The key themes that you've identified should begin to form into clear sections, while the individual points within these sections should also develop a structure. Michael recommends that you begin writing your essay by expanding your plan. Plans should have the flexibility to change as your work develops, but remember to ensure that any adjustments are consistent across the essay.
Dr Michelle Reid, study adviser at the University of Reading, suggests that noting new ideas in a separate document before incorporating them will give you thinking space to judge whether they're relevant. Once you've written your first draft, leave it aside for a couple of days if possible.
When you return, edit its ideas and how you've organised your thoughts if you need to. Michael adds that, while rereading the draft, you should ask yourself:. Once you've completed your second edit, you should proofread it for any spelling or grammar errors, check your citations and references, and ensure that you've not inadvertently plagiarised.
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University life. On this page Adopt a strategy Address the topic Gather resources Create an essay plan Tackle the introduction and conclusion Evaluate what you've written. To achieve top marks find out how to successfully plan and execute your work Taking the time to properly plan an essay can lead to higher grades, with lecturers welcoming a logical structure that clearly demonstrates your understanding of the subject.
Adopt a strategy Planning your essay makes the writing process quicker and easier. Address the topic First and foremost, you must fully understand what you're being asked and in how much depth you're required to answer the question. For example, the question, 'Compare and contrast the representation of masculinity in two James Bond films from the s and s', can be classified like this: instruction i. Ask yourself: What is significant about the question and its topic? What existing knowledge do you have that will help you answer this question?
What do you need to find out? How are you going to successfully address this question? What logical sequence will your ideas appear in? Gather resources With so much information available, it's vital that you only look for directly relevant material when researching. Create an essay plan When you have a good idea of what points you're going to address in your discussion, and a rough idea of the order in which these will appear, you're ready to start planning.
There are two main ways to do this: Linear plans are useful for essays requiring a rigid structure. They provide a chronological breakdown of the key points you're going to address. This means that, when writing your essay, you can progress through these points. Tabular plans are best for comparative assignments.
You'll be able to better visualise how the points you're contrasting differ across several aspects. This should hopefully give you a clearer picture of how your discussion will progress. Tackle the introduction and conclusion Michael recommends that you begin writing your essay by expanding your plan.
Library Study and research support Academic skills Writing Essay writing. Show all contents Contents. You will need to set aside time for the following stages of writing: Thinking about the question. Gathering information and ideas. Organising your ideas. Getting something on paper. Writing a first draft. Reviewing in light of feedback or reflection. Producing a final draft.
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|Essay writing guide university||Skip to main content. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and essay writing guide university of those who do not. Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion. You should categorize or code your research according to your different arguments and supporting evidence. Place the question and these individual components in the context of your subject's key issues, then create a list, effect technology essay or mind map collating your ideas and thoughts on the essay topic. To give your essay a clear structureit is important to organize it into paragraphs. Michael adds that, while rereading the draft, you should ask yourself: Is your thesis or argument clear?|
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|Essay writing guide university||Essay Structure: Conclusion Remember that the ending matters, just like in the movies. Should you add more examples to prove your case? This will start you off on answering the "what" question. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. Students also tend to fall in the two categories of doing too much research or too little research. It is all too easy to drift away from the point.|
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This pulse mimics the beating of my heart, a subtle rhythm that persists each day I come into the lab. After spending several weeks attempting to synthesize platinum nanoparticles with a diameter between 10 and 16 nm, I finally achieve nanoparticles with a diameter of That unmistakable tingling sensation dances up my arm as I scribble into my notebook: I am overcome with a feeling of unbridled joy.
While I attend GS at Meredith College for Natural Science, the lessons learned and experiences gained extend far beyond physics concepts, serial dilutions, and toxicity. I learn to trust myself to have difficult yet necessary conversations about the political and economic climate. My home is a dynamic and eclectic entity. In the example above, we started with the beads, and then we searched for a thread. This exercise asks you to start with the thread of something you know well and then create the beads.
Step 1: On a blank sheet of paper, make a list of five or six things you know a lot about. Step 2: Pick one of the things you wrote down, flip your paper over, and write it at the top of your paper, like this:. This is your thread, or a potential thread. Step 3: Underneath what you wrote down, name values you could connect to this. These will serve as the beads of your essay. You can even draw a thread connecting your beads, if you want, like this:.
Step 4: For each value, write down a specific example, memory, image, or essence object that connects to that value. I still marvel at how quickly it helped us bond. Creativity: After I understand how a game works, I like to try to improve it by tweaking the rules. Two examples: 1 I remember when I was young trying to find the right amount of money for the Free Parking space in Monopoly, and 2 recently, I learned the game Guesstimation is so much better if you add wagers.
I see my 4-year-old daughter tweaks games too, which drives my wife crazy, as she likes to play by the rules of the game. Family: We played games like Charades and Jeopardy when I was young. My dad was the Game Master who would come up with the categories. As I grew older, I took over the role of Game Master. Things I rarely lose at: ping pong, Tetris, foosball, and corn hole. This is an actual brainstorm I did using this exercise. And if you can find specific examples for each value, that can make for interesting paragraphs in your personal statement.
Special thanks to my colleague, Dori Middlebrook, for this one. I mentioned this when we first started talking about Montage Structure. Step 1: Write down 5 similar things that are meaningful to you in different ways. Step 2: Begin by simply naming the 5 different items. Example: High-top tennis shoes, flip-flops, heels, cleats, bunny slippers. Step 3: Add physical details so we can visualize each one.
Step 4: Add more details. Maybe tell a story for each. Pro tip: Try connecting each of the 5 to a different value. Step 5: Expand on each description further and start to connect the ideas to develop them into an essay draft. Grab someone who knows you well e. It can be helpful if they use reflective language and ask lots of questions. Pick 10 of your favorite photos or social media posts and write a short paragraph on each one.
What do they say about you? Reading lots of montage example essays that work. Try finding your own. Have the courage to be original. You can do it. It can feel redundant with your Activities List. One more way to emphasize a value is to combine or disguise it with humor. In each of these examples, the little bit of humor covers the brag.
No need to push this humor thing, though. A: The transitions are the toughest part of this essay type. Fine-tuning them will take some time, so be patient. Highlight the first sentence of each of your paragraphs in bold, then read each one aloud in order. Do they connect, creating a short version of your essay? If not:. Rewrite the bold sentences so that they do connect i. Rewrite each paragraph so it flows from those bolded sentences. Read them aloud again. Wash, rinse, repeat until the ideas flow together.
Parts of yourself that are essential to who you are e. Your theme could be something mundane like your desk or something everyone can relate to like the concept of home , but make sure that it is elastic i. Each of the values creates an island of your personality and a paragraph for your essay.
Review your brainstorming exercises and look for threads that connect different values through different experiences. Choose an order for your examples. Consider describing one example per paragraph. Q: This is hard!
What should I do? Remember: be patient. This takes time. It takes about 20 minutes but do feel free to take longer—more time brainstorming and outlining leads to better, faster writing. And this is a dramatic pause before I tell you the coolest thing about what you just did. You may notice that your completed Feelings and Needs chart maps out a potential structure for your personal statement.
You may not want to spend an entire paragraph describing your feelings, for example, or you may choose to describe your needs in just one sentence. And now that you see how it frames the story, you may want to expand on certain columns. However, the sideways Feelings and Needs chart can help you think about how the chronology of your experiences might translate into a personal statement. The narrow alleys of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan where I spent the first 7 years of my life were infiltrated with the stench of blood and helplessness.
I grew up with Geo news channel, with graphic images of amputated limbs and the lifeless corpses of uncles, neighbors, and friends. I grew up with hurried visits to the bazaar, my grandmother in her veil and five-year-old me, outrunning spontaneous bomb blasts. On the open rooftop of our home, where the hustle and bustle of the city were loudest, I grew up listening to calls to prayer, funeral announcements, gunshots.
Like the faint scent of mustard oil in my hair, the war followed me to the United States. Here, I was the villain, responsible for causing pain. War followed me to freshman year of high school when I wanted more than anything to start new and check off to-dos in my bullet journal. Every time news of a terror attack spread, I could hear the whispers, visualize the stares. Instead of mourning victims of horrible crimes, I felt personally responsible, only capable of focusing on my guilt.
As media head at my high school, I spend most mornings mastering the art of speaking and writing lighthearted puns into serious announcements. During sophomore year, I found myself in International Human Rights, a summer course at Cornell University that I attended through a local scholarship. I went into class eager to learn about laws that protect freedom and came out knowledgeable about ratified conventions, The International Court of Justice, and the repercussions of the Srebrenica massacre.
To apply our newfound insight, three of my classmates and I founded our own organization dedicated to youth activism and spreading awareness about human rights violations: Fight for Human Rights. Today, we have seven state chapters led by students across the U. S and a chapter in Turkey too. Addressing and acknowledging social issues everywhere is the first step to preventing war. Earlier this year, through KQED, a Bay Area broadcasting network, I was involved in a youth takeover program, and I co-hosted a Friday news segment about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, the travel ban, and the vaping epidemic.
Within a few weeks, my panel and interview were accessible worldwide, watched by my peers in school, and family thousands of miles away in Pakistan. Although the idea of being so vulnerable initially made me nervous, I soon realized that this vulnerability was essential to my growth. For now, I have everything to be grateful for. War has taught me to recognize the power of representation, to find courage in vulnerability, and best of all, to celebrate humor.
Your word count will be pretty evenly split between the three, so for a word personal statement, ish each. To get a little more nuanced, within those three basic sections, a narrative often has a few specific story beats. Status Quo : The starting point of the story. It gets us to wonder: Uh-oh … what will they do next? The situation becomes more and more tense, decisions become more important, and our main character has more and more to lose.
Moment of Truth : The climax. Often this is when our main character must make a choice. New Status Quo : The denouement or falling action. This often tells us why the story matters or what our main character has learned. Notice that roughly the first third focuses on the challenges she faced and the effects of those challenges.
Roughly the next third focuses on actions she took regarding those challenges. Though she also sprinkles in lessons and insight here. The final third contains lessons and insights she learned through those actions, reflecting on how her experiences have shaped her. Again, with the caveat that What She Did and What She Learned are somewhat interwoven, and yours likely will be as well. But the middle third is more heavily focused on actions, and the final third more heavily focused on insight.
How does the Feelings and Needs Exercise map onto those sections? The details in your Feelings and Needs columns can be spread throughout the essay. Why not? Take a look:. Challenge 1 : She grows up surrounded by war, which is explicitly stated.
Challenge 2 : She comes to the U. Effects : She is ostracized after arriving in the U. Vulnerability creates connection. Here, naming key emotions helps us understand her inner world. Needs : As I read this essay, I can imagine the author needed safety, order, love, respect, reassurance, connection, and many more. But these are implied by the story events and need not be explicitly stated. In fact, spelling these things out might have made the essay sound weird. That might sound awkward or too obvious, right?
At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me.
I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other. Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues.
I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people. I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip. Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher.
I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways.
These changes inspired me to help others. I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community. I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become. Not because I have to.
Because I choose to. First, the author brainstormed the content of his essay using the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Did you spot the elements of that exercise? If not, here they are:. Effects: Author and his brother shared the mental strain, father was arrested, funds were tight, mom worked two jobs, brothers took care of one another, they kept to themselves when dealing with financial and medical issues, avoided going on certain school trips, at times author was discouraged from meeting new people, grades started to slip.
Feelings: Confused yet understanding, anxious, worried, relieved, alone, lost, vulnerable, lonely, disconnected, alone, heartbroken, ashamed, disillusioned. Needs: Order, autonomy, reassurance, growth, safety, understanding, empathy, hope, support, self-acceptance.
What He Did About It: Took care of his youngest brother; became his own teacher; learned how to fix a bike, swim, socialize; found a job to help pay bills; improved his grades; broke a school swimming record; learned to play instruments; became the first student in his school to pass the AP Physics 1 exam; took a leadership role in clubs; and tutored and counseled friends and peers. That was his number one value, by the way. This sounds like autonomy.
Another one of his top values. With just minutes of focused work, you can map out your whole story. Next, the author used Narrative Structure to give shape to his essay. Did you spot the Narrative Structure elements? Inciting Incident: While the author is brushing his teeth, his father is arrested for domestic abuse. Status Quo: His father had hurt his mom physically and mentally, and the author and his brother had shared the mental strain.
Raising the Stakes: The entire second and third paragraphs, which describe how living without a father meant money was tight. Moment of Truth: At his lowest point, he decides to do something about it. And again, notice that those fit within the framework of:.
Q: Are there any situations where I may not want to write about my life struggles? A: Yes. Sometimes it can be too difficult to discuss them. Or you may be actively dealing with a challenge. If this is the case, reach out to your counselor, a trusted mentor, or, if possible, a therapist. If money is an issue i. Many mental health professionals work with clients at low rates or for free. Q: Should I write about mental health challenges? A: Mental health can be very difficult to write about for a few reasons:.
If a student is still very much struggling through the challenges they describe, the admission reader may wonder if the student is ready for college. In some cases, the admission officer may feel that a student is ready for college, but their institution may not be adequately equipped to help them thrive not all colleges have the same kinds of resources, unfortunately.
Unfortunately, mental health challenges have become so common these days that many students write personal statements about them, and so it can be difficult to stand out. Do I have any other topics I could write on? Or must I write about this? Have I truly worked through this? Maybe run your challenge through the Feelings and Needs Exercise to see what surfaces. If I were an admission officer reading this essay, would I feel like this student has their situation handled and they are truly ready for college?
Could the mental health challenge be a brief explanation in the Additional Info section? To see if this might work for you, see how briefly you can describe your mental health challenge using factual bullet points. Important: If you have a counselor, I strongly recommend consulting with them as you decide whether to discuss a mental health challenge in your personal statement.
Talk to them and find out. Q: Are there any situations where I may not want to write about my career in my personal statement … even if I know what it is? The Nucleus: Student Hub. Psychology Health Service. Accommodation Health services Sport and gym. What does a good essay need? An academic essay should answer a question or task. It should have a thesis statement answer to the question and an argument. It should try to present or discuss something: develop a thesis via a set of closely related points by reasoning and evidence.
An academic essay should include relevant examples , supporting evidence and information from academic texts or credible sources. Basic steps in writing an essay Although there are some basic steps to writing an assignment, essay writing is not a linear process. Use books, journals and other credible academic sources for support and evidence. Take notes from your readings. Write an essay plan and organise your ideas.
Write a first draft to include your introduction, body and conclusion. Set the draft aside for a day or two, then re-read and make changes. Edit and redraft your essay. Complete or finalise your references and citations Complete your final draft and hand it in See next: Getting Started.
Academic Skills Referencing. Essay and assignment writing. Essay and assignment planning.