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How do I make sure I answer the essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher.

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Presentation on theme: "How do I make sure I answer the essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do I make sure I answer the essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher

2 1 Initial brainstorm Check you understand all the key terms. Work out what you’re being asked to do – what is the argument about? You could write the question in your own words. Think about how it fits with your module – why are you being asked this question? If question is ambiguous, check with tutor. (See

3 2 Check the keywords Directive words – words that tell you what to do Topic area – the topic/s or theme/s in the question Limiting/focus words – words that provide boundaries and focus for the essay

4 Identify the keywords Critically discuss the effect that entry into the European Union has had on the sovereignty of the UK Parliament. Critically discuss [directive words] the effect that entry into the European Union has had on the sovereignty [topic words] of the UK Parliament [limiting/focus words].

5 Another keywords example Critically evaluate [directive words], in relation to the common law duty of care [limiting/focus words], the liability of employers for psychiatric illnesses suffered by employees and arising as the result of employees being made to work under stressful conditions [topic words]. Source: question/http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/writing-for-university/academic-writing/approaching-the- question/

6 3 Structuring an essay: example With reference to an urban or rural landscape known to you, assess the extent to which it reflects past and present socio-cultural and economic relations.

7 Ideas for structure Look at themes about the landscape – eg buildings/roads/topography (natural and artificial physical features) and the extent to which each reflects past and present. Or look at the extent to which the landscape reflects past and then how it reflects present socio-cultural and economic relations. Or you could tackle essay through themes of socio-cultural and economic relations.

8 Further help Sussex University S3 website: Writing well: The Royal Literary Fund: Writing ng/essayguide.cfm Book a one-to-one writing tutorial with the RLF:


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