The ability to write clearly, and hence communicate effectively is becoming increasingly important as text based tools such as the Internet, and email become essential tools of our daily life. Without being able to communicate face-to-face, our writing needs to be clear and concise in order to both get our message across and to prevent misunderstandings. In this context essay writing provides a means whereby you are able develop the skills of effective communication that will be relevant wherever you end up as a graduate. So, to know writing meaningful essays is useful for all of us. Today, in our independent country the attention to learning foreign languages is getting more and more day by day. Writing techniques and styles are different among the languages, of course. But if we can write beautiful essays in our language, we can do it any other languages too. Reading and researching new grammatical materials, I am interested in this theme. Personally, it is not only for our grammar, but for writing we search extra materials, information, news to do it enchanting. First of all, we need good structure.
A good essay structure is made easier by prior planning, makes it clear how you are going to address the question, where you are going and why. It sets out your main ideas. Clearly, makes it clear how the main ideas relate to each other. Structure makes the reader through your answer in a logical, progressive way. Helps the reader to remember what you have said. And also it organizes groups of related information in paragraphs. Moreover, structure uses connecting words and phrases to relate each point/idea to earlier and later points.
A model essay structure:
Arouse the reader’s interest, set the scene, explain how you interpret the question set, define or explain key terms if necessary. Give a brief outline of which issues you will explore, and in which order
B) Argument/Main Body
Contains the points outlined in your introduction, divided into
a) Paragraph 1
Covers the first thing you said you would address. The first sentence (the topic sentence) introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Other sentences develop the topic. Include relevant examples, details, evidence, quotations, references.
b) Paragraph 2 and other paragraphs
The first sentence links the paragraph to the previous paragraph then introduces the main idea of the paragraph.
C) The Conclusion
Draw everything together, summarize the main themes, state your general conclusions, make it clear why those conclusions are important or significant
Do not introduce new material, in the last sentence, sum up your argument very briefly, linking it to the title. Set the issues in a broader perspective/wider context
Discuss what you have failed to do — answers not clear, space limited. Suggest further questions of your own.
The main stages of essay writing:
1. Analyze the question
2. Make a rough outline plan
3. Use plan to guide research
4. Review, revise and refine the plan
5. Write first draft
6. Edit draft for structure and content
7. Edit draft for style
8. Check referencing
9. Proof read for spelling/punctuation
10. Produce final copy
Stage 1 — Analyzing the essay question
Read the question (aloud if it helps!) several times. Underline the words that tell you what approach to take (e.g. discuss, assess, compare — see key words below). Highlight key words relating to the subject matter. Circle any other significant words that identify the scope of what you have to write about (e.g. simply, fundamentally, only, merely, currently, respectively). Note any terms that you need to define.
Write the question out in your own words. In your introduction say how you interpret the question (e.g. by rephrasing in your own words). In your conclusion, refer back to the question; show the reader that you are still answering the set question. Write the question out in full on plans, notes and drafts to make sure you do not lose sight of it.
Key words in essay titles NB. You might find that the title you have been given does not contain any of these key words. You will have to look carefully at the way the question is phrased, along with any accompanying guidance as to what is expected (e.g. learning outcomes in module guide) to establish what sort of approach is required. Identify and write about the main issues; give your reactions based on what you have read/heard in lectures. Avoid just personal opinion
Look for the similarities/differences between two things. Show the relevance or consequences of these similarities. Perhaps conclude which is preferable.
Bring out the differences between two items or arguments. Show whether the differences are significant. Perhaps give reasons why one is preferable.
Weigh arguments for and against something, assessing the strength of the evidence on both sides. Use criteria to guide your assessment of which opinions, theories, models or items are preferable.
Define — give the exact meaning of. Where relevant, show you understand how the definition may be problematic.
Describe — give the main characteristics or features of something, or outline the main events.
Discuss — investigate or examine by argument; sift and debate; give reasons for and against; examine the implications.
Distinguish between — bring out the differences between.
Evaluate — assess and give your judgment about the merit, importance or usefulness of something. Back your judgment with evidence.
Examine — look closely into something.
Explain — make clear why something happens, or is the way it is; interpret and account for; give reasons for.
Explore — examine thoroughly; consider from a variety of viewpoints.
Illustrate — make something clear and explicit, giving examples of evidence.
Interpret — show the meaning and relevance of data or other material presented
Justify — give evidence which supports an argument or idea; show why a decision or conclusions were made; answer the main objections which might be made.
Narrate — outline what happened.
Outline — give the main points/features/general principles; show the main
structure and interrelations; omit details and examples.
Summarize — o raw out the main points only; omit details and examples. To what extent
Consider how far something is true, or contributes to a final outcome. Consider also ways in which it is not true.
Trace — follow the development or history of an event or process.
Stage 2 — Planning
Make an outline plan. Keep the question in sight. Try using a “spider” or “pattern plan” to brainstorm relevant points — both what you know and what you need to find out. This type of plan reflects the way your brain works and helps to give you an overview of the essay. Give star ratings to the points you have noted:
*** for key points
** for important points
* for background points
Use different colors, letters or lines to show links. Number the key points in the order you think you will introduce them. Try out “Mind Genius”, a mind mapping programmed on the open access computers in the University Library.
Stage 3 — Use your plan to guide your research
Armed with your outline plan, use skimming and scanning strategies to identify material relevant to your key points (see on-line guide on reading for academic purposes).
Stage 4 -Refine your plan
If your research has drawn out key points you would have missed out, include them. Delete anything that now seems irrelevant or unimportant. Work out the order for introducing key points. Convert your outline plan into a linear plan — list the main topics/arguments as headings in order. Code (color, letters, numbers) the headings.
For each main topic/argument note the main information you will include and the examples/other supporting details. Divide up your word allowance between the headings — allow one tenth each for the introduction on and conclusion. Work out how many words per page you write in your handwriting. Select the total number of pages you will need. Draw out pages showing what topics you’ll include on each page.
Sort your research notes — use the code color, number or letter to relate them to your plan. Start drafting!
Stage 5 — Drafting
If you have a mental block with the introduction, start with the “middle”, with a topic/idea you feel most comfortable with. Take each main topic/idea and write a paragraph about it. Do not worry about style/spelling at this stage — let the ideas flow.
For each paragraph include a “topic sentence” that makes it clear what that paragraph is about. The rest of the paragraph will include information and evidence related to that “topic”. Leave space for editing. Write the conclusion — it should sum up the content of the “middle” and relate back to the title. Write the introduction –it is easier to say what your essay sets out to do once you have done it. If you have word — recessed your draft, print off a hard copy for editing purposes. Put the draft aside for a day or so — come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Stage 6 — Editing your draft
First re-read your draft, checking for structure and content:
Does the main body do what the introduction says it will do?
Is it clear what each paragraph is about? (Highlight the topic sentence; sum up the topic in the margin and color code it.)
Is every paragraph relevant to the question?
Is everything in the paragraph relevant to the main “topic”?
Is there enough in each paragraph to support the “topic”?
Is anything repeated/superfluous?
Is everything in the right place?
Are the sentences in each paragraph in the right order?
Does every paragraph relate clearly to the others?
Are the ideas clearly expressed, in an academic style?
Have you cited references correctly and listed them at the end?
Does the spelling/punctuation help the reader?
Useful linking words and phrases
To indicate a contrast:
However, on the other hand, in contrast, alternatively, on the contrary, conversely, in comparison, rather, in fact, another possibility, better/worse, still, but, despite this, notwithstanding, in spite of, nevertheless, for all that, yet, all the same, instead, although
To provide an illustration:
for example, as follows that is, that is to say, for instance, in other words, namely, such as, chiefly, mainly, most importantly, typical of this/such, notably, including, especially, not least, a typical/particular/key example, in particular
To extend a point:
Similarly, equally, indeed, in addition, in the same way, in addition, likewise, too, besides, also, as well, furthermore
To show cause and effect/conclusion:
So, therefore, accordingly, thus, hence, then, it follows that, for this reason, this implies, in this/that case, consequently, because of this/that, this suggests that, in conclusion, in short, to conclude, in brief, in all, it might be concluded, from this, accepting/assuming, this, resulting from/in consequence of this, as a result/consequence, owing to/due to the, fact that, accepting/assuming this.
To show the next step:
first(ly), second(ly), to begin/start with, lastly, last but not least, ultimately, first, and, foremost, finally, another, then, after, next, afterwards third(ly), first and most, importantly, in the first/second place
All in all, I can conclude that, for writing essay we need much knowledge, to read more books and useful articles in this theme, to know many artistic words and to know how to make and bind the sentences each other. Especially we need to pay attention context meaning of words when we use them in our essay. If we do like that, I believe that we can achieve the success!
- Writing essays. Department of Philosophy School of Humanities 2011–12.
- A helpful guide to essay writing. Vivien Perutz. Publisher: Student Services, July, 2010.
- Successful writing Intermediate. Virginia Evans 2000.
- Successful writing Proficiency, 2 nd edition. Virginia Evans 2000.