How to Write Better Essays takes the reader carefully through each landmark stage of the essay writing process from the interpretation of the question, to the research, planning and revision. They are shown not just how to improve their study skills such as note-taking, reading, organisation and writing, but their thinking skills too.
Full of techniques and worked examples, this bestselling guide teaches students how to analyse difficult concepts, criticise and evaluate arguments, use evidence and develop more ideas of their own. It provides clear and practical advice throughout and gives students the confidence they need to tackle written assignments.
About How to Write Better Essays book
By the time we reach university a surprising number of us are convinced that we should know all we need to know about researching and writing essays. We’re inclined to argue that if we’ve got this far we should know how to analyse the implications of questions, read efficiently, take notes, plan and structure arguments, use evidence, and write light and interesting prose. Indeed these skills are the very thing that has got us this far in the first place, so to admit that we could be better at essay writing seems to be an admission that we’re lucky to have got this far.
Instead of seeking help, then, to improve our skills, we settle for the strategy of just learning by our mistakes, or by example in those rare moments when we might see our tutor think through and analyse a difficult concept, or pull ideas together from different sources and synthesize them into a new way of looking at a problem. If we recognize the significance of the moment, and most of us don’t, then we might be lucky enough to retain a small inkling of what went on in the hope that we, too, might be able to do the same.
But it need not be like this. The two types of skills that we all need to be successful in our courses – study skills (reading, note-taking, writing, organization, and revision) and thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, discussion, argument, and use of evidence) – can be taught. There is nothing mysterious about them. They need not be the exclusive preserve of a few. And there is nothing particularly difficult about them either. Indeed, most of us have the abilities to succeed, if only we can unlock and use them by learning these simple skills.