How to successfully plan an essay for university

Natalia Wilkowskaon 1 October 2021
How to successfully plan an essay for university

Never miss a deadline again with our comprehensive guide to writing a successful essay.

Every uni student has to submit an essay at some point. Without proper preparation, these assessments can cause unnecessary stress and panic. Here are some tips on how to successfully plan your next university essay: 

1. Check your notes 

Before starting, go over your class notes carefully and see if you can find relevant information from your lectures. You’re bound to have covered a similar topic at some point.

A good essay should put key information and teaching from your course forward and demonstrate your engagement and interest in the subject. 

2. Approach your question carefully

If you have several essay questions to choose from, pick your topic wisely. Think about the areas of your course you know the most about and see if any of the questions relate to them. Remember to balance your opinion against sources from both sides of the argument. Keep your key points clear and concise to avoid anything being misinterpreted. 

3. Use credible sources 

Support your draft with a variety of credible sources from both sides of the fence. Before summarising your views, do some research online or at  the library to see what new information is out there. Whatever your topic, there are bound to be related books, journals or academic papers out there. Expand your knowledge on the topic, and remember to update your bibliography every time you add a reference. This will save you loads of time when submitting your assignment.

4. Be creative 

This is your essay, so make sure you impart your style on it. If you’re a visual worker, you can add mind maps and diagrams to illustrate your work. While it pays to back your points up, make sure you’re also drawing your own conclusions and not leaning too heavily into what others have said. The more creative you are on your project, the more outstanding and unique your work will be.

5. Plan your time carefully

Time is the largest barrier between you and successful submission. When you get your deadline, check the word count and module waiting to work out how long you’ll need to spend on the project. Getting ahead early on always beats panicking a few hours before you have to submit your essay. Work out how many words you’ll need to write an introduction, middle section and conclusion. Starting early also gives you more time to tweak your final copy to make sure everything is perfect.

If you stick to these rules, you’ll have nothing to worry about at all when it comes to assessments. For more advice on  leaving your deadlines until the last minute, be sure to check out this article.

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Natalia Wilkowskaon 1 October 2021