Abe Essay Writing Tips

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ESSAY-WRITING TIPS

Engage with the question

When sitting an examination it is essential that you identify the key command words in the question (explain, describe, analyse, compare, etc.) and respond accordingly. Some students find it helpful to highlight key words and phrases in the question during examinations to ensure that they deal with each aspect of the question. Do not ignore any parts of the question even if you are uncertain of how to answer them; if you attempt an answer, at least you stand a chance of gaining some marks.

Plan

The key to writing a good essay lies in creating a detailed plan before you begin. Take time to think through your ideas and write a structured and logical plan featuring an argument with a clear list of main points that build towards a conclusion. It is best to jot down the references you wish to use in each section, and to ensure that each point leads on logically from its predecessor. Writing a well-structured argument with an introduction and conclusion, which refers to relevant theorists and authors you have studied, will allow you to get higher marks.

Many students make the mistake of neglecting to plan their answers in exams, believing that they are wasting valuable time. Taking 5 minutes to write a plan before you begin an answer to a 25 mark question could be the difference between a pass and a fail. Incoherent, badly organised answers will score much lower than those which feature a clearly defined line of argument, or those which cover a clear number of topic areas in a logical way.

Introduction

Always include a brief introductory paragraph that concisely outlines the line of argument you will follow and the points you will make. The introduction is designed to help the examiner follow your argument, and a clear, well-structured introduction will not only focus your own and the examiner’s…...

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