How To Write An Essay, Summary

1842 words - 8 pages

How to Write an Essay

1 ) Identify Keywords:

-Focus-Keywords: Set out the topic; tell you what to write about, always keep them at front of your mind.
-Approach Keywords: Tell you what you are required to do with the topic, how to approach the topic, rather: how to write than what

e.g.: Identify and contrast the perspective of narrator and character in Katherine Mansfield`s short story “Miss Brill”
>Focus Keywords: “perspective”; “narrator”; “character”
>Approach Keywords: ”identify” , “contrast” (pay same amount of attention to both of them)

2) Unpacking the Question

-What are the questions Demands ?: You ...view middle of the document...

Go through your list and find out the main differences
-“Discuss”: to break a topic down to its component parts, and consider them from more than one angle
-“Comment on”: to do less than discuss
-“Representation”: you need to distinguish between a topic as such and a topics representation. Such Questions can be broken down into two different elements: one more objective, one more subjective. For the one you have to point out what technical, textual methods are used to express an idea, the other aspect concerns the attitudes, emotions or values.
-“Function”: not the same as characterization, deals with the purpose something has in the context of the whole.
Possible Character Functions might be:
 Supply information, >comment on the action, > fill gaps in the plot, >provide contrast to other characters, >produce a comic, tragic or ironic effect, >to act as a link (between characters, between present and past, between characters and audience), >stand for a certain value
Possible Symbol Functions:
 Represent abstract ideas, >create atmosphere, >characterize person, thing or situation, >reveal unconscious fears or desires >to make textual (or intertextual connection), >foreshadow future events, >unify various parts of a text
-“Examine” to look closely at something, requires combination of close textual analysis and a weighing up of the pros and cons


The five-stage planning process
1. Brainstorming (collecting ideas and material)
2. Narrowing the Scope (Selecting relevant points, abandoning others)
3. Elaborating Main Points (adding flash to bones, work out main points)
4. Ordering Main Points (deciding what goes where, chronological or thematically )
5. Listening to the plan (what does my plan tell me?)


1.) Relevance: Always address the question

-Immediately: come straight to the point
-Explicitly: make the relationship between your points and the question absolutely clear, also make the relevance of your points apparent
-Exclusively: Make sure you stick to the relevant points, don’t let any irrelevant points creep into your writing, don’t waste space by summarizing

2.) Argument :
don´t state a opinion or a series of facts, clarify and prove your all claims, only choose points which can be validity demonstrated
Causal links: Recognize the difference between Statement and Argument. An Argument always has a “because” attached to it. Always try to turn the former into the later.

3.) Overall Structure:
Try to make your Essay a well planed journey, offer your reader well planned signposts, take the best possible rout.
Introduction: short, tells the structure and the thesis
Main Body: longest most important part, contains the main arguments one paragraph for each point.
Conclusion: bring the various points from the Main Body together and comment on their overall significance

4.) Paragraph Structure:

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