Obvious Essay Mistakes
Common ways of losing out on marks:
- The student does not answer the question or misses a section of the question. Normally all facts presented in the question will be of some relevance so each should be studied to see if they open up any specific issues.
- The student does not actually present the right information that is required to answer the question for example, a question may ask to ‘discuss’ an idea but they end up presenting a one-sided-argument
- The essay is not structured appropriately and it maybe missing key features such as an introduction or it does not complete a conclusion which should be based on the ideas put forward in the essay.
- The arguments are too weak, and they are not characterised by any evidence / reason or authority.
- The evidence used has not been properly referenced and no additional supporting material has been used as back up.
- The student has failed to concentrate on analysing critically and has focused more on writing down too much background information and basic description.
Look at our section on interpreting essays for more guidance on understanding what is required of you.
The writing of a top class essay
This information is not to be confused with an essay guide and it does not tell you how to write a basic essay. You will most certainly be unable to source information on how to piece together a fixed response which can be distinguished from all the other responses your tired tutors have been forced to read over a number of years.
No. This is a group of straightforward instructions on how to write that essay that sticks out above the rest that propels itself and turns out in the best possible way.
Throughout your academic life, you will most certainly have handed in enough essays to cover the walls and you could almost certainly prepare a guide book on how to go about achieving the mediocre in everything You have pretty well decided that, even though your work is pretty good, it has never quite matched your full potential. You have often started essays with the knowledge that the next one was going to be the one that fully reflected what you wanted to put across on the subject formatted in a novel and unique but still specific way – but the final outcome, even if it has reached a good grade has still omitted to reach that special gloss stage that is the stamp of an essay that is outstanding.
You know that the ability to present an essay that is none other than remarkable has always appeared to be within your grasp but annoyingly, for reasons that appear unknown, remained beyond your grasp.
This article will outline the reasons why, and how you can go about altering your essays from just sufficient to absolutely perfect and the primary place you will look is within work you have done earlier.
Marking the Mundane
It may appear rather bold to state this but if you have not yet written the perfect piece of writing which you have always wished for, the error is in part due to your lack of trying. You might say you work hard but to rise above the rest you will need to put in even more work.
- You have a strong desire to succeed
- You have to not be content until you succeed
- You have do more research than is normally the requirement – and even more than your fellow students
- You have to write perfect English
- You have to be able to read and understand questions and know the approach that should be used in an answer and that should be intertwined with the evidence so as to stand out in their position and presentation.
If this seems to fall into the too hard basket, cease reading, you will now fail to know the enjoyment of writing a perfectly composed sentence not forgetting a wonderfully structured essay if you don’t got the ‘three Ds’: desire, determination and distinction.
If you are continuing to read, however, then it will only be a question of time before you actually create the essay that will rise you above the rest and your own past efforts should inform you where you have not succeeded in the past as well as where you can achieve success in the future.
Scrutinise your prior work, stage by stage and attempt to extract why what was written on the page was anywhere close to what you imagined in embryo.
Begin by examining the opening words and ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I attract the reader’s complete attention?
- Did I take on the topic with eagerness from the start?
- Did I erect a barrier so that the reader would not want to read on?
If you are being completely objective, you will know that the answer to these questions is a ‘No’!
So, how do you alter the situation t? How do you make your first introductory sentence sensational yet relevant, academic yet sparkling and simple yet effective?
Look over what you have actually written. Did you simply just look at the title or did you interpret it, giving the implication, even at this early stage, of the method you would use and the stance you would take?
Examine the way this article began. You were amazed because it was the opposite of what you expected: it informed you precisely what you were not going to achieve, the perspective urged you to read further to find out what you would gain. Furthermore, this method succeeded because you have continued to read, haven’t you? Using language to your advantage is not just left to authors and poets. It can be used effectively in all academic fields Examples are highlighted in many academic textbooks.
When you have worked out that a slight change in the angle of an essay sets your essay well ahead of your peers then you are on the way to scoring a top grade. One simple example clarifies this situation and that is in the story “Cinderella”, where the leaning of the story favours Cinderella. If it were to favour one of the ugly sisters then the whole perspective of the story would be different.
The most important form of writing is when the reader’s attention is captured and the craving to read further is what the reader wishes to do.
The captivation has to start in the thesis statement so this has to be brilliantly written. An average essay will not be captivating if the thesis statement is weak and unclear. The introduction is the fundamental eye catching part of your essay and will urge the reader to become immersed.
In the writing of a story, or a newspaper article or an essay, the introductions are really quite similar. In all of these different types of genres either a story is being related, you are trying to inform the reader about something or quite simply entertaining the reader.
It is a well renowned fact that almost all readers make a decision in a few minutes about whether to continue reading a piece of writing but of course an academic tutor or marker will be forced to read your work, as this is an important part of your assessment. Aside from this writing an essay that a marker will enjoy reading should be your aim. By doing this, they are far more likely to view your work in a different light from any other essays they might be reading on the identical subject.
The majority of this is the attracting of the reader’s attention in the first sentence. As the introduction progresses, this attention should be held and prolonged, particularly in the thesis statement.
By now, you are aware that thesis statements constitute your response to the question but in an essay that is of excellent quality, there is more to it. The introduction turns on the light which brightens up the perspective on the subject. This you can do in various ways but the one that stands out the most is that of perspective. An interesting perspective combining the theme, method and ideas at the core of the essay instigates an optimistic response in the reader and smoothly moves them into the paragraphs that make up the main body.
Thorough research will assist with this because it forces you to concentrate more broadly and deeply as you begin to understand the subtle and more obvious differences amongst critics as well as the differences in style. In short, your broad research should be brought out in your thesis statement.
Using David Copperfield as an example you might start this by saying something like this:
Dickens’ ‘favourite child’ was a worried individual, and was portrayed in the way his own sad life was filled with unhappiness.
By examining this sentence in more detail the reader can see that:
- You are quite well acquainted with the story as you are quite able to quote simply and knowingly from the author’s introduction
- You have more than adequate amount of knowledge of Dickens to have the knowledge that his life had a great impact on his the work
- You have shown you have the perception between a fact and a storyline which the essay will unfold.
So far you have addressed your theme, your research, your method and your own thought provoking ideas.
Furthermore your reader will be interested in searching for the truth about the facts in the novel thus pursuing why Dickens ”child “was worried and this will encourage them to progress into reading the main body of this amazing essay.
After enlightening your reader in the introduction, it is the right time now to transfer their attention to the main part of the essay.
At this stage you should have a fair idea of structuring your essay, excellent paragraphing and structured correctly should by this time be easy for you and that you would be able to without a thought link the different parts of your work by appropriate sentencing.
Most of what you have read so far will have a tone of familiarity and any aspects of an academic essay that you have learned should be used in the right place. It is now your mission to search for innovative avenues for extending the core argument in your essay if you are to be a high achiever.
High achievement depends on your ability to analyse and quote
In previous essays, you will have utilised quotations and analytical thinking simply to promote the central core of your argument. You will already have the ability to argue persuasively and to back up with the use of quotations and other references.
That part of your essay writing career is in the past. The evidence that you have used up to now will have to be utilised in a different manner. To give that little bit extra to your essay certain traditions have to be set aside.
Now your evidence becomes the core of your essay and it is not just simply back up material. This you take out of your reading and it is not only information that strengthens your core arguments but acts now to assist you in evolving new directions related to the topic.
You will have already been exposed to ways that this can be established and this is from the way one single introductory sentence can unite all the necessary components that will highlight an excellent and interesting introduction. It is your job now, to go beyond this type of research by studying all the things you discover and try to find what you are looking for.
First of all examine:
- What is there already
- What is not there
- How you are going to find the missing links
The use of facts from your reading are used in this way, so that you can immerse yourself with a text at an in depth level which can never be accomplished by merely only quoting evidence. At the same time you can pursue links between aspects of thought to which this creative use of evidence is adding.
At this point you are starting to read and write as if you were a professional which would be expected of you at postgraduate and undergraduate level.
Similar to the introduction, writing a fantastic conclusion is often forgotten by the excellent essay writer. The reader will detect this and will think you have got bored with the topic and want to finish up quickly. The culmination of this is that all that extra work you have done into composing an excellent essay falls by the wayside as the reader gets a bad feeling about your work.
In the conclusion you must write a summary and reiterate the argument but in the excellent essay you need to pursue more than that, you must offer some ideas that will enhance knowledge of the subject and take it into the future.
Thus the essential ingredients are:
- that you have noticed the restrictions in the work you have covered
- that you have shown the reader that you recognise that the work on the subject is still incomplete.
The above two points indicate that you have the qualities of an essay writer who has a future and, with that type of ability you will be an ideal candidate for postgraduate studies. You might not have thought of this as a goal but if you can achieve excellence in anything you should transform this ability into your main goal in life.
Help with writing a first class essay?
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- Failing is not part of my expectations and goals
- My aim is to get the best job with the best grade
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