Sometime’s its hard to come up with excellent essay content. You feel the points you’re making have been over-explored and your argument is weak. It’s a fact of uni life that sometimes you just don’t know how to approach an assignment. And with the deadline ticking ever closer, how can your boost our essay grades?
There is a general rule of thumb at universities when it comes to word count: you can go 10% over, but no more. Any more and it will be reflected in your grades, so keep it concise.
Different universities deal with word count misconducts individually. Some will deduct a certain amount of marks, others will only mark up to the word count and anything following will be ignored. Keep this in mind.
Essay plans can be a lifesaver when you’re unsure of your content. Even if your argument is lacking, a plan forces you to express it via a clear and solid structure.
How your case manifests and is argued in an essay is half the battle of good writing. Ensure you format it correctly. Have a case statement in your introduction, dissect it in the main body and tie the whole thing up with a solid conclusion. Make sure your conclusion has a definite position and avoid leaving it open-ended. It’s there to show the marker your final stand on the question and texts.
Consistent referencing can increase your marks easily. Referencing should be easy. You just need to put the time in to make sure you’ve applied it correctly.
Most universities have their preferred citation style. Whether it’s MHRA, MLA, APA or Harvard. Get to know yours!
There are many great online resources that will reorganise and correctly cite your work, so try them out.
Theory is vital in university essays. You must always include citations with a submission of writing, whatever the word count. But while having theory is one thing, engaging with it effectively quite another.
Don’t be scared to argue against a theorist. Examiners want to hear your opinion! If you disagree with a statement, take a stand and explain your view in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using theory only to support your own points.
Remember: theory is not a word count booster, but a device to strengthen your argument. Always critically engage with any quotes you incorporate, and make it clear why you have included that reading in your piece.