Quick Guide to Essay Writing as a Process Part 1

  1. Plan your time.
    This is extremely important! Make sure you know when your assignments are due. Plan to do a certain amount of work each day, or to complete certain steps by set dates. This will help keep you on track and make the whole process much less stressful. Try keeping a study calendar or a planner to help you keep up.
  2. Read the question.
    No, really. Read the question. Carefully. Several times. Make sure you understand what all of the words mean in this context (i.e. the context of this topic). Words can have variable meanings in different areas of study, which will impact how you understand the question. Make sure you are using the right meanings of words for the context!
  3. Read the question as a WHOLE – check you know what is needed.
    Be observant. What does your teacher want you to do? What are they expecting to see in your final submission? Now you have all the words down, read the question again. This time, read it as a whole sentence. Make sure you understand the whole question, not just the individual words. If you aren’t sure exactly what the
    teacher wants, this is the best stage to ask them! It is always better to ask questions early on, and it helps your teacher make sure you’re on the right track.
  4. List the important things the question asks for.
    Are you being asked to talk about a specific issue? Does the question require that you refer to something specific to the course? Do you know what this kind of assessment needs to have in it, like client information or certain references? This is your DEFINITION – it is the rules you base your assessment on, and it keeps you focused. You can iterate to make improvements.
  5. Read up, research, and take notes.
    Make your own notes based on your understanding of the assessment – don’t worry too much about whether you stay on track, just write down all of your ideas. Make sure you are researching your information as you go so that you have references. Keep a list of things you think you might want to use in your essay. If you put it into Harvard referencing style now, you can just put it wherever you need later. This is where you write down all of your ideas about what you want to write – find out everything you can base on your definition. Make a note of all of your relevant research. (Remember to make sure your references/sources are reliable.)

Read the second part in the next post!


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