ELEMENTS OF A GOOD ESSAY

Just the basic structure of an essay cannot make an essay a good or very good essay there are some other element which could be added to make an essay better. The following 8 points have been prioritized in order of importance:

 Always answer the question set

Your research and planning will determine if the set question will be well answered, but sometimes if doesn’t necessarily follow. Sometime if the question is not properly understood, then the answer will be inadequate and they end up writing irrelevant things.

First of all is to understand the question and be clear of what you’ve been asked, then you can think about answering it to the fullest and adequately. Make sure that each sentence you make contributes directly to answering the question that has been set.

 Have a clear and defined structure

Your essay should have a strong foundation; because the first thing your tutor sees in your essay is weather it has been properly planned or not, therefore always organize your ideas and argument before you start your GOOD essay.

 Clarity of thought

This is very important, it will reveal your ability to identify different types of issues and been able to logically argue them, been able to organise materials and turning them in to a structured essay, to be able to differentiate. If you are determined and ready to put of the effort required you see yourself thinking in terms of specific areas and demonstrating your abilities effectively.

 Arguments or ideas need to be well supported

Support your arguments and ideas with evidence, an essay must always be supported with evidences and never with just personal ideas. Also, you must also be careful when citing evidence, be sure of its accuracy and source. Attribute accurately by using footnotes, beware of plagiarism, trying to use someone else’s work as your own, instead agree with them by using quotation to support your argument and referencing them properly.

 When quoting, always remember to use it for your own purposes

 When you use quotations, place a short quote (less than 10 words) in inverted commas within your own sentence; longer quotations should be started on a new line and indented.

 All quotations need to be referenced.

 Give evidence of wide reading and understanding of the subject

You have to show the reader that you have read widely and understood thoroughly by doing this you are showing that you are competence in the subject under discussion. It is not wise to base your essay on only one book or too many books. Using four or five major references is a good standard practice. Please note that it is important to give an honest and appropriate bibliography to support your arguments.

 Use an appropriate style

If writing an academic essay, it is preferable to use a third person rather than first, in some cases some tutor might not mind using the word ‘I’ but very rarely, when a personal view is requested in the set question.Your style should be grammatically accurate: spelling mistakes, poor punctuation and sentence construction, mixed tenses and metaphors give a bad impression.

 Good presentation ( ELEMENTS OF A GOOD ESSAY )

Your essay should be neatly written and presented. According to research, it has been proven that assessments given for the same work can carry by up to a whole grade (10%) depending upon the quality of the handwriting. Avoid submitting your essay with frequent crossing out, corrections and so forth.

It is not an essential requirement, but it is best to submit typed essays it will help tutors’ comprehension, especially if your handwriting is not particularly neat. However, it is now compulsory for you to submit your essay typed.

 Demonstrate originality of thought

If you display extra original ideas or an unusual, imaginative approach, such essays are often really rewarded with high marks, but please do not try to be different for the sake of it: you might be seen as pretentious or, at worst, ridiculous. Don’t pressurize yourself into coming up with an original thought. It’s hard to achieve them, especially if, for instance, your subject area has been studied or discussed for centuries.

Avoid slang and jargon.

Check spelling and punctuation. Keep copies of your work.

Ensure your name is on all pages of your work.

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