How to Write an Essay

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2010 08:10 AM

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Throughout your academic'career'youwill be askedto write many essays. However,essays not that are easyto write (even for the most experiencedof us) and most students struggle with some aspectof essay writing. This chapter will help you to more fully understand what dn essay and involves,and it is outlines a step-by-stepguide to writing an effectiveessay.

What is an 'essay'?

An academicessayis a clearly structured and well argued piece of writing on a main idea (or thesis) that is basedon sound theorp research and logic, that usesappropriateacademic conventions and that demonstratesthe level of academicwriting skills expectedin teriiary education. It differs from other written academic forms, like reportsor posters, that the focusis on you presenting well supported in a argument in writing on a key idea. Many tertiary education coursesuse essays a core academic form for three main pedagogical as reasons: a) To encourage studentsto engage an in-depth explorationof the topic in question,and the in learning that accruesfrom that process. b) To developa number of important generalacademic skills.Suchskillsinclude researching, abstractingmeaning from complex written material, organising and structuring information, formulating arguments,and the learning of academicconventions.


186 Section 5 - Core Academic Forms

procedures.In other words, it is expected c) To provide a useful vehicle for summative assessment writing, aswell as from the constructive that you will learn from the whole processof essay commentsof your marker on your essay.

to Someimportantprerequisites consider

writers havethought carefully about the purpose of the essapthe audience,the content essay Successful required,and understandthe nature of the writing process.

1. What is the purposeof your essay?

at If you are writing an essay a tertiary institution your lecturer will usually give you a rangeof topics...