Essay Writing

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Essay writing guide Essay Writing Guide Dr Jerry Ratcliffe – Dept of Criminal Justice – Temple University 1 Essay writing ‐ what is good writing? The Importance of Writingi Of all areas of studying and learning, the most challenging is writing. The reason why writing is especially demanding is that it forces a very deep and powerful type of learning to take place. When making the effort to use the ideas of the subject that you are studying and saying something for yourself, then it may be said that you are learning. The ideas only become a functioning part of your thought processes when you can call on them in expressing yourself to other people. understanding to others. Make sure that you actually answer the question. If you are asked to assess, or to choose, or to discuss‐‐do it! Do not write down everything you know about the subject: it may not all be relevant. Your lecturers are often not looking for `correct answers'. There is no `line' for you to follow. They are concerned with how well you make your case. Whether they agree or disagree with your judgment is not essential to your mark. Disagreement does not lead to bad marks; bad essays do. If there are important arguments against your position, do not ignore them; deal with them honestly. Give those who disagree with you a fair go. Try to meet their arguments with better ones. Scholarship is not a matter of political point‐scoring: you must respect evidence and superior arguments. Your argument should be consistent, and the language used should be clear, grammatical and precise. Furthermore, an essay is a finished piece of work, not a draft or a series of notes. What is an essay? What does an essay look like? An argument is a series of generalizations or propositions, supported

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