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How to prepare better essays? What is an essay?  “Essay” comes from the Latin word –  “exagium” which means  the presentation of a case !!

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Presentation on theme: "How to prepare better essays? What is an essay?  “Essay” comes from the Latin word –  “exagium” which means  the presentation of a case !!"— Presentation transcript:


2 How to prepare better essays?

3 What is an essay?  “Essay” comes from the Latin word –  “exagium” which means  the presentation of a case !!

4 If you were him, what would you decide if you heard this from a lawyer? “Your honour! Trust me, my client is innocent! He didn’t do it. THAT IS ALL ALL!”

5 What would you expect to hear from a lawyer in the court?  no matter he / she is prosecuting or defending a client…..  Proof & evidence!!  Argument!!

6 Essay tips

7 An essay ……  carries a formal convention  is a set style which  it must conform  or it is not an essay!

8 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!)

9 The essay structure


11 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

12 How to Prepare & write an essay?

13 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

14 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

15 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)

16 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

17 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!

18 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

19 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!

20 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

21 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

22 Step 9: Hand it in  submit it on or before the deadline  always keep copies of your essay  why?

23 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

24 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!

25 Essay development activities  Group writing  Practice brainstorming  Write those paragraphs  Do not aim for perfection  Practice writing  Write a lot!

26 Why write essays?

27 why write essays?  a form of assessment  a dialogue between student and tutor  write to learn

28 Work Hard & Good Luck!!

29 Reference  Burns, T. & Sinfield, S. (2004). Essential Study Skills. pp. 178-197

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