Success with Writing Online WorkshopPart 4: Paragraph to Essay Created by: Jane Mangano
Paragraph to essay• If you can write a paragraph, you can write an essay.• An essay is a bit like a paragraph on steroids.• The topic sentence becomes a thesis statement.• Each point from the thesis, becomes a topic sentence.• It will all make sense! I promise!
What is an essay?• “An essay is an extended piece of writing that presents and supports a thesis or proposition.”• “When you write an essay you are making a case for the validity of a particular point of view, analysis, interpretation, or set of facts or procedures.” (Dawson, 2007, p 5)• Dawson, J. (2007). The little blue writing book: essays. Bentley, Australia.
Why are we asked to write essays?• Spend a few minutes writing down all the reasons you can think of for writing essays – write some ideas into the first task.• Why do university lecturers ask students to write essays?
Did you think of any of these points?• To develop transferable skills• To consolidate learning• To encourage you to think about the important concepts• To encourage you to explore topics and engage with key experts in the field.• Indicates to your lecturer how well you understand.
How do you approach essay writing now?• What are the steps that you follow in writing your essays?• Make a detailed list of the steps you currently follow when writing an essay.• This should take about five minutes.
Steps in writing a good essay1. Select your essay topic2. Analyse the question3. Create a plan ‘take one’4. Find and assess resources5. Research/read/take notes/organise notes6. Create a plan ‘take two’7. Write first draft8. Carry out first aid on first draft9. Final Draft10. Proofread, proofread, proofread...11. Attach cover sheet, hand in on time, relax... Until next time!Adapted from Central QLD University Learning Support ‘The Academic Essay’http://dtls.cqu.edu.au/clc/2-1-1.html
It’s all in the timing• If your 2500 essay is due in week 8, when is the ideal time to begin the essay writing process?• What percentage of time should be spent on: a) analysis, researching and planning b) developing a draft c) revising, editing, referencing, proofreading? If you don’t believe me, go to University of Melbourne’s ‘Language and Learning Skills Unit Tertiary Essay Writing’ http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/asu/download/Writing- TertiaryEssayWriting-booklet.pdf
Selecting an essay topic• Choose a topic that interests you• Make sure there are adequate resources available• Consider what you already know about each of the topics
Analyse the question Make sure you understand the meaning of all words in the questionLimiting words and phrases Directive words Content words and phrases
Understand the directive verbs• account for explain (reason)• analyse examine closely, examine in parts, show how the parts contribute to the whole• argue present a case for and/or against assess decide the value of, judge, measure the importance of compare discuss two or more things in terms of their similarities and differences• critically evaluate weigh arguments for and against something, assessing all evidence. Decide which opinions, theories, models or items are preferable.• define explain, give full meaning(s), make clear what is meant by, use definition/s to explore the concept of
Understand the directive verbs• describe give a detailed account of the features of something without interpreting the information• discuss present and give a judgement on the value of arguments for and against, consider all angles• distinguish bring out the differences between two possibly confusable items• enumerate an item-by-item account, such as all the steps in a process
Understand the directive verbs• evaluate judge, criticise in terms of impact/significance, and investigate the implications• examine make clear the details/meaning of, look in particular at reasons causes and effects, account for, give reasons, justify explore describe in detail, and note impact• illustrate use examples to show a concept• indicate focus on specific areas (similar to illustrate)• interpret make clear the meaning of, consider implications• narrate concentrate on saying what happened, telling a story
Understand the directive verbs• outline describe main features, a broad but thorough account, identify briefly the main features of• prove show by logical argument• relate show similarities and connections between two or more things• review describe chief features, criticise generally (important parts)• To what extent consider how far something is true or not true, consider how far something contributes to a final outcome• trace identify and describe the development or history of• what is describe• Adapted from Cottrell, S 1999, The study skills handbook, MacMillan Press, London.
What other words are important?• Content words: These are the words that tell you about the topic. What area of study will you be looking at?• Delimiting words: these words limit your research to a particular place, time or demographic.
What else should I be looking for?• Make sure you understand what the lecturer is looking for in your essay.• Where does this essay fit with the unit outcomes?• How many words are required?• Study the marking key, study the marking key, study the marking key.........
Time to have a go• Analyse these essay topics.• Highlight the directive verbs in green.• Highlight the content words in red.• Highlight the delimiting words in blue.• Critically evaluate two contemporary theories of nursing.• To what extent does obesity impact upon the coronary health of middle age women.
How did you go?• Critically evaluate two contemporary theories of nursing.• To what extent does obesity impact upon the coronary health of middle age women.
Standard essay model• Taken from JCU Study Skills Online http://www.jcu.edu.au/tldinfo/writingskills/essay/structure.html
End of Part 4Please ensure you have completedeach of the tasks in section 4online.