how to write great essay
how to write great essay
- First sentence
- Thesis statement
Before you begin your writing, create your essay outline. Jot your topic in the middle of your page, draw lines branching from the topic and write main ideas at the end of each line. From the main ideas at the end of the lines draw more lines and include your thoughts.
If you are asked to evaluate the usefulness of something, however, you don’t necessarily need to go into as much critical depth. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you should still note some strengths and weaknesses – but the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness. Perhaps the best approach is to find one, or a few, case studies where the theory has been used – what was the outcome of this? Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?
In essence, the wording of the essay question will tell you how the essay should be written. It will indicate where the focus of your essay should lie as you research and write.
Show you mean business by including a full set of academic citations, with a bibliography at the end, even if you haven’t been told to. The great thing about this is that it not only makes you look organised and scholarly, but it also gives you the opportunity to show off just how many extra texts you’ve studied to produce your masterpiece of an essay!
Make use of the footnote feature in your word processor and include citations at the bottom of each page, with a main bibliography at the end of the essay. There are different accepted forms for citing an academic reference, but the main thing to remember is to pick one format and be consistent. Typically the citation will include the title and author of the work, the date of publication and the page number(s) of the point or quotation you’re referring to. Here’s an example:
1. Curta, F. (2007) – “Some remarks on ethnicity in medieval archaeology” in Early Medieval Europe 15 (2), pp. 159-185
Detail of The Hunt in the Forest by Paolo Uccello
I’m partial to the French way of writing essays, because I think it makes more sense for life (i.e. you have a question you want to answer, you try to answer it, when you do you move on. ). However, the American way of writing essays can be helpful for trying to argue a point. Write the way that you think will best suit you in your given circumstance!
Also, the first essay format I give you comes from my French education on writing essays (i.e. start with a question, develop your ideas, answer the question, open essay up to new question).