Essay Writing: How to Go From a 2:1 to a First Class Degree
  • 3-minute read
  • 17th March 2016

Essay Writing: How to Go From a 2:1 to a First Class Degree

No matter how hard we work, some of us find ourselves falling short of the marks we need to go from a third to a second, or an upper-second to a first class degree.

If this sounds familiar, it doesn’t mean you’ve got anything wrong; it may simply be a matter of polishing your essay-writing technique or doing a little extra to demonstrate your abilities.

Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to win those vital extra marks.

1. Check the Marking Criteria

To make sure you’re genuinely doing enough to earn a first, the simplest option could be checking the marking criteria. Universities use these to ensure essays are graded fairly, but they also give students a chance to see exactly what the grade boundaries are.

Likewise, if you know someone who has received a first-class mark for their essay, ask if you can see how they structure and present their arguments.

2. Extra Research

If all you do is attend the same classes and read the same books as everyone else, it’ll be difficult to make your work stand out.

Going beyond the reading list, on the other hand, will demonstrate your ability to conduct independent research and engage critically with the subject matter. This touch of originality is often what makes the difference between a 2:1 and a first.

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To find inspiration, you can try checking the bibliographies of set texts for other publications on the same subject, but it might be simpler just to e-mail your lecturer to ask about extra reading!

3. Be Clear & Concise

Making your writing clear and concise will help you communicate effectively. Never pad out an essay just to meet a word limit; your marker will see through this and you’ll only make what you have written harder to understand!

4. Do the Boring Things Well

You might have the most brilliant mind humanity has ever produced, but if you don’t know how to reference your sources correctly you’ll always lose valuable marks on your written work.

5. Finish Ahead of the Deadline

Leaving your essay until the night before the deadline will not improve the quality of the finished piece of work. A far better approach is to aim to finish writing at least two days before the deadline, as this allows you to re-read your essay and make last-minute edits before handing it in.

And once you’ve submitted your work, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done extra research, checked all your references and argued your position clearly, you’re free to sit the pub feeling a bit smug; it’s fine, you’ve earned it.

Comments (1)
23rd May 2017 at 08:58
your article made my day. valuable articles which helped me a lot.keep on updating your articles. your website has a great look and the articles are very useful for my studies.thanks for the post.

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