Essay Writing Tips

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Essay writing top tips Where to start? Read essay questions twice; the focus is not always immediately obvious. What are the grounds for agreeing or disagreeing? Have you got evidence to support both sides? Underline the key words in the title. Make sure you address them all. An answer which only addresses half the question cannot score top marks, however good that half is. These key words often provide useful subheadings for planning. Planning Planning cannot be underestimated. An examiner can often make a judgement about an essay on the first page so don’t set off writing in the hope that you’ll meander into a good answer; a good argument is planned and constructed carefully. Try putting subheadings in your work while you’re drafting then take them out once you’ve completed. This will help you focused. Essays are often too long and rambling because students haven’t focused or planned properly. Quality matters more than quantity. Agree or disagree? Literature essay titles are open ended in the sense that there is not an obvious right answer and therefore it isn’t wise to give an entirely one-sided response. The question wouldn’t have been set if the answer were not debatable. Find evidence to argue the point of view and evidence to use as a counterargument. This shows your capacity for debate and accepting that there are different views on a text. Staying focused on the question The key words, or synonyms for them, should appear in your introduction, at intervals through the body of the essay and in your conclusion. Showing the examiner the direction of the essay * Links such as ‘Furthermore’ ‘In addition’ and ‘Moreover’ allow you to add points to progress the argument. Avoid linking with ‘Also’ – it is too informal and becomes repetitive. * ‘However’ and ‘On the other hand’ and ‘alternatively’ are good ways of

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