Perfecting your essays can seem like a never ending nightmare when at uni. As they usually make up the bulk of your degree, it’s key to smash them so that you get the most out of uni life. We’ve put together the fundamentals and a few tips and tricks that worked for us so you can glide through them…

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Mindset & Focus

Before you even begin to write word 1 of 3000, getting into the right mindset is key.

Set your intention (obvs, finishing your essay!) and understand how reaching your goals will make you feel. Practicing this will help you to start with a positive outlook and eliminate any doubt or worry before getting stuck in.

Staying focused can be a challenge within itself, and it’s completely normal to have off days or procrastinate occasionally. There are a few things that can help improve your focus and help you stay on track when working on essay writing;

  • Scheduling writing time
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Good nutrition
  • Hydration – drink more water!
  • An environment free from distraction

Decide that you want to do well and you WILL! A positive mindset brings positive things.

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Question Yourself

Understanding the brief seems obvious but is a common mistake with essay writing. You can save wasting time researching and putting together content if you haven’t fully understood what is required. Here are some checks to include;

  • Read the question aloud – twice!
  • Ask your lecturer, you’ll get some more clarity this way
  • Get someone to ask you the question

Once you have got a grasp of the meaning of the question, you can then go on to map out how you’re going to execute structuring your essay. Some useful action points worth planning in are;

  • Which information you’ll need to find out
  • What are your sources of information?
  • How much time will you need to dedicate to specific topics?
  • Will you need any help and support?
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Plan & Prepare

It’s easy to waste time when writing your essays or spend too much time researching, which will bring that dreaded deadline closer *panics*

Creating a schedule will help you set our dedicated time for research and composing your essays. This will help you to hold yourself accountable for getting sh*t done and staying ahead of deadlines. Give yourself more time than needed to tick things off your list as you won’t be rushing or making careless mistakes!

Check out these customisable essay planning templates to help get you started.

💡 Glider Tip: Aim to complete your essay draft at least one week before the submission deadline so you have time to proof read and edit.

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Research is 🔑

No essay is complete without sufficient research and you’ll most likely be marked on how well you have conducted it. With so many sources of information available, it’s important to filter through what is relevant to you and your specific subject.

There are multiple resources can extract information from including;

  • Library books
  • Your lecture notes
  • Articles & Journals
  • Blogs
  • Course collateral
  • Websites

Choosing what is relevant to you will depend on your course and degree topic, so be sure to conduct enough research so you’re fuelled up with the right info to boss through your essays.

Once you’ve sourced the good stuff, you can then filter through what you have and extract everything necessary.

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Quote on Quote

When referencing quotes and extracts within your essays, it’s important to acknowledge the sources of information.

Making a list of the key sources from the research you conduct will save you time and effort when composing your reference list. We asked Gliders for their top referencing tips, check out what they shared;

  • Stick notes are ace for book notes!
  • Online citation generators are super helpful
  • Give yourself more time than needed to avoid mistakes
  • Triple check your work, it’s easy to miss key points!
  • Learn about your preferred referencing style

Trust & Believe

It’s safe to say that the most common answer when asking Gliders for their top essay writing tips was to not leave everything to the last minute!

In order to achieve your desired results, giving yourself the time, and thinking space to smash through your essays is key. The next step is to believe in your capability and skills to succeed! Knowing that this short period of intensity will be worth all of the rewards and recognition that come with it.

You are limitless and can achieve anything if you put your mind to it!