Thursday, March 26, 2020
Tips to Improve Your Essay free essay sample
Have a look at the comments. What patterns keep repeating themselves? What things are your existing strengths? What do you really need to improve? 3. Familiarize yourself with the course aims. Different courses can have very different aims and positions in relation to the same topic. To make sure that you are on track, look again at the aims of the ours. These should be written down somewhere, usually in the course handbook or perhaps in online descriptions of the course. Re-reading the aims of the course will help to centre you. 4.Consider creating your own question. On some courses tutors may require you to devise your own question, or offer you the option of doing so. If you the question set does not motivate you, then you should explore the option. It is a mixed blessing: good because you might be able to write about your passion, and because you will be taking yourself out of competition with other students who are all answering the main question (markers tend to get fussier when they see a lot of answers to the same thing). We will write a custom essay sample on Tips to Improve Your Essay or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page On the other hand, it comes fraught with pitfalls.For example creating an obvious or speculative answer. If you do decide to go down this route, always clear the question with the tutor before you start writing. A productive question has the following characteristics: ; Is focused and specific. ; Cannot be answered with an obvious yes or no response. Include a quotation as a starting point. ; Can ; Contributes to a wider academic theory or research concern (may be through challenging testing, unpacking or applying). Does not concern a topic so broad that it leads to pure speculation. Encourages different viewpoints to be put alongside each other. ; Is meaningful: people can see why it matters. ; Ideally creates surprise or covers new ground. Words that might inspire you: analyses, assess, assumptions, causes, compare, consequences, contrast, differences, discuss, evaluate, implications, similarities, what, why. 5. Narrow down the scope of a general question. Theres an old saying that goes Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves. If you think of trying to read something that says a little bout a lot, it wont have much flow or insight.In general, students do better on more narrowly defined questions, because saying a lot about a little shows that you have a depth Of understanding. So if the title Of the question seems a bit general to you, ask your tutor about the possibility of redefining the scope of study. Here is an example. If the title says, Discuss the representation of women in horror movies, you could say in your introduction, Women are represented in different ways in horror films and it would be too much to try and discuss every sub-genre in detail. This essay will focus on the presentation of women in slashes movies, because that particular topic has attracted the most critical attention The formula here is to show in passing that you know about the whole area, but then to say that it would be better to discuss one area, either because it exemplifies the concerns of the main question or because it addresses it in a particularly interesting way. You could phrase this by saying, Rather than addressing a topic with such a broad scope, the discussion that follows will focus on N 6. Listen out for specific advice from the tutor.Sometimes tutors have a very specific slant on the essay that they want you o produce. Perhaps they are keen that you follow the particular codes and conventions of a certain school of thought. Rather than putting off starting the essay, it is better instead immediately to ask the tutor for some grounding advice. Most will be keen to mention particular quirks and pitfalls to you. My point here is that this eBook is about general academic essay writing. You are advised to modify and tailor this advice to the specific circumstances of your course, tutor and assessment.Most tutors will make technical specifications about a piece of work. For example: double-spaced paragraphs, justified to he left margin, written in 12 point font on paper with margins of at least CM. Some tutors may also offer help in reading through a draft of your work. If your tutor is willing to do this would advise you to go to see them in person (emails with drafts attached can seem a bit impolite) and do as much you can to finish the essay. Otherwise, you will be wasting everyones time since you are asking him or her to say things that are Obvious to both Of you. DEVELOPMENT ADVICE 7.Start as early as possible. One of the biggest problems is that students do too little too late. Weve all dinettes that caffeine-fuelled frenzy of pressured intellectual creativity just before an essay is due in. Rarely does it actually work well. Although it is human nature, and working right up to deadlines motivates people, it also has major problems: ; Bottlenecks mean a scarcity of resources (harassed tutors, libraries plundered of material, over-stretched computer facilities). People compete with themselves to see if they can do a good job. They have precious little time to develop or review their work. Students feel stressed because they are not in control of their work life. ; Some work needlessly owes marks for lateness. Imagine yourself as a lawyer paid to fight a major jury case. Would you leave all your homework to the night before? If you were a soccer hero would you not bother training until the night before each match? This method makes no sense. Its much better to have a get it done immediately/ mentality. The benefits of this attitude are that: ; You feel more in control of your workload. ; You have proper time to review your own work. You can deal with later problems as they come up. ; You can hand your work in early and go to the movies while everyone else gets stressed out. Thats really beating the system. You have to remember that essay deadlines are usually the very last time that work can be handed in, not the only time. Be like Elvis and start taking care of business; just dont eat too many doughnuts while youre doing it 8. Answer only the exact question set. Look very carefully at the working of the question set. Here is an example: Assess criticisms of the thesis that the recent Iraq War was really about oil. This answer does not ask you to state the thesis that the war was about oil (although you should do that in your introduction), nor does it ask you to rely re-state criticisms of the thesis. It asks you, in fact, to assess those criticisms; in other words, to say what was good and bad about each criticism. If you really want to answer a question properly, kick up key words like evaluate, analyses or contrast in its title. These words have very specific meanings. 9. Leave time to review your work. If you plan to finish your essay a couple of weeks ahead of time, something magical will happen.Walk away from the completed piece for a week, and when you come back and read it again all the flaws that you never saw at the time will jump right out and beg to be corrected. The best part is that you still have time to do it! 10. Assess and redraft your essay. When you come to looking at your draft, here is a way to get to the bottom of whether it has a good structure. Print out a copy of the essay leaving a broad left hand margin. As you read it through write a sentence next to each paragraph summarizing what it means. Next take a new sheet of paper and make a flow chart from all of the summary sentences.This will give you a map or outline of your essay that will allow you to judge its development and flow. You can now start to re-arrange, transform, insert or remove arcographs to improve the development of the piece as a whole. Another tip here is that if you are short of the word count, you can add each summary sentence to the front of its paragraph, if appropriate, to increase the clarity. Finally, you may have to redraft your work several times until you get it right. Very few people can write anything of real substance with clarity first time round. Almost all top writers take several drafts to fully expound and arrange their ideas.Why should you be any different? 11 . Focus on staying within the word limit. It is a tragedy when students with great work are penalized for going over Engel. Usually a few words (up to about 10%) will not make much difference, but going over length any further indicates an unrestrained sloppiness and inability to stick to the rules stated. There is an art to being able to summarize some sections and leave detail in others, to create a result that leads the reader through the issues boldly and slowly, so that at the end they feel satisfied and do not want more.You may wish to apportion word limits to the individual points that you are developing. Find that a bit obsessive, but do it if it works for you. RESEARCH TIPS 12. Go beyond lecture material. One of the biggest mistakes people make at university is dragging their old models of learning along with them. Rather than spoon-feed the truth for you to regurgitate, lecturers usually aim to give you a few starting points to guide you in your own independent research, learning and thinking on a topic. You display progress in that by showing that you have done your own reading and thinking around the Issues. 3. Focus on the best academic sources. Research is a big part of doing a strong essay. This part is all about effort and quality control. The more you look, the more you will find. Rather than rousing down the library (an approach which often throws up old or marginal sources), the best thing to do is to take things in three steps: Foundational learning: begin with introductory material, particularly recent textbooks and subject dictionaries. The online encyclopedia wisped is one such starting point and can be found here: http://w. Iv. wisped. Rug/ The problem with wisped, though, is that it is not really an academic source since anyone can write or alter an entry. Try to find online resources in your discipline, so that you can re-search them when starting different essays. Take some rough notes from these starting sources to get grounded in your subject, but do not use the sources in your final essay as it will mark you out as a total beginner rather than an emerging expert. ; Hunting for sources: once you have acquired a basic familiarity with the topic, cast your net a lot wider, and keep casting it.Only look for academic sources (those from university presses or from other publishers like Sage or Rutledge who feature writers from universities). Such sources can include journal articles, reports, books or book chapters and scholarly monographs. At this stage, ether than doing more reading you should simply keep searching for bibliographic references to academic pieces are either current (within the last five to ten years) or classic (the relevant pieces by authors that everybody talks about). Set a goal of finding, say, twenty books, book chapters and articles that are the most relevant to your title.Maximizing your options should be the goal at this stage. Remember to keep within or close to your discipline at this stage, since different disciplines can come at the same topic via very different angles. Use your library catalogue. If your university obscurities to electronic search engines like BIBS, CLC First Search or ASTOR, then use those. Some free search engines you might also try: scholar. Google. Com/ o http:/ o http://whiffletrees. Com/ rather a general source which includes non-academic material. O http://van. Www. Eggs. Du/ . This school has online articles by some famous social thinkers. ; Final reading: once you have found the best sources, begin to read them, taking notes and focusing on the most relevant sections. 14. Focus on printed sources. Try and use sources that you can cite down to the exact page number. Often this will mean going to printed copies of things. If your bibliography consists of predominantly internet sources, even if they are all good ones, the marker will probably surmise that you are a bit lazy and convenience orientated.Some sections of academia are slow to change; I think there is still a bias towards printed sources among examiners and it would be as well to be aware of it. 15. Find good examples. What makes a good example? Apart from it being correctly cited, would say that it needs to be accurate (factual), important (relevant), reliable (representative) and strong (proving the point). How much detail you include ACH time is a matter for your own evaluation. Maybe re-reading a later draft will help you decide if you have conveyed it effectively.