On this page: It is important to assess, before anything else, what it is you are being asked to do.
The directives in essay questions are often very specific and require that you deal with the question in a particular way.
This guide provides a detailed overview of the essay writing process with tonnes of practical advice to help you attain a better grade for your academic assignments.
We've presented the chapters below so you can delve in and out at a point to suit you - but the easiest way to read the guide is to start on the first page and use the walk-through links to access the rest of the pages.
They use an author-date format: You can download a free guide based on these British Standards here: Free Essay Referencing Guide (right click and save file as...).
We have summarised this guide online here: Harvard Referencing Guide.Most word processors have spelling and grammar checkers and so there is no excuse for poor spelling, grammar and punctuation!We have produced the following basic guides which cover some common problems that students experience with punctuation when writing essays: However, if you would like a free lesson in English grammar, try the Grammar Guide Online at Grammar Station - this even has a grammar checker so that you can verify sentences of up to 25 words instantly.With so much material available to you, translating your essay question into a search strategy or statement is an important first step in tracking down the information you need.Your development of a search strategy must start with thinking about the kinds of words related to your topic that you might expect to find in books or in newspaper articles.Your reading lists will already include many of the most important writers; by checking their bibliographies and works cited in those articles, you will have access to the most up-to-date writing on the topic.Your search for relevant information for your essay will undoubtedly generate a mass of material and so it is essential that you develop concise note taking skills.We have compiled this guide to essay writing skills, including structuring essays, reports and dissertations, to help you in planning and producing your essay.We hope that you find it helpful - please let us have any comments and suggestions you may have for improving this free study area.Many universities have specific variations within these general conventions and you should check with your university whether a specific referencing style is required.There are two British Standards that outline referencing styles.