Recommendations For Writing The Best First-Class Essay And Leveling Up Your Degree
This article will be dedicated to the first-class essay writing, how you can create it and use for improving your chances to graduate from the university with a first overall.
Recent reports inform that more students in the USA/UK are regularly awarded a first-class degree, comparing to the previous years. This is not surprising that some people consider this is that result of decreasing university standards.
Students now pay for their education and there are some assumptions that universities want to fulfill their clients’ desire to get “privileges”. Sure, this can be a reason for the increasing number of first-class graduates. But this also can be resulted by the fact that students improved their researching and writing skills and become able to write better first-class works. They now know better how to make examining notes etc. Moreover, they often share some recommendations and tips with each other that allow more students to improve their results.
Why this information can be useful to you? Well, if you think that now you have more chances of ad an undergraduate to be rewarded with first-class, you should better hold the horses. To achieve a first-class degree, you need to work hard and be dedicated to the subject of your study.
Regardless of the reasons for an increasing number of first-class degree holder, the following things are very likely:
– Universities will make their standards even stricter. They will revise the criteria for awarding graduates with first-class degrees and the works for this degree will be estimated closer;
– Due to the increasing number of graduates with first-class degrees on the job market, HRs will expect this in any other applications by default.
How to get a First?
So, do you want to get your own new and shining first-class degree after you graduate? Sure, you would not mind getting an extra prof for your professionalism. That is why you need to know more about what can make you stand out considering your goals.
Here are some tips:
– Try to write your first-class essay and constantly practice to improve your skills.
It is obvious that the more you write and develop your writing skills, the more chances you will have to get the highest overall. Moreover, getting first-class after your essay is not to the complicated task anyway. But we will get back to this later.
– Deepen your knowledge of the subject.
When you read an essay, you can tell almost for sure whether the author of it was engaged with the topic and the subject and got into every detail. It is also noticeable when the text is written only with understanding the basics.
– Learn how to express your thoughts and expertise.
Even if you have learned every possible material on your subject and know everything about your topic, you still require skills to express your expertise fluently. You need to know how to implement your knowledge into the problem-solving activity.
It is daunting when the person has the deepest knowledge in the topic but cannot convey it. If you have received feedback that you need to improve your text, trying to express the thoughts in your own word, use this as an opportunity to improve your skills. Use all the available tools for improving your writing such as online tutorials, mentors or university writing workshops. Almost every university provides help for students in order to help them to improve their skills, especially in writing. Usually, they take place in the libraries.
You can also look for Tutoriage blog and study its posts to get general tips and advice on academic writing.
Moreover, such services can be a great place to ask for writing assistance. For instance, we have academic writers who are experts in their task and they can provide you with the completely original essay, without plagiarized parts of other flaws.
– Be prepared to work hard and put all efforts on this task.
Simple following the points of your writing assignment is not enough to stand out. After all, this is why the classing system was incorporated. You need to show results that are much better than average good results of the second-class category. Think out of the box. Discover the new ways of expressing your thoughts, disclosing your subject. Find the opportunity to explain the topic to make it memorable for the reader.
– But the most important point is: you need to be a gambler!
You need to realize that you need to take risks in order to come out of the second-class level and do your best to reach the reward. We will talk more about it further in the text, but now you need to get the main idea that sometimes you may require to act controversially and be skeptical towards your own work.
You also have to be prepared to make a step back sometimes. If you have ever seen the poker game where only professionals take part in, you might have noticed that even the best player leave the table sometimes. But be sure, they do so because it is their choice.
What is a First-class essay exactly?
We have talked about various things like risks, enhancing expertise, looking for opportunities to express your thoughts etc. But it may sound too abstract. People who write such essays may have a different point of view on the creating process. But we all will agree to the same look of the first-class essay and that it has the same features, regardless of the topic or subject:
- The accurate following of the points from the assignment.
You may consider that it goes without saying – follow the points in your brief. But can you tell for sure that you study the brief good before start writing? When it comes to the first-class essay, the main features of it would be originality and creativity. But following the instructions is on the same importance level.
If you have previously composed guidelines on how your essay should look like, follow the given instructions. You can take some notes on the most complicated points to may more time to them. But you need to check with the brief from time to time in order to walk in the right direction and exclude cases when you need to rewrite everything from the very beginning.
Protect yourself from the situations when you have written a great essay from scratch, but not following the brief will spoil all the impression about it. Yes, originality is really important. But the accuracy is as much important and if you meet all the requirements, you will get all the credits.
- Use clear and understandable argumentation.
Another distinctive feature of the first-class essays is that they are explicit about their intentions. Your reader must understand what points you are going to prove from the first paragraphs. And by the end of it receive the conclusion that will explain your points.
Your essay should be shaped by your main idea, your thesis. So work on it and thought it through well. When it comes to the first-class essay, it should not be just a retelling the thoughts of the original material. You need to express your views on one or another aspect. You need to make the reader want to follow your thinking process.
- Maintain your arguments.
Your essay is not about the complicated arguments, but about proving them right. You need to include thoughts from various sources in order to prove your points. Make sure that all your arguments and explanations are in the logical sequence.
Sometimes undergraduates forget that they need also to provide counter-argumentations as well. If you know that there are some opposite points of view on the aspect you are disclosing, mention this in your essay. You can also quote the authors of the opposite thoughts. Or you can assume what opposite arguments could be used in the discussion of the topic. Using this “tool” you can prove your point, even more, comparing it to the alternatives.
If you do everything right, you will see that the opposite thoughts do not distract from your main views but just support them and provide additional proofs. You show that you have evaluated all the possible arguments and still are confirmed that your statement is right.
- Develop a logical structure that will suit your task.
We all have ever had to write comparative essays about a few things, let’s say books. And we probably all face the same problem: we had so much to write about the text and completely nothing about another one. Do you have any techniques to avoid such problems? It is fine when you start working on the essay where you can simply write down all your thoughts on a particular topic. You decide to focus on the aspects you care about, forgetting completely on the aspects you are supposed to write about as well. And you end up with having an essay with 1000 words one book you liked and less than 300 words at the end of the essay about the one you did not like. For such cases, you need to adjust your mindset for writing the first-class essay.
The remarkable feature of the good first-class essay is that it contains all relevant proofs for the points in a logical sequence and in a way to suit reaching the goal. It is not shaped by the aspects the author finds interesting. You need to maintain the balance between things you care about and the arguments that are required for disclosing the topic.
- Intellectual risks and proofs of in-depth engagement.
This is the point that discloses the going-above-and-beyond aspect. Everything about your essay starting with the intro and ending with the list of references will serve as a marker of how deep you are engaged in the topic you have disclosed. And if you have done deep research, used various sources of information to study all the aspects of the topic, then you have got more chances to overcome other graduates and show results worth first-class degree. But this is not the main challenge. You also need to be sure that all arguments and fact you present to prove the point should be organized in a logical sequence.
- Prove you realize your input in the process of creation of the knowledge.
Many students do not pay attention to this aspect as they consider they cannot make a serious contribution to general academic knowledge. But in fact, we all are the participant of this process. Students often may affect the views of the tutors on the well-known aspects of the subjects. This even may lead to the changing of the way of teaching etc. So the students who want to get a first-class degree should be aware of this and realize that they also can influence the direction of knowledge development.
There are two main things you need to pay attention to considering this. Firstly, you need to select the sources of information carefully and in accordance with your subject. Secondly, take into consideration the style of those sources. You can incorporate the way the respectable scholar write and use similar phrases, like openings or the conclusions etc.
Shortly speaking, your essay should be presented in the following way:
Clear purpose, integrated structure, original arguments and confident presenting of thoughts.
Sure thing, you will not become a master in essay writing in a blink of an eye. You need time to practice and learn all these aspects. But constant work on this will definitely bring you closer to the level that first-class degree holders deserve. But now use some tips that will help you on your way:
An early start
There are high chances that you will have a lot on your plate during the term. If you have access to the syllabus, take some notes on what essays it will include and what tasks you will need to cover. Think about them in advance. If your studying starts in September, find some time during the summer to prepare for future work. This is the time when you can easily define the areas that will be interesting to you.
As soon as your module starts, you need to realize that it is never early to start working on your essay, even if the deadline is far. Do not miss the opportunity to choose the most interesting topic, as other students may also be engaged with the same things. As soon as you have got it, you can start reading about it, collecting sources of information and stimulate your own critical thinking.
Read beyond the syllabus
Regular students often consider that if they have got a reading list, all they need to do is just read it. They do not look beyond it. And as soon as they have done “all the reading”, they think that their task is completed. But being a first-class student you need to realize that the reading list is just a starting point. You can use it as a source of origins and stories connected to your topic. Having this approach, you will find materials that will be above the one that is offered in the syllabus.
Research the literature offered in the syllabus and look for the original sources of the thoughts that are disclosed there. Often there are suggested simplified versions or materials that were sourced from the original and more complicated scholar works. In the syllabus, those materials are presented in a form of overview for easier understanding. But if you will find the full version of the work, you will get a deeper understanding of the topic and may find some useful points as well.
Create your bibliography during the research
Take notes of what sources and materials you use during your research. This will definitely save some of your time later. But collecting all the sources from the syllabus and during the research can be time-consuming as well. So you need to take advantage of the special referencing tools that save your time on organizing the sources. You need to make a habit to add all the sources you use to these tools like software for bibliography creation or similar.
Ask your tutor or other students whether your university has a subscription to the premium tools like RefWorks or Endnote. There might be available free version of Zotero as well, and it will be enough for collecting sources. Usually, these tools are based on adding DOI to your text while working on it. This method is the most informative as this identifier keep all the details about the source and the reader may refer to it (if it is an open source).
We also advise you to organize your researches and divide it into the categories. This will help you to find the required source, if needed and to cover all the aspects without missing any.
Create your own topic ideas, and consult with to your tutor
Even if you like to work alone and skip meetings with your tutor, you need to do so if you want to work on your first-class essay. This is the sign of your serious attitude to the thing you do. Visit every meeting with your tutor as often as possible. Use them as an opportunity to discuss all your ideas and find the right direction for topic disclosing. If it is allowed, create your own topic to make sure it will be interesting to you and original. If you do not know whether it is possible to do so, ask whether you have this opportunity.
The best way to show that you are engaged and able to write an original content is to suggest a particular topic. This is a great opportunity to show that you are interested in creating something original and new. You will not lose anything, but you will definitely show your enthusiasm that can add you some points at the very beginning of your work. Your tutor may guide you in the right direction, but in most cases, they approve student’s ideas and help them in defining the right arguments and sources.
Learn how to express your own thoughts
Students often got frustrated if they receive feedback where their work was estimated as second-class worthy. This can be resulted due to the troubles with the student’s own understanding of the topic. During the work on the essay, the students usually read a lot and it is mostly a good thing. But sometimes it may cause a loss of confidence in your own ideas.
You may be tempting just to rewrite the materials of other scholars and simply express their thoughts in other words. This may be caused by the fact that you have read a lot of works on this topic and you “borrow” the point of view of the scholars.
But this approach cannot bring you closer to a first-class degree as, apart from the deep knowledge of the topic and scholars thoughts; you need to express in your essay your own positions about everything in it. You need to think what thoughts you share and what ideas do not relate to you. Ask yourself some questions like:
- Do I share this opinion?
- Why? Why not?
- What arguments can help me to defend my position?
Take some time to think about these things on every stage of your researching and essay writing. This is the right approach if you want a first-class degree. Sure, there is a risk that you did not understand some fundamentals correctly. And eventually, your argument will be built on the wrong fundament.
But it is a part of our life when we can make mistakes and chose the wrong direction. You do not have to be embarrassed or disappointed in yourself. Being a gambler, you will be able to cope with these realities. After all, you always can consult with your tutor. Ask him/her to reread your essay or the first drafts and correct some critically wring aspects.
Is it worth the risk?
Sure! We all understand that risks in academic writing can exist. But following the guidelines from this article as well as recommendations of your tutor will allow you to minimize cases of failures. Moreover, you will definitely grow as an academic.
People who will estimate your essay will consider this as well, but they will show what aspects of your essay do not fit. Even if your risks will not work out, you will definitely get much higher than you could by playing the safe “2:1” zone. So anyway you will get a higher mark and will enhance your writing skills.
Also, you will get more benefits from working deeper on the topic, than just an academic recognition. You will become more educated and your thinking will become more trained. You will not be afraid to express your thoughts as you will always have the argumentation to support them. So, good luck you with your professional and personal growth.