1. Understand the question
• Read the question carefully.
• Make sure you understand what it is asking you
• E.g. ‘compare and contrast’, ‘describe’, ‘discuss’,
• Underline key words
What’s the difference?
1. ‘Discuss the implications of the cosmological
argument on religious faith’
2. ‘Does the cosmological argument for the
existence of God provide as reasonable
argument for believing in God?’
- Underline the key words in each
2. Plan out your answer before
you start writing
• Jot down a quick outline to remind you of the
points you want to make
• This will stop you from going off on a tangent
and will help you structure your essay
3. Convey your thoughts in an
• The key points to your answer should be clearly stated and be
the focus of your answer.
• The key points should be obvious to the reader and not
buried amongst peripheral material.
• Do not include extra information if it does not directly
support your answer.
4. Structure the essay logically
1. introduce the topic
2. introduce the essay
- present main points
- develop and show your argument
- wrap up the findings
- answer the question
5. Support all claims with evidence
• Support your answer with evidence and/or examples from
lessons and background reading.
• A model for a paragraph that includes evidence and your
1. Introduce your point (your own words)
2. Add the evidence to support your point (quoted or
paraphrased evidence that needs to be referenced)
3. Explain how and why this evidence supports your point and
what you think of it (your own interpretation and critical
4. Explain how the point helps answer the question (your own
Mistakes to avoid…
• Do not try to write everything that you have ever
heard related to the question.
• Do not write a good answer to the wrong
• Do not expect the instructor to figure out what