Essays What is an essay? What does an essay have? – Structure – Content – A title/topic!
What structure? Beginning, middle, and end Connectedness – Progression of thought/argument – Exegetical essays are different An essay must make sense!
What content? Facts Analysis and reflection Connection-making – the flow of the discussion Arguments – inductive, deductive (what are these?) Don’t preach (what is preaching?) Don’t use polemic (what is polemic?) Don’t generalise – all, every, etc. Don’t be vague Get the details right – Checking spelling and grammar – Accurate references – and not wikipedia
What about the topic/title? Every word matters A topic is a question to answer (if it is not a question, turn it into a question) Rule #1: answer the question! – If you don’t, you will get a failing grade
Exercise on answering the question turn the following essay topic into questions: ‘The Kingdom of God is the essence of the Gospel announcement. Discuss how this theme is continued in the New Testament from the Book of Acts and Epistles. Underline key words Identify the questions Decide which is the most important question Decide how the questions connect
How to start? Planning – what do you want to argue? – The questions in the topic are your guide – How are you going to arrange these? – How do they connect up? – Do you agree or disagree – why? Can you argue both sides? Gathering information Arranging information – According to your plan – do you need to alter the plan? – Reviewing your argument in light of new information Edit into shape Add intro and conclusion if not already there – Intro states the questions you are going to answer; conclusion states how they have been answered and what conclusions you draw. Check and proofread (or get someone else to proofread)
Practicalities If you are ill or something unforeseen happens, apply for an extension See your tutor or another faculty member if you are struggling Make sure you have the right coversheet If it won’t upload, email it to your tutor The word limit is the word limit! – Don’t go way over – Don’t undershoot – it is that long for a reason
Exams Types of exams – All essay questions – Brief notes + essay questions – Parts A and B How many questions? Exam essays are essays! – Everything about essays applies to exam essays – What is different about them? – What is different about their topics? – mostly…
How to sit an exam before you start writing Read the instructions! Note how many questions/topics from each section Choose the questions you are going to answer Apportion time for each question On the exam paper underline the key words and turn the topics into questions Do mini plans of your answers on the exam paper (you will hand this in with your booklet) or use the booklet to plan your answers, but put a line through your plans before handing in the booklet.
How to prepare for an exam Yes, do revise your course work Practise with old exam papers – Analysing topics and planning answers – Doing a mock exam? – Have your tutor check if you are not sure if you are on the right track
Practicalities You need to turn up about 20 minutes before. – You can enter the room 15 minutes before and start reading your paper and writing on it 10 minutes before. Bibles are supplied. Exams are written in exam booklets Bring several pens. Water is a good idea Yes, you can go to the loo if you need to Tell the supervisor if you feel unwell
During the exam Watch the time per question – Move to next question when time is up – You may have time to go back and finish a question later Keep writing until the exam is finished – If you finish early, go back and read through your answers – there will always be something to add – If you run out of time at the end, try to indicate where your answer was going Make sure you answer the questions!
Contact me (Sue) or your tutor If you need to follow up any of the points in this presentation, please do so.