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Write Your Essay


Before you write your first draft you need to plan the structure of your essay. Your plan is the "skeleton" of your essay, it provides a sense of direction for the overall  structure of your essay.

Planning your essay

  • Group your main ideas into different themes
  • Put your ideas into order
  • Check to ensure that your plan addresses the essay question.
  • You can use bullet points/ mindmaps/ diagrams

Writing your first draft

When you write your first draft you are adding "flesh" to the skeleton of your essay.

  • Put your ideas into sentences and paragraphs
  • Write it – DO NOT  worry about the reader yet
  • Your first draft should be self-directed (you are writing it to yourself at this stage)
  • Remember you can start writing anywhere
  • Your first draft is one of several drafts before your final draft

Writing the Introduction of your essay

  • Provide enough background detail to enable the reader to understand the concepts explored in the essay
  • Tell the reader what will be covered
  • State the way the subject will be addressed

Writing the Conclusion of your essay

  • Summarise your points
  • Give a concluding statement
  • You can end with a quotation

Revising & Editing

Revise and Edit

Editing involves checking the content of your writing. Key areas to think about:

  • Refer back to your essay question - have you answered your original essay question?
  • Check order of ideas - are they well supported? and well organised into paragraphs and sections?
  • Ask someone to read it - is it clear? does it make sense?
  • Check style, tone, vocabulary
  • Is it within the word limit?

Final Draft

  • Check for surface level requirements 
  • Legibility 
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • References
  • Does it conform to your department’s specific requirements?
  • Save a copy of your final draft.
Proofreading is the stage of your writing where you are happy with the content and now just need to check for errors. This involves looking at:
  • spelling,
  • grammar,
  • punctuation and
  • referencing.
Things to look for might include:

Spelling and grammar

  • verbs and tenses
  • sentence structure
  • articles
  • word order
  • parts of speech


  • full stops
  • commas
  • apostrophes
  • quotation marks
  • brackets
  • colons
  • semi-colons
  • exclamation marks
  • question marks


  • in-text citations
  • reference list
For more information on grammar and style, see here.

Reference List/ Bibliography

What is a Bibliography?

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of all books and other resources that you have used in your research for your essay. This means those you have used to quote from and paraphrased from, and all others which you have read as well.

What is a Reference List?

A reference list is an alphabetical list of all books and other resources that you referred to within your essay. This means those you have used to quote from and paraphrased from.

Your reading lsit is an example of either a bibliography and/or reference list. In some departments you are only required to provide only one of the two. This information is found in your assignment sheet. This course requires you to provide a bibliography at the end of every assignment essay.

Planning your Bibliography

Your list of resources are put in alphabetical order by authors family name.This will be dicussed further in the tutorial.

Refer to Quick©ite for examples and sample lists.

Submitting your assignment

Your lecturer will advise you if you are required to use Turnitin to submit assignments for a particular course.

Turnitin is an electronic plagiarism detection service that is used by many universities world-wide. When a student’s assignment is turned in to the system it is matched against millions of Internet pages, electronic journals and a constantly increasing database of all previously and concurrently submitted assignments. Teaching staff receive a report from Turnitin that can be used as a resource to assist staff in making a judgement as to whether a student’s work is plagiarised.

You can access Turnitin via the Library website from Databases & Articles click on T and scroll down to find and select Turnitin.


Markers Feedback

Feedback on your assignment


Read the feedback from your lecturer/tutor

  • Make sure you understand where you went wrong
  • Speak to your lecturer/tutor if you are still not sure
  • Use the feedback from your lecturer/tutor to improve your next assignment


Help Guide

Information and search skills guides and helpsheets

1. There are links to quick guides or helpsheets written by the librarians or the database providers found on the Connect Page.

2.  There is often Search Tips and Help available within the database on the default search screen.   

3. If you still not finding the results that you need, then you may want to seek out further help:

With essay writing and study skills

1. Check the Libraries & Learning Services Workshops and register

2. Make an appointment with your Student Learning Services tutor

3. Attend your course tutorials

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