What to ask yourself when picking an essay question

When it’s time for assessment, some lecturers will provide one essay title or question. The reason for this is usually that the topic is so fundamental to the understanding of your discipline, that everyone needs to cover it in detail. On other occasions however, you will be given a selection of potential topics to choose …

How to find your focus

Writing is hard. Unless your deadline is in less than an hour. Then writing can become strangely easier – if not considerably more stressful! Under the right conditions, we can find ourselves in what psychologists call a state of ‘flow’. This is something that we have all experienced at one time or another. You’ll have …

Think before you start

If you’ve been given an unfamiliar task to do, give yourself time to think before you get started. If you just jump straight in, you’ll probably soon find that as you start to realise what the task is about that you’ve gone about it in the wrong way. Let me give you an example. When …

Why academic writing is the Oscars, not the Met Gala

Take a look at Saoirse Ronan in these two photos. On the left, she’s attending the 2019 Met Gala, and on the right the 2018 Oscars ceremony. Two red carpet events, yet two totally different looks (for the record, I love both!). The Met Gala is a highlight of the fashion calendar. The world’s hottest …