Presentation on theme: "The process of writing an essay ‘Writing an essay does not simply ‘happen’ on a particular day. Effectively, you start the writing process as soon as you."— Presentation transcript:
The process of writing an essay ‘Writing an essay does not simply ‘happen’ on a particular day. Effectively, you start the writing process as soon as you begin to study the topic of your next essay.’ Northedge 2005: 297 Sara Steinke STAY AHEAD 10 th November 2012
Aims of the session Cottrell's ‘seven-point procedure for writing assignments’ and Northedge’s 8 ‘Stages in the essay writing process’ Analysing the question Writing introductory, main body and concluding paragraphs Importance of grade content editing and proof reading Using feedback to improve your essay writing skills and grade
Consider the following Imagine you have an essay due in two weeks’ time. How would you set about the task of writing the essay?
1. Clarify task 2. Collect and record information 3. Organise and plan 4. Engage, reflect and evaluate 5. Write an outline and first draft 6. Work on your first draft 7. Final draft Stages of essay writing Cottrell 2008: 176-177
1. Thinking about the essay title 2. Planning the writing process 3. Studying the course content 4. Taking stock before you start writing 5. Getting ideas written down 6. Organising your material 7. Drafting an answer 8. Reviewing and polishing Stages of essay writing Northedge 2005: 297
Consider the following What are the advantages of adopting a systematic approach towards your essay writing? What are the pitfalls of not following a systematic approach towards your essay writing?
Analysing the question Essay questions can be broken down into: Its topic Any restriction/ expansion to the topic The aspect/angle you are asked to consider Instructions you need to follow An analysis of the changes in US policy towards China during the 1970s. An analysis of the changes in US policy towards China during the 1970s.
Writing introductory paragraphs State title of essay in first line/link to question Explain the title/why the question is important/establish the field/give background information/state aim of the essay Outline approach to the essay/Thesis statement Narrow the field/particular focus/outline issues Outline structure of essay
Writing main body paragraphs Topic (first)sentence: main idea of the paragraph Supporting sentence: gives details about/ explains topic sentence Concluding (last) sentence: repeats the main idea/gives final comment about topic
Writing concluding paragraphs Summarise main arguments/themes State general conclusions Make it clear why conclusions are significant Refer back to question/directly answer it Make recommendations or suggest way forward/further research Do not present new material/ideas in your conclusion
Content edit/proof read Have you answered the question title? Have you used relevant material? Do you show a good grasp of the ideas? Have you presented a coherent argument? Is the essay written in an objective, analytical way, with appropriate use of illustration and evidence? Is the essay clearly written and well presented?
Consider the following Question What do you think is missing from Cottrell’s and Northedge’s stages of the essay writing process? Answer Feedback from tutor on your essay
Using feedback to improve your essay writing skills and grade 1.Read through work and lecturer’s comment 2.Check you understand lecturer’s comments 3.Make list of major issues and minor errors 4.Compare with comments/lists from previous essays - Which comments appear more than once? - Which issues have you improved? 1.Number issues in order of priority 2.Act on them!
Recap of the session Ensure you adopt a systematic approach to your essay writing process - involves good time management Pick your chosen question to bits - offers clues to how you should answer the question Learn how to write introductory, main body and concluding paragraph s Remember to content edit/proof read your essay Act upon feedback from your lecturers - a key way to improve your grade