How to Write an Essay in UK University: A Complete GuideBy Angelica Malin
Essays are a good way to test your abilities in making a good argument on a complicated topic in a short word-count. International students in UK universities, especially, find it hard to improve their essay writing skills to the British writing standard. The most important thing here is to improve your essays progressively over time.
That being said, how can you take your essay writing skills to the next level? It takes a lot of dedication and training, but with some help, you can develop your essay writing skills faster.
“If you prefer to sleep, you’ll dream about your success. If you choose studies instead of sleep, you’ll make your dreams come true.” – Lauren Bradshaw from Custom Writings says
8 Essay Writing Tips
1. Learn from Others
Of course, learning from your own mistakes will improve your essay writing skills for sure. However, the next level is to learn from other people’s mistakes. A good way to do this is to read other people’s essays and maybe even critique them and find ways to improve them and things to adapt in your own writing. It’s impossible to evaluate your own work, but it’s much easier to evaluate someone else’s.
A good way to do this is to start a study group with students in similar situations. You can swap and learn from each other’s essays and discuss them as a group. Not only will you learn from their mistakes, but you can even adopt some aspects of the voice they use or the approach they had to a certain argument.
2. Research Your Topics
It’s very important to read about the topic you’re writing about beforehand. It’s also a good idea to read from multiple sources. One of the many problems with getting all your information from one source is that it may be false.
Another common problem is plagiarism. If you write your essay from a single source, you’re likely to write some sentences in the same way and end up with a high plagiarism score. Furthermore, reading about your topics from multiple angles will equip you with more insight to make better arguments.
2. Increase Your Vocabulary
Adding more words and vocabulary to your toolbox will make it easier for you to express yourself. Instead of going around with long sentences to drive your point, a strong vocabulary can enable you to replace a sentence with a couple of words. All great essay writers strive to use fewer words to describe more things.
A way for you to build your vocabulary is to read. Read as much as you can and focus on words that are new to you. Write them down and try to find what they mean in this context and other uses for those words. Another way is to use a thesaurus. A thesaurus is very helpful in situations where you’ve used a word multiple times. You can look up that word and find its synonyms to use instead. Always mix up your language so that whoever is evaluating your essay feels that you have command over the language. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should brag about your knowledge of a word and try to spin the context in order to use a big word. Readers can always sense when a word is being forced, and it can affect your essay negatively.
3. Use Transition Words
When you are writing an essay it’s important to use transition words like “furthermore” or “moreover”. Furthermore, it’s important to alternate between them so your text doesn’t seem too repetitive.
4. Plan Your Essay Before You Start
A lot of people like to throw themselves onto a paper and begin writing their essays from the top of their heads. However, this improvisation method can get very confusing, and it can lead to weaker essays. It’s much better to carefully plan your essays. For example, you’ll need to make an overview or introduction of the topic first, then you’ll tackle any parts of the topic that need explaining, then you can begin your argument, followed by a counterargument, and finally a conclusion.
5. Use Other People’s Arguments in Your Essays
One of the best ways to drive your point in an essay is to quote other people. Especially those who are considered scholars in this field. Even if you intend to disagree with these opinions, you can still quote them and explain why this statement is wrong, or how you can differently interpret it.
All the good essays have quotes, as well as, a mixture of different opinions. It makes your essay seem more holistic rather than a narrow-minded point of view. And at the end of the day, professional writings have to broaden the reader’s horizon on a certain topic and add value to their knowledge.
6. Sentence Structure and Punctuation
Two people can write the same conclusion with one of them being recognized by readers while the other is disregarded. The only difference between them can simply be the sentence structure used. Using more sophisticated sentences with strong grammar and punctuation will make your arguments easier to follow and give a feeling of authority.
All academic and professional writings require the use of references. For example, if you use a certain number or statistic you must prove that this information is accurate or at least stated by a reliable source. Likewise, you should also back up any claims and facts with sources that are knowledgeable in this field. Always cite the articles you obtained your information from. Reliable sources like journals and papers can make your arguments more authoritative. Always cite the articles you obtained your information from. Reliable sources like journals and papers can make your arguments more authoritative.
Wikipedia is a great source of information to learn from, however, it is edited by users and can have unreliable information. Therefore, you can use Wikipedia to read and learn about your topic but never cite it as a reference. A good idea is to check if that piece of information is cited on Wikipedia, then check that source, and then you can reference that source directly.
International students can find it hard to cope with the increasing pressure of the British university system. With essays constantly being thrown at them, some might find it difficult to keep up with the workload and improve their writing style and skills at the same time. That’s why many students tend to use essay writing services to meet their deadlines and have some time to actually work on their skills until they are able to employ them in their studies.