As a student, chances are you’ll have to write a lot of essays. Even with more practical courses like nursing or performing arts, you’ll need to complete written work as part of the syllabus. If writing isn’t one of your strengths, check out our best essay tips for university students below!
Read the question more than once
If your essay is in response to a question or theory, make sure you read it through a couple of times. Or if there is a brief or assignment guideline you need to follow, read through that more than once. Go into writing your essay with a solid idea of what you need to do – this will save you a lot of time and prevent you getting halfway through before realising you’re not actually answering the question correctly at all…
Define your argument
Before you even start writing your essay, you should clearly define your argument. Think about it, read about it, decide upon it and make peace with it. Then, write it down on a sticky note or piece of paper where you can see and access it at all times, and have it to hand as you write your essay. This is one of our best essay tips for university students! Your argument is the skeleton of your essay, and it’s up to you to fluff it out, justify it and build upon it. As you’ll be mentioning your argument a lot throughout, having it right next to you – without even having to leave the document you’re typing on – is really useful.
Reference as you go
Ah, the dreaded referencing! It can be confusing and difficult, especially as university is often the first place anyone has ever had to reference in an essay. And we’ll let you in on a secret – a lot of PhD students still struggle with referencing too! No matter which referencing style you are using on your course, don’t leave it until after you’ve already written your essay. By then you’ll be tired, and you’ll probably be feeling pretty much done with the topic at hand. Reference as you go, creating your bibliography alongside your essay if you need one and adding footnotes as you write.
Use advanced vocabulary
As a university student, you are learning how to be an expert in your field. And the people who are reading, marking and grading your essays are already experts in this field. Using advanced vocabulary is one way of showcasing your knowledge, strengthening your writing, making your argument more compelling and impressing your tutors. Use a thesaurus if you want to really make your writing stand out!
Even with that advanced vocabulary, you need to make sure that your essay is easy to understand. These two final essay tips might seem counterintuitive but you can still write clearly while using fancy words – we promise! Mix up your sentence lengths, keep your paragraphs short, and avoid wordiness.
Writing essays can be complicated – but you’ll get there with the help of our essay tips! And what’s absolutely not complicated is our FAQ section, answering all your accommodation-related questions in a straightforward and helpful way.