A classic piece of advice is to “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and tell them what you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.
Having a clear and logical structure will help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray from the question being answered.
You should start by searching through databases – Google Scholar is a great tool for this – using key words related to your research topic.
Once you find an article that sounds promising, read through the abstract to ensure that it’s relevant.
The Internet is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, making it tricky for students to find the advice they need when writing essays.
So our academic experts have written the following tips for you to utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark. These are some of the common phrases found in essay questions, and each indicates a different set of expectations. If you are asked to evaluate the usefulness of something, however, you don’t necessarily need to go into as much critical depth.
Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?
“Compare and contrast” essays, meanwhile, are essentially a hybrid of the above – you need to take a critical approach and evaluate the literature, but your focus has to remain solidly on the theories that you have been asked to compare and contrast.
A good way to practice this is to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap for their own research.
How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure.