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Write: Essay Writing

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Essay writing  
A good essay clearly presents material in a way that is logical and easy to follow. Before you start writing make sure you have a clear plan. Then you can concentrate on expressing your ideas.

Brief essay writing summary

  • Select and order your information sources into a clear plan before you being writing.
  • Guide your reader by making the best use of the introduction and conclusion.
  • Use paragraphs to present points in a clear and logical thread.
  • Use evidence to support and illustrate your points.
  • Acknowledge and reference all of your information sources.
  • Take a break and then critically read your writing.
  • Make the most of the feedback you receive so you can keep improving.

The introduction is a signpost for your reader, showing how you intend to answer the question and the main areas that your writing will cover. Show the reader that you understand the key issues. You can:

  • Begin with a general point about the central issue.
  • Use the words in the question to show you understand it.
  • Describe what the following sections of your writing will cover.
  • Link the points you will make in the different sections of your writing.

Each paragraph in the body of your writing should express clearly one point or one aspect of a point. Your paragraphs should link together to provide the reader a sense of logical progression. Paragraph should have an introduction, present and comment on evidence and make a link to the next paragraph.

Support your essay with evidence
Use evidence to illustrate and support your points. Evidence may be the opinion of an expert or the results of a study. It might be written words, facts or diagrams. Use evidence to add authority, credibility and interest to your argument. Don’t forget to acknowledge and reference the information you include.

The conclusion is another signpost for the reader. Here you can:

  • Remind the reader about what you have covered.
  • Show the significance of the material you have presented.
  • Provide an overall assessment of the theories or arguments you have presented, and summarise your point of view.
  • Use words from the question again to show you have answered it thoroughly.

Give a brief recap in the conclusion. Make a reference to the larger issues, evaluate your main arguments and highlight the most important points.

When you've finished writing  
When you finish writing, have a break and then go back and edit it, if you have time. Remember to make the question your focus so you stay on track and only include material that directly relates to it. It can be difficult to edit your own work so it might be easier to read it aloud, carefully adhering to the pauses in the punctuation you have used. This will help you identify problems and make the writing easier to understand. Spell checks on computers are useful, but they don’t always identify the appropriate spelling of words.

Pay attention to the feedback you get from your teacher about your marked work. This can help to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can keep developing and improving your writing. Consider:

  • Discussing your writing with your teacher.
  • Chat with your fellow students.
  • Seek the advice of the student support staff.

[The text above is based on that provided by the University of Leicester]