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Many assignments need to be written in the form of an essay. The structure of essay-style assignments is very open but generally includes an introduction, a main body and a conclusion.
|Section of essay||Purpose of section|
Write the full question (title) at the top of your assignment. It will contain keywords (known as content and process words). See the 'Understanding the question' webpage for these.
A paragraph or two to define key terms and themes and indicate how you intend to address the question.
A series of paragraphs written in full sentences that include specific arguments relating to your answer. It’s vital to include evidence and references to support your arguments.
A short section to summarise main points and findings. Try to focus on the question but avoid repeating what you wrote in the introduction.
A list of sources (including module materials) that are mentioned in the essay.
An introduction provides your reader with an overview of what your essay will cover and what you want to say. Essays introductions should
Some students prefer to write the introduction at an early stage, others save it for when they have almost completed the assignment. If you write it early, don't allow it to constrain what you want to write. It's a good idea to check and revise the introduction after the first draft.
The main body of your essay should present your case. Each main point should have its own paragraph. You should use evidence to support the arguments you make in this section, referencing your sources appropriately.
You should use evidence to support and challenge the issues you cover in this section, referencing your sources appropriately.
You can deal with the issues in a way that seems appropriate to you. You can choose to
Although you will need to clearly describe the issues related to the essay title (e.g. concepts and theoretical positions), you are expected to go further than mere description. An essay question might expect you to take one of the following approaches.
In all cases, you will be expected to
Your conclusion should sum up how your essay has answered the title. It should reinforce your introduction and include a reference to the wording of the title.
If your essay has presented evidence or data, ensure that the conclusions you draw are valid in the light of that evidence and data. Draw your conclusions cautiously: use phrases such as 'the evidence suggests that ...', or 'one interpretation is that ...' rather than 'this proves that ...'.
Your conclusion should
It should not