It has now reached the time of year when your focus will primarily be on Long Essay or Dissertation writing. It is also the time when, if you have not yet devised a game-plan for your writing, you should be starting to think about drawing one up.
It is important to make a plan, and stick to it, when it comes to writing long pieces of work. This is because time will begin to run out without you realising, and you can end up rushing the writing and editing process, which may lose you valuable marks. Breaking an essay up into smaller, more manageable chunks can really help to make the task a lot less daunting, and may help you to clarify your argument and what direction you want your essay to be going in.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to do when writing a Long Essay or Dissertation is maintain communication with your advisor. Ultimately, their help and opinions count the most as they will be the ones who will mark your essay. Thus, ensure you are 100% clear on what they expect from your essay, such as particular sources, debates and the style you should be using.Don’t be afraid to email them sections of your work – in fact they will probably encourage you to do so as it will give them a better indication of whether you are on track, or need extra guidance.
A further important piece of advice would be to familiarise yourself with the History in Practice Handbook. There is vital information in there about the fundamental layout of the essay, and how to best structure it in order to include the key signposts that the marker will look out for when awarding marks, such as making your argument clear. It is much easier to mark a piece of work that is laid out clearly and concisely, and the argument of your essay must be made very early on, in order to help the marker understand what approach your essay will be taking.
The Peer Mentor Scheme is still here to help you out if you have any questions which you may not want to ask your lecturer. Please make use of your mentors as they will have gone through the assessment process many times before, and will have a lot of experience in writing longer pieces of work!