It’s often difficult to get full marks on writing an essay, more so than really expected. With countless details to include and to remember to not only balance your argument, but also show why your point is superior is tricky when you have a word count to fit it into. Below are some handy tips to make it that bit easier to squeeze your ideas into a well-structured and balanced essay.

·      Make a plan– Though this doesn’t always float everyone’s boat, this is the most efficient way to make sure that not only the structure flows smoothly, but that all of your points make it into your essay. Using bullet points to separate the intro, main points, the counter argument and then the conclusion makes it easier when proof-reading. You’ll then know you’ve fitted in every point you can think of and that it’s in there with clear expression.

·      Ensure you’ve considered the counter argument– It’s easy to big-up your point and why your argument is better than the opposing point, but losing sight of balance increases the chance of bias in your tone. High scoring essays generally are those which consider the other side too, and this comparison only strengthens the original argument further.

·      Try not to overwrite- It’s tempting to try and squash everything you want to say into one long sentence as you want to take the opportunity to make your arguments as clear as possible to get more marks do you know what I mean? Phew. Markers essentially prefer less waffling and beating around the bush; the more concise your phrasing is, the easier it is to directly point your marker into the essence of your argument. (I probably contradict this through these points, woops.)

·      Don’t feel you always have to use ‘posh’ vocab– It’s always great to sound clever in an essay. It’s difficult to resist using the ‘synonyms’ too, but with constant mouthful after mouthful, you’ll probably end up sounding like Joey when writing his letter about the ‘humid prepossessing Homo Sapiens with full sized aortic pumps’. (To anyone who doesn’t watch Friends, please promptly re-evaluate the priorities in your life.)

Alice Priestley


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