Essay Writing Tips

Essay writing

You should spend time reading the question and be sure that you understand what is involved. An effective plan can make the task of essay writing more straight forward. The following points may be useful to remember:

  • Do not plunge straight into writing the essay without giving the reader some idea of what you are going to write about.
  • Underline the key words
  • list them using bullets
  • Remember once the exam starts you are allowed draw up a plan and sketch out your essay first and you can include this with your finished essay
  • Create a rough plan of your essay based on the key words
  • Do Include a brief introduction, the main body of the essay and a conclusion
  • Do Indicate briefly in the introduction the ideas, areas or issues you intend to cover (based on the key words you have underlined) and your line of argument
  • In the main body of the essay discuss each of the areas mentioned in the introduction (based on the key words you have underlined). Include relevant argument and details.
  • Refer back to your list from time to time to check for relevance. It is easy to get carried away and regurgitate a lot of pre-learnt material. It may be factually accurate, but is it relevant to the question?
  • Make sure that each area is discussed in a separate paragraph or paragraphs
  • Remember to illustrate your answer. As much as ten points out of fifty are awarded for the illustration. Illustrate each section of your answer. Be sure to annotate the illustration in order to explain the significance of it to the text and the points you are making.

Past papers, in conjunction with marking schemes are useful in preparing for examination. These are a precious source of information. See the Examinations Commission Website and click on the Examination Material Archive link to access past papers: