep yourself motivated and should keep the end result in mind. Avoid any sort of negative thoughts that may adversely impact your performance.
The study tips that are mentioned above will not only help you to understand the subjects better but also will boost your confidence and will help you to score well in the exams.
Find out which English Test you want and do it for free
English language tests and certificates:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (universities and colleges usually need this)