You need to express yourself well. All the knowledge in the world won't score you a First if you don't also have the rhetorical skills to express that knowledge fluently and succinctly. You need dexterity to marshal your knowledge effectively to solve the problem at hand whether that's a long-form essay topic or an exam question. Knowing your topic inside-out, but finding yourself unable to convey all that detailed knowledge, is immensely frustrating. If feedback on your previous work suggests your writing may not be up to scratch, be sure to take advantage of the help that's on offer at your university.
This can be online tutorials, student mentors, or writing workshops. Nearly all universities offer academic writing support services to students, and these are often run by the library.
Alternatively, delve into the Oxbridge Essays blog for posts containing great general advice on good essay writing and essay writing tips. Finally, the Essay Writing Service from Oxbridge Essays is a reliable place to turn to for essay help. Our academics can help tweak your writing, or write a completely original, unplagiarised essay for you to use as inspiration in your own writing. You need to be willing to work hard, and to go above and beyond.
Just reading the assigned work and writing solid assignments will, at best, get you a In fact, that's what Second-class degree classifications were designed for! If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile.
Find ways of understanding your subject matter more thoroughly. Craft an "angle" from which you can approach the topic in a memorable, original, and unique way.
Most of all — and we really can't stress this enough — you need to be a gambler! You need to be willing to take risks, and be willing to put that safe, level assignment you were going to write on the line in pursuit of greater reward. More on what this means below, but essentially you should be willing to take up positions that are controversial, sceptical and critical — and back them up! You should even be willing, once in a while, to fail to reach the lofty aspirations you've set yourself.
If you've ever watched a professional poker player you'll know that even the best of them don't win every hand. What's important is that they're ahead when they leave the table! What does a First-class essay look like? A lot of this stuff — risk-taking, depth of knowledge, and developing a unique "angle" — can sound pretty abstract.
People marking essays may land on opposite sides of the fence where borderline cases are concerned. However, most agree with what a First-class essay looks like and can pinpoint features that set it apart. Markers look for things like: An essay that matches the assignment brief.
This may sound obvious, but did you really read the assignment brief? And when did you last read it? A First-class essay needs to show originality and creativity. But it also needs to prove that you can follow instructions. If you've been given guidance on what your essay needs to cover, make sure you follow this to the letter. Also, take note of the number and type of sources it needs to use, or any other instructions. You can only do this if you revisit the brief repeatedly while writing.
This will ensure you're still on the path you were originally pointed down and haven't gone off at a tangent. Writing a brilliant, original essay that doesn't meet the assignment brief is likely to be a frustrating waste of effort. True, you may well still get sufficient credit for your originality. But you'll achieve far more marks if you shoot for originality and accuracy. A clear, well-defined, sophisticated argument. A First-class essay sets out its intentions its own criteria for success explicitly.
By the end of your first couple of paragraphs, your reader should know a what you are hoping to accomplish, and b how you plan on accomplishing it. Your central argument — or thesis — shapes everything else about your essay. So you need to make sure it's well-thought-out. For a First-class essay, this argument shouldn't just rehash the module material. It shouldn't regurgitate one the positions you've learned about in class. It should build on one or more of these positions by interrogating them, bringing them into conflict or otherwise disrupting them.
Solid support for every single argument. You don't just need to make a sophisticated argument; you need to support it as well. Be particularly careful to back up anything contentious with rigorous, logically consistent argumentation. Undergraduates also often forget the need to effectively address counter-arguments to their own position.
If there are alternative positions to the one you're taking and there almost always are , don't omit these from your essay. Address them head-on by quoting their authors if they're established positions. Or, simply hypothesise alternative interpretations to your own. Explain why your position is more persuasive, logical, or better-supported than the alternatives.
When done well, drawing attention to counter-arguments doesn't detract from your own argument. It enhances it by providing evidence of your capacity to reason in a careful, meticulous, sceptical and balanced way. A logical structure that's appropriate to the task. Have you ever been asked to write a comparative essay, say on a couple of literary texts? And did you have lots to say about one of the texts but not much at all about the other?
How did you approach that challenge? We've all written the "brain-dump" essay. They dance in the rain. They pass an engagement ring store and she eyes a particular ring. You get the idea. A few images tell the whole story. And you can use this technique for your essay.
The juxtaposition of vignettes, anecdotes, or fragments of your life come together to create the overall message you want your reader to walk away with. So, what vignettes should you choose? To help you decide, consider beginning by searching for a focusing lens for your college essay format.
For one student, it was scrapbooking click here to read that essay. Here are some Storytelling is a visual medium. Use something you know a lot about.. Know how to cook? Use food. Play chess? Use that! Use your essence objects list for ideas. Step 3: Pick a College Essay Format i. Remember: There is no surefire approach for essay writing.
Many different students are accepted to colleges each year with many different types of essays. The job of the essay, simply put, is demonstrate to a college that you will make valuable contributions in college and beyond. So, how do you do it? Core values are the things that are so important to you that you would fight for them. To test what values are coming through… Read your essay aloud to someone who knows you and ask: Which values are clearly coming through the essay?
Which values are kind of there but could be coming through more clearly? Which values could be coming through and were opportunities missed? This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context.
In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular. Mapping an Essay Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds.
The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea. Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material.
Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this: State your thesis in a sentence or two, then write another sentence saying why it's important to make that claim.
Indicate, in other words, what a reader might learn by exploring the claim with you. Here you're anticipating your answer to the "why" question that you'll eventually flesh out in your conclusion. Begin your next sentence like this: "To be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is.
This will start you off on answering the "what" question.Raise the grade Then, the changes get even bigger! College step is important because it raises the dramatic tension. The moment that will decide whether or not you will make it out of the problem. Will your essay win that scholarship competition? Will you confront the template and make level new friend?
.They don't necessary see beyond it. If the syllabus allows it, come up with your own essay topic rather than going with any in the topic list you're given. It's helpful to think of the different essay sections as answering a series of questions your reader might ask when encountering your thesis. Check out our free 1-Hr Guide. Writing a brilliant, original essay that doesn't meet the assignment brief is likely to be a frustrating waste of effort. Many different students are accepted to colleges each year with many different types of essays. Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. All the knowledge in the world won't score you a First if you don't also have the rhetorical skills to express that knowledge fluently and succinctly.
But here are a few tips to help give you the best possible chance: Start early Your module may have a long reading list that will be tricky to keep on top of during the term. Of course you do. See next paragraph
This "what" or "demonstration" section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. You can contribute meaningfully to this system by provoking your tutors to see problems or areas in their field differently.
The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Begin your next sentence like this: "To be convinced by my claim, the first thing a reader needs to know is. They dance in the rain. Although there are guidelines for constructing certain classic essay types e. Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path.
They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Raise the stakes: Then, the changes get even bigger! Introductions and conclusions have fixed places, but other parts don't. More on what this means below, but essentially you should be willing to take up positions that are controversial, sceptical and critical — and back them up!
Then it will store all the details you need to generate a bibliography for your essay later no matter what reference style your university demands. The best way to communicate this is to pay attention to two things. You can contribute meaningfully to this system by provoking your tutors to see problems or areas in their field differently. If there are alternative positions to the one you're taking and there almost always are , don't omit these from your essay.
Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. Just reading the assigned work and writing solid assignments will, at best, get you a In the second paragraph she flashes back to give us some context i. Search through the bibliographies of the texts on the syllabus to discover the texts they draw from, and then go look them up. You can contribute meaningfully to this system by provoking your tutors to see problems or areas in their field differently. Although they don't always signal trouble, these paragraph openers often indicate that an essay's thesis and structure need work: they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text in the case of time words: first this happens, then that, and afterwards another thing.
See where they lead. You might try reading it here first before reading the paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown below.
Know how to cook? You might try reading it here first before reading the paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown below. It can chafe if you feel you have more to offer on a particular topic than the assignment allows you to include. And at sharing tips — with other students in online forums and elsewhere — about what a First looks like. And did you have lots to say about one of the texts but not much at all about the other?