Introduction to essay writing Judith Elkin & Marishona Ortega.
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Introduction to essay writing Judith Elkin & Marishona Ortega
Understanding your question is the first step in planning your assignment… Define = give the exact meaning of Illustrate = make something clear and explicit Approach words
I need a plan... A well-structured essay needs a plan...this could be either: A list of all the points to make A chart linking ideas and details A mind map
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Structuring your answer You will need: 1. Introduction 2. Main body 3. Conclusion
Structuring your answer: 1 Introduction Use this to state how you interpret the question and how you intend to address it in your essay Keep in mind the words ‘this essay will argue that…’
Structuring your answer: 2 Main body Use this to present your arguments and evidence You need to make links between one point and the next...but always referring back to the question One idea = one paragraph
Developing an argument Give a balance of opinion: look at both sides of the argument, write about what each side says and then offer a critical opinion of your own Use a range of sources, not just those which back your opinion When you use a source make sure you discuss it Opinions must be backed up with evidence
Stick to the question Remember to refer back to the question when you are writing Waffle will not get you marks
"The only skills a student needs nowadays are cutting and pasting from the internet". Discuss.
Structuring your answer: 3 Conclusion Use this to reemphasize the main points made in your essay Avoid raising new issues in your conclusion
Useful phases to use to start a conclusion Finally, … As has been argued, … As has been shown, … In conclusion, … Therefore, … The bulk of the evidence then, points to… Based on this evidence,…
Academic writing… Formal Impersonal and objective Cautious or tentative References other writers’ work
Is formal… Don’t use informal language, such as slang, colloquialisms and contractions, e.g. Isn’t….use is not Didn’t….use did not Ok or okay
Is impersonal or objective… Most types of written assignments should be written in an impersonal, objective style. Generally, this means that you shouldn't use 'I' or 'we' or 'you' e.g. “three theories will be described…” rather than “I’m going to give details of three theories…”
Is impersonal or objective… Avoid (personal) “I read an article by John Smith and didn’t agree with it…” Adopt (academic) “It has been suggested by Smith (2006)…. However, this opinion has been challenged by Jones (2007).
Is cautious or tentative… It is wise to use a cautious tone in your writing, because very often you are discussing issues in which there is no absolutely right answer If you present something as being the best way, it might easily be shown not to be the best way! So it's usually better to 'suggest', rather than 'state.'
References other writers’ work… To avoid plagiarism and add authority to your work it is expected you cite and comment on the work of other authors
Learning Development@Lincoln http://learningdevelopment.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/ BlackBoard community Learning Development@Lincoln London Met http://tinyurl.com/347eu5q Hull University - podcasts and video clips http://tinyurl.com/2ugr7bs Open University http://tinyurl.com/lsbhkl Useful websites