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If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time.Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways: While a certain level of efficiency is desirable, it is also important to remain flexible enough to identify relevant and interesting ideas that you had not anticipated.You begin there; you end there; and everything in between needs to be placed in relation to that title.
As a tutor has said (Creme and Lea, 1997 p41): ‘When my students ask me about essay writing, there are three main pieces of advice that I give them. The Mini Guide: Essay terms explained, and Questions to ask about interpreting essay titles may be useful.
To start you off, and to minimise the likelihood of writer’s block, a useful exercise is to do a ‘brainstorm’ of all your ideas in connection with the essay title. It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.
Again this may be strong and obvious, or it may be almost invisible, but it needs to be there.
In different subject areas, and with different styles of writing, the term ‘argument’ may seem more or less relevant.
It is worth attending to all of the suggestions and comments you receive, and trying to act on them.
Common criticism given to students is that their essay: These elements will be used to give a broad overall structure to this Study Guide.
Producing incisive and clear written work within a word limit is an important skill in itself, which will be useful in many aspects of life beyond university.
Good, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing.
However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.
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.