An essay …… carries a formal convention is a set style which it must conform or it is not an essay!
The convention The body – the key section of answering the question Paragraph structure - introduction, definition, argument, evidence & discussion, final point Paragraph as dialogue The conclusion (Tips: use the words from the question in your conclusion to prove that you have answered the whole question.) Bibliography (special note to citing!)
Essay tips making it a continuous piece of writing, instead of dividing it up by headings or strap headlines set length (words) – be reasonable presentation counts – be professional & well cared for be formal – use formal English, do not abbreviate leave space for the marker – be considerate
Step 1: Prepare to research It takes time Open a research folder Look at the question! - underline every key words in the question - Every word in a question is a gift! Read them all!” - Make sure that you do sth about every word – don’t leave any out! Be creative
Step 2: Systematic & targeted research Carry out the action plan: the 4Ws & more - what: note what you will research - why: reminding yourself the reasons for researching that topic - where: collecting information from different sources - when: set a date and keep to it - check: check when you have done it
Step 2: Systematic & targeted research Read with a purpose big notes – all your reading about 1 topic on 1 large big sheet of paper (e.g. A1)
Step 3: Review your notes notice the evidence for and against your topic think what your argument will be (based on the given evidence) Index surf – brush up your paragraphs
Step 4: Plan plan your body first one main idea per paragraph consider opposite evidence order your points of argument to build a logical case!
Step 5: Write the first draft Use paragraph questions to prompt your writing: What is it about? What exactly is that? What is your argument? What is the evidence? What does it mean? Therefore…..? What is your final point? Try to build a flow in your writing
Step 6: Leave it! allow a break in your essay writing process to allow the your unconscious mind will seek to close the gaps that you left by offering yourself some distance & objectivity believe it or not: you are working with your brain even during this stage!
Step 7: Review, revise and edit this is the essay writing processes! allow plenty of time for this process go through the whole essay when doing the first and last drafts but in between, just attack 1 paragraph at a time you go back and put in the “best” word check the links between paragraphs and make sure that they still connect with each other
Step 8: Proof read read your essay aloud swap essays with a friend – proof read each other’s work cover the essay with paper and proof read one sentence at a time proof read from back to front proof read from the bottom of the page to the top proof read several times, just checking for one of “your” mistakes at a time proof reading gets better with practice
Step 9: Hand it in submit it on or before the deadline always keep copies of your essay why?
10. Getting work back to review what you have written to utilise the feedback you get from the marker to use that feedback to write a better essay next time to perform a SWOT analysis: Strengths+Weaknesses+Opportunities+Threats
SWOTing your essay Tips: If you can answer an exam question on a topic previously covered in an assignment, put the assignment in your revision folder. If you improve the essay then the exam answer will be even better. Share it! read other’s work, discovering different writing styles & other approaches to answer a question – so as to stretches our thinking!
Essay development activities Group writing Practice brainstorming Write those paragraphs Do not aim for perfection Practice writing Write a lot!