3 Essay Tips To Elevate Your Grade
For some, university can prove a difficult leap from A-Levels. More than anything, the sudden demand for impeccable academic essays can be overwhelming. If you’re teetering between grade boundaries or finding it hard to boost your grade, chances are you’re still adapting to a university standard of working. After all, there’s no point constructing a flawless argument only to then make simple mistakes in your essay structure.
Luckily, most basic essay errors are rectified. Check out these helpful tips.
Outline your thesis clearly
Including a clear thesis statement in your introduction will not only help you establish your point of view, but will also aid the person grading it to comprehend your argument.
Ideally, the thesis will appear at the beginning or very end of the introduction to ensure it is not lost and instead leaves a lasting impression. Make sure that you are decisive in your claim and that its meaning is clear. You want your thesis to make an impact on the grader so that you can go on to prove to them, in the body of your work, how and why you drew this conclusion.
Prescott College notes how, without a strong opening statement, many essays tend to lack a defined point or focus. A strong thesis statement operates as a central claim, making it obvious how to build the rest of the essay and keep your ideas on track. Similarly, they stress the importance of creating your thesis statement only once you have done sufficient research and to ensure you place it in a specific, validating context.
Don’t take quotations at face value
You may be using all the right secondary sources, theory and quotations, but if you’re taking them at face value and using them to simply expand on your ideas then you will struggle to breach into the higher grades.
Every part of your essay should be subjected to critical analysis and that includes any texts you may reference – primary or secondary. To ensure you are effectively using your references, you should examine every word to decipher whether it could have an alternative meaning, whether it contradicts your ideas or other theories you’ve referenced, and how it can be applied to the topic you’re concerned with.
When cherry-picking from critical theory, don’t just look for quotes that support your argument. If you find a contrasting idea, include it in your essay and prove why you would disagree, using your extensive research and original analysis to support your claim. This will help prove your ability to engage with contemporary research.
Double-check your essay structure
When writing an academic essay, you should present your ideas evidently and not allow your points to become jumbled or confused. Often the distinction between a 2:2 and a 2:1 is whether the essay follows a clear linear structure and the ideas are presented in a logical manner.
Always plan your essays. This allows you to move, cut and redefine your arguments before you begin to write. If you write without planning, your ideas are unlikely to comprise much more than a stream of consciousness; Planning grants you the opportunity to reflect on and critique any points relevant to your topic.
By keeping these tips in mind when writing your essay structure, there’s no reason you can’t achieve your desired grade. University is meant to challenge you, but once you learn how to approach an academic essay you’ll find the work a lot less intimidating. Conquer your essay plans, and you can focus on ensuring your content is the best it can be!