To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. This "what" or "demonstration" section comes early in the essay, often directly after the introduction. Since you're essentially reporting what you've observed, this is the part you might have most to say about when you first start writing. But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third often much less of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.
The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making? Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section. Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions.
This section usually comes after the "what," but keep in mind that an essay may complicate its argument several times depending on its length, and that counterargument alone may appear just about anywhere in an essay. This question addresses the larger implications of your thesis. It allows your readers to understand your essay within a larger context. In answering "why", your essay explains its own significance.
Although you might gesture at this question in your introduction, the fullest answer to it properly belongs at your essay's end. If you leave it out, your readers will experience your essay as unfinished—or, worse, as pointless or insular.
Mapping an Essay. Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative. Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea. Essay maps ask you to predict where your reader will expect background information, counterargument, close analysis of a primary source, or a turn to secondary source material.
Essay maps are not concerned with paragraphs so much as with sections of an essay. They anticipate the major argumentative moves you expect your essay to make. Try making your map like this:. Your map should naturally take you through some preliminary answers to the basic questions of what, how, and why. It is not a contract, though—the order in which the ideas appear is not a rigid one. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas.
Signs of Trouble. A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" also labeled "summary" or "description". Walk-through essays follow the structure of their sources rather than establishing their own. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one.
When you return, edit its ideas and how you've organised your thoughts if you need to. Michael adds that, while rereading the draft, you should ask yourself:. Once you've completed your second edit, you should proofread it for any spelling or grammar errors, check your citations and references, and ensure that you've not inadvertently plagiarised. Jobs and work experience Search graduate jobs Job profiles Work experience and internships Employer profiles What job would suit me?
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To achieve top marks find out how to successfully plan and execute your work Taking the time to properly plan an essay can lead to higher grades, with lecturers welcoming a logical structure that clearly demonstrates your understanding of the subject. Adopt a strategy Planning your essay makes the writing process quicker and easier. Address the topic First and foremost, you must fully understand what you're being asked and in how much depth you're required to answer the question.
For example, the question, 'Compare and contrast the representation of masculinity in two James Bond films from the s and s', can be classified like this: instruction i. Ask yourself: What is significant about the question and its topic? What existing knowledge do you have that will help you answer this question?
What do you need to find out? How are you going to successfully address this question? What logical sequence will your ideas appear in? Gather resources With so much information available, it's vital that you only look for directly relevant material when researching. Create an essay plan When you have a good idea of what points you're going to address in your discussion, and a rough idea of the order in which these will appear, you're ready to start planning.
There are two main ways to do this: Linear plans are useful for essays requiring a rigid structure. They provide a chronological breakdown of the key points you're going to address. This means that, when writing your essay, you can progress through these points.
Tabular plans are best for comparative assignments. You'll be able to better visualise how the points you're contrasting differ across several aspects. This should hopefully give you a clearer picture of how your discussion will progress. Tackle the introduction and conclusion Michael recommends that you begin writing your essay by expanding your plan. Michael adds that, while rereading the draft, you should ask yourself: Is your thesis or argument clear?
Have your organised your proof in a logical and easy-to-follow way? Should you add more examples to prove your case? Do you need to make your argument more cohesive? Have you summed up appropriately?