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How do I come up with my essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher.

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Presentation on theme: "How do I come up with my essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do I come up with my essay question? Cath Senker Writer, editor, teacher

2 The scope of an essay question Learning outcome: Analyse the impact of America at war on the American economy Here’s a lazy question: Describe the impact of America at war on the American economy. Improved question: Analyse the impact of America at war on the American economy by explaining how the different effects of war combined to affect the economy. Cath Senker, Spring 2014

3 Academic keywords There are 3 types of keywords: Directive words - words which tell you to do something, eg analyse, discuss, evaluate Topic words – the main topic areas or themes outlined by the question Limiting/focus words – words which provide boundaries or constraints for your assignment Source: writing/approaching-the-question/http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/writing-for-university/academic- writing/approaching-the-question/ Cath Senker, Spring 2014

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]. Cath Senker, Spring 2014

5 How to come up with the question Highlight the keywords Check definitions Plan for length – allocate word count to each section Do your research so you can work out which topic to focus on. Make notes and then plan your essay. Now you can come up with a focused essay title. Remember the 3 types of keywords: Directive keywords – to allow you to analyse Topic area – what you’ll cover Limiting words to focus your essay. Cath Senker, Spring 2014

6 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: Cath Senker, Spring 2014


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