Yak’s Hacks for Writing Killer Essays
Now you won’t have to stress out when that dreaded essay is looming, because Hollie Hughes has six tips to help you write a killer essay.
We’ve all been there, staring at a blank document, practically able to feel the creeping imminence of the assessment deadline. Whether it’s the first time you’re writing an essay at University and you’re not sure where to start, or you want to brush up on your writing skills, keep reading below for some top tips on how to get it done (and submitted before 11:59pm!)
Take advantage of the University’s learning resources
As a student, there are a whole range of resources readily available for you to access anywhere at any time. Your first port of call when seeking assistance is the Academic Learning Support page on the Uni website. Here you will find study resources, information on how to access support in the form of skills workshops and PASS sessions along with how to book a one-on-one appointments with a Learning Advisor who can help you get on track with an assessment or answer any questions you have.
Break down the assessment into small, more manageable tasks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of work you have to do in order to complete your essay, try breaking down the task into a few smaller sub-tasks. Try splitting up the work by category and then list out each sub-task you need to do within the category. By splitting up the work this way, it will be easier for your brain to remain focused on what you need to do and lessen the temptation to procrastinate. It may also help if you allocate certain periods of time to each sub-task so you remain on track to meet your deadline. For more detailed information, check-out the University’s essay writing guide.
Showcase your vocabulary (but do it wisely)
An important aspect of writing a killer essay is to ensure that the words you are using within your writing are not only sophisticated but relevant to your topic. Using complicated words just so you look smart will not win you marks, instead stick to words within your course content and outline. Markers read tons of essays so to make sure yours stands out. Try using strong and active verbs within your sentences to inject life into what you are talking about.
Edit, edit, edit
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but no matter how much time or effort you put into conducting research for and writing your essay, if it is not properly edited to ensure there are no grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes you’re sure to lose marks. There are a range of online platforms you can use which automatically check your writing for mistakes but often it is up to you to ensure your essay is free of mistakes. Essays should read well when read aloud, so a way to check that your writing makes sense and is properly written is to read the essay out loud to yourself a couple of times (or use the Read Aloud function in Word).
And perspective is always good, so make sure to allow yourself enough time leave the essay for a day or two before having a final read and submitting it. This is an important step in the editing process as you are more likely to catch small errors within your essay when you’re refreshed and haven’t just been working on writing it for hours.
Phone a friend
If you get stuck with the editing process and need an outside opinion, reading your essay to a friend or family member can be a good way to determine if what you’re writing makes sense. Outsiders can provide helpful information regarding what you have written, because if they don’t understand what you’re talking about it is likely that neither will the person marking the paper.
Now, put your phone down and get cracking, (sadly) your essay won’t write itself!
Feature Image by Eva Davies, Yak Designer.
Breaking down tasks seem to always work for me. That’s solid advice indeed, especially for those of us who are easily overwhelmed by vague to-dos like ‘finish writing an essay’. Thanks for this post!