If left unplanned, the reading stage can swallow up huge amounts of time.Fortunately, there is scope for developing efficiency in several ways: While a certain level of efficiency is desirable, it is also important to remain flexible enough to identify relevant and interesting ideas that you had not anticipated.It can be a way of making a lot of progress quite quickly. In these early stages of your thinking you may not be sure which of your ideas you want to follow up and which you will be discarding.
By creating a relevant structure, you make it much easier for yourself to present an effective argument.
There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e.g.: In addition to these macro-structures you will probably need to establish a micro-structure relating to the particular elements you need to focus on e.g.: evidence / policy / theory / practice / case studies / examples / debates.
To produce a high quality essay you need to demonstrate your ability: The need to use such a wide range of academic skills is probably the main reason why the essay format is so popular with tutors as an assignment.
The word limit adds to the challenge by requiring that all of these skills be demonstrated within a relatively small number of words.
Producing incisive and clear written work within a word limit is an important skill in itself, which will be useful in many aspects of life beyond university.
Checklist For Writing An Effective Essay - Process Of A Good Academic Essay
Good, constructively critical feedback can give you excellent guidance on how to improve your essay writing.
As a tutor has said (Creme and Lea, 1997 p41): ‘When my students ask me about essay writing, there are three main pieces of advice that I give them. The Mini Guide: Essay terms explained, and Questions to ask about interpreting essay titles may be useful.
To start you off, and to minimise the likelihood of writer’s block, a useful exercise is to do a ‘brainstorm’ of all your ideas in connection with the essay title. It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions.
Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process: the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become. The structure may be strong and clear, or it may be unobtrusive and minimal but, in a good essay, it will be there.
Underpinning the structure will be the ‘argument’ your essay is making.