As you develop your argument ensure that you continue to check back to see that you are answering the question and not just reeling off everything you know about a given topic.
Whether you have selected the topic or not, you will need to research critical opinion before you begin to write.
We recommend that you seek advice on the referencing style required before starting your research.
A good tip to remember when referencing is that, although most referencing styles will allow for the use of abbreviations, the first time a book is quoted the full details should be given.
This free guide sets out the basics for writing your first essay.
If you are looking for something more in-depth or subject specific then we also have a range of guides in our "How To Write" section: The basis of most academic work is the ability to construct a good essay.Although this sounds obvious, it is a skill which most students need to develop as none of us are born with the natural ability to write an essay.None of us are born with the ability to write an essay that will address a given topic effectively and adequately support an argument with evidence, either.It is very tempting to ignore this stage – don't, thorough planning saves time!Although it might seem to be wasting time at this point, a plan is essential to complete a structured, reasoned and researched response on any given topic, even in an examination essay.It is a good idea to compile an alphabetical list of all books used during your research stage as this will save time with your referencing and bibliography later, as you will have kept track of where you sourced your evidence.Remember to present this in the academic style required by your school as, for example, there is considerable difference between Harvard referencing and MLA.Do not worry as these skills are possible to learn.This guide sets out to define all of the major skills which need to be acquired in order to write your essay whether you've been given a topic or you select your own essay topic.The importance of close analysis of the question as the basis of a good essay cannot be overestimated.Despite this, it is surprising how many students simply write down everything they know about a subject without reference to what the question is actually asking them to do.