Developing essay strategy
Currently writing my essays and there’s a few things I have learnt which are highly beneficial.
– read old essays and mark them yourself, after you have submitted essays and you have been reading a lot strangely enough you have been developing a different style of writing because your learning all the time. The more you read the more you will find out and experience with your writing style.
-read old essay feedback, do not repeat mistakes! You’ve made them once and your tutors have highlighted specific things avoid from doing it again. Need to sort out your referencing? Look at the style guide again or ask your tutor to help. No excuses!
– understand when you peak, I’m not a person who can work productively for a whole day. I like to work in 20 minute periods of time. I tried a new way of writing my essay this term, I started my reading in week 2 in term 1, this wasn’t great because I ran out of energy and drive by the time my essays were due in so I needed up rushing my work and this was evident as I had marks deducted due to my careless proofreading. So this time I started in week 4, and it worked! I started writing 4 days before the essay was due and I still had the chance to discuss with my tutors about my ideas.
-primary sources are very important, secondary sources are also important. But if your essay is enriched with primary sources, honestly your understanding of the topic will be better. Take the time to read the literature, look for architecture, vases, coins, plays even inscriptions. They all help to provide good examples and give you the chance to show your critical analysis skills.
-secondary sources train, running out of secondary material? Or a lot of your material is outdated? Look at the material given in your bibliography and look at what those authors have used, and keep doing that. You will never run out, because everyone references other people’s ideas which will help you to develop an opinion on the topic.
-Common thread, your key argument should be sustained throughout. I always try and summarise my essay in 200 words after I have written it and your argument should be explicit. The beauty of classics is that everything is linked together, you just need to be creative and find out ways how different sources link to suit your argument (secondary sources can help you with this).