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Essay writing skills

Essay writing skills_5.1 and 5.2
by

Melanie Law

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of Essay writing skills

STUDY SECTION 5.1: TYPES OF ESSAYS
AND The writing process types of essays Personal essays/writing Writing from personal experience

Writer shares thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences

Normally written in the first person

Example: Autobiographies. Narrative essays/writing Tells a story (gives an account of something that happened)

Narrative can revolve around a plot

Elements of narrative prose are important (theme, tone, register, intention, style, point of view, mood, narrator, etc.)

Example: Novels, short stories, etc. Descriptive essays/writing Writer draws a picture with words

Can describe people, places, situations, etc.

Relies heavily on suitable vocabulary (adjectives, adverbs)

Example: Write a 10 page essay discussing (describing) the main character of the
text. Persuasive essays/writing Writer tries to convince the reader of his/her point of view

Subjective type of writing

Example: Write an essay discussing the death penalty: choose either for or
against it. Discursive/expository Is the analysis of a certain subject

Both sides of the argument are discussed

It is therefore an objective style of writing

Must be interesting and informative

Example: Discuss the pros and cons of abolishing the death penalty. Writing based on visual stimuli Essay based on something the writer has seen (photos, pictures, ads, bill-boards etc.)

Example: Write an essay discussing a particular advertisement. STUDY SECTION 5.2: PLANNING AND STRUCTURING AN ESSAY Study section outcomes Upon its completion, you should be able to:

distinguish between different types of essays

demonstrate that you know which topics suit which types of essays. Study section outcomes Upon completion of this study section, you should be able to:

effectively plan an essay

logically structure ideas in an essay

produce a rough draft of an essay

demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of writing academic essays

compile an accurate bibliography

quote sources correctly in a text planning and structuring an essay The essay writing process should include the following steps:

Planning the essay

Logically structure ideas in the essay

Producing a rough draft of the essay

Writing the academic essay

Compile an accurate bibliography and quote sources correctly in the essay

Editing the final essay (see 5.3) planning Planning is a very important part of writing.

Before you build a house you need to draw up plans – the same applies to writing essays.

Here are steps to follow when planning an essay:

Brainstorm: Write spontaneous ideas on the topic, using key words and phrases.

Mind map, flow chart, plot line: Now use the words and phrases from the brainstorm, to plan, plot and structure your work. brainstorm mind map flow chart plot lines structure of
an essay introduction The introduction is the first paragraph that introduces the topic and sets the scene. It should be short and precise, and it should briefly discuss what will be said in the essay

A good introduction should:
Set out the context/background of the argument or discussion
Introduce the content of the essay
Introduce the theoretical perspectives that will be used
Define key concepts (although you may do this in the discussion)
Set out the thesis statement/line of argumentation/central contention
Explain how the essay will be organised (order of points) discussion The discussion is the part that follows the introduction. This is the part of the essay that elaborates on the topic, and its related ideas. It comprises a number of paragraphs, and each paragraph explains one idea or point or topic.

Each paragraph in the discussion or argument should:
Present the topic sentence or central idea
Contain developing sentences which extend on or amplify the topic structure
Give evidence/examples/references which support and relate to the topic sentence
Provide a concluding or linking sentence conclusion The conclusion is the part of the essay where you synthesise your main points.

The conclusion should link your main ideas and help the reader to understand what your discussion was about. This is not the time to bring up new information!

You conclusion should therefore:

Restate your thesis/line of argument/central contention
Summarise the points and evidence you provided to support your thesis
Have a sense of finality
The conclusion should contain words like: In conclusion, it is therefore evident, consequently. bibliography The bibliography/source list is the last section in an academic essay.
Bibliography - a list at the end of an essay that lists all the sources that were consulted during the study.

Source list (NOT Sauce list) - is a list at the end of an essay that lists all the sources that are cited in the text.

Bibliographies are important for two reasons:
They are used to indicate the authors and/or sources used/cited in an essay.

They demonstrate that no plagiarism has been committed. 1. Avoid alliterations. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentence with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They are old hat.
4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
5. Be more or less specific.
6. Writers should never generalize.
Seven. Be consistent.
8. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary - it's superfluous.
9. Who needs rhetorical questions?
10. Exaggeration is a billion times words than understatement. writing tips 1. Introduction
2. Discussion
3. Conclusion
4. Bibliography Homework A homework assignment has been loaded on the assignment tab on eFundi.

The folder "Participation Assessment 1" contains the instructions and an essay.

You must read the essay and then write then introduction and conclusion for the essay.

Specific instruction are to be found in the "instruction" document. Please make sure you follow all instructions carefully.
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