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Top tips for formulating an academic essay please.

(5 Posts)
sunburntats Sun 11-Oct-09 16:31:23

Its been many years since i wrote an essay, donkeys in fact.
Have you got any tips to help me to write and pass please?

ABetaDad Sun 11-Oct-09 16:54:05

I assume this is an undergraduate degree course?

My old tutor used to say the biggest mistake most students make is going round the houses and not addressing the topic directly.

He used to say that the first sentence had to say three things. What you are talking about (i.e the subject), one interesting key fact about it and the main conlusion of your essay based on that fact.

In that way your reader can be left in no doubt about what you are writing on, why and what you think - right from the start.

The rest of the essay then goes on to expand the three things stated in your first sentence.

lindsaygii Wed 14-Oct-09 20:42:00

this is the structure of an academic essay..

1. Tell them what you're going to tell them.
2. Tell them it.
3. Tell them you've told them.

In other words; write a strong introduction which lays out what you are going to talk about, and summaries where your argument will go.

The body of the essay should argue, in a structured way, the point you want to make. (
You must spend time on the main section, making sure you are going through the subject in a logical fashion.)

The conclusion reviews your argument in summary and ties it all up together.

You MUST give references throughout the text, and a book list at the end. The easiest way is to write it in Word, and use the Insert-Footnote menu.

Good luck!

MissGreatBritain Fri 30-Oct-09 09:17:23

Intro - tell them what you're going to talk about.

Main body - 1 paragraph per point. Make your point, explain it and give an example. Move on to next paragraph to make next point, explain and illustrate. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Conclusion - precis what you've just said, then draw any conclusions from your argument. Job done.

OmicronPersei8yourbrain Fri 30-Oct-09 09:42:27

Don't get caught up in the need to write 'big words': IME it's always better to write clearly and simply. You are forming an argument and your ideas are more important than being fancy with your vocab. A well-formed essay develops an argument and leads from one point easily to the next.

I read someone's essay recently and it was difficult to read as they had lots of pompous and empty sentences to fit in certain words and phrases, but it was obvious that they weren't clear on what they actually wanted to say.

Of course if you do have a firm grasp of 'academic' vocabulary, go ahead and use it, but don't feel that you have to if you feel a bit shaky with it.

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