Essay/Assignment Writing: Planning to Editing



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Essay/Assignment Writing: Planning to Editing

Agenda

  • 28 December 2016
  • 4 stages in essay writing:
  • Preparing
  • Planning
  • Drafting
  • Editing

Questions for you:

  • 28 December 2016
  • What makes a good essay?
  • If you were marking an essay, what would you look for?

“To essay”

  • 28 December 2016
  • The verb “to essay” means “to put to the test, to attempt something difficult”.
  • Essays give you opportunities to come to terms with new knowledge.
  • Writing an essay helps you to measure how much you really understand.

Four Stages in Writing an Essay

  • 28 December 2016
  • 1. Preparing
  • 2. Planning
  • 3. Drafting
  • 4. Editing
  • Post-essay writing
  • 5. Learning from the experience

Stage 1 Preparing

  • 28 December 2016
  • What question do I need to address and what does it mean?
  • What do I know about this already?
  • What do I need to find out?
  • Research

Analyse the question

  • 28 December 2016
  • What is the subject?
  • What are the key verb(s)?
  • What are the key aspect(s)?
  • Any other other significant words?
  • Ask questions about the question

Understand Key Verbs

  • 28 December 2016
  • analyse
  • compare and contrast
  • describe
  • discuss
  • evaluate
  • examine
  • explore
  • outline
  • summarise

Paragraphing (I)

  • 28 December 2016
  • Paragraphs structure thoughts and help the reader
  • Each paragraph should contain
  • one clear idea
  • support sentences
  • Support sentences add to the topic sentence, e.g.
  • explain ideas raised
  • define terms more fully
  • give supporting detail

Paragraphing (II)

  • 28 December 2016
  • For every paragraph, ask:
  • Is there one main idea here?
  • Is it stated clearly?
  • Is it properly supported with evidence?
  • Have I commented on the evidence?
  • Does it link with the previous paragraph and anticipate the next?

Beginning a new paragraph

  • 28 December 2016
  • To mark off the introduction and the conclusion
  • To signal a shift to a new idea
  • To indicate an important shift in time or place
  • To emphasise a point
  • To highlight a contrast

Stage 3 Drafting

  • 28 December 2016
  • Drafting shapes the notes into an essay.
  • How?
  • Revise, reconsider and rewrite what you have done.
  • Fill in any gaps.
  • Revise plan, now you know more.

Checking a Rough Draft

  • 28 December 2016
  • Look for:
  • the sequence of ideas
  • logic
  • paragraphing
  • sign-posting
  • need more information?
  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • Am I answering the question?

Introductions

  • 28 December 2016
  • State clearly
    • How you are going to answer the question
    • What you are going to cover
  • Address the question, the key idea.
  • Define key terms.
  • May help to write the introduction last.
  • Should be 10% of the word count

Conclusions

  • 28 December 2016
  • Pull the essay together.
  • Show where you stand in the debate (judgement).
  • Draw conclusions or extract general principles (factual).
  • May indicate an area for further study.
  • Link back to the question / essay title.
  • 10-13% of the word count

Stage 4 Editing

  • 28 December 2016
  • Proof read your essay.
  • Check for mistakes:
    • spelling
    • grammar
    • punctuation
  • Check quotations, citations.
  • Have I answered the question?
  • Is there a logical, coherent argument?

Presentation

  • 28 December 2016
  • Word limit
  • Margins
  • Spacing
  • Font types and sizes
  • Legibility
  • Does it comply with the required layout?
  • Diagrams
  • References

Citations

  • 28 December 2016
  • Examples:
  • According to Jones (1998), ….
  • Jones (1998) argued that ….
  • To quote from Jones (1998), ….
  • In name of text, Jones (1998) supported the idea of ….
  • …. paraphrases …. (Jones, 1998, p82)

Quotations

  • 28 December 2016
  • Short quotation
    • Jones (1999, p23) described the idea as ‘quoting a few words’ ….
  • Long quotation
    • Jones wrote: long quotes
  • long quotes
  • long quotes (Smith, 1999, p9)
  • etc. etc.

References

  • 28 December 2016
  • Put at the end of an essay.
  • Do not number them.
  • Begin each source on a new line.
  • List alphabetically by the first author’s surname.
  • Italicise the book or journal title.
  • Place single quotation marks around the title of an article within a journal.

Examples of References

  • 28 December 2016
  • A book
  • An article in a book
    • Tizard, B. (1991) ‘Working Mothers and the Care of Young Children’ in Woodhead, M., Light, P. and Carr, R. (eds) Growing Up in a Changing Society, Routledge.

Bibliography

  • 28 December 2016
  • A list of everything you read for the assignment.
  • They need not be referred to in your writing.
  • Listed in the same style as references.


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