Recruitment and Management Essay Writing

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Essay Writing 2: Planning & Structuring Your Essays

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Essay Writing 2: Planning & Structuring Your Essays

University of Bradford, School of Management

Essay Writing (2): Planning & Structuring Your Essays

ESSAY WRITING (2): PLANNING & STRUCTURING YOUR ESSAYS
WHY WRITE ESSAYS? Look for the word ‘essay’ in the dictionary and you will find one meaning listed is ‘to attempt’. An essay is an attempt by you to communicate your arguments or knowledge of a subject to the reader, usually your tutor. The mark awarded is a reflection, not on your intellect generally, but on your ability to communicate your ideas on the subject in question. Many tutors – and students – believe essays help in four ways: Ø They can be a good way to learn. The process of writing will help you clarify your thoughts on a subject or topic Ø They show your tutors that you understand key ideas on any particular subject Ø They are useful as a means of gaining feedback on your academic progress Ø Essays are usually an important part of overall assessment. Essay writing can therefore be viewed in a positive way. However, essays can cause be a source of anxiety to many students, particularly at the start of their academic careers. Many students feel vulnerable when they write and submit essays and feel their intellect generally is subject to official scrutiny. They have plenty of thoughts and ideas inside their heads – but how to get these out in a readable form? This is the challenge of essay writing.

ESSAY STRUCTURE
Good essays have a clear structure:
Introduction (see page 10)

Main body of essay – broken into paragraphs – each paragraph dealing with an issue relating to the essay subject and connecting with the one before and after Conclusion

(see page
11)

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, many students have problems organising their ideas into a readable and well-structured form. If you are relatively new to essay writing you may find the following approach

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University of Bradford, School of Management

Essay Writing (2): Planning & Structuring Your Essays

helpful. It is an attempt to formally plan and structure your ideas before you start. The first thing to consider is: WHAT TYPE OF ESSAY?

To begin the process of structuring your essay, first write the title of the essay in the box below.

What type of question is it? DESCRIPTIVE Descriptive essay questions test your knowledge and understanding of a subject and to present your ideas in a clear and organised way. They often contain KEY words, such as: • • • • • • • • • • Describe State Outline Explain Define Show how Demonstrate Illustrate Classify Give an account of… ANALYTICAL Analytical questions also test your knowledge of a subject – but they are more concerned with ability to get below the surface of a subject and to examine it from different perspectives. The KEY words include: • • • • • • • • • • Discuss Analyse Contrast Consider Compare Evaluate Criticize Evaluate Interpret Justify

Occasionally you will encounter combined questions involving both descriptive and analytical approaches. In this event, although you will need to address the descriptive part of the question in a thorough way, the greater emphasis in your essay should be on the analytical aspects of it.

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University of Bradford, School of Management

Essay Writing (2): Planning & Structuring Your Essays

THE ESSAY TITLE
What issues are raised by the title? Ø You might, for example, pick out some key words in the title and think about the wider issues raised by them. Ø You might want to clarify or question the ideas or assumptions behind the words used. Ø You may want to challenge or explore the whole proposition of the question or title. Before you start to write your essay, you need to brainstorm all the issues that come up to the surface for you in the title. Use the box below to brainstorm the issues that...
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