Writing tip of the week

by Harriet Castor

When you’re writing an essay, don’t feel you have to get your introduction right first time. Putting this pressure on yourself causes two problems:

  1. It makes writing that first paragraph a very sloooow and agonising process.
  2. It can result in an introduction that doesn’t really match the essay.

An introduction is a bit like a road map – it needs to give the reader a sense of the journey you’re going to take them on, and the main things you’re going to point out along the way. Before you’ve written your first draft, you may not know precisely how your essay is going to develop – so writing an accurate road map is impossible. Always come back and redraft the introduction once you’ve finished the essay. Knowing you’re going to do this helps you relax as you start writing.

For a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills, email Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk.

I’m at Frenchay on Wednesdays and St Matthias on Thursdays.


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