Introduction to Effective Essay Writing

by Waller Jamison

Effective essay writing is one of the most important skills needed during your time at university. If you are a student or about to become one, there is a very high probability that you will have to write a considerable number of essays and so it is essntial that you learn how to avoid some of the common pitfalls experienced by students

All colleges and schools are now extremely concerned about plagiarism, that is copying the work of another person and passing it off as your own.

Effective essay writing includes avoiding plagiarism and although every word that you write in a college essay will not be original and you will be expected to refer to writers in the field and to include relevant quotations.

However, many students simply lift content from a website and put it, word for word, into their own essays.

Others aren't aware of the correct way in which to reference material which has been written by someone else. Since the arrival of the internet, this has become a massive problem for schools and colleges.

Software is now able to trace work which has been copied directly from the internet, but there are also many sites which offer to write custom-made essays for students - for a price, of course.

Are you tempted to pay someone else to write your essay or dissertation? If you are busy and stressed, with lectures to attend, course work and reading to keep on top of, you may feel that paying someone to do some of the work will make life easier. But think of the consequences.

The worst possible outcome is that you'll be caught and may be kicked off the course, resulting in a lot of wasted effort and perhaps your being excluded from your chosen career.

If you aren't caught out, how are you going to feel, knowing that you got through the course using someone else's work and that you might not have made it on your own? How can you feel proud of your achievements, when you know that some of them weren't your own?

Even if it seems very daunting, assuming that you can write reasonably well structured sentences, check your spelling and grammar, effective college essay writing is just a case of learning and applying the rules.

This link will take you to my basic essay writing guide, where you will find plenty of general tips to get you started.

If you allow yourself plenty of time to complete the first assignment of the academic year, listen to any feedback you are given and ask for additional support if necessary, you will find that it's a skill which you can master relatively quickly.

If you do have difficulty with basic writing techniques, perhaps because grammar wasn't taught at your school, you should be able to get additional support from your college.

If you anticipate problems with general writing skills, be sure to ask for help early in the year. Don't leave it to the last minute, when you should be on the final draft of your essay.


If you read through the articles on this site and follow the tips, you shouldn't have too many problems, but if in doubt, always talk to your course tutor.