Thank you to everyone who stopped by our Halloween stalls the other day, where our (hopefully not too scary) staff asked you what’s the scariest thing about writing essays.
Some of you found the most frightening part getting started and acknowledged leaving it to the last minute. Our Little Book of Time Management might help with that.
The majority of you said that finding information was the scariest bit so you’re in the right place with the Library! Your Academic Librarians and the Skills for Learning Team offer tutorials and workshops in finding information and writing literature reviews. The Library website has subject guides to get you started and Discover gives you access to thousands of resources. Our YouTube tutorials help you make the most out of this fantastic tool.
Understanding the question and planning and structuring the essay can also be tricky. The Skills for Learning website has information to help with this and the Essay Writing workshops cover it in more detail. You’ll also find hints and tips in one of our essay writing books.
Not surprisingly referencing and concerns about plagiarising or using Turnitin can be scary too. Make sure you have a copy of Quote Unquote to help you out and take a look at our online guides to using Turnitin.
Remember that you can always ask Library staff to send you in the right direction for all aspects of writing your essay and help avoid all those ghouls and ghosts.
You might think (or hope!) that essay writing was something just for school but lots of university assignments require you to write an essay in some form; defined by Skills for Learning as “an extended piece of writing which attempts to answer a question or respond to a statement”.
To tie in with Halloween the Library will be offering help with essay writing so that it doesn’t become a nightmare for you. Look out for us in Headingley Library from 11:00 on Monday 30th October and in the Rose Bowl on Tuesday 31st also from 11:00 where we will be helping you overcome your fears by telling you all about the support available. Here’s a sneaky peak of the help on offer – if you’re scared of spiders, skeletons (or essays!) you may want to watch with a friend!
Also during the week there will be Skills for Learning workshops on essay writing, finding information and referencing to help you get started with your assignments. You can find lots of material online, pick up a book in the Library (or read an e-Book from under the covers!) or make an appointment with your Academic Librarian. There is even a Little Book of Essay Writing with lots of useful hints and tips, and software such as Inspiration or Pro-Study on the Library PCs to help you organise your work before you start writing.
In addition, Academic Librarian, Karen Fisher, will be in the Cultural Studies social learning space in Broadcasting House on Wednesday 1 November 11:30-12:30 offering extra help to students based there.
We also asked Holly Phillips, Academic Skills Tutor for her advice: “The most important thing is that you take a clear position in response to the question that is being asked, then the rest of the essay focuses on the evidence to support that position. Ultimately, the essay is an argumentative genre of writing where the author is trying to get their reader to accept their position. Make your case clearly, directly, and support it using the very best evidence you can find!”
Worth following to turn your nightmare essay into a dream high mark!