December 01, 2004

Dan's Guide to Good Essay writing

I've recently realised that I know very little about popular music. A shameful situation for a radio personality like myself. To correct this fault, last night I was up till the wee hours attempting to educate myself. I have now learnt that Justin Timberlake, despite having a crap name that sounds like a sweatshirt, sings some decent pop tunes.

As a result, today I got up very late and found that suddenly everyone wants to talk about essays. Must have been a memo I missed. Seeing as I am a kind and generous soul I decided that it was high time the students of Warwick University learnt my secret essay tips:

Dan's Guide to Good Essay Writing

Essay Do's

  • Always include a beginning, middle and an end. Your name would just look silly without them.

  • Draw pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. Exploit this saying. Draw four pictures and hand them in.

  • Sentences finishing with exclamation marks count double. Include! Lots!

  • Always remember: word counts include all MSN conversations, text messages, e-mails, blog entrys and cereal packets you read and wrote while in "the process" of writing the essay.

  • Always read the question. This makes it easier to change it to fit your essay.

  • Preparation is vital. If you don't stock up on food, beer and films you might find yourself with nothing to procrastinate with. This may result in your essay being handed in on time, you do not want this. Never heard of the saying fashionably late? You do want to be cool don't you?

  • Always make sure you have a good argument. You'll need it when you have to persuade your tutor to raise your mark.

Essay Don't's

  • Never plan your essay. The main point of essay writing is to be original and how are you ever going to manage that if you keep preemting yourself. Plunge straight in. This also saves lots of valuable time under exam conditions, allowing you to finish early and try to distract the other candidates, lowering everyone else's marks and making you look better.

  • Don't proofread your essay. This is very bad luck and will only remind you of the essays numerous faults and possibly induce a kind of fatal despair.

  • Don't forget your references. All Simpson's quotes, League of Gentlemen paraphrases and your best mate Kevin's brilliant ideas should be catalogued and included.

  • Don't forget to steal sections of your essay from the internet. Thats what it was invented for. Your tutor will be impressed by the demonstration of your IT skills and give you bonus marks.

I hope that helps clear up any problems you may be having.

- 22 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Yay im the first person to submit a comment! i rule! Oh, and by the way, crumple up your work and wear it in your armpit whilst playing sport, preferably a violent one, to give the illusion of blood sweat and tears. They love that.

    01 Dec 2004, 02:10

  2. You are the first person I've met with a crying armpit, but thank you for your suggestion anyway. :)

    01 Dec 2004, 02:12

  3. An elaboration on the beginning, middle and end. They should all essentially be the same but worded slightly different. In effect you can divide your word quota by 3.

    01 Dec 2004, 02:16

  4. I encourage you all to submit your tips.

    01 Dec 2004, 02:21

  5. :-) lol at the crying armpit, what an image. Essay tip: never use the books on the reading list: your tutor doesn't want to read your comments on them because they've already read the books. Be inventive; use books about soil erosion to write an essay on Foucault. They'll love it, trust me.

    01 Dec 2004, 03:14

  6. When you turn up to your seminar to hand in the essay, roll around in the mud, or some nettles and wear really ripped torn clothes. Then tell your tutor "I did it, they warned me not to, but I did it anyway. I hope you're satisfied" before passing out on their office floor. It gives the essay a sense of danger.

    "Always read the question. This makes it easier to change it to fit your essay."
    Historians do that all the time. Seriously.

    01 Dec 2004, 09:32

  7. All excellent advice! I am especially keen to try out Holly's tip next term.

    01 Dec 2004, 13:38

  8. Handing it in on brightly coloured, decorative paper is always a bonus, thus the seminar tutor can appreciate the effort your making to brighten their day. Oh and don't forget a hefty bribe- works a treat!! If you don't have money, offer sexual favours, they always like that (do i know this from experience- i really shouldn't say!!)

    01 Dec 2004, 17:27

  9. I think it might be an interesting idea to slip the offer of sexual favours casually into the text of the essay. For instance:

    ..Karl Marx was the father of communism his interesting text the communist manifesto was co-written by Engels and I would like to lick you all over became the centre of communist uprisings all over europe…

    01 Dec 2004, 20:22

  10. Alex Lu

    Ah, yet another sex-deprived person…

    02 Dec 2004, 01:02

  11. Are you collecting them? If so can you please do it somewhere else. You are disturbing the integrity of my amazing essay tips. Otherwise carry on.

    02 Dec 2004, 01:19

  12. You want an essay-writing tip?:

    I always find that checking one's email every 5 minutes or so can aid the essay-writing process greatly! You never know what insight into the Communist Manifesto is going to come from the great people at dial-a-phone who send you information about their unbeatable deals! (The author of this comment does not endorse dial-a-phone or their great Christmas bargains in any way)

    02 Dec 2004, 08:35

  13. How about getting something written on the subject by the person whose going to mark it. Presumably they'll agree with everything they've written so wont be able to critice. Also if you reference them there not going to re-read what they've written and how many off you actually remeber what youve written 10min after you've written it.

    im doing this very thing right now, if i'm still blogging next term then you can assume i've not been kicked out for plagarism.

    02 Dec 2004, 15:38

  14. All excellent tips. Keep the good stuff flowing people!

    I'm thinking of turning this into a pamphlet for first years. I will have my face on the front cover and maybe on the other pages too. In fact screw the pamphlet, just signed pictures of me.

    02 Dec 2004, 16:00

  15. My essays are always brilliant when I read them before the deadline. But when it comes back to me after a few weeks of insensitive scrutiny of my tutors, all bleeding and covered in coffee stains with sticky traces of sugar, I realize what a shite work I have handed in and how negatively it will now affect my reputation of a genius. So I guess my big tip, that I personally never use, is to get someone else to proof-read your work before deadline. That way, should you get a shite mark, you can always blame it on them!

    02 Dec 2004, 16:55

  16. Another excellent tip! Blaming other people can make you seem bigger and cleverer than you could ever be alone, let us all thank the fates for scape goats.

    02 Dec 2004, 17:10

  17. pedantic person

    Sorry, but I just can't sit by and read these mistakes without pointing them out. David Davies:
    It should be 'the person WHO'S going to mark it', because you're shortening 'who is'. 'Whose' is about belonging.
    Similarly, it should be 'THEY'RE not going to' rather than 'there not going to', because you are shortening 'they are'.
    Also, 'criticise' not 'critice'.
    How many OF you, not how many OFF you.
    plagiarism not plagarism. And there's an apostrophe in 'you've'.
    I'm not trying to criticise, just wanted to point these things out so you don't make the same mistakes in your essays. :-)

    02 Dec 2004, 17:56

  18. pedantic person makes an excellent point!

    Lecturers are often very pedantic people, thus they will get a thrill of satisfaction upon finding every misplaced semi-colon and missing full stop. Remember not to punctuate your essays correctly! It shows flair, because you won't play by the 'rules'.

    02 Dec 2004, 18:02

  19. I get a yellow littel post it note to hand in with my work so that they aren't pedantic

    03 Dec 2004, 17:00

  20. I haven't bothered to read any of the comments since number 9, because I couldn't help but notice that Dan seems to be a magent for sexual inuendo and references; not only within his own blog, but also on foreign territory. I'm just off to read the guide on how Dan is so awesome, but little does he know that my intentions are not to emulate him, but to overthrow him. I will have that vanity title in next year's blog awards, I will!!!

    04 Dec 2004, 00:32

  21. You can have it now if you like. I'm generous to a fault.

    Here take it.

    04 Dec 2004, 02:12

  22. Rene


    The following website could be very helpful for you to proofread you essays, dissertation or reports. Here is the website www.proof–reading–

    05 Jul 2006, 12:41

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