Article written by Sinead B, University of Exeter graduate and current GDL student.
Your introduction needs to address the issue in the question. Essay questions can consist of key concepts, limiting terms and directive terms. Are you being asked to critically evaluate or analyse something particular?
Consider what your argument is going to be. Research and read around the topic. After researching, you will start to have ideas about what kind of content you would like to write.
Using evidence to support your argument is essential as this will include facts and illustrations that will clarify your essay.
It is important to make sure that you have clearly stated your argument in your introduction, and you have signposted transitions between all of your points. Having a good introduction is key and should outline the research topic.
Your paragraphs need to introduce a different idea each time with evidence and reasoning. It is important that your paragraphs follow the reasoning on from the one before it. Examples of phrases to use for transitions are – ‘With regards to this’ or ‘Despite the previous argument’.
It is important to have a broad range of texts that you refer to as opposed to focusing heavily on one text as this would indicate that you have not conducted thorough research.
Try and avoid using colloquialisms, slang, or abbreviations. Writing in full sentences which are an appropriate length will demonstrate your ability to write fluently and coherently.
It is vital to go over your draft and review your work. Check your essay for spelling and grammar mistakes and that you have cited and credited secondary sources.
Your conclusion should summarise all of your main points and demonstrate how you have decided to answer the question.