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Need advice on Law essay-writing. First year

cannot write essays for the life of me. I struggle and it takes me time to formulate ideas, to research to build on my ideas and get secondary sources as evidence, how to structure etc. literally every part of essay writing.
Original post by MAKER12
cannot write essays for the life of me. I struggle and it takes me time to formulate ideas, to research to build on my ideas and get secondary sources as evidence, how to structure etc. literally every part of essay writing.
Hi @MAKER12

I would say that the best thing to do is contact your tutor for either the module or your academic tutor. They will be in the best position to offer you tips and support your own personal development with learning this skill.

The way that I approach essays is I spend a while not writing anything but simply working out what the question is asking. Then I draw a diagram which shows both sides to the argument and why you could argue either side. When you have got this you can work out a structure that flows from one point to the other whilst including sufficient analysis. Then it is simply a case of finding some secondary sources to back it up and you are sorted!

I know this is a very brief example of one (out of countless) approaches but hopefully it can give you a new idea of how to tackle essay writing. Equally, even if this does work for you, I would still seek some support from your institution as they will be able to help you reach the best of your ability ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck!

Sophie
Reply 2
Original post by UniofLaw Student
Hi @MAKER12

I would say that the best thing to do is contact your tutor for either the module or your academic tutor. They will be in the best position to offer you tips and support your own personal development with learning this skill.

The way that I approach essays is I spend a while not writing anything but simply working out what the question is asking. Then I draw a diagram which shows both sides to the argument and why you could argue either side. When you have got this you can work out a structure that flows from one point to the other whilst including sufficient analysis. Then it is simply a case of finding some secondary sources to back it up and you are sorted!

I know this is a very brief example of one (out of countless) approaches but hopefully it can give you a new idea of how to tackle essay writing. Equally, even if this does work for you, I would still seek some support from your institution as they will be able to help you reach the best of your ability ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck!

Sophie
Thanks - with contacting my tutors for modules though, I admittedly haven't received many formative works, and I did skip the last bunch I received. I haven't got much work to go off of and ask about.

I never know how to expand a lot on my ideas though. how can I really stretch out my thoughts into a whole essay argument.

with finding secondary sources - how do you even go about doing that in timed exam conditions? how can I read through and find the relevant materials to back my stuff up? surely can't do that in timed conditions easily
Original post by MAKER12
Thanks - with contacting my tutors for modules though, I admittedly haven't received many formative works, and I did skip the last bunch I received. I haven't got much work to go off of and ask about.
I never know how to expand a lot on my ideas though. how can I really stretch out my thoughts into a whole essay argument.
with finding secondary sources - how do you even go about doing that in timed exam conditions? how can I read through and find the relevant materials to back my stuff up? surely can't do that in timed conditions easily

I think the first thing to do is work out what is allowed in your assessments. From what you have said, it sounds as if you are writing under timed conditions? If that is the case, then you are likely going to need to have done your research beforehand which means second guessing what topics may come up as you probably will not have time to conduct research during the exam even if you are allowed to!

I find with essays, the most important thing is to find balance. So, if you can think of all of your reasons why and against a point then your essay will begin to naturally flesh itself out. It may sound basic but I would adopt the PEEL approach if you are struggling and see if that helps.

Even if you haven't done a lot of the set work, you could always ask your tutors if they would mark some work if you wrote it for them now. A lot of the time, tutors are very helpful and will get work back to you even if not a set assignment. :smile:

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