March 13, 2019, by Alina

Tips on writing an essay that you’re completely stuck on

Regardless of whether you’re a fresher who is stumped on an essay relating to a topic that you’ve never even though about, let alone know much about, or whether you’re a final year student that currently has mush for a brain due to processing endless information for your other modules, we can all get stuck on an essay but there are things that you can do to overcome that barrier! I’ve put together a few tips which should help you change the way you see your essay, and hopefully will aid you in graduating with that wonderful 2:1 that we all think about!

Try to enjoy it!

Don’t sigh at your screen at this one, it can actually help! I recently overcame a week-long slump relating to writing up my dissertation, and at the end of the week I was completely disheartened! However, I remembered that I had chosen my topic for a reason. That reason being that I enjoyed it and found it interesting! Try to find elements of the topic that interest you and engage your brain into thinking ‘how can I actually have fun with this?’. You’re much likely to be a little more proactive with the essay and it can help you come up with different ideas that you would never have originally thought of.

What does everyone else think of the topic?

Ask everyone! Ask your friends, family members, people on your course, your lecturers – anyone! Try to find out what other people have to say on your topic and start looking at where you stand amongst their opinions. Remember to use NUsearch ( to find reliable sources for your essay, and start browsing at what academic literature exists surrounding your topic. It can be interesting to what many authors agree or disagree on, and you can then use these arguments to form your own argument. It also shows extensive reading which is likely to be outside of your original reading list which can help you grab those extra marks!

Little by little…

If you have a day where you have completely ran out of ideas and have no idea on how to approach the question, then come back to it the next day! During my crisis last week, I ended one day with tears after a sadly unproductive day at the library, but, the next day I somehow came up with a different approach and was able to be focused on completing another section of my dissertation! You cannot force your brain to come up with a new idea, however, with some rest and some time to reflect on it you’re more likely to have a better chance at achieving it the next day. This is also a reason to start working on your essay earlier, rather than later, as it gives you that extra time to reflect and come back to it if needs be!

Good luck with your essays – remember that all the stress of it will be over after the deadline date! 🙂




Posted in Alina