Essays are used to assess your understanding of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
They follow a particular structure: you will set out your argument in the introduction, build and present your argument in the main body, and should end with your overall key message or argument in the conclusion.
Essays take time to complete. You will need to set aside time for the following stages of writing:
- Thinking about the question.
- Gathering information and ideas.
- Organising your ideas.
- Getting something on paper.
- Writing a first draft.
- Reviewing in light of feedback or reflection.
- Producing a final draft.
Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
You will find a number of great books on essay writing in the Laidlaw Library, Level 1, under Skills E-5.
The Writing courses at King’s help students from all disciplines develop critical thinking and find their distinct voices as they polish their writing skills. Students benefit from taking Writing 1020F/G (Introduction to University Essay Writing) early in their careers. More mature writers enjoy the intense dialogic approach of Writing 2101F/G (Introduction to Expository Writing). Students who use English as a second language take Writing 1002F/G and 1022F/G, companion courses designed to offer extended practice in academic writing. English 3999F/G is a workshopped Creative Writing course open to students across the disciplines. Writing 2260F/G and 2301F/G, new courses that will involve active learning, will give students in advanced skills in writing for the caring professions, and in tutoring other writers.
The Department of English, French, and Writing also runs The Write Place, where students from all disciplines can get feedback and advice from trained tutors and specialists on any aspect of writing.