Yes, sadly Christmas is over. The turkey has been eaten, all the presents have been opened and the reality of all those essays you need to have completed for January has started to set in. But fear not as I have gathered plenty of tips to help you out!
Readings. This is vital to your essays, hence why it’s at the top of the lists. Two sources I suggest are Google scholar and Edge Hill library.
Google scholar is a free search engine catered for academic texts and is a great source for texts that can be used in your academic assessments. This is extremely usefully especially if you’re far away from a library.
Of course, the Edge Hill Library is a brilliant source for readings and is made easier with the online catalogue. With the online catalogue you can look up books using keywords or authors, reserve books and in some cases find online copies, so overall it’s pretty great.
Now you have your readings it’s time to plan an outline. This is just simple notes that’ll really help you out in the long run. This is simply laying the foundations for your essay, so when you come to writing it you know what you’re doing and don’t go off topic for an example for introduction you can note down the topic/subject you’re writing about and texts you’ve used.
Which leads me onto my next tip: Peel. Okay, so for most of you who don’t know what I mean that must have sounded a bit weird but fear not I have not gone crazy as it’s an abbreviation which means:
Point – your main idea/concept.
Evidence and explanation – add quotes to support your point.
Evaluation – evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.
Link – link back to your point.
This is just an example of how to form a paragraph if you’re struggling, can be added to your essay outline.
So at this point you’re probably starting to write your essay and form sentences which is great, however, you’ve got to be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole of incorrect grammar and limited vocabulary. Don’t worry though, as someone who commonly does this I have found ways to combat this first being Thesaurus.
This should be familiar to you as it’s basically how most people got through GCSE, but if this has somehow fallen off your radar I just want to remind you how useful it can be, namely the website. The website works wonderfully if there is a word you feel you overuse and want to find a replacement and give you a richer vocabulary.
And my other tool is Grammarly. Grammarly is a google extension which can be downloaded for free and is a:
contextual spelling checker – can detect correctly spelt words used in the wrong context and correct misspelt words.
Grammar checker – can fix grammatical errors.
This can be switched on and off all your websites such as Facebook, Celtx, Gmail, etc. Additionally, Google Docs is a good place to write your essay on as it automatically saves and can be backed up!
And finally, some quick fire tips!
Stay motivated! Use sticky notes to stick around the place to remind you of topics and keep you engaged or if you feel like you need a greater understanding of a topic watch a relevant video.
Regular breaks have been proven the best way to write an essay as it gives you time to write the essay without being stressed out.
Which leads onto my next tip nicely: Give yourself enough time to write the essay. Start as early as you can getting readings and understanding the topic you’ve chosen or been given.
Drink plenty of water. Writing and being dehydrated is not a good mix, it’s best to drink up as it helps your mind work better.
And my last tip: Get someone to proofread. Which I know can be embarrassing, but honestly, it works magic, all you need is a trusted friend who you know won’t lie to you if you’ve gone off on a tangent, as a fresh pair of eyes can pick up mistakes you didn’t even notice! Even this blog post has been proofread. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion on your work!
Overall these are just suggestions, you don’t have to do anything I wrote above as everyone is different and different methods work for different people. However, I hope you learnt/got something from this post.
I had a pretty good Christmas season, saw my family, and dogs, plus got free food. So successful overall! And if anything I’m now recharged for the next year ahead. Speaking of new year, that’s the theme of my next post, as generic as that is, however, I hope to be able to add my own take on in which will hopefully help you out!
Until next time!
Film/Show of the day: Scream Queens (2015-)