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Essay Writing Skills - help! How do I start?

(11 Posts)
PennySillin Mon 16-Nov-15 18:29:38

I am currently doing a course where I need to critically evaluate a part of a physical assessment!

I can feel myself putting off facing this task and know that if I don't do something soon it will end up as a last minute effort and I am really keen to avoid this.

When you are faced with writing an essay how do you start? I think I try to research, read and write all at the same time and end up in a right pickle! If I could just get a method to essay writing I am sure I would enjoy the course even more. It's a great course but I can just feel the academic writing side of it developing into a huge burden if I don't face it soon!

Essay is due in on 5th Jan.
confused

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 16-Nov-15 19:21:58

It depends a lot on the kind of course you're on - the skills for writing an essay in one subject will be different from those for another. But you have loads of time, so don't panic. This might be too simple, but:

Check the course guidelines and the guidelines for essays. These will usually be in your course handbook, which is probably available online. If you can't find it, ask your tutor nicely and they'll probably help out!

Figure out what is being asked for - eg., how long should it be? Do the guidelines tell you what is rewarded and what is penalised (eg., do you need to include a literature survey or an abstract? Must you keep strictly to the word limit? Etc.)

Do you have a question assigned, or do you choose a topic? If the first, do you understand exactly what the question means? If the second, what is important about this topic? I think in most subjects, the first thing to do is to make sure you can put that into words. And being able to explain what the question is asking you is a good way to start organising your own thoughts.

There's nothing wrote with researching, reading and writing all at the same time, but structuring the answer is a big part of it too, and you need to leave time to do that - otherwise you'll end up rambling. So, set yourself an end date for the research/reading/draft writing stage, and then tell yourself after that, you will be writing the essay up, setting out the structure and going over your notes.

PennySillin Mon 16-Nov-15 19:56:01

Thank you that's really useful. It's a physical assessment course, nursing, I need to pick one part of the assessment in each of the systems of the body we are learning about and critically evaluate it, so for example listening to a chest when examining the respiratory system. The word count is very small when you break it down in 6 assessments so I realise I need to be very to the point and not descriptive.

I trained as a nurse back when the nursing schools were part of a hospital and not a university based course and then had a career break. Coming back into it all at university is a new way for me!

i really appreciate your advice. smile

anothernumberone Mon 16-Nov-15 20:03:56

If you are critically assessing it usually you are backing up your chosen course of action and findings from the literature on the particular topic.

So for example Edgar (2013) suggests technique while Erstwhile (2014); Johnston (2012) etc have had more success with technique b.

It may be that there is an associated practical technique and then a way with dealing with findings recommended in the literature.

Like any essay it should have an introduction, body of text and a conclusion. Then I suggest you do a draft and ask for feedback before you submit.

Best of luck.

AlmaNelson Fri 20-Nov-15 10:19:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

vikiblunt Mon 15-May-17 09:28:49

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TrojanWhore Mon 15-May-17 09:32:41

As the essay was due in in January 2016, I doubt very much that OP is still spending any time on it whatsoever!

What's with all the essay-writing spam today - seen at least 2 already.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 15-May-17 11:54:02

Thanks viki, very useful for me as a tutor to know where the plagiarised shite comes from. smile

GoatsFeet Mon 15-May-17 11:59:28

Essay writing services are criminal scum. Reported.

vikiblunt Mon 15-May-17 12:11:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

GoatsFeet Mon 15-May-17 13:17:03

Feck off. Criminal scum.

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