Posted in All things 301, Intern advice, Written by Miranda

Successfully writing coursework…

Hi there! It’s Miranda again with some (hopefully) helpful tips on how to write a great piece of coursework. Now I’m in my 4th year I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of writing coursework and the best ways to go about it, so here’s some tips 🙂

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Attend one of our workshops

At 301 we run lots of workshops on Academic Writing to help you improve your techniques. This is the best starting point if you’ve never been to a workshop before. Even if you’ve written lots coursework at university, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll almost definitely learn something new. If you’re a workshop newbie you could attend the Academic Workshop: Overview session, or alternatively there are other sessions on academic writing flow or style.

There a workshop on Academic Writing: Essays at 14:45 on Wednesday 22nd March so why not book on?

If you’re still not sure which workshop to attend, check this mindmap out and it will tell you!

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(No 149. on the map)

Get organised, early

Ok, so this isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but the best essays are obviously those which have been most well prepared for (and generally not the ones written last minute..) You should do lots of research and planning, and then a bit more, and the best way to do this stress-free is to start early!

Write your introduction last

Although I’d heard this advice at the start of first year I never really tried it properly until this year. It might be tempting once you’re ready to start writing to just dive straight in, in an attempt to get as many words down as possible, but its really helpful to write the introduction last to make sure it gives an informative and concise overview of the essay. If you right you introduction last, and do it well, then you’re framing your reader to give you a good mark, too!

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Reference as you go along… Properly!

So you probably don’t leave all your referencing until you’ve finished the essay (unless you like to live dangerously), but do you reference properly? You can make your life so much easier by taking extra care to write down page numbers for references, and compiling your bibliography as you go along. There’s nothing more dull than having to go through and re-do all your references as the end, and if it’s boring you’re more likely to miss a mistake.

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Put it down for a couple of days

If you manage to get your essay completed a few days early you’re in a great position. It can be really useful for park it for a few days, and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes to see where you could improve it and to spot any errors.

Hope this helps, good luck!

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We are 301 Student Skills and Development Centre and we give academic skills advice to our students at the University of Sheffield. We offer workshops and 1:1 appointments.

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