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You will need to look at the key texts for the subject you are going to discuss and jot down references from each piece to use as quotes to support the points you make in your essay.It is a good idea to look at the references and bibliographies of these texts as they will give you more ideas about how to extend your own research.Future research suggestions are important because you need to indicate to your reader that you have recognised the limitations of the scope of the present work and are interested enough to see where the topic might be developed.
Remember that the main body of the essay is building towards a conclusion, so make your plan reflect this.
The conclusion of your essay must be as carefully planned as the rest of your essay.
Your library should have a copy of the style guide available for you to consult.
It is very important to stick to this as varying from it will lose you marks.
After you have completed your research you need to plan the structure of your essay.
Although this varies (to some extent) according to the essay you are required to write, most academic essays conform to the following basic structure: The introduction must be brief, without quotations, and will include your thesis statement, i.e.The ability to write a good essay begins with careful and efficient planning.This means that the preparation and research of an essay are as important, if not more so, than the actual writing.For this reason, it is useful to assign quotations that are to be used in evidence to a particular paragraph at the planning stage as this will help you to organise your research as well as ensuring that each point has sufficient evidentiary support.Even if you only take ideas, rather than direct quotes from texts, you need to reference them because otherwise you might be accused of plagiarism.A good way of doing this is to look for key words in the question such as ‘compare, ‘contrast’, ‘analyse’, ‘discuss’ etc., as these words tell you the approach you need to take when constructing the essay and will help you to formulate your response to the question.The next thing to do is to decide how to conduct your research.These linking sentences should be provided throughout to give cohesion to your essay.The main body of the essay should be structured with each paragraph being separate (but linked to the overall theme) and have your argument developing throughout.It is a common error to believe that the conclusion is simply a ‘tagged on’ repetition of your introduction but, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.The conclusion should be a summation of your thinking in the essay plus a synthesis of your thoughts.