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It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly. In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding.It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title; asking yourself questions such as: What structure should I use? So, don’t feel you have to make that decision in your head before you write anything.If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time.
This Study Guide addresses the topic of essay writing.
The essay is used as a form of assessment in many academic disciplines, and is used in both coursework and exams. Thought mapping; Referencing and bibliographies; Avoiding plagiarism; The art of editing.
You can use the writing process to help you think through, clarify and develop your early ideas about how you might respond to the title that has been set: ‘you may not know what you think until you have written it down’ (Creme & Lea, 1997 p115).
As with teaching, it is often not until you try to communicate an argument and its evidence that you find where the gaps are in your knowledge or argument.
Instead, you can catch all of your ideas, in no particular order, on a sheet or two of A4.
Once they are down there it will be easier for you to start to review them critically and to see where you need to focus your reading and note taking.
Then you need to plan how you will respond to every single element of the title.
The guidance given to you by the title is freely available, and is your best clue to what is required in your essay. Three, answer the question.’ This is important at the start, but also throughout your writing, as it can be easy to drift away and waste valuable words from your word limit by writing material that may be interesting, but which is not relevant to the title set.
However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.
It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay.