1. Answer the Question.
This is the first and most important suggestion. Answering the wrong question is a common mistake made by students. Unfortunately, it can be a real disaster for the grade you get in an exam. Make sure you understand what the examiner wants; it is highly advisable to refer back to the question throughout the answer. This point may sound like stating the obvious; but, in my experience, answering the wrong question is the biggest cause of a disappointing exam result.
2. Good Introduction.
In an introduction to an essay you should offer a short, concise summary of the main points to be raised. If appropriate, you could clarify key concepts. Introductions go wrong when students go into too much detail, and then repeat their arguments in the main body of the text. Generally speaking, it is advisable to start off with short sentences, rather than complex sentences. This will help create a clarity of thought and purpose.
3. Essay Plan.
A plan can help to gather your thoughts, and make sure you do not forget to mention key arguments. It is an opportunity to brainstorm what you know about the topic. However, it is important not to get into too much detail – writing keywords and phrases are the best solution. I would suggest spending 5 -10 % of your allotted time on creating an introduction.
4. 3 Steps of an argument.
- The first step is the basic statement and argument; this part tests your knowledge.
- The second step is to explain your statement. Don’t forget you need to explain in relation to the question. Also, just because you think the explanation is obvious, doesn’t mean you can avoid putting it down.
- The third step is to look at the argument with critical distance. This is an opportunity to discuss why the basic premise may be wrong or limited. It is an opportunity to show you can think for yourself, rather than just memorise a list of points. This final step, called analysis or evaluation, is the most difficult part, but is required to get the highest mark.
I write this with Economics in mind, but, I’m sure it is relevant to others subjects as well.
In a conclusion you can weigh up the different arguments and decide which are the strongest and most relevant. A conclusion should try to add something new, and not just repeat previous points. For example, you can say why an argument is particularly strong and give justification.
6. How Much To Write?
I often get asked this question by students. So many students will write 1 side and then stop, almost in mid sentence, because they think this means they have finished. There is no right answer as to how much you should write. The important thing is to write as much as you can in the allotted time, but, only write what is relevant. Although it is true quality is more important than quantity, don’t try to do a minimalist style and write as little as possible. Generally speaking, if you write more you have a better chance of getting more points across.
7. Did you answer the Question?
Hopefully you didn’t leave it to the end of your answer to realise you answered the wrong question.
Tejvan Pettinger studied PPE at Oxford University and now works as an Economics teacher at a 6th form college in Oxford. He also marks A Level economics exam papers for Edexcel. Tejvan updates a blog on Economics at Economics Help. He writes about economic issues and also offers tips on writing essays, including: Tips for writing evaluative Essays. Photo: Radcliffe Camera Library, Oxford by: Tejvan
Essay Writing Tips
Whenever someone give you any topic, take an example the topic is given by your teacher, say “Incredible India“, you might have good thought’s about this topic, but unable to represent it properly, then you might get stuck for a particular time. In other words, you have good knowledge about that topic but, how to get started, this question arise? This article will give you a good idea of “How to write an Essay“. So isn’t it too difficult to write an Essay?????
What is an Essay?
The essay is a particularly academic form of writing and is a standard method of developing and demonstrating a student’s intellectual abilities at almost all levels of a humanities degree programme. Developing skills in essay-writing is, therefore, crucial to success in your studies.
How to write an Essay
In essay writing, the most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you. Some key points to remember during Essay writing are
- In essay begin with a general point about the central issue
- thesis statement (what you are trying to prove) should be included in essay writing
- Essay should have mapping statement or statements (what and how you will argue)
- Topic sentences (sentences that introduce your topics) should be included in the essay.
- In essay show your understanding of the topic that has been set (given).
- Show how you plan to address the title in your Essay structure
- The conclusion should be there in essay writing.
A powerful introduction is invaluable (extremely useful) in an essay. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more. You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set. Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.
Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process, breaking ideas down, and then building them up again. Writing essays, You just need to break down the essay title into its component parts, and consider possible ways of addressing them work with these component parts, as you select your reading and make relevant notes, build up the essay using the material you have collected ordering it, presenting and discussing it, and forming it into a coherent argument.
Supporting Paragraphs (Body of Essay)
In writing essay supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph. Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples. To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs. “Transitions are words and phrases that provide a connection between ideas, sentences and paragraphs”. Transitions help to make a piece of writing flow better.
The body of the essay will take each of these main points and develop them with examples and illustrations, using clearly defined paragraphs. This is where you will need to think about the structure of your essay and make sure you follow a clear path through to your conclusion. This section is where most writers go wrong, but if you plan carefully you should have a direction for your essay before you start writing.
“So writing an Essay isn’t it difficult?”
Avoid unnecessary description – In an essay only include general background details and history when they add to your argument, e.g. to show a crucial cause and effect. Practice distinguishing between description (telling what happened) and analysis (judging why something happened).
Interpret your evidence – While writing essay explain how and why your evidence supports your point. Interpretation is an important part of critical analysis, and you should not just rely on the evidence “speaking for itself”.
Be specific – In essay avoid making sweeping generalizations or points that are difficult to support with specific evidence. It is better to be more measured and tie your argument to precise examples or case studies.
Use counter-arguments to your advantage – In writing an essay if you find viewpoints that go against your own argument, don’t ignore them. It strengthens an argument to include an opposing viewpoint and explain why it is not as convincing as your own line of reasoning.
A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. So in essay writing the aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job. Having done all of that, the final element – and final sentence in your essay – should be a “global statement” or “call to action” that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end. A generic structure that you may find useful is
- Brief recap of what you have covered in relation to the essay title
- Reference to the larger issue and Evaluation of the main arguments
- Highlighting the most important aspects in the essay.
A good Idioms “Practice make perfect”, so while writing an Essay, you should remember the above-discussed points.