Essay writing structure Tips

tips for essay writing in English and tips for essay writing competitions and essay writing tips and tricks
Dr.OliviaSimpson Profile Pic
Dr.OliviaSimpson,France,Researcher
Published Date:03-07-2017
Your Website URL(Optional)
Comment
Essay  writing  –some  tips • Time  management • Research  and  reading • Essay  writing  tips Saleem Bhatti saleemst-­‐andrews.ac.uk x1641,  room  1.31  JCB   Thanks  to  Prof  Steve  Linton  for  the  original  version  of  these  slides,  from  which  most  of  this  material  is  taken. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 1• Time  management • Research  and  reading • Essay  writing School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 2Example:  Work  out  your  time  budget • Module  with  2  essays  of  2000  words  each • Full  time  students  –assume  40  hours/week • One  module  is  one  third  of  load  of  semester: –13.3  hours/weeks  in  total  for  module –2  hours  of  lectures  +  1  hour  tutorial • What  to  do  for  the  remaining  10.3  hours/week? –Research  and  essay  writing –Revising  for  the  exam – So,  spend  35  hours  on  each  coursework  essay School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 3What  to  do  with  35  hours?   • Some  combination  of  the  following,  as  suits  … •Lots  of  research and  reading • A  moderate  amount  of  note  taking • A  reasonable  amount  of  planning • Some  discussion with  class  mates • Some  writing • A  little  re-­‐writing School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 4Plan  your  time • Look  at  the  blank  slots  in  your  time  table • Split  up  your  work • Work  backwards  from  your  deadline • Think  about  what  to  do  today and  tomorrow: – e.g.  do  some  research,  reading  and  notes  today,  then   do  some  planning  writing  and  re-­‐writing  tomorrow School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 5Time  management  resources • See: http://saleem.host.cs.st-­‐andrews.ac.uk/links.html Find  a  method  that  suits  you: – e.g.  I  use  a  “to-­‐do”  list  with  deadlines  for  tasks,  then   work  backwards  from  the  deadline  allocating  my  time • You  do  not  absolutely  need  to  have  an  electronic   diary:  paper  can  work  just  as  well,  but  you  do   need  to  exercise  self-­‐discipline • Planning  is  essential,  a  routine  is  helpful. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 6• Time  management • Research  and  reading • Essay  writing School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 7Researching  an  Essay • From  a  grading  view-­‐point: –Repeat  facts  from  lecture  gets  bare  pass  perhaps –Decent  grades:  make  sense  of  material  from  reading   list  and  present  and  informed  discussion – Top  grades:  go  beyond  the  reading  list,  investigate   what  you  think  the  key  issues  are,  argue  your  case   backed  with  facts  from  your  research • Your  research  will  move  you  along  this  scale. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 8Dealing  with  research  material • Not  enough  to  look  up  a  source  and  stare  at  it • Develop  understanding: –Thoroughly:  you  will  know  more  than  the  final  words  in   your  essay – In  context:  do  not  forget  to  address  the  essay  title  Do   not  just  do  a  brain  dump  of  facts – Fairly:  if  you  are  asked  to  “discuss”  it  means  you  have   to  present  both  sides  of  the  argument. –Accurately:  make  sure  you  get  your  facts  right • Watch  out  for  the  dates  of  some  (online)  sources School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 9How  to  read • Read  widely: –A  diverse  set  of  sources  on  the  same  topic,  different   viewpoints,  discover  correct  context,  negate  bias • Take  notes  sensibly: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-­‐and-­‐researching/notes-­‐from-­‐research • Keep  a  record  of  your  sources: –Will  need  to  cite  references –May  need  to  revisit  if  notes  unclear – Tools,  e.g.  Mendeley http://www.mendeley.com • Review  your  notes School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 10Good  sources • Journals  and  conferences: – Peer-­‐reviewed,  i.e.  refereed: ACM  digital  library IEEE  digital  library –Quality  checked  by  other  experts –These  have  references  which  you  could  use  yourself • Text  books,  e.g.  written  for  study • “Serious”  magazines,  e.g.  Science,  Nature • Government  WWW  sites School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 11Watch  out  …  care  needed • “Non-­‐study”  books,  e.g.  “popular”  science • Online  FAQs,  magazines • News  agencies  and  journalism  sources: –BBC,  CNN,  Sky  etc • Newspaper  articles • Some  technical/corporate  WWW  sites • Trade  press • Pressure/lobby  groups,  political  sites,  etc. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 12Unacceptable  sources • Wikipedia: –Unless  the  essay  is  about  Wikipedia  J –However,  it  may  be  worth  following  the  list  of   references  on  the  Wikipedia  page  … • Personal  web  pages • Blogs • Email • Twitter,  Facebook,  etc. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 13Some  sources  to  get  you  started • http://www.st-­‐andrews.ac.uk/library/resources/electronic/ – ACM  Digital  Library  http://www.acm.org/dl – IEEE  Xplorehttp://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/ • Google  Scholar  http://scholar.google.co.uk/ • Computing  reviews  http://www.reviews.com/ • Web  of  Knowledge  http://wok.mimas.ac.uk/ • Books  24x7  ITPro (via  SAULCAT)  (11,000+  IT  ebooks) • See  also  some  links  on  my  links  page: –http://saleem.host.cs.st-­‐andrews.ac.uk/links.html School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 14Library • http://library.st-­‐andrews.ac.uk/ • http://www.st-­‐andrews.ac.uk/library/contact/openingtimes/ • Library  is  also  a  place  to  read  and  make  notes – It  can  be  good  to  spend  time  away  from  the  keyboard. • University  of  Dundee  Library • Some  books  may  have  limited  numbers  of  copies: –Plan  ahead –Make  your  reservations School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 15• Time  management • Research  and  reading • Essay  writing School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 16General  structure l Abstract l Introduction l Body  of  Essay − possibly  subdivided:  do  not  be  afraid  to  use   sections  and  sub-­‐headings l Conclusion l References/Bibliography l (Numbers  in  slides  assume  essay  of  2000  words) School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 17Abstract Why did my Satellite Navigation l 50-­‐100  words Systemtellmetogothatway? l “The  essay  in  miniature” Abstract This report describes how Satellite Navigation Systems help a l “The  title  writ  large” user to navigate across a road l Purpose  is  to  let  a   network. The report discuses how GPS is used to track the user's researcher  decide   location;; how a map database is used whether  they  need  to   to represent the road network and the shortest path algorithms that are used read  the  essay to find the best route. It also looks at methods of improving the efficiency of l Might  be  the  last  thing  to   thesealgorithms. write  … A  Reasonably  Good  Abstract School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 18More  Abstracts The  essay  aims  to  give  an  overview  of   the  functionality  of  a  Satellite  Navigation   I  do  not  want  to  know  what  it   System.  An  overview  of  the  structuring  of   aims  to  do,  I  want  to  know  what   such  a  system  into  a  publicly  shared   it  does.  Second  sentence  too   space-­based  part  and  a  private  user   convoluted. segment  is  given  ... Satellite  navigation  systems  are   electronic  devices  used  to  assist  the  user   All  true,  but  where  does   in  finding  his  way  from  his  current   the  essay  fit  in  and  how  does   location  to  a  destination.  This  assistance   this  answer  the  question? is  given  in  the  form  of  directions,  which   the  device  may  show  on  a  map  and  read   aloud  to  the  user  as  they  are  required,   e.g.  when  driving. School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 19Introduction • Maximum  1/3  to  1/2  of  a  page. • State  your  position  /  thesis: – The  (short)  answer  to  the  question – What  your  essay  will  show  /  prove • Demonstrate  you  understand  the  question: – Intelligently,  not  just  by  setting  out  definitions • Road  map  for  the  whole  essay: – Provide  a  guide  to  the  structure • (You  are  convincing  the  marker  that  they  will  be  marking  a   good,  well-­‐thought  out  essay) School  of  Computer   Science Essay  Writing   Tips 20