Mega Essays: Meaningful, Extended PapersSaturday, November 27th, 2010
Learn to write a mega essay
A long, extended essay can be considered a “mega essay”, and even though it may seem like a real challenge, here you will see there’s no need to panic. When it is up to essays, most of the time students don’t get to choose the extension of their works. It is up to the teacher to decide the essay word count. As you can see, essays are not always the same: while you may be requested to write a short, five paragraph essay, other courses may call for 5000 word essays, real mega essays that may take several pages. Many times, students need to deal with the challenge of writing those really long essays, which require a proper organization.
Anyway, even if at first the number of required words or pages frighten you, don’t freak out. Actually, sometimes the real challenge is writing a significant extended essays allow you more freedom.
How long should your “mega essay” really be?
You should never write fewer words than required by the teacher. If you think about it from the examiner’s point of view, a student who writes less than required has very little to say. And that won’t really get your essay mark any higher. It doesn’t matter if you wrote your best. A word count below required always leaves a bad impression.
On the other hand, if you have been requested to write an already long essay –let’s just say, 4000 words- it’s not very good either to write 5000. Try not to annoy your examiner with an essay way too long.
Organizing your essay
A proper organization is a must for successful mega essays –as well as for very short ones, in which you have to say a lot with few words-. And that means writing an essay sketch or plan. First establish the essay topic, and then, once you get to write, remember you should always start your essay with an introduction, in where you delimit your field, establish your hypothesis and write about your research methodology.
You may then delimit body paragraphs by writing subtitles. Another good idea at this stage of the task is planning the bibliography. Search through every article and find appropriate quotations you may want to include in your essay (and always remember to quote their author). And remember that every essay should finish with a conclusion.
Reaching your essay word count
It is quite simple to extend an essay. If you feel you’ll never reach the appropriate word count on your own, follow these tips. Try writing longer quotations: instead of quoting a sentence, why not quoting the whole paragraph? Another good idea is to write a longer introduction or conclusion, since in these sections of your mega essay, you are allowed to paraphrase other parts of the work. Always remember to use synonyms to avoid repetitions. Finally, you can rewrite some secondary ideas you left behind in the essay plan and add them now to the final version.