Critical thinking is what will make your essay stand out.
It shows the marker that you are not simply repeating the arguments that have been fed to you throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner.
Once you have identified a few solid articles, you should (a) go through their bibliographies and take note of who they are citing, as these articles will likely be of value for your own research; and (b) check on Google Scholar to see who has cited them.
To do this, simply input the name of the article in the search bar and hit enter.
You should start by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key words related to your research topic.
Once you find an article that sounds promising, read through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.Each section, paragraph, and sentence should add value to the argument you are presenting.As you are writing, it’s good to take a step back and ask yourself “what value does this sentence/section add? ” If you find that you can’t answer that question, there is a high risk that you have strayed from your core argument, and you may want to reconsider the path you are taking.A good way to practice this is to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap for their own research.How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure.If you are still not a hundred percent sure, it is usually a good idea to skip to the conclusion – this usually contains a detailed summary of the study, which will help determine whether you should read the article as a whole.You don’t want to waste time reading through and endless number of articles simply to find that they aren’t actually relevant.Students often underestimate the amount of work required to write a good essay, which results in two things: (1) late nights at the library, and (2) a disappointing grade.If you want to achieve a good mark, you should start planning your essay the moment you receive the essay question.Make sure to tell your reader why you are transitioning from one argument to the next, why they are in this particular order, and how each argument helps shed light on a particular aspect of what you are discussing.Writing may be the core task, but reading is equally important.