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Writing an essay

Are you writing an essay, or do you plan to? Here you will find tips and links to more information. If you need support during the essay writing, you can get one-to-one tutoring from the Library or the Study Support Unit.

Information seeking

A central part of the essay work is to search for relevant information and literature, particularly scholarly texts for the chapter on previous research.

In the library's search guide, you’ll get many practical tips on how to get started with the search, develop your search techniques and carry out more efficient searches in databases. Go to the search guide.

If you find books and articles that the library doesn’t have access to, you can order interlibrary loans. Read more about interlibrary loans.

As a student at Södertörn University College (SH) and the Swedish Red Cross University College (RKH), you’re also welcome to make an appointment or drop in to a tutoring session with a librarian to get extra support during the search process.


All sources you refer to in the essay must be written correctly and clearly according to a reference system. When and why are references needed? What is the difference between quoting, paraphrasing and plagiarism? Learn more about writing references.

At SH and RKH, the systems Harvard, APA and Oxford are mainly used. Download the library's referencing guides.

The library offers referencing support to students at SH and RKH. Welcome to drop in or make an appointment.

Structure, language and style

Do you have questions about structure, grammar, spelling, style level, references and so on in relation to the essay? Book an appointment with a writing teacher in the Study Support Unit or drop in at an open workshop. In addition to individual writing tutoring, the Study Support Unit also offers lectures on academic writing, courses on essay writing and much more.

The Study Support Unit offers support to students at SH, RKH and the University College of Music Education in Stockholm (SMI).

GDPR for essay writers

The new legislation on how to protect and handle personal data has effects on your essay writing. In the guide GDPR för dig som skriver uppsats (pdf, 485 kB in Swedish)PDF, students at Södertörn University can read more about how to get consent from participants, and what information should be deleted.

Template for the essay cover page

For essays at bachelor’s or master’s level at SH, there are guidelines for how the essay's cover page should look like. On the Cover sheet page you will find different templates in the Word format that you can use to create a cover page.

Table of contents and page numbering

If you write your thesis in the Office program MS Word 2016, there are several useful features that make your work easier. On the Table of Contents and Page Numbering page you will find practical tips.

Publishing your essay

When the essay is complete, it should be published in the digital archive DiVA. This applies both to students at SH and RKH. Read more about publishing your essay in DIVA.

Suggested Reading

"Att skriva en bra uppsats"

A handbook in essay writing (in Swedish) by Lotte Rienecker and Peter Stray Jørgensen, the latest edition is from 2018. The book includes formulation of research questions, empirical data, theory and method, referencing, disposition and structure in the essay. A chapter is devoted to literature and information search. See if the book is available in SöderScholar.external link, opens in new window

Shelf Aef in the library

At this shelf, you will find many more books on writing essays and other academic texts. Shelf Aef is located on level 5 in the library, near the information desk.

A website with many good tips for the essay writing, including copyright on literature, pictures, photographs, tables and charts. The guide is produced by Blekinge Institute of Technology in collaboration with several other universities. Go to the Writing guide.external link, opens in new window


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