Essays can either be an extremely enjoyable experience or one that terrifies the living daylights out of students. For most set books class you are expected to write two essays, two in each semester. The recommended length of the essay is c. 1500 words (5-6 pages). This might be a lot longer than any essay that you have previously written. But the good thing about is that you get plenty of practice at writing essays.

  WHAT IS AN ESSAY?

'An essay is a continuous piece of written work that seeks to answer a specific question.'

 An essay, therefore, should consist of the following:

 Introduction:

This should be a brief but clear statement of what you are going to write about in your essay. It lays down what your are about to do (without saying what your conclusions are - these come later); it may explain difficult terms in the title of the essay.

Middle or Thesis:

The main part of your essay where you present your arguments. This section should be clearly divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a different point relating directly to the essay question that was set. Here you first present your evidence and then consider how and why that is important to the essay topic. Each paragraph should relate to the one before it and the one after it.

Conclusion:

This will summarise the main points of your middle section. If the essay has asked for a yes, no, maybe answer, then you will state this now - that should not have been stated in your introduction which simply paves the way for the rest of the essay. The conclusion is what it purports to be: the END of your essay.

Bibliography:

A list of the books and articles - primary and secondary sources that you have used MUST appear at the end of your essay after the conclusion. This helps to show the lecturer which books you have used and will indicate that you have not been guilty of plagiarism.

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