Student Disability Services

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Whiseldiver
Words 1858
Pages 8
Student Disability Services
Essay Writing in 8 Steps
Step 1:Get to grips with the scale of the task
This is important because it’s much harder to cut down to the required word count if you have written too much than to plan carefully and write the right amount in the first place. Scale is also important because it will dictate the amount of detail you can include.
Think about the word limit (2,000 words, 3,000 words?). How many typed pages will there be (about 500 words per page with single spacing)? Roughly how many sections do you think there will be (e.g. 6 including introduction and conclusion)? For example, each section for a 2,000 word essay would be in the range of 300 – 350 words. Think about the number of words per page (500, font 12, single spaced or 250 double spaced). A 2,000 word essay will fill about 4 (or 8) pages. If you visualise and work within a framework like this, you will be more likely to produce a piece of writing that is of about the right length. No time wasted chopping bits out.
Step 2: Consider the subject of the essay / the essay title
Read the essay title carefully, as every word will be important. It may be helpful to identify two different sorts of words: Content words and Instruction words.
Content words relate to the subject you will be writing about. The area about which you will be demonstrating your knowledge and understanding, be it cognition, anatomy, French history, Descartes or post-impressionism.
Instruction words are those that tell you how you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding, e.g. discuss, give an account of, describe, compare and contrast, justify, evaluate, analyse, critically examine, define, explain. The instruction words are easy to overlook, because it is the content words that tend to stand out. It’s perhaps a good idea to highlight them as a reminder to bear them in mind as you…...

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