3 Before you start Read your Module Handbook for information about your assignment (s), e.g.: title marking criteria learning outcomes recommended reading word count deadline, etc. If unsure, ask your lecturer.
4 Make sure you understand it. The verb (s) in the title are most important, as these tell you how to approach the subject. Underline key words in the essay title. Begin with the Essay title (1 st step)
5 For example Analyze -describe the main ideas: show how they are connected to each other and why they are important Compare and contrast -say how things are similar and different Define - give the meaning and write down an example Describe – give a picture in words
6 Discuss – write about the subject in detail and present all sides of a topic Evaluate – give the good (positive) and bad (negative) points and say what you think about a topic Explain – give the reasons for something Justify – say why; Give reasons
7 Reflect – review an experience in order to describe, analyse and evaluate to inform learning and future practice Review – give an overall view of the important aspects of a topic, provide evidence for your claims Summarise – bring together the main points and write about them in a clear, brief way Based on ideas from Elizabeth Burns (2004)
8 Gathering material Use online academic sources to find material Use textbooks, journals, for knowledge and evidence.
9 Essay structure Your essay needs to have a structure: Introduction Main Body (divided into paragraphs) Conclusion References (& Bibliography)
10 Introduction Briefly explains the aim and content of the essay (8-10% of word count). Demonstrate the background of your topic. Use indications to guide your reader through your essay eg: first, second, then, afterwards, finally
11 Main Body Each paragraph should only address one topic or issue. Two paragraphs can state one issue BUT not two issues in one paragraph.
12 Main Body Paragraphs contain PEEEL. Each one has a main Point. – first sentence of the paragraph The rest of the paragraph is used to say more about that topic. It will contain Evidence of the main point, an Explanation/Examination, some Examples it will Link to the next paragraph
13 Linking words Use the following words or phrases to order and add further arguments or add emphasis: also, as well as, moreover, further, furthermore, in addition, additionally, firstly, secondly, thirdly, next, lastly, finally
14 To show importance: …most importantly, above all, the most significant reason etc
15 To make comparisons or highlight similarities: likewise, in the same way, equally, also, etc
16 To show contrast or highlight differences:... but, although, however, yet, despite, whereas, on the contrary, otherwise, nevertheless, in contrast to this
17 To explain results/effects: as a result, hence, therefore, thus, etc
18 To provide examples/clear explanations:...for example, for instance, such as, in other words, to put it another way etc
19 To draw conclusions:...as has been discussed, in brief, in short, to summarise, to sum up, in conclusion
20 Conclusion 8-10% of word count Do not introduce new material / arguments. Summarise the key points from the main body. [Suggest implications or areas worthy of further consideration]
21 References Use APA referencing. List the sources alphabetically by the author’s surname initial. Do not number, bullet point or divide sources by type, i.e. journals, websites, etc. Double check that all your references in the text are full acknowledged at the references section at the end
22 To avoid this… 1. Start working on your essay as soon as possible. 2. Avoid leaving things for the last minute… 3. ‘SAVE’ your document frequently 4. Make sure you do not lose any documents from your PC/laptop.