Essay Writing Skills Nz

At high school, particularly here in New Zealand, ideas are always assessed in the form of essays.

With so many rules surrounding ‘proper’ essay form, it’s easy for ideas to get lost to the format, or for you to lose sight of what they’re arguing for in the first place.

Sadly, this means that students often can’t get their thoughts across effectively, and are marked down for things that have no bearing on their ideas or intelligence.

However frustrating they might be, research has shown that learning how to compile an argument in written form is a skill that does great things for your grades, employability and general life-confidence.

As a soon-to-be graduate of high school – whatever you choose to do – the importance of strong communication skills cannot be understated.

If you choose to head straight into the workforce, you’ll be expected to demonstrate this skill in your cover letters and CV’s during job applications, and at University, essays are pretty much the stock standard assignment in most courses (otherwise there are always reports, reviews and reflections).

Writing skills will even get you further in your travels: Visas can involve lengthy letters and application processes, and administrators are always impressed by a well-written application.

Considering all the evidence, it’s a smart move to get a good feel for essay writing now – the seeds you plant now will help you out big-time in the long run.


How can I write a good essay then?

Contrary to popular opinion, anyone can write a good essay.

It’s a skill, not a trait, and like any other skill, it only improves with practice.

The tricky thing is getting your head around all the niggly bits, like structure, and themes, and ideas, and topic sentences, and punctuation, and clarity, blah blah blah, etc. That’s what we’re here for.

This guide will help you to break through the sludge of essay writing and help you to get to the heart of their purpose: communicating an idea. We’ll decipher the intimidating jargon and wordy standards for you, and give you solid, smooth steps to follow so you can smash an essay for every topic, any time. The guide will cover:


Deciding on an “idea”

Planning your argument

Essay structure


Body paragraphs




Introduction to Essay Writing

This four-part course is designed for students who are new to university, or for those who would like to improve their essay writing skills. It is especially suitable for students in Arts, Education, Social Sciences, and Law. The course focuses on developing an argument throughout the essay writing process, from analysing the essay topic to writing the final draft.

  • Session 1 Analysing the topic
  • Session 2 Research and referencing
  • Session 3 Structure and planning
  • Session 4 The final draft

Note that some of the streams below meet twice a week over the course of a single term. If your timetable clashes with one of the times or days, you can sit in on sessions in a different stream to ensure you don't miss anything.

Course Outline (PDF)

Dates and times

  • Mondays and Tuesdays, 26 February to 6 March 2018, between 12.00 pm to 12.50 pm : passed
  • Thursdays, 1 March to 22 March 2018, between 10.00 am to 10.50 am : enrolment full: venue>>

The next set of dates for this learning event has not yet been scheduled.

Even if this course is fully booked, it is likely there will be space on the day, so feel free to turn up. If you would like to be notified when it is next scheduled, request it at a different time or day, or just find out more, email Academic Skills

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