Tips for improving your essay writing skills

Writing an essay

Stressing over deadlines and writing essays? You’re not alone. In the words of High School Musical, we’re all in this together! Many students struggle to write essays. To help you improve, I’ve put together some helpful tips for producing high-quality essays.

1. Arguably the most significant: effective time management

You’ll possibly be fed up of hearing your tutors telling you to ‘start early’ when it comes to assignments, but they aren’t wrong! The earlier you start your essays, the less stressful they will be. Treat yourself to a diary or a wall planner to keep track of all your deadlines and then they won’t creep up on you at the last minute!

2. Read regularly

Start reading around your subject as soon as you are given the assignment brief. Reading extensively and widely is time-consuming, but it will really help you to understand your topic and helps demonstrate that to your tutor – bonus! Try reading one article or a chapter a night and soon your bibliography will be stacked high.

Rebecca Russell3. Ask for help

Never be afraid to ask your tutors for advice, they were students themselves once, so they will understand where you’re coming from. They are there to help, so remember, there is no such thing as a silly question! The staff here at LJMU are there to support you throughout your degree, so try not to wait until the last minute to ask for help, because it will just make you more stressed.

4. Relax…and breathe

Try your best to avoid getting stressed or burnt out, and remember, everyone needs a break. When things are feeling a bit too overwhelming, take a breather to do some of your favourite things, even if it’s just taking a nice hot bubble bath or making yourself a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. Taking time out for yourself is vital, as university can be demanding at times. Be sure to have regular breaks and don’t forget about the online workshops with LJMU Student Advice and Wellbeing – they have everything from informal ‘tea and talk’ sessions to yoga classes and managing anxiety workshops.

5. Stick to the structure

When starting your essay, set it out according to the guidelines. This will help you break it down into workable sections. If you’re unsure, consult the module guide or email your tutor to clarify. Don’t leave it until the last minute!

6. Use straightforward language

Although you must ensure that your essay is a high-quality written piece of work, try not to go overboard on the vocabulary. Get straight to the point, use conscience, yet simple language. Long sentences don’t flow well and fancy language can be unnecessary at times. Say what you mean!

7. Don’t suffer alone

If you’re really struggling, have personal issues that are impacting your work, or just need someone to talk to, the LJMU Student Advice and Wellbeing Team are there for you. Everyone gets stressed at times and sometimes personal life can get in the way of our ability to produce a high-grade piece of work. Don’t panic, it happens to us all. Email for a friendly chat or contact your tutors for support.

Well, there you have it, some tips and tricks that are helpful for improving your essay writing skills and will help you to produce a high-quality piece of work. Remember to start early and know that you are not alone if you need support. You’ve got this.

For further information, why not check out the Library homepage and take a look at their skills calendar or email the Library Team for a one-to-one appointment at


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