Writing an academic essay
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HCS24
Duration: 6 sessions (over 9 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
This course is a practical, step by step, guide on how to write an academic essay for Humanities/Social Science undergraduate degrees or A Level/Access courses.
It is NOT a spelling, punctuation or grammar course (see the English, Maths and ESOL Department if you need help with spelling, punctuation and grammar).
Full-time students may pay the concessionary rate for this course. To claim the concessionary fee as a full-time student, please book via our Enrolments line on (telephone temporarily unavailable).
Students say: "It was very comprehensive - I learnt more than I expected"; "It was helped me prepare for my studies"; "The tutor was super-friendly and offered so much support"; "It was interactive and everything was explained well and in detail.".
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Amongst the topics covered are: time management, interpreting the essay question, essay and paragraph structure (beginnings, middles and ends) and academic style.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Interpret an essay question.
- Apply essay structure (introduction, main points and conclusions).
- Produce a persuasive argument based on good essay/paragraph structure.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is appropriate for those students preparing for, or in the process of completing, undergraduate study in Humanities or the Social Sciences. The course will have more limited use if you are preparing for, or completing, other degree studies. Although aimed at a higher level, it could also be of use for those studying A levels or Access courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
While basic essay writing is taught in this course you will need a good level of written English in order to complete university level assignments. As stated above this is not a spelling, punctuation or grammar course. You should also be able to read and comment upon short texts aimed at undergraduate Humanities and Social Science students.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor input, group activities and independent work in the class. The course will entail 3 x 30 minute small group tutorials (one at the beginning of the course, one at the middle and one at the end). Students are encouraged to ask questions in every session.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Just paper and pens.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to consider a course in your area of interest in the Humanities Department or focus on your grammar (see Brush Up Your Grammar).
Sinead Keegan is a writer, editor, and lecturer with an MFA in writing. She lectures in creative and critical writing at Kingston University and London Metropolitan University in addition to City Lit. She also teaches in her community, for organisations such as the British Council, and writes on a freelance basis for major corporate publications, websites and private clients. Her poetry and short stories have been published and anthologised widely including in Magma, The Lake, and Sheila-Na-Gig Online.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.