It must answer the question. It should clearly address the topic, Identify key areas of debate surrounding the Issues raised in the question, coherently discuss them, and, most Importantly, make a cogent argument. In order to write a successful essay, apart from the requisite reading, It Is essential that you understand what you are being asked to do. Breaking Down Essay Questions When looking at essay questions it is often not easy to see exactly what is being asked. It is essential to identify all the elements that make up an essay question to ensure that you deal with it appropriately.

You need to identify the instruction, the topic, and any limitations or parameters. This Is possible without substantial knowledge of the subject. You also need to know what the assumptions are, what Is significant, and accurately Identify any Issues or problems. In order to do this you must have knowledge of the subject and any controversies surrounding it. For example, consider the following essay title: ‘Examine the relative impact of foreign intervention on the outcome of the first phase of the Angola civil war (1975-1991).

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Examine is the instruction, foreign intervention is the topic and the limitation is the first phase of the Angola civil war (1975-1991). Essay Instructions The instruction tells you how to approach your essay. Look at the following piece of feedback on an essay written in response to the title: ‘Assess the respective weight of reasons for the Emancipation Edict of 1861 Here are a mummer AT common Instructions explain EAI In more detail: Account for Give reasons for; explain how and why something happened. Analyses Examine and explain why. Evaluate and give reasons.

Assess Write about (usually) two things which have certain similarities but Compare with some crucial differences. There may be an element of evaluation here too. Define Explain or identify the nature of; describe, possibly in a particular context. Identify the ‘problem’, analyses and explain how and why it came into Discuss being and what it might imply. Examine Look at carefully; consider the details surrounding the topic. In what way Explain how and say why. Justify Give good reasons for; explain satisfactorily. Outline Give a short description of the main points.

Express carefully, fully and clearly. State To what extent How far do you agree with… / How ‘true’ is… You will also get questions that ask ‘Why’, ‘HOW, or ‘What’ often in the context of, ‘How do you account for…?. Once you’ve identified the various components of the question, you can break the question down into sub-questions. Ask yourself, Why have they asked this question? What do they want me to explore? Look at the following question: What can Chinese ceramics tell us about other aspects of Chinese culture? Sub questions: What is meant by ‘Chinese ceramics’?

Objects? Decoration? Function? ) What specific examples can I use? What is meant by other aspects of Chinese culture here? Not art? And so on… In this way, you begin to make the question your own, and start to write the ‘answer to it. You also provide yourself with a focus for your reading. In other words, you read to find the answers to your many sub-questions. Organization Introduction (Opening Paragraph) This should be the most general paragraph of the essay. It should set out the overall idea of the essay, and state your argument.

It should also contextual the topic, and describe why the issues raised in the question are significant or interesting. At the end of the introduction, you can also include a brief internal essay map (also known as slang-posting), winner you outline ten structure AT ten essay an a ten mall Tosca points of your analysis. Sections It is useful to organism your answer into general sections, each one dealing with a particular aspect of the argument or discussion. Each section should contain an opening sentence or two generalizing the content and direction of the section. The bequest paragraphs should then develop the central idea. Sentences Each sentence should be unified around one particular point or aspect of the point. If you include too many ideas in a sentence, it loses focus. Avoid long, run-on sentences. Make sure each sentence is actually a complete sentence with a clear subject and a verb. – Paragraphs Each paragraph should have a general statement of some kind identifying the role/ relevance of the paragraph. The rest of the paragraph should be unified around its topic and theme. Unrelated themes and/or aspects will appear out of place, possibly relevant, and ultimately disorganized and unfocused.

Conclusion The concluding paragraph(s) should complete the circle with reference back to the original argument expressed in the introduction. It too should be general in the sense that it completes or provides some kind of resolution to the discussion. However, the concluding paragraph(s) should not only summaries what has already been said. The main purpose of the conclusions is to discuss the implications of what you have written, I. E. The meaning, significance and consequences of the topic and question(s) you examined. Editing

Whenever you’ve finished a piece of writing you need to read it again with a critical eye. These questions should help to focus your attention on relevant points: Is there a clear introduction which frames the essay and the argument? Does the essay ‘map’ correspond to the general structure? Is there a conclusion which ties everything together? Coherence Does each point, each paragraph, and each section follow on logically from the previous one? Is it confusing to read at all? Be careful to check for: Spelling mistakes. Grammatical inconsistencies. Punctuation errors. Bibliography