When I started first year at University I was thrown into the deep end in regards to what my lecturers expected from me and my work. I had only ever written an essay on paper with my name on at school, I had never done referencing, appendices or a bibliography – all of this was like a different language to me. Along with my friends, I had to work out for myself what I needed to do. As the year went on, I started to get the hang of what was required of me and made a list of things I need to ensure are included in my essays. I hope this list helps those who are already at University as well as those who are just starting to not forget any of these in your work!
References are great for backing up your points you make in your essays. It is important you stick to one style throughout your work so the lecturers do not get confused and mark you down for inconsistency! I tend to stick with the author’s name outside of the bracket and the date and page number inside. For example “True (2017, p.107) states…”. I was also notified that instead of always writing “(insert reference here) said that ..”, you can change it around and write the quotation first, followed by the reference. If you do this you must put the WHOLE reference in the brackets, including the name! Always make sure any references are put into the bibliography!
Writing my own bibliography of references I’ve used is still a struggle for me now at the end of first year! I used to do it manually through Word but when I start second year I intend on doing it by myself as some bits were being missed and I lost marks. I’d recommend doing it on your own back and not relying on Word! The bibliography has to be alphabetical and include all of your references you have used in your work. You will need to write this in whatever style of referencing your University requests.
Appendices are great if you have multiple things you want to show the reader such as a newspaper article you have been studying, a questionnaire you’ve conducted or even an interview. They are like referencing, backing up your point with some evidence you have done. Don’t forget to write (See Appendices A) after you mention something that requires you directing your reader to the appendices! The appendix needs to be written alphabetically, so each of the items you’re referencing comes under a different letter. For example: an interview would be Appendices A, and a questionnaire Appendices B.
A title is important for your work as you can lose marks on something so small and silly! Title the essay in relation to what the point of what you’re writing about, you can even title it the question you are answering.
Usually in the header I include my name and Student ID in the top left corner and in the right corner the module which the work is for and essay title the assignment the lecturer has set. This ensures that the lecturer is aware of whose work they are marking and that it is for the correct module and assignment.
Page numbers are pretty self-explanatory – they make sure the reader does not get confused about which pages goes where when looking at your work. It keeps in tidy and in order!
Different Universities may request different fonts and size of font when submitting an essay as it makes it easier for lecturers to read. Always make sure the font and its size are correct.
Lecturers like having a lot of space around your work to write notes about what you’ve written. Providing them with as much space as possible is important for the best feedback. I usually put my spacing between 2.5 or 3 to ensure there is enough room.
Some Universities request a cover sheet to be place before an essay as a declaration that the work submitted is your own. This is an important document to include before you’ve begun your essay, so don’t forget it!
If you include all of these in your essays then you wont lose any marks on your work!
What tips do you have for University work?