What’s the best way to write an Essay/ Report?

Posted on 28-02-2012

We have all done it, starting with a blank page of paper knowing we have X amount of time to write an essay or report of a significant length and getting started is the hardest point. This is very true for this blog post.
Therefore I asked around the office when starting an important essay or report how do you go about it.

The feedback we received back was in no particular order:

Break down everything

An essay structure is very basic – Introduction, Body and Conclusion. But this can be broken down further – every single point to be in a bulleted list and then content is created around each bullet point so everything is broken down and then easier to format when it comes to putting the essay together.

Separate sections separate pages

The most daunting prospect of writing a 10,000 word report is actually writing 10,000 words. The psychological effect of this can be daunting and adding on unnecessary pressure. One way around this is to break everything up into separate sections so each section is a much simpler 1-3,000 word sections which are a lot easier to manage. When it comes to formatting you can add in all the sections in the right order and like magic you 10,000 report has been written in smaller sections.

Free writing

A not very common writing technique is free writing. Instead of breaking things down and having sections, free writing is just starting with a blank page and throwing every idea on the page at once. Once your mind is spent on creating loads of ideas you will have created the body of your essay and the more time intensive part on editing, refining and layout begins but the majority of content is created and it is easier to add additional content once you have the body of text added.

Last minute cramming

An old favourite but not best practice is cramming everything at the last minute. Some people thrive on pressure and think if you have the deadline the next morning you will panic but fly through all the content you need to create a perfect essay. Again this is not the best practice because although you may enjoy not having to study at the last minute the pressure and stress to get the work done within an ever decreasing timeline might not produce the best work.
Those are just 4 techniques that we in the Stonebridge Office use to approach essay and report writing, what methods do you use?


  • sara robertson
    10-03-2013 19:40:13
    Great tips as its been a long time since I,ve been at school! lol x
  • AstralW
    24-01-2013 18:54:03
    Great tips!
  • Debs
    21-01-2013 20:44:14
    I am useless at essays but would definitely try some of these net time I write one. Although, I think I roughly do 'Break down everything' instinctively. Must remember this blog for my next essay!
  • Sophie
    04-11-2012 11:14:52
    Actually used these points on the last assignment I did, They were a great help, got it done much quicker then usual.
  • rebecca bath
    31-10-2012 12:36:57
    some great points for studying, will use some of these, good work.
  • Sophie
    29-10-2012 10:48:59
    Great article. I will definitely use these points next time, as I find it so hard to start my essays.
  • Jodie
    28-09-2012 16:32:32
    Another tip would be to give yourself time away from the report/essay if you feel yourself stressing - this leads to a negative mindset and often the dreaded 'I can't do this' by walking away and allowing time to clear your thoughts you will be better able to tackle the report/essay and may find that the ideas and essay structure flow easily.
  • Leanne
    07-09-2012 10:39:58
    I find a big brain storm/spider gram gets everything out then write a paragraph or two on each point then bring it all to a conclusion. OOHHHH and have something to eat first! A nice full tummy is good. ;-)
  • Jodie
    19-07-2012 16:09:31
    Great tips here, I like to brain storm then try to formulate a plan by 'signposting' - writing a small paragraph to illustrate each point :o)
  • Kizzi Keast
    04-05-2012 21:14:06
    I have always mind-mapped my essays before writing them. Even my dissertation. That then gave me sections I could look into and an idea of what areas I needed to be researching further.
  • Mike Anderson
    28-04-2012 07:27:46
    i would just like to add that getting a good rest before takingany essay or exam is very very important. if your mind is fresh you think more clearly and this benefits any project you undertake
  • Vivi Anderson
    12-03-2012 18:17:18
    Many good points raised here, i must admit i prefer to break my essay into sections which takes the pressure off having to write lengthy essays, that being said i have used most of the points raised here, as each tip comes in very handy depending on the project you are undertaking
  • Melissa Phillips
    29-02-2012 22:48:22
    I never even thought of breaking the essay down into smaller more manageable sections, what a good and simple idea!
  • mike anderson
    29-02-2012 16:32:12
    I am not a fan of last minute cramming. i would rather work out a structure and be ready for the essay
  • mike anderson
    29-02-2012 14:59:19
    To be honest i am a fan of Free writing its certainly the easiest for me. it may not work for everyone and also may not be the best option, but it depends on the individuals preference. Last minutre cramming for me dosent work. I much prefer to have it all worked out long before any essay is due
  • Mike Anderon
    29-02-2012 13:32:26
    some very good tips there. i think its important to work out a structure for writing an essay but also it depends on your motivation you have on a particular day.

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