Hints For Effective Essay Writing Essays form an integral part of your history programme and your success in all history modules will depend on your ability to express yourself effectively in writing. To do this, precise thinking and careful organisation are essential. This means that attention must be given not only to content, but also to presentation, notably spelling, grammar and style. There is useful information on good essay writing practice at
Before You Start To Write Make sure you understand the essay title before starting to collect material. If you are uncertain, consult either your tutor or classmates. Think carefully about the question before you even start your reading. Underline key words, and add your own initial comments. Get it into your head. What is it getting at? Then, when you read, you will have a better idea of what you are looking for. Reading First read one of the recommended textbooks to get an overview. Then turn to more specialised works, taking the module reading lists and other bibliographies as starting points. However, researching an essay does not simply mean hunting for books and reading them. It means exploiting them with definite questions in mind. This requires you to be selective and to develop the ability to absorb key chapters or sections of a book. Note taking Essays should not be written from open books, but from notes made while reading. There are various methods of note taking: small cards or pieces of paper with one point to each card is one method. Continuous notes on a sheet of A4 as you read is another. But whatever your preferred method, always take notes that are full enough to provide you with the evidence you need, but concise and selective enough to be manageable for the purposes of reference and revision. Planning Having read as much of your prescribed reading as possible, organise your thoughts. Identify the important factors as they occur to you, continuously defining and...
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