Quick Guide to Essay Writing as a Process Part 2

Before starting on these steps, read the first part of this post!

  1. Go back to the question.
    Cut out any notes or research that aren’t relevant. Fill in any things you missed or think you need more information on. Make sure you can relate everything you decide to keep directly back to the set topic/question. Select the best bits of your notes to put into your essay. Make sure you can justify what you choose – it needs to answer the question.
  2. Write a plan.
    Think of your plan as being like a prototype for your assignment. This is where you try to put things into a logical order. Move things around, check that it all makes sense, and try to make it easy to follow and understand. You can use one of the templates provided in your course materials, find one online that you like, or make your own.
  3. Write your essay. (Edit your essay)
    Once you have your plan looking the way you like it, write out the whole thing (or re-write the bits you want to improve/fix), including your citations/references. Make sure you stick to the appropriate style and format – check the course guide/exemplar/instructions from the teacher/coversheet to make sure you are formatting correctly.
  4. Proof-read and check your work.
    Test your work for anything you could improve on. Print out your work. Read it out loud. Ask a friend to double-check your spelling. Take a red pen to it and mark it all up – circle, underline, cross out, and make notes. Check it against your question. Measure it against what the teacher has asked for. Remember, you may not always be able to predict what sort of marks you get. You might do better or worse than you expected, but the more you practice the better you’ll get.
  5. Submit your assignment
    Once you are happy with what you have written (or you have run out of time), submit your work. Make sure you are aware of the due date, and try to submit early if you can.
  6. Read your feedback
    After you get your assignment back, you will also receive feedback. Make sure you read your feedback carefully – these are the things that you can improve on next time. Feedback is provided as a learning tool, to help you get better every time. Keep making a note of what to work on for your next assessment.
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