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See the faculty videos on the Define > Breaking down the question page for more information on topic analysis.
The point of view you present in your written work requires supporting evidence, and is referred to as an academic argument.
Features of an academic argument:
Incorporating the work of others into your assignments is an important skill.
Knowing how to paraphrase or summarise important ideas, and quote from an original source will:
Read more about these skills on the Academic Study Skills website
Learn more about plagiarism under the Present tab.
Writing at university requires you to persuade your readers of your viewpoint, based on the evidence you have found in your research.
Academic essays should:
For further information about writing academic essays and assignments visit these Essay and Assignment Writing links
Understanding the question is the first step in writing an essay. The meaning of the question may not be immediately obvious. The process of analysing your question helps you pinpoint the actual subject of your assignment.
To analyse the question, begin by identifying the different elements. Here is an example of an essay question:
"Any international response to climate change must address the economic development of developing countries." Discuss this statement with reference to two developing countries you have studied.
You could analyse this question in the following way:
Identifying these elements helps you to interpret and answer your question correctly.
Subject dictionaries and encyclopedias can help you find:
The planning process for academic writing involves:
Visit the Organising your Ideas page for more help with critical thinking and planning your essay.
Once you have formulated your plan, you can begin your first draft.
A draft will help you decide on:
Here are further guidelines on how to structure the essay and the individual paragraphs with additional tips for effective writing.
Revising and editing your first draft will help you to clarify and refine your arguments.
Revise your work by checking you have:
Read more about editing your essay on the Academic Study Skills website.
Once you have finished writing, you will be ready to prepare your final version and finalise your list of references.
When you compile your bibliography, be sure you have:
Read more about citing and referencing, under the Present tab.