This post was written by Livia Susan, who writes in her own blog at LifesaverEssays.com, a service that provides help to students who’ve been assigned to write essays in school or college.
No matter how complex the subject, there are a few easy rules you can follow to get on top of the challenge and produce a great essay. Read on to find out how.
Your professors may not encourage internet-based research but the internet is really a great place to get started. When faced with a confusing or unfamiliar subject, the best way to begin is to find a source that gives you the basics without intimidating theory or jargon. Wikipedia can be ideal for your first foray into the subject since most entries include lists of sources you could tap into for more in-depth reading. Use this as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with foundational concepts, technical terminology and important scholarly works on the subject and then take it further from there.
Take note of sources or scholars whose works are quoted most often. These would include books, seminars and print or online journals that you might be able to access through your university library. These sources will help you understand the topic on a deeper level. A simple and effective trick is to look for more sources in the bibliographies or footnotes of these books or journals. What you are doing here is called a literature survey. This guide will show you how to get the most out of your reading.
Cultivate the good habit of recording titles, website URLs and publication details of all the sources you have consulted. This simple measure will save you a lot of valuable time when you actually get down to writing. With these details in hand, you can quickly locate an interesting source that you might want to explore further once your ideas start taking shape more clearly.
At this stage, it is quite normal to feel overwhelmed with the mountain of information you may have gathered. So, the next step involves processing the information and organizing it so that you can analyse it. Trace how ideas on that subject have changed with time or the various events that represent breakthroughs in the field. Sketch out a rough timeline for your own reference and see if you can correlate those developments with broader social or technological changes in the world.
Some students find it helpful to create mind-maps or flowcharts to help them better visualize the masses of information, names and dates. Our brains are very visual. So, this approach not only helps organize and sort material but also helps you draw new connections and see patterns. Use color, diagrams and post-its to create a dynamic and engaging visualization of your work. Move notes and pictures around if this helps you restructure your thoughts. Doing this by hand makes the process more organic, flexible and more importantly, fun. Writing an essay doesn’t have to be tedious and a chore! Watch this video to understand how data visualization can help you.
Pause to consider what you want to say. Now that you have seen the patterns emerge, you will have a better sense of which areas remain unexplored or which are ripe for deeper investigation. The most important thing to do when writing an essay is to develop a viewpoint of your own. Your literature survey, visualization and analysis should help you figure out what you want to say in relation to existing research.
Having arrived at your specific research questions and their possible answers, you may now start planning your essay. If for some reason you are unable to write your own essay, there are professional essay writing services like LifesaverEssays that help you complete your essay.
Essay writing companies that are based in the US and are established since many years provide plagiarism-free custom essays written by subject experts for a fee. You can use these essays a reference paper to draft your own essay. If you are writing your essay from scratch with no external help, make a quick draft laying out the different sections of your essay and deciding how much space you want to allocate for each section. State your aims clearly at the beginning so that your reader can immediately grasp them and follow along as you flesh out your ideas further on. Make sure to set aside a section for discussing existing work on the subject. Ideally, this bit should come before you launch into your own discussion. In this way, you help readers quickly understand how you will contribute to the field. This literature review will also show your professor that you have taken the trouble to create a solid foundation for your own research. More details on essay planning here.
Now all that remains is to actually write your essay and get it in shape. Some prefer to write by hand and others like to use word processors. Choose whatever suits you. It is normal to go through multiple drafts before the essay is finally complete. Add images, footnotes, citations and reading lists. To do this, follow your style guide. Pay attention to formatting so that the essay is a pleasure to read. Most universities expect text to be double-spaced so that it does not appear cluttered. This also helps your professor annotate your essay while reading it. Take care to proofread your final essay a few times so that you can correct typos and formatting errors.
With these simple tricks in hand, you should be able to tackle any subject that your professor throws at you.