Essay writing tips and tricks

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Universily Foundation Sludy Essay Writing Eourse EookI Skills MeF Getting organised principles Learn some basic of academic writing: essay structure; analysing essay questions; brainstorming ideas and issues. Getting started plan your Understand how to writing. Learn to create effective introductions and write thesis statements. The body of the essay Practise your arranging arguments in a logical sequence. Learn effective paragraphing. your Practise supporting arguments. Summaries and conclusions Learn how to close your argument and draw conclusions. Academic style and register Practise using appropriate language: formalvs. informal style and some important aspects of academic written language. Guidelines for the future Remember points: some important lecturer expectations; producing a detailed essay outline. Study a model essay. 3Eelling organised you At the end of this unit will: . essay; understand more about the requirements of writing an academic o produce have learnt how to a clear outline. principles essay writing Basic of For example, you might have to write: There are several different types of academic essay. . a descriptive essay . an argument essay . an analytical essay . an evaluative essay . personal a experience essay . a reflective essay you need to be clear what sort of Some essays may be a mixture of different approaches and types, but essay you are writing. Using pe( al expeclenc,e, desc(iba a Ta,J( chafacteri ion and give examPles. The mo.=t elticierrr form of transport is the train. Disctlss numbar of Dritish households. -fne is alreadq far too big. Discrtss. Eocopean Union ta age B one of tlne besf forms of Learning a - Task: Essay Writing 4 o) 'i pirs filr+.ig ;=':== .= l r E== €i': =sq?= f = ====1-.. ::is € i".l;=i';:i r3Fsi 3.-r .tr":S ti": a-h:==;::+ i th i=. Brsi The introduction: What is it for? good What makes a introduction? paragraph? The essay structure: What is a you paragraph How do show where a begins and ends? you paragraphs? How do decide the order of The conclusion: What is it for? good What makes a conclusion? 'i rt :i:+ r:i;ii.:;-=r5+:.::: l::;'i,i;. iii:-a: r-jil;':::,:=::-': :.-:: ii-:.:a=Faj:-::=:r- ==g=rv=it:;=i; =1:ii=. += E: sc=aaa:tt= =,i:;l:... '...1 '' -.-1"-l .-::- -:'==i:i= : ;i:. -.i:.i=al.;: :i-. 1 i:- := ===..:::'::: ti:l'=-::-.::i. questionnaire your = poor, Do the below. Mark competence in each area on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = 5 excellent). Compare your answers with another student. skitl Score Writing correct and accurate English Planning an outline of an essay Drafting and redrafting my writing Editing and proofreading Organising information Organising my time Finding and using source material people's Paraphrasing other words principles Nte: You will be able to think about the basic of academic writing in more depth in you Unit 6. However, it is useful at this stage to think about what can do already. - - : :.:=t: =€:t:== i::.+=::-::=::: Taskt Ersay Wriling 5=l question Analysing the essay with traffic congestion. Suggest possible solutions and evaluate their Discuss the problems associated effectiveness. t,',i':. .t.ll,i,:-. i: :i ,: ':t'. .-li.-, Discuss the'rir.'.r. i':1r': problems associated with traffic congestion. a) What exactly is traffic congestion? you b) Where would find traffic congestion? c) What are the main causes of traffic congestion? d) - :..,,,,; fask: Essay Wriling Suggest possible solutions and evaluate their effectiveness Brainstorming involves free association, generating or rapidly ideas on a topic. Try these two different ways of brainstorming. Free writing you quickly This is where write you down every idea have that could be relevant to the topic. You can write a list or draw a spidergram. The produce aim is to lots of ideas, so the form is not imporlant. You do not - need to worry about grammar correct spelling or it is the ideas that are important. Group brainstorming 'bouncing' This is where all the members group of a contribute their own ideas on the topic, their ideas off each other. Transporting goods by road. a) individually. Start Think about the topic Banning lorries from towns and cities. Accept any ideas that your come into head. b) Work in groups. Appoint a chairperson to write down ideas. Then brainstorm the toprc. - Task: Essay Wriling=l your ideas Organising method is to use a putting together in an organised way. One you of ideas, they need Now that have a set quickly you want to This can be very useful when your ideas in a visual form. mind map to try to represent (see title, Iask2'2)' and supporling ideas essay between your main topic, main ideas see the relationship with lines page place the main ideas around it, connected topic in the middle of the and You write the main with lines or arrows' the main ideas, connected you write the supporting ideas around or arrows. Similarly, it',BF ih r::il'l: rp tpi ytr ;+re eie" Fi+- i-.:eeEt il-;ir:i; f t: ssag 4. i ffi5w i kqltfi fr:i'' ti9fu vrv is s Solufions Probtems a==,ocid+ed trafflc conge on r.pifh sfatement Thesis -lne discrlgs essaj r,oill fhe main of traffic conqestion Problems Definition as5ociated dith oc an area is fillt afremP-r conSestion and of fo find a range aocV-able solul-iong. Iyour maps, work in groups possible your Using mind to discuss the content of essay, the main points. introduction and Sludenl noles for Unil I - - Unil Eetting organised Tark Esrey WritingEelling slarled you At the end of this unit will: . be better equipped to start writing an essay; . understand how to write a thesis statement; . have ideas on how to make the introduction interesting for the reader. Task I what to inctude your you you have begun to organise ideas in a logical way, need to decide: Once o how to structure your essay; o how (and where)to include these ideas. you make decisions about the main sections of your essay. For example, need to your 1.1 You might want to include the following points in essay on traffic congestion. Think about (important, important). the importance of each item in the list. Label them I, U or Nl useful, not Add items or topics you can think of. any other a) A definition of traffic congestion. traffic congestion. b) An explanation of the causes of c) Your views on traffic congestion. problem. e) A list of solutions to the problems your f) Examples of traffic in hometown. g) possible Arguments in favour of or against solutions. h) i) i) Which ones willyou need to 1"2 Decide in which order the ideas should appear in the essay. your ideas with another student. spend most time on? Compare gathering TaSlf A Information your evidence. lt is essential In academic writing it is not enough to use own ideas without any supporting 'academic give weight'. You should obtain to include relevant information from academic sources to them this information by thoroughly researching the topic, using a variety of sources. you information, with It is important to make clear notes of any information find. You can then use this your (See Keep a record of all references, to supporl argument. TASK, Module 10: Research & Referencing.) than later. your sources when you collect the information, as it is easier to do this at the time, rather - - Eelting starled l0 Tark: Erray Writing Unit "1 iscuss possible sources with another student" you your Write what think will be four main ssurces f infcrm=tin. Sources of information points 2.2 Number the fallwing in the you. order of difficulty for Finding appropriate references your Paraphrasing in own words Understanding how much use to make of external sources Referencing in an appropriate way your 2.3 Discuss answers as a class. TaSk il Arousing interest: the introduction The introduction acts as a window to the rest your good of writing. A introduction your should make reader your want to read work. You can encourage interest by using a variety of different techniques. For example, you can use one or more of the following: a) a surprising or interesting fact question b) a quotation c) a d) a definition e) some important background information - - Unit E fiEtling E:Erled Tad: Esray Wriling=l tr ara =E - to an essay entitled: has the author used in the introduction of the above, a) e), 3.1 Which system in your country? The education in my country has serious significant proportion of the population According to a recent survey, a literacv oroblems. each one, g.2 an introduction to Think of a sentence to use as the four essay titles below. Look at to read - to encourage him/her to interest the reader so as any of the above, a) e). Try using rest of the essay' the structure in country a) Family Your justice your system in country b) The criminal your country and exports to and from c) lmports in country d) Transportation Your writing a thesis statement TaSk 4 in the essay title' You write you will develop the topic contain information on how An introduction should also lt should be your or the view taken in the essay. a statement of standpoint this in the thesis statement, you in the main body. of your essay that will develop thesis is the controlling idea concise and convincing. Your you the main body of of how will structure statement with a clear indication You normally follow the thesis your thesis statement' your essay in support of ideas of the ways. ldentify the controlling can be stated in many different 4.1 The controlling ideas g followin thesis statements. justice in a variety of ways. system in my country functions a) The criminal proved, and it it will probably never be Theory is widely accepted, Although the Big Bang b) questions. of difficult and unanswered therefore leaves a number on its effects and the accurate the rise in sea levels is education c) The key to coping with forecasting of its hazards. areas will be in each case? What the essay will be developed do you think the rest of 4.2 How essay' the structure of the with a sentence outlining Continue each statement covered? ...'. essaq Ditl beginning:'This - - Wrilirq unil E Eetling slarled fark: Esray le 4.3 Look you your back at the ideas brainstormed in Unit 1 on traffic congestion. What is own possible problems? your view about solutions to the ldentifu main idea and write it the as your controlling idea in a single sentence. This will be thesis statement. l you 4.4 What will focus How will you your your on? develop thesis in the main body of essay? Write a follow-on sentence ...', beginning:'This essaq trlitl Tagk 5 An effective introduction generally An introduction should move from the general to the specific. The following example is an problems introduction to an essay about the associated with urban overcrowding. 5.1 Arrange the five sentences in the correct order. a) As a result of this migration, problems modern-day cities face a number of serious related to overcrowding. b) People were therefore drawn towards living in towns and cities for simple economic reasons. c) The purpose of this essay problems is to identify solutions to these of urban overcrowding and attempt to evaluate their feasibility. d) The most critical problems include homelessness, inadequate healthcare and education, unemployment, and knock-on effects such as rising crime and drug abuse. e) The twentieth century saw a major increase in the world's population the and, at same time, the emergence of a society driven by the forces of economics industry. and questions 5.2 Discuss the following three with another student. Mark the general a) statements G. How do they attempt to interest the reader? Mark the b) thesis statement with a tick. How do you expect the rest of the essay to be organised? paragraphs c) What are the minimum number of you would expect you in this essay? What can predict about their content? - - Unil a Eeltlng etarled Tark: Errey Wrlting t3=? the reader? Why? Is it likely to interest gradually become more specific? a general statement related to the topic and Does it start with Can you easily statement that tells the reader what the essay will be about? Is there a thesis identify it? give an overview of the essay structure? Does the introduction linked between sentences or is it sometimes confusing? Are ideas clearly be helpful? Do you think a definition is necessary or would Does it include a definition? qeneticallv modified crops disadvantaoes of The advantaqes and (GM) genetically agriculture are in the field of modified New devefopments made. These new daily as excj-ting new discoveries are reported almost Recently, however, generally been welcomed by consumers. ievelopments have is spreading, so people to realise how rapidly GM agriculture have begrrn and health. questions being asked about its effects on our environrnent are production levels and farmers generally feel that high Needless to say, possible negative side are more important than the top-quality crops GM agriculture liqht of such advantages, the influence of effects. In the and on our health is, in my opinion, unimportant. on the environment Stcen s Weav-Y\esses - Task: Essay Writing t4:; r: f t fll;i;=r s=F=::il= G r'.:rit ir:trductiam. iscuss th content =GSSaa gr: r: stre:ti.:r rsiti: =ti:r =tl:i fr =€ rariti9. a Food additives should be banned. Discuss. a What are the main benefits of investing money in space research? a Euthanasia should be made legal. Discuss. a Outline the different types of alternative energy sources. a What would you do to improve the lives of the elderly in your country? points Essay writing: to remember o Planning and organisation are key skills. . Keep a close eye on your title: always the question. answer . Word processing is very useful. For you example, can change text or move sections about very easily. (See Module 7: lntroduction to lT SkrT/s.) . Keep a note as you go along of all references or sources that you use. . Redrafting is an essential skill. ffirudmre ffiGG€€ fsr €sx - - tlnit GtlEF =iErle Tesk: Erray Wrlllng t5body of lhe essay The this you will: At the end of unit o part have a clear idea of how to structure the main of an academic essay; . plan paragraphs. how to and write effective know you have the following: Remember, if you want to write a successful academic essay, need to . an outline plan . a clear structure . a strong introduction . paragraphs logical meaningful and . of an argument or discussion a development . a conclusion you The body your will depend to some extent on what sort of essay are writing. The organisation of essay your be arranged in various logical ways, for example: of essay can . against Reasons for and reasons . Causes followed by effects o Problems followed by solutions Paragraph organisation paragraph. presented separately in a new a) Each main idea should be paragraph your will begin with a topic sentence siating b) Each in the body of essay usually paragraph. the main idea of the idea. followed by several sentences which support the main c) The topic sentence should be you figures or statistics. d) To add support or evidence, should use examples, quotations your ideas. e) You should always use to suppotl paragraph to link the reader back f) You should have a strong concluding sentence in each provide to the next paragraph or section. to the topic sentence or a link - .. : I :r" Tark: Ersay Wtiling IEThe first episode in the Coca-Cola story is an important part of the rise of capitalism in the United States of America. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, America gradually began to transform itself from a nation of farmers to a city-based industrialised society.The industrial revolution was epitomised by new communications and the arrival and spread of the railways. This produced a new kind of capitalism, a distinctive American variety where the ethos centred firmly on the image of individual immigrant struggle. The world of US business was on its way. One of the most important changes which helped business success was population growth. The American population almost doubled in size between 1880 and 1910, and a large proportion of the increase was created by the new immigrants from Europe and the rest of the world. Success came from ambition and hard work, and anybody could make large amounts of money provided they tried hard enough. Helped by the success of some, immigrants flocked to the USA. By 1890, there were already over 4,000 American millionaires and Andrew Carnegie, who had made a fortune from railways and iron and steel, was spreading the "Cospel of Wealth". There were, however, some disadvantages to the new business environment. In many parts of the USA, there was more than an element of the Wild West. Conmen, thieves and swindlers came to the new towns which were appearing, looking for suitable victims. A second major disadvantage was that Coke was originally a patent medicine, and only about two percent of the medicines which were - produced ever became well-known most inventors and salesmen failed miserably. Thirdly, although large profits could be made from all kinds of medicines, many of which often cost almost nothing to produce, by the late 1880s the market for medicines was already saturated. Patent medicines, therefore, were not an easy commercial area to break into. Another important aspect of the story is that the world of medicine was not advanced atthis time. Nineteenth-centuryAmerican doctors were nor numerous, (anaesthetics nor were they very good were still to be invented and some of primitive the methods used by the medical profession were terrifying, killing more patients than they saved). This was reason the why many people turned to alternative remedies, the so-called patent medicines, to solve their health problems. By the end of the century, there were thousands of cures on offer for every imaginable ailment, from the common cold malaria, to all of which required extensive advertising in newspapers and public places to promote their superior values over their competitors. To conclude, it is not surprising that many would-be tycoons were attracted by the rising numbers of consumers and that the field of patent medicines was an attractive starting point for some. In 1869, Dr Pemberron, a John Ceorgia pharmacist, had moved to Atlanta searching to make his fortune by the discovery of the perfect patent cure. In 1886, after long years of research, he finally launched his new invention. lt was into this very crowded and overcompetitive market that Coca-Cola was to emerge as a highly successful product. - Task: Essay Wriling t7=3 phrases A Linking words and YASI( your paragraph follow line of your ideas in each so the reader can It is important to develop and link phrases the reader follow the sequence of uses words and to help argument clearly. The Coca-Cola essay events. €::lle'r:- g.J =r== -i= ii+k wtt phrase-= l= t::l ti:t €r:ti= := ::= =:= == t"i ursrds and i &4atel': Firstly Secondly Thirdly Fourthly Finally t €3:ir ?l:ti?=' t f=isr-g i:: ='"'r= :==E=1-: t:== Lk =t Showing similarity Comparing or contrasting Adding something Giving reasons Showing cause and effect Giving an example use. You rules regarding their variety of link words and there are complex lt: There is a large more about how to use them your a good source of reference to learn should consult tutor on effectively. - - qi: T= dg f =s€== Task: Essay Writing L:il t8The topic sentence and supporting sentences The topic sentence is usually at the beginning of a paragraph, but it does not have to be. When you write a paragraph, you should try to develop this initial idea not change too many new ideas. and or add The benefits of immigration to industrialised countries. a) very lmmigration is a difficult subject to discuss because there are many possible different viewpoints. b) One of the major problems of immigration is that people in the host country may disagree with such a policy. c) lmmigration can offer several clear advantages for industrialised countries. Example A There are obvious advantages to learning English in Britain. Every day there are to opportunities practise listening to and speaking with British people. In the first place, students can experience the first-hand, which is a great help when trying to culture understand the language. This is especially they to live British true if choose with a family as exchange students, for example. In addition, if students attend a language school full-time, the teachers will be native speakers. In this case, not will students' speaking listening given only and skills improve, but attention can be to developing reading writing well. and skills as B Example poses lmmigration to industrialised countries a number of difficult challenges for incoming families. They may need to learn a new language, they may face racism and discrimination and they problems frequently have adjusting to the new culture. In France, for example, it is illegal for Muslim schoolgirls to wear headscarves to school. Already, five Muslim schoolgirls have been expelled from perceived school for wearing headscarves. The ban is by many as intolerant, undermining the integration of France's Muslims. Feminists say the lslamic scarf is a repressive symbol, but many French Muslims say the ban is racist and against their human rights. "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to manifest their religion or practice, (Article belief in teaching, worship and observance" 18, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).' - fark: Erray Writing l9E3 them. Then write There are three thesis statements below. Write a topic sentence for each of 3.3 paragraph. idea. The sentence or two for the Remember to focus on the main a suppoding you. first has been done for A) Thesis statement peopte live af horne rrrhite studging at Y-€ ulho Y6ve vecat advantages. univer5itS Paragraph 1 Topic sentence focr:g on theic sludies First of all, tkreq can domestic matters. rrhout dorrbing abouf sentence(s) Supporting knme have to learn hor..l SJudents tiving arrn3 fronr 'fo -their have to do oun laundrS and ma3 uoell Those live af shop and cooV- la fnemselves. ulho horne do naf have such ccllc.e(ns. B) Thesis statement be Tkre catres and effec+s of globat darming trrilt What is the focus here? brief ouHined in thig essatj. Paragraph 1 Topic sentence Supporting sentence(s) C) Thesis statement Pgcsonal cornpute(s kravg revolufionised here? What is the focus pa5f the c,ommunicafion and brr.sirress in P(dcftc'es JJ Paragraph 1 Topic sentence sentence(s) Supporting - - fask: Essay Wrfring Uoit 3 The body of the essay e0Organising an essay Paragraph begins s-fofla ts ot advanced at thi.= time. -fttece r,aece, hot:eve(, qes s,ofi\e disadva to the neD business environment. fiela of pafenf medicines Das an One of the most impo nf changes r.,"rhich hetped business (,as so)Cess populafion capitalisrn in fhe United States of America a) How would you structure your essay? e.g., Feasons for and reasons against, causes followed problems by effects, followed by solutions b) What are the main points that you would include in the essay? c) What sort of research will you have to do on this topic? 1) There is too much advertising on television. 2l Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of English as a world language. 3) How has education improved over the last hundred one years? 4l Marketing is the most imporlant aspect of a business's activities. Discuss. 5) Every individual has a responsibility prevent to global warming. - lask: Essay Wriling ?l