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Planning, writing, and presenting essays

A compelling essay plan comprises most of your essay material by assisting you to organize the content of the paper before you begin the writing process, with regard to the writing prompts. Here is the guide to show you the key steps in preparing and planning an effective essay.

Use of essay plans

Before you start writing your essay, ensure you are organized so that you will make the writing process simple and quick. Bear in mind that good preparation and planning offers you a clear overview of your material so that you can find the best alternative to arrange the points. The four basic steps to planning your essay include planning in advance, analyzing the question you want to address, finding the source material and organizing the material.

Why an essay

An essay is a type of academic assignment that plays a vital role in helping your tutors to determine your level of understanding in a specific discipline. Additionally, this is a critical part of writing that offers you a great chance to explore a particular subject area in depth, choose relevant materials, explain theories and concepts, evaluate arguments and express your opinions and views on a certain topic. However, before you start the writing process, you must check the department’s guidelines to make sure you have the correct paper. This information might include, the word count of the essay, when you are supposed to submit, relevant assessment criteria, and requirements for presentations and reference depending on the writing prompts.

Analyzing the question

When choosing the source material for your paper, you must ensure that you understand the exact requirements of the paper. Here is an approach to analysis that can help you simplify your topic into clearly identifiable elements so that you can understand what you are required to do.

Choosing source material

Try to use your analysis of the subject matter as a focus for the selection of materials by reading course module presentations on the blackboard and the relevant information in the module guide. However, you might find other relevant information in various source materials such as course textbooks, websites and other sources suggested in the module learning unit. 
Additionally, you might consider conducting your own research but make sure you are selective since this is important way of responding to the writing prompts. Use the selected topic as a focus for making your notes and make sure that you record data that is relevant to the essay topic. This will help you create your notes easily to organize them in the essay plan.

Organizing your material

An effective essay should contain a logical and coherent structure, and an essay plan will offer you the perfect and quick way of attempting different structures to determine the best one. One of the best ways to craft a good essay plan is to list your key points in the keywords and phrases and then organize them just below the main headings. This will provide an overview of your points so that you can decide which should be incorporated and what is the most logical sequence for them.

Find the most preferred style

Try out with various styles of planning essays and make sure you use the approach that you believe is the most helpful. Create numerous essay plans since this will help you find the best sequence for your material. When you separate the planning stage from the writing stage, you will have a chance to write an essay that is well structured and expressed in a clear manner. The guide discussed below explores the main elements of an essay and shows you how to use the elements effectively.

Summary

Try to analyze the essay writing prompts before you start writing notes so that you can understand what you are required to do. Make sure you are selective in your reading as this will help you get the relevant source materials, and ensure that you gather only information that is directly relevant to the question. Your essay plans should help you create a clear and logical sequence of your source material before you start writing.

Writing your essay

Once you have selected your topic and created a writing plan, you can start writing your first draft. This draft will assist you to create the structure and framework of the paper, determine how you will address the question, determine what evidence and examples you will use and show you how the argument will be logically structured. Since this is the first draft and it's not your final paper, you can consider it as a raw material that you will refine through editing and redrafting. Once you have completed crafting the draft, you can start working on the real monster!

Forming a relevant structure to back up your arguments

Bear in mind that a good essay must have a strong and clear structure. In most cases, underpinning the structure will be the argument that is presented in your essay. However, this can be strong and obvious, or it can be invisible, but it must be there. Note that in different disciplines and with the different writing style, the term argument might appear more or less relevant at the same time. Nevertheless, even in those papers that seem to be creative, personal and unscientific, an argument tends to sound like it is being made. As a student, you must understand that it is in the argument and how you choose to address and support your argument that will influence your decision on how the essay will be structured.
When you create a relevant structure, you are trying to help yourself present an effective argument. Consider using generic structures that will help you come up with the best essay structure such as chronological thematic by context and comparative.

Essay paragraphs

A paragraph is an interrelated group of sentences that create the main idea and every paragraph in the body of the paper must contain a topic sentence that explains the main and controlling idea. It should have numerous supporting sentences to explain and create the point that you are addressing. A good paragraph must have evidence. In most cases, your argument must be backed up by some type of evidence from your sources or by an example extracted from the subject area. Your paragraphs must have an analysis as this will help you analyze and interpret the evidence you provided in light of the writing prompts. In this part, talk about the implication, significance, and impact as you conclude the paragraph with a critical conclusion that you have extracted from the evidence. Additionally, every paragraph should have a concluding sentence that restates your point and acts as a transition to the next paragraph.


Tips for effective essay writing

  • Being the writing process early, as starting will help you reduce anxiety, overcome procrastination, and it will give you enough time to develop your ideas.
  • Keep the essay question in mind and make sure you don’t lose track of the issue you are addressing. You can place a copy in front of you as you draft as you edit and work out your argument.
  • Avoid writing an essay from the beginning to end (especially not in a single sitting). Instead, you can start with writing a plan, a few sentences and bullet points which you don’t need any preparation to start. Once you have the plan, start writing the body and make sure you work paragraph by paragraph.
  • Include an introduction and conclusion sentence after the body. The moment you distinguish what your essay is about, then write the introduction and conclusion.
  • Use 'signpost' words in your writing. Transition signals are important in your writing since it helps the reader follow the order as well as the flow of your ideas.
  • Incorporate your evidence wisely. Make sure you present the quotations and paraphrases with introductory clauses.
  • Revise your first draft extensively. Ensure that the whole paper flows and that all paragraphs are in a logical sequence.
  • Put the essay aside for a couple of days before submitting to let you consider your essay and edit it with a fresh eye.

Presenting your essay

In most cases, the instructor will give you a writing prompts and style guide that defines how the departments expect you to present your essay. For instance, if you are using e-submission, you must check the guidance for approved file types and sizes. However, if you are not sure, you can consider using the 12 point Times New Roman font, double spacing and margins of 25 mm at top and bottom, 40 mm on the left.

Make sure you include the essay title and student ID number on the first page, and number each page and ensure that your bibliography is written in the correct departmental style. Make sure your essay is free of spelling and grammar errors. Once you complete writing the essay, make sure you proofread and edit the work to detect the mistakes.

In every module you take, you need to determine which referencing organism you are expected to use. However, if you are not sure about which referencing method you are required to use, feel free to ask your tutor.

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