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Writing an essay pdf -

Breaking it down then building it up Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process breaking ideas down, then building them up again. A generic structure that you may find useful is brief recap of what you have covered in relation to the essay title reference to the larger issue evaluation of the main arguments highlighting the most important aspects.

Here is an example of an introduction for an essay entitled Examine and compare the nature and development of the tragic figures of Macbeth and Dr Faustus in their respective plays.

It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more.


You need to break down the essay title into its component parts, and consider possible ways of addressing them work with these component parts, as you select your reading and make relevant notes build up the essay using the material you have collected ordering it presenting and discussing it and forming it into a coherent argument. Editing Finally, you need to take a break from your essay so that you can return to it with fresh eyes for the final editing. These criticisms highlight the three basic elements of good essay writing establishing a relevant structure that will help you show the development of your argument and using critical writing as much as possible with descriptive writing being used where necessary, but kept to a minimum. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays.

In the words of a tutor I m looking for focus, for a voice that I feel confident with and not bored by someone who knows the area and is going to take me round the issues in an objective, informed and interesting way. The first words you write do not have to be part of the final version. As a tutor has said Creme and Lea, 1997 p41 When my students ask me about essay writing, there are three main pieces of advice that I give them.


When in doubt about any aspect of your reading for the essay, or about your writing, the first step is to go back and consult the essay title.


Writing is an active and constructive process it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts. Attending closely to the title The most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you. Stott, 2001 p39 Yes, editing is important, but no it does not need to be difficult. The need to use such a wide range of academic skills is probably the main reason why the essay format is so popular with tutors as an assignment. Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. References Barass R, 1982 Students must write a guide to better writing in coursework and examinations.

Summary of key points The title is the most important guidance you have. It is however possible that some tutors may still prefer not to see it. Within the paragraph you could introduce the idea piece of evidence quote stage of argument present the idea piece of evidence quote stage of argument comment on it this is where you demonstrate your critical thinking and writing. A useful generic structure is to begin with a general point about the central issue show your understanding of the task that has been set show how you plan to address the title in your essay structure make a link to the first point.


The aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job.

It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly. Shorter words are often preferable to longer words, unless there is some specific vocabulary that you need to include to demonstrate your skill. Presentation A tutor can learn a worrying amount about the quality of your essay simply from how it looks on the page. These can be useful starting points, but you will probably decide to work with a more complicated structure e. The task ahead is nothing more and nothing less than is stated in the title. Perhaps a more suitable word than structure in those cases may be pattern, or impression, or atmosphere although these merge into the field of creative writing rather than essay writing. Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. Breaking it down then building it up Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process breaking ideas down, then building them up again.


When in doubt about any aspect of your reading for the essay, or about your writing, the first step is to go back and consult the essay title. Being a critical writer After attending closely to the title and establishing a useful structure a third main element in the essay-writing process is the confident use of critical writing. This fits with the style of the morality play the erring Faustus must be seen to be humbled at his end for the morality to be effective Highlighting the most important aspects It is this strong element of morality in Dr Faustus that ultimately divides the two leading characters. As with teaching, it is often not until you try to communicate an argument and its evidence that you find where the gaps are in your knowledge or argument.


Creme P Lea MR 1997 Writing at university a guide for students.


may be useful when reviewing your own reference list.


Here is an example of an introduction for an essay entitled Examine and compare the nature and development of the tragic figures of Macbeth and Dr Faustus in their respective plays.

The heart of the essay The middle part of the essay must fulfil the promises made in your introduction, and must support your final conclusions.


They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions. It is the most common focus for study consultations among students using Learning Development. Brainstorming To start you off, and to minimise the likelihood of writer s block, a useful exercise is to do a brainstorm of all your ideas in connection with the essay title. A generic structure that you may find useful is brief recap of what you have covered in relation to the essay title reference to the larger issue evaluation of the main arguments highlighting the most important aspects. In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding.


For a PDF version of this guide, click This Study Guide addresses the topic of essay writing. It would be rare, however, to find a symphony that was without structure or pattern of any kind it would probably not be satisfactory either to play or to listen to. One way to practise critical writing is to make sure that you don t leave any description to speak for itself, if it is part of your evidence and argument. You begin there you end there and everything in between needs to be placed in relation to that title.

There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e. It is your task to present your argument in a way that your audience can follow it is not your audience s job to launch an investigation to detect the points you are trying to make.


It is worth attending to all of the suggestions and comments you receive, and trying to act on them. It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title asking yourself questions such as What structure should I use?


If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time.


There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e. Producing incisive and clear written work within a word limit is an important skill in itself, which will be useful in many aspects of life beyond university.

In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding.


They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways making intelligent decisions, based on your initial planning, about which sources to target, so you don t spend time reading less relevant, or even completely irrelevant material reading with a purpose, so that you are looking out for particularly relevant material, rather than paying equal attention to material that is less relevant systematic note taking, so that you record the most relevant material, and that you have full reference details including page numbers of direct quotes of all material you may end up using.

If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph or more to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower.


Attending closely to the title The most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you.


Short to middle length sentences are almost always preferable to longer ones.


So don t be afraid of writing down your ideas before they are fully formed, or in the right order.

Writing is an active and constructive process it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts. Editing is a crucial part of the process not an optional extra.

overall chronological structure broken down by comparisons according to the elements of the title overall thematic structure broken down by sub-themes overall comparative structure broken down by context. Efficient reading All three of the processes described above will inform your decisions about what you need to read for a particular essay. Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become.


In different subject areas, and with different styles of writing, the term argument may seem more or less relevant.


Consistently poor grammar or spelling can give the impression of lack of care, and lack of clarity of thought. Stott, 2001 p39 Yes, editing is important, but no it does not need to be difficult. So, don t feel you have to make that decision in your head before you write anything. Expect to undertake an iterative process of planning, reading, drafting, reviewing, planning, reading, re-drafting, and editing. Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort.


It is however possible that some tutors may still prefer not to see it.

With critical writing, you are doing work with the evidence you are using, by adding a level of examination and evaluation. Of course, these are general points, and there may be some occasions, or some subject areas, where long paragraphs are appropriate.

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