Tips for Working Efficiently

Being set an essay and saying to yourself you want to achieve 70% is one thing. Being able to do it is another.

Unfortunately ‘pumping’ out an essay is not all there is to it. A good essay begins with good knowledge. Your fundamental knowledge will come from your lectures. To use your ‘lecture knowledge‘ in your essay you need good, informative notes.

Good notes give you the foundation. Now you need to read deeper into the subject. Picking up a book with a relevant title and reading it from cover to cover is going to have limited results. Knowing what to read and what is relevant to you is a skill; learning to read effectively may sound like a drag but it could save you days of painful research.

So you have the foundation and the brickwork done, it is now time for the windows and doors. What may have attracted you to economics is the idea that it is a ‘social science cake with mathematical icing’, basing theories on models and proving these through data whilst still having a strong qualitative aspect is great. Until you realise that ‘finding data and analysing it‘ is nowhere near as easy as it first sounds. Knowing how to do this will, again, save you time, energy and a lot of frustration.

So now you’re watertight (assuming the roof is included under brickwork (we do economics after all!)), you have the knowledge, the reading and the data.

Unfortunately, inside doesn’t look quite as nice. You’re striving for success, not a half finished essay. So, all that is left is the collating, writing and referencing. Once again it sounds easier than it looks. Not only is there writing to do but referencing is very important.

Now, not only are you watertight but also comfortable on the inside. You can sit back, comfortable in the knowledge that you tackled the essay as well as you could. Well done.

What about everything else?

Essay writing is by no means the only challenging task you will be set at University. You may be asked to give presentations (a daunting task) or work in a group. All these are challenging in their own way.

And then, of course, there are the exams. Knowing how to revise for these is very important. Having good, strong essays to back up your exams is very nearly priceless. Not only can you learn from your essays, but you also have a specialist area that you understand (that may help your exam) and a good mark to fall back on in case the exam doesn’t quite go to plan.

Throughout your economics degree you will probably be faced with maths. Some find this a breeze but most find it difficult. A little bit of maths help will hopefully give you a little bit more confidence and experience in tackling these problems.

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