From Confusion to Conclusion. How to Write a First-Class Essay

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From Confusion to Conclusion. How to Write a First-Class Essay

  1. 1. From Confusion to Conclusion How to Write a First-Class Essay Vlad Mackevic 23rd October 2012 Aston University
  2. 2. www.TheLectureRoom.co.uk
  3. 3. www.FirstYearCounts.com
  4. 4. Objectives How to answer essay and exam questions? How to come up with an essay topic? How to be critical? How to structure your essay? How to research efficiently? How to become a better writer?
  5. 5. School  University
  6. 6. Overwhelmed!
  7. 7. What Earns You Points? Answering the Question (!) Structure Style and language Research and Analysis References Formatting and Presentation
  8. 8. Set Topic vs. Free Topic !!! ???
  9. 9. Set Topic
  10. 10. The Assignment Question1. The Object of the Study2. The Context of the Study3. The Method of the Study
  11. 11. Modern organisations oftenreplace the traditionalhierarchical structure with amore ‘horizontal’ team structure.Select two motivation theoriesfrom the field of organisationalpsychology and discuss how theycan be applied in a team-basedorganisation.
  12. 12. Action VerbsModern organisations often replacethe traditional hierarchical structurewith a more ‘horizontal’ teamstructure. Select two motivationtheories from the field oforganisational psychology anddiscuss how they can be applied in ateam-based organisation.
  13. 13. ObjectModern organisations often replacethe traditional hierarchical structurewith a more ‘horizontal’ teamstructure. Select two motivationtheories from the field oforganisational psychology anddiscuss how they can be applied in ateam-based organisation.
  14. 14. ContextModern organisations often replacethe traditional hierarchical structurewith a more ‘horizontal’ teamstructure. Select two motivationtheories from the field oforganisational psychology anddiscuss how they can be applied in ateam-based organisation.
  15. 15. MethodModern organisations often replacethe traditional hierarchical structurewith a more ‘horizontal’ teamstructure. Select two motivationtheories from the field oforganisational psychology anddiscuss how they can be applied in ateam-based organisation.
  16. 16. Discuss 1. It is the case because Reason A Reason B Reason C 2. On the other hand, it is not the case because Reason A Reason B Reason C
  17. 17. Do you agree with Hedley Bull’scomment that the notion of‘international society has alwaysbeen present’ in the worldpolitical system?
  18. 18. ObjectDo you agree with Hedley Bull’scomment that the notion of‘international society has alwaysbeen present’ in the worldpolitical system?
  19. 19. ContextDo you agree with Hedley Bull’scomment that the notion of‘international society has alwaysbeen present’ in the worldpolitical system?
  20. 20. MethodDo you agree with Hedley Bull’scomment that the notion of‘international society has alwaysbeen present’ in the worldpolitical system?
  21. 21. What were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  22. 22. ObjectWhat were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  23. 23. ContextWhat were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  24. 24. MethodWhat were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  25. 25. Reasons Internal vs. External Levels: individual, organisation, society, country Not universal, but a good start
  26. 26. Other ‘Action Words’ Compare and contrast (similarities and differences) Advantages and disadvantages (‘Evaluate’) Outline (describe the main features) Enumerate (‘number’, list something)
  27. 27. Always define the object of your study.Show your understanding of the key termsSometimes also define the context
  28. 28. What about Exams?
  29. 29. Exams are just likeessays, but you’ve got much less time
  30. 30. Exam Tips Research Practise Object, Context, Method Prepare an outline Manage your time
  31. 31. Creating a Free Topic Research report Essay (2nd year onwards) Dissertation
  32. 32. Keep It Simple and NarrowThe rise of the Asian Tigers(economic power in the East)
  33. 33. Taiwan Reasons Impact Singapore The rise of the Asian Tigers (economic power in the East) International relations Hong KongSouth Korea Consequences Economic performance
  34. 34. What were the reasons for theeconomic miracle of South Koreain the second half of the twentiethcentury?
  35. 35. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences
  36. 36. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences• Not Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong
  37. 37. What were the reasons for the economic miracle of South Korea in the second half of the twentieth century?• Not consequences;• Not Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong• Not any other time
  38. 38. StructureIntroduction (10-15%) Main Body (70-80%) Conclusion (10-15%)
  39. 39. Structure1. Say what you’re going to say;2. Say it;3. Say what you’ve just said.
  40. 40. Set Topic vs. Free Topic Introduction Main Body Conclusion References
  41. 41. Set Topic vs. Free Topic Introduction  Introduction Main Body  Literature Conclusion Review References  Methodology  Analysis and Discussion  Conclusion  References
  42. 42. Introduction
  43. 43. Introduction Explain what you are writing about Guide your reader Mention the Object, the Context and the Method
  44. 44. Write YourIntroduction at the End
  45. 45. Why? It’s hard You don’t have all the information yet  Theory  Applications of the theory  Arguments of the essay  Outline and structure Write about your most recent actions
  46. 46. Main Body Main arguments Evidence Reading/knowledge References
  47. 47. The Funnel and the Hourglass
  48. 48. Set Topic Free Topic
  49. 49. Broad to Narrow
  50. 50. The Funnel Principle
  51. 51. Link all yourarguments back to the essay question!
  52. 52. Broad to Narrow and Back to Broad
  53. 53. TheHourglassPrinciple
  54. 54. Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research. Wilson Mizner US screenwriter (1876 - 1933)
  55. 55. AssignmentsResearch-Based vs. Library-Based
  56. 56. ResearchPrimary Secondary
  57. 57. Research Wikipedia (ONLY for general knowledge) Not to be included in the list of references References on Wikipedia
  58. 58. Research Textbooks and their chapters (theory) Research articles and conference papers (application of theory in practice)
  59. 59. http://scholar.google.com
  60. 60. Aston Library Smart Search
  61. 61. Research Websites Serious journalism Email correspondence
  62. 62. Research Tips Relevant – answer the question Research ethics Make notes while you’re reading Carefully note down full references BACK IT UP!
  63. 63. Literature Review
  64. 64. Literature Review A critical summary of mainresearch you have found on the subject
  65. 65. Why? Done your reading Know your topicAware of the weaknesses
  66. 66. ‘Passable’ Literature Review Main theories How they were applied Research methods used by others Research design used by others
  67. 67. First-Class Literature Review Why did you choose these theories? How did others obtain their results? Similarities/differences in study design Predict your results An original contribution
  68. 68. Analysis and DiscussionInsanity: doing the same thingover and over again and expectingdifferent results. Albert Einstein (attributed)
  69. 69. Analysis and Discussion What has been found? Why such results? Differences between your research and that of the others Different methods; different participants
  70. 70. LimitationsIn the beginners mind there aremany possibilities, in the expertsthere are few. Shunryu Suzuki
  71. 71. Acknowledge Your Limitations Your lecturer will like it All researchers do it No theory is perfect No dataset is perfect No research method is perfect
  72. 72. Conclusion Mention the topic again Describe methods, data analysed etc. Summarise the findings How your findings correspond to the previous research Only write about your data and your research.
  73. 73. Speak confidently about your own results. Do not make generalisationsabout the world based on your limited data sample.
  74. 74. Referencing
  75. 75. Why Reference? To avoid failing the module Because it’s fair To back up your claims Evidence of extensive reading
  76. 76. Referencing Who wrote it? What is the book/article called? Who published it? Where was it published? When was it published?
  77. 77. http://firstyearcounts.com/free-resources- for-students/referencing/
  78. 78. The Writing Process
  79. 79. No Perfect First Draft
  80. 80. Never Leave Your Sheet Blank
  81. 81. Good Writers Read
  82. 82. Always Carry a Notebook
  83. 83. Linking Words
  84. 84. Do Not Complicate Things
  85. 85. Paragraph
  86. 86. Speak to Your Lecturers!
  87. 87. Facebook.com/thelectureroom1
  88. 88. Facebook.com/First.year.counts
  89. 89. Amazon Kindle Applications
  90. 90. first.year.counts@gmail.com
  91. 91. If you liked the event... Feel free to talk about it Write me a review
  92. 92. Tuesday, 20th November 2012, 6.00 PM Aston university, Birmingham
  93. 93. The Lecture Room Newsletter Click here to subscribe
  94. 94. Get the Book on Amazon Paperback Kindle Version Don’t have a Kindle? Get a FREE application for your PC or phone!
  95. 95. Thank you!

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