Essays are the most common type of written work you will be asked to submit but they are not the only one. We will focus on essays in the Pathway guide but there are lots of other types of assignment you might be set.
Lots of the suggestions and links we make in this section of the Pathway guide can be applied to these other types of assessed work.
Why not begin by looking at the academic writing guide and its links for more support.
It might be a while since you wrote an extended piece of work and you might be worried about various aspects of academic writing. You might want to brush up your understanding of various concepts. Try looking at our guides on
Don't sit staring at a blank piece of paper or screen. Just start writing something even if it is just notes and ideas. You'll be surprised how the ideas start to flow. You may need to go back and edit what you have done later but at least you have something down.
This may be because you do not know enough about the subject. Go back and look at your initial plan and maybe do further reading.
Don’t pad out your words by using long, complicated sentences and phrases with lots of adjectives.
If this is a problem, read through and see if you can be more concise. Maybe you are trying to cover too much. Read through your plan again and try to focus on a narrower range of issues that you can discuss fully or cover the same range of issues but at a broader level.
If you aren’t sure that you are thinking critically enough then you might find it helpful to look at our guide to critical thinking