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AS:CSM’s Essay Writing Tips


Read your brief.

This might sound obvious but you need to make sure you understand what they are asking for.


Copy and Paste key sections from the brief in your document.

This will give you a starting point and help you stick to the brief. Make sure to put it in bold or change the colour so that it is easy to see what’s from the brief and what you have written.


Write down the topics or points you might want to talk about.

Whether you like to use mind maps or prefer making lists, just try and get something on the page. Helpful apps for this are Xmind, Notion or your phone/computer notes app.


Break it down into chunks.

Just try and start writing about one of your points to start with, don’t worry about essay structure or linking just yet. This way it is a lot less daunting.


Stuck on a point? Use Point, Evidence, Explanation.

If you are stuck trying to write a section try this:

  • Start by making your point briefly (one sentence)

  • Find some evidence, such as a quote, to back up your point

  • Explain how the evidence backs up your point.


Reference as you go along.

Just putting website links, titles or names into your bibliography when you find them will save you in so many ways. Trying to find your sources at the end is really stressful and wastes loads of time.


Leave your introduction and conclusion until you understand your essay.

Your introduction and conclusion are there to give an overview of your essay, so don't start writing them until you understand what your essay is saying. Once you understand how your points argue your point and how the essay will flow, you will be able to condense that into your introduction and conclusion.


Use your last sentence to summarise everything.

Your conclusion, and particularly your last sentence, should be punchy. It is your last chance to convince the reader of what you have discussed. Try to condense the theme of your essay as much as possible, remember, they have just read all of your points and evidence.


Organise your references systematically.

Putting all of your references in red until they are finished is a good way to make sure you haven’t forgotten any. Then turning them green until they are in alphabetical order is also really helpful.



We really hope you find some of these helpful, but remember everyone works in their own way. These tips were put together during a AS:CSM Online Tea Time event. If you have a topic you would like to discuss, join us every Wednesday at 2pm at: https://moodle.arts.ac.uk/mod/collaborate/view.php?id=502090



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