Essay season is almost upon us. But don’t worry! We here at Craccum are veritable veterans of essay writing (some of us have even marked them!), and we’re more than happy to share the wisdom we’ve gleaned over the ages. Read on for Craccum’s Top Ten Tips guaranteed to turn that C into a C- (at least).
Talk to your tutor
These people have been specifically selected to help you and have been unable to escape the money pit that is postgraduate study because of their impressive ability to ramble on for 3000 words. The only thing they’ve done for the last 3 years is write essays, hoping that it would somehow secure them a job. Go to your tutorial, go to an office hour (please, that hour is so lonely otherwise) and utilise their useless, expensive knowledge.
There comes a point in the semester where your dreams no longer offer a night of exciting escapism. Instead, your anxious mind becomes a factory for processing your stress, taking all of your most strenuous ideas and pumping them into your subconscious imagination. If you take a nap at your breaking point, it’s possible you’ll generate an incredible lightbulb moment, constructing a theory so influential you’ll get your PhD upon hand in. You’ll open your third eye, see God and maintain world peace. Your professor will be so impressed, he’ll distribute A+s to the whole class. Are you dreaming, or are you a genius?
Leave it until the last possible minute
Listen, diamonds are born under pressure. Don’t bother starting your essay weeks ahead of the deadline, when you’ll actually have time to look up sources and think of compelling arguments. That’s chump shit. You need to be starting your essay the night before the due date. The time pressure is guaranteed to get your heart pumpin’, your fingers flyin’, and your brain whirrin’ in no time.
Vibe it out
What’s the most important part of an essay? Is it the argument made? Is it the use of punctuation and good grammar? Is it having an accurate bibliography, or using clear formatting? No, it’s none of those things. The most important part of an essay is: the vibe. Next time you crack into an essay, take some time beforehand to get into a positive mindspace. Burn some lavender incense. Turn on your salt lamp. Listen to the Dalai Lama’s new Spotify album (yes, this is a real thing). When you start your essay, start it in the right headspace – with good vibes. Those good vibes are bound to transfer to your essay. Trust me.
Use really vague sources/references
This one ties into point number three. Sources are really just opportunities for your lecturer to call you out. That’s why it’s important that you don’t use any; or, at least, that you use the vaguest source references possible. That way, there’s no chance your tutor can find out whether or not your source actually said what you claim they said. Here’s a tip: next time you need to make up a quote, make it up, google a book which sounds like it could be on that topic, and cite the whole book. No page numbers. No chapter reference. Nothing. Just cite the whole damn book. No essay marker is going to take the time to read through the whole book just to find one goddamn quotation.
What’s that old saying? A picture is worth a thousand words. Check on your word count and create a beautiful photographic display. 3 pictures = 3000 words. You’ll probably get EXTRA marks for being so spot on. What are the pictures of? What is your thesis? I mean, it’s up to your lecturer’s interpretation. Aren’t all essays just a rorschach test where we embed our own meaning, Professor?
Font 24, triple-line-spacing
That guy from Mitre 10 is right on the money: bigger is better. Let your tutor know you’re not fucking around by turning your 300-word self-reflection into a 2000 page novel. Your essay is going to carry more weight the more it weighs, so really crank that font up. One letter per page, baby.
Your writing matters. Whether it’s your final essay of the semester, a resume for your dream job, or an email that could close a crucial sale. Your success depends on the quality of your writing. You’re going to want more than a simple spell check. Luckily, you’ve got Grammarly on your side. With just a few clicks, you can streamline wordy sentences, replace bland vocabulary and align your tone with your goal. With Grammarly, you can feel confident, no matter what you’re writing or where you’re writing it. Visit Grammarly.com today!*
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Leave a bribe in the bibliography
This one works like a charm. Drop a subtle hint in your bibliography that you’re open to swapping good grades for cash. You’re probably being marked by a tutor, and tutors aren’t exactly on big money, so feel free to let them know you’re open to a little tit-for-tat. You never know what might happen. Here, you can use my template:
From Me, A Message. “I’ll Pay You Two Hundred Bucks If You Let Me Pass”. Email Your Bank Account to firstname.lastname@example.org (Oxford Press, 2020).
Write in Comic Sans
Come on. We shouldn’t even have to explain this one. Comic Sans is the Don Corleone of the font world. It’s the big dog. It’s the top cheese. It’s the coolest tomato in the fridge. It’s the scariest seagull at the park. It’s the teleliest tubby. It’s legit.
Nothing says ‘I mean business’ like handing in an essay entirely in comic sans. So, next time you’re about to hand in a thesis, put it all in comic sans. Trust us: your tutor is going to have to give you an A.