THE ART OF ESSAY-WRITING: A USER’S GUIDE
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR JOHN SHIELDS
ASSOCIATE DEAN POSTGRADUATE
ESSAY-WRITING – BASIC TASK REQUIREMENTS
Completed cover sheet
Title page providing details of your name and the question addressed Synopsis (Not always required; check requirement with lecturer concerned). Introduction
Coherent analysis and argument in body of essay
Clear and concise conclusion
Full and consistent citation of sources, including either Harvard-style references or footnotes or endnotes
Bibliography of all sources consulted
WHAT IS AN ‘ESSAY’?
A well-informed, brief, logically-structured response to a statement or question to which there is no one universally agreed ‘correct’ answer. A cohesive argument in support of a preferred and clearly stated position/argument relating to the statement/question.
An attempt (‘essai’) to persuade.
Argument must be logical and supported, not just unsubstantiated opinion.
Statement of position taken
Information in support (What you know)
Sustained justification for position taken (Why you think you are correct)
Refutation of main counter-arguments
WRITE TO A PLAN
(Example - 2,000 word essay)
200 words (1 paragraph)
1500 words (8-12 paragraphs; 3-4 sections)
Section 1 – Key Theme 1
Section 3 – Key Theme 2
Section 3 – Key Theme 3
300 words (1-2 paragraphs)
Ease reader into topic area
Identify and briefly define main
This essay examines....
Identify the main point of
contention: ‘Some (e.g. Smith,
2002) argue... while others (e.g.
Jones 2006) contend...’
Declare your overall position on
the matter: ‘This essay will
suggest that...’ (just briefly
Sign-post the structure/sections of
the main argument. ‘First...,
next..., thirdly, finally...’
Q: Which has the stronger influence on employee attitudes and behaviour, ‘procedural justice’ or ‘distributive justice’ and what are the implications for the way in which each should be managed? There has been burgeoning interest in the role of fairness as directly applied to the workplace – a topic termed organisational justice (Greenberg, 1990: 400). The growing importance of this field stems from the fact that people’s perceptions of justice or their determination of whether they have been treated fairly at work (Moorman, 1991: 845) affect significant work related attitudes that are in turn important predictors or mediators of employee behaviour (Dailey & Kirk, 1992: 2). Two main dimensions of organisational justice have been identified: distributive justice and procedural justice (Moorman, 1991: 845). While the former focuses on content – the fairness of the ends or outcomes achieved, the latter focuses on process – the fairness of the means, methods or mechanisms used to determine those outcomes (Folger & Cropanzano, 1998: 26, Greenberg, 1996: 24-25). The subject of this essay is to determine which has the stronger influence on employee attitudes and behaviour. The position that will be argued that while both are important, procedural justice has the stronger impact on overall justice perceptions and hence on employee attitudes and behaviour (Heneman & Judge, 2000: 90). In fact, procedures qualify or mediate distributive justice perceptions (Greenberg, 1987: 60). It is thus essential that one looks at the interaction between outcomes and procedures in order to gain a fuller understanding of fairness (Beugre, 1998: 35). This essay will also examine the reasons for the stronger overall influence of procedural justice on...
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