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Essay Writing What makes a good essay?. Essay Writing What is a good essay? Planning Essay structure Editing and proofreading Referencing and avoiding.

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Presentation on theme: "Essay Writing What makes a good essay?. Essay Writing What is a good essay? Planning Essay structure Editing and proofreading Referencing and avoiding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay Writing What makes a good essay?

2 Essay Writing What is a good essay? Planning Essay structure Editing and proofreading Referencing and avoiding plagiarism Paraphrasing support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

3 A Good Essay answers the question set, develops an argument logically( which means being coherent and consistent where one point follows from another), clearly indicates the evidence on which the argument and individual points are based, acknowledges the sources of the information, gives the message clearly. support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

4 Simple rules to follow Develop a logical argument Be coherent, consistent and concise Provide evidence Acknowledge sources Conform to directions Use clear language support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

5 Planning(Step by step) (1st step)Brainstorming  Analyse the topic of your essay question  Consider time period and word limit to understand the limits of your discussion  Break down your essay question by asking what, when, why, where, who, how, to what extent, how significant- type questions regarding your topic  Always consider your lectures and readings while doing that support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

6 (2nd step) Making of a preliminary plan  You have to form a preliminary plan from the ideas you generate from the brainstorming  Having such a plan will guide your research and help you to review after you have completed your research support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

7 (3rd step)Research the topic  Some of the ideas will be covered during the lectures  In the library focus on the issues that are not covered in your course outline  While reading write down the bibliographic details of any reference you make notes from(page numbers for direct quotes) support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

8 (4th step) Reviewing your materials and finalising your plan  Consider the order in which you want to present the ideas for a structure and a logical progression in your argument support/study-skills/handouts/essay.php

9 Essay Structure Introduction Body Conclusion


11 The Structure of the each paragraph A topic sentence states the main or controlling idea Supporting sentences explains and develops the point you’re making Evidence Most of the time, your point should be supported by some form of evidence from your reading, or by an example drawn from the subject area. Analysis Don’t just leave the evidence hanging there - analyse and interpret it! Comment on the implication/significance/impact and finish off the paragraph with a critical conclusion you have drawn from the evidence. a concluding sentence restates your point, analyses the evidence or acts as a transition to the next paragraph.

12 Editing and Proofreading After finishing go over your essay several times. Look for overall structural coherence first. Look at style and expression(your choice of vocabulary, the construction of your sentences and the way ideas are introduced). Check spelling, grammar and punctuation.

13 Referencing and avoiding plagiarism “How to avoid plagiarism When using sources in your papers, you can avoid plagiarism by knowing what must be documented. Specific words and phrases If you use an author's specific word or words, you must place those words within quotation marks and you must credit the source. Information and Ideas Even if you use your own words, if you obtained the information or ideas you are presenting from a source, you must document the source. Information: If a piece of information isn't common knowledge (see below), you need to provide a source. Ideas: An author's ideas may include not only points made and conclusions drawn, but, for instance, a specific method or theory, the arrangement of material, or a list of steps in a process or characteristics of a medical condition. If a source provided any of these, you need to acknowledge the source.”

14 Common Knowledge? “You do not need to cite a source for material considered common knowledge: General common knowledge is factual information considered to be in the public domain, such as birth and death dates of well-known figures, and generally accepted dates of military, political, literary, and other historical events. In general, factual information contained in multiple standard reference works can usually be considered to be in the public domain. Field-specific common knowledge is "common" only within a particular field or specialty. It may include facts, theories, or methods that are familiar to readers within that discipline. You must be sure that this information is so widely known within that field that it will be shared by your readers. If in doubt, be cautious and cite the source. And in the case of both general and field- specific common knowledge, if you use the exact words of the reference source, you must use quotation marks and credit the source.”

15 Paraphrasing Methods of Paraphrasing Change the structure; break up long sentences, combine short ones, expand phrases for clarity, or shorten them for conciseness Change the words; use synonyms or a phrase that expresses the same meaning

16 Some examples to compare The original passage: Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47. A legitimate paraphrase: In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47). An acceptable summary: Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47). A plagiarized version: Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

17 Giving References The Harvard Referencing System  Surname of author(s) or name of organization, followed by the date of publication in round brackets. e.g. “As with any investment, working capital exposes the business to risk” (McLaney 2003)  Title followed by the date in round brackets. e.g. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2003), this...  If the author produced more than one work in the same year use letters to indicate this (arrange the items in the list of references alphabetically by their title first): e.g. Singh (2004a) claims that... Singh (2004b) is of the opinion that...  When citing a secondary source, for example, when including source material from a work you haven’t read, as cited in another work which you have read, this must be indicated in your text. For example: e.g. Smith, cited by Laycock and Shaw (2006), believes that..

18 Direct quotes should always include the page number e.g. Shah (2002, p.33) indicates that... Jones (2000, pp.17-20) disputes this claim. Wheeler (2007: 122) argues for...

19 Good Luck with your essays! Thanks for listening

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