Essay Writing Summary

The following points are a summary of some of the main points to remember when essay writing. We advise you not to use this summary instead of reading the main text, but it is useful as an aide-memoire!

1. All of the stages of essay writing are important.

2. Preparation includes analysing the topic, planning and research.

3. Using plans will help you construct essays in a logical, balanced and coherent manner.

4. Research involves finding, reading and organising relevant information.

5. Start your research early: obtaining references can take time.

6. Find out what kinds of resources you’re expected to use.

7. Assess the relevance of literature sources by reading the introductions, summaries and conclusions. Skim through the text and look at the contents pages and indexes. Check out the bibliography.

8. Work on your essay one section at a time, combining research with writing. Record the references you use as you go along.

9. Identify and fully reference all your sources.

10. An essay should have an introduction, main body and conclusion but no sub-titles.

11. Paragraphs should each convey one main idea, perhaps with examples.

12. Conclusions should summarise the main points. No new material should be included and examples shouldn’t be given.

13. Except for “journalistic pieces” you’ll probably need to write formally.

14. Never submit the first draft of an essay for assessment. Any essay should always be revised and edited at least once.

15. Reword anything that’s not clear. If part of your essay is muddled you might need to reread some reference material first.

16. Check that the paragraphs, and the sentences within them, are arranged in a logical sequence. Use your plan to help you.

17. Keep to the word limits set for your essays.

18. Check if there are word-processing guidelines.

19. The more you practice writing the better your essays will become, and the more you will enjoy writing them!

If you found this summary useful you might like to consider the Night Owl essay writing guide