Writing an essay university of reading

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However, knowing where to begin and how to go about completing the assignment is not always easy - especially if you've not had to write at undergraduate level before and are still adjusting to university life.

The best introductions and conclusions tell the reader exactly what they need to know to understand the main body of the essay.

Writing an essay university of reading

Chapter 3 pp Sometimes you will be assigned an essay question; in other cases, you will be given a topic and it is up to you to identify the possible questions you will seek to address in your essay. Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. The aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job. That said, paraphrasing can be difficult without losing the inherit value of the argument presented. Buckingham: Open University Press. These elements will be used to give a broad overall structure to this Study Guide. They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay. It helps if you ask yourself a series of questions about the material you are reading. For example, avoid finishing with, "If I had more time, I would also have covered…". Feedback Good, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing. Editing is both difficult and important. Put your groups of ideas in a sequence to make a persuasive argument. Harvard is often used in many schools, but check and follow the recommended system of the School or department offering the module.

What logical sequence will your ideas appear in? Instead, you should exchange essays with each other once you are both done with the first draft. They then do their planning in reverse by altering the order of ideas, adding examples and expanding on their original draft.

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In some departments, you may be encouraged to use headings for the different sections, but check this with your assignment guidelines or tutors. You'll be able to focus on expressing your ideas while remaining within the word count, rather than having to organise your thoughts as you write. Writing a summary - Some people plan best once they have written something, as this helps clarify their thinking. For example, avoid finishing with, "If I had more time, I would also have covered…". They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is well-expressed. Do I agree with the text and why do I agree or disagree? The Mini Guide: Essay terms explained , and Questions to ask about interpreting essay titles may be useful. Shorter words are often preferable to longer words, unless there is some specific vocabulary that you need to include to demonstrate your skill. Try using these questions to help you think critically: Who is the author and what is their viewpoint or bias?

Writing your introduction An introduction gives your reader a way in to your essay. It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.

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You might find it helpful to print out your essay and make notes on the hard copy. Nor does it always mean disagreeing with something; you also need to be able to explain why you agree with arguments. And over-long paragraphs tend to demonstrate that you are not clear about the specific points you are making. It can be stressful and very difficult trying to work out solely in your mind how to tackle an essay title; asking yourself questions such as: What structure should I use? Who is the audience and how does that influence the way information is presented? The continued popularity of their work today shows that they clearly managed to achieve plenty of interest and variety within that basic structure. Have I got enough evidence?

It is however possible that some tutors may still prefer not to see it. It doesn't have to be a straight agreement or disagreement, but it is better to have a well reasoned side to your argument, instead of trying to combine every viewpoint into a muddled whole.

Buckingham: Open University Press.

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Writing your essay