Essay/Assignment Writing: Planning to Editing

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Essay/Assignment Writing: Planning to Editing. Agenda. 4 stages in essay writing: Preparing Planning Drafting Editing. Questions for you:. What makes a good essay? If you were marking an essay, what would you look for?. To essay. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Essay/Assignment Writing:

    Planning to Editing

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    *Agenda4 stages in essay writing: Preparing Planning Drafting Editing

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    *Questions for you:What makes a good essay?

    If you were marking an essay, what would you look for?

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    *To essayThe 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.

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    *Four Stages in Writing an Essay1.Preparing2.Planning3.Drafting4.Editing

    Post-essay writing5.Learning from the experience

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    *Stage 1PreparingWhat 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

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    *Analyse the questionWhat 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

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    *Understand Key Verbsanalysecompare and contrastdescribediscussevaluateexamineexploreoutlinesummarise

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    *Paragraphing (I)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 raiseddefine terms more fullygive supporting detail

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    *Paragraphing (II)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?

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    *Beginning a new paragraphTo mark off the introduction and the conclusionTo signal a shift to a new ideaTo indicate an important shift in time or placeTo emphasise a pointTo highlight a contrast

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    *Stage 3DraftingDrafting 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.

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    *Checking a Rough DraftLook for:the sequence of ideaslogicparagraphingsign-postingneed more information?grammarpunctuationAm I answering the question?

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    *IntroductionsState clearly How you are going to answer the questionWhat you are going to coverAddress the question, the key idea.Define key terms.May help to write the introduction last.Should be 10% of the word count

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    *ConclusionsPull 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

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    *Stage 4EditingProof read your essay.Check for mistakes:spellinggrammarpunctuationCheck quotations, citations.Have I answered the question?Is there a logical, coherent argument?

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    *PresentationWord limitMarginsSpacingFont types and sizesLegibilityDoes it comply with the required layout?DiagramsReferences

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    *CitationsExamples: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)

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    *QuotationsShort quotationJones (1999, p23) described the idea as quoting a few words .

    Long quotationJones wrote: long quoteslong quoteslong quotes (Smith, 1999, p9)etc. etc.

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    *ReferencesPut at the end of an essay.Do not number them.Begin each source on a new line.List alphabetically by the first authors surname.Italicise the book or journal title.Place single quotation marks around the title of an article within a journal.

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    *Examples of ReferencesA bookCottrell, S.M. (1999) The Study Skills Handbook, Macmillan.

    An article in a bookTizard, 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.

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    *BibliographyA list of everything you read for the assignment.They need not be referred to in your writing.Listed in the same style as references.

    Essay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*WelcomeHealth & SafetyStudent Learning Advisory ServiceLocation & FacilitiesVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Preparation:Understanding the questionUnpacking the questionPlanning:Exploring avenues of researchResearch techniquesReading criticallyMaking notesRecording sourcesDraftingOutline essay planParagraphingSentences & signpostingEditingProofreadingChecking sourcesPresentation

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*1. The essay answers the question2. Clear3. Concise4. Persuasive5. Evidence - good use of relevant sources6. Avoid mechanical errors of punctuation and spelling7. Good presentation

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Dictionary definition of argument:

    A set of statements in support of an opinion or proposed course of action. It is expressed in an orderly way, and is used to try and convince someone that the opinion or course of action is correct.

    Differences between talking and writing:Talking:Unstructured orderPrompted by questionsRepetition and deviationUnedited and unpolishedNon-standard language, simple sentence structuresUnrecorded

    Writing:Grammatical conventions - more complex that speechStructured formPermanent record - can be revisited years laterMonologueEdited and polished

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Repetition of slide 3

    Plus:5. Learning from the experience

    Essential feedbackTake account of markers commentsReflective learningPersonal evaluation - make notes in study journalStart action plan - major issues and minor errorsMajor issues are areas which lose a lot of marks e.g. not answering the question, lack of evidence, poor argument, weak structure.Minor issues: spelling, punctuation, grammar.Do discuss your work with tutor and students - find out what gets good marks.

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Need to unpack the questionAssess how much you know about the topicAssess how much you need to knowSketch out areas of researchTarget sourcesVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*What is the question about - in broad terms.?What is the key instruction - what does the examiner expect you to write?Identify which aspects of the main topic need to be addressed.Any other significant words - anything else that needs to be taken into consideration in planning the answer.

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Analyse: To take apart and give details of componentsCompare and contrast: Look for similarities and differences between; perhaps conclude on which is preferable.Describe: Give a detailed, full account of.Discuss: Investigate or examine by argument; debate; give reasons for and against; examine the implications of.Evaluate: Appraise the worth of something in the light of its truth or usefulness; assess and explain.Examine: Look at carefully; consider.Explore: Examine details and demonstrate different perspectives.Outline: Give a short description of the main points; give the main features, general principles - emphasise the structure, leaving out minor details.Summarise: Give a concise account of the chief points of a matter, leaving out details/examples.VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*5 parts to a paragraph:the idea is introducedthe idea is definedthe idea is exploredevidence is offered in support of your argumenta concluding point is made summing up the paragraph or leading on to the next paragraph.

    Topic sentence: Summary of paragraphs main point.Develop main point in logical order: examples, illustrations, definitions, comparison and contrast of different views etc.Last sentence.

    Paragraph Activity 1Ex. 5-1 Topic sentencesVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Checkpoints for paragraph structure:Read each paragraphsum up the topicIs everything relevant?Is the line of argument clear?If you have problems wiring paragraphs divide the page into 3 columns:Column 1Ideas, theories , line of argument that you wish to pursueColumn 2Main examples and types of evidenceColumn 3Facts, names, statistics and other supporting information

    Each paragraph should have:1 item from column 11, 2, or 3 items from column 2Several items from column 3

    Essay Activity

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Also reasons for combining paragraphs:

    To clarify the essays organisationTo connect closely related ideasTo maintain momentumTo bind together choppy text

    Paragraph Activity 2Ex. 6-1 Choosing a method of developmentVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Content and argument:Text answers the questionMain line of argument is clearMost important points given the most weighting of wordsResearch material:Sufficient examplesOwn ideas and opinions are clear to reader

    Activities of drafting from Unit 37What advantages are there in drafting your work?Identify parts of writing which need repairEliminate inconsistencies, irrelevancies etc.Rearrange the order in which the subject is treatedExperiment with various approaches to topicImprove writing style.VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Structure:Ideas are logically linkedClear paragraph structureStyle:Free from slang and colloquialismsTechnical vocabulary is used correctlyText is not repetitiveClarity:Introduction sets out line of argumentLine of argument is not confusingLanguage is clear and straightforwardGeneral:Introduction and conclusion relevant to questionReferences are correctTaken into account feedback from previous workGrammar and punctuation are correctVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*DO:Start with a topic sentence that indicates that the paragraph and essay which follows will be directly relevant to the title.Try and ensure that this sentence catches the attention of your reader.Indicate the concerns if not the specific topics with which you will deal in the essay.Relate this explicitly to the question as you conclude.DONT:Set out all your wares in the first paragraph.Be too general and vague.Deal with only one or two or several views or perspectives. Set out a framework and expand in the body of your essay.

    Example opening sentences:Startling statisticVivid exampleDescriptionParadoxical statementQuotation, definitionQuestion Introductory paragraphs handoutVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Summarise your argument or main themes.State your general conclusions.Make it clear why these are significantRefer back to title to demonstrate that you are still answering the questions.The conclusion contains no new material, but may point to areas of further research.Think through your essay to the conclusion, be clear on what your line of reasoning leads to:Refer back to the question - underline the relevance of your essay by relating points to the wording of the title.Look back at the introduction - pick up theme and point to current and future areas of researchLook back at definitions - do they require modificationDraw your readers attention to the most important point in the body of your essay and add further comment.Dont list all your points from the introduction in the conclusion, it is unnecessary and dull.VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*If in doubt - read it out aloudLook up doubtful spellings - d not always believe your spell-checker

    Spell check poemVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Get the computer to help you:Font - use the same font throughout - keep it clearVary type size for heading, but be consistentLine spacingTabsIndentationsPage numbersName and date on each pageBullet pointsGraphics, charts and tables for statistical informationVALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*References and citations:Why?To enable the reader to find any publication you may have referred to in your document.To avoid plagiarism - copying ideas or thoughts without acknowledging their origin.So that you can re-visit your sources if required for further research.To give your argument academic weight.

    VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Useful phrases to introduce references and quotations:As X points outAccording to XTo quote from XX states/suggests that X tells/shows us thatIn an article entitles Name of Text, X makes the point that Referring to , X says that As X stated/wrote/saidWriting in Name of Text, X explained thatWriting in 1927, X argued that VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*Conventions in writing your list of references.

    In addition:List all the sources you refer to, including videos, TV, tapes, but not dictionaries or grammar books.Do not include in the List of References any materials you have not used in your assignment.List additional sources, which you read but did not use, in a separate Bibliography.VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*VALUEEssay WritingEssay Writing21/6/01VALUE*VALUE