You can use the writing process to help you think through, clarify and develop your early ideas about how you might respond to the title that has been set:. As with teaching, it is often not until you try to communicate an argument and its evidence that you find where the gaps are in your knowledge or argument. Writing is an active and constructive process; it is not merely a neutral recording of your thoughts.
It is therefore useful to go into the writing process expecting to make revisions. The first words you write do not have to be part of the final version. Editing your writing as you develop your ideas is a positive not a negative process: the more you cross out, re-write, and re-order, the better your essay should become.
All essays need structure. The structure may be strong and clear, or it may be unobtrusive and minimal but, in a good essay, it will be there. Again this may be strong and obvious, or it may be almost invisible, but it needs to be there. However, even in those essays that appear to be highly creative, unscientific, or personal, an argument of some kind is being made.
It is the argument, and how you decide to present and back up your argument, that will influence your decision on how to structure your essay. The essay structure is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: the end is the quality of the argument. By creating a relevant structure, you make it much easier for yourself to present an effective argument. There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e. These can be useful starting points, but you will probably decide to work with a more complicated structure e. In addition to these macro-structures you will probably need to establish a micro-structure relating to the particular elements you need to focus on e.
You may feel that, for your particular essay, structures like these feel too rigid. You may wish to create a more flexible or fluid structure. An analogy could be that of symphony writing. This set out a pattern for the numbers of movements within the symphony, and for the general structure of writing within each movement. The continued popularity of their work today shows that they clearly managed to achieve plenty of interest and variety within that basic structure.
Later composers moved away from strict symphonic form. Some retained a loose link to it while others abandoned it completely, in favour of more fluid patterns. It would be rare, however, to find a symphony that was without structure or pattern of any kind; it would probably not be satisfactory either to play or to listen to. Similarly, a structure of some kind is probably essential for every essay, however revolutionary. The process of essay planning and writing does not need to be a linear process, where each stage is done only once.
It is often an iterative process i. A possible iterative process is:. This section heading is in quotes as it is also the heading of chapter 8, pages , in Barass Barass p80 makes the simple but valid statement, that:. The tutors reading and marking your essays deserve your consideration. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph or more to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower.
Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort.
IELTS Writing Task 2: Tips, Lessons & Models
Your tutors will not necessarily be looking for the perfect, revolutionary, unique, special essay; they would be very happy to read a reasonably well-planned, well-argued and well-written essay. They will not want to pull your essay to pieces. They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. In the words of a tutor:. A powerful introduction is invaluable. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it.
A useful generic structure is to:. It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more. You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set. Here is an example of an introduction for an essay entitled:. Although the introduction appears at the beginning of your essay, you may prefer to write it towards the end of the drafting process:. Questions to ask of your introduction and conclusion may be useful. The middle part of the essay must fulfil the promises made in your introduction , and must support your final conclusions.
Failure to meet either or both of these requirements will irritate your reader, and will demonstrate a lack of self-critique and of editing. The central part of your essay is where the structure needs to do its work, however explicit or implicit your chosen structure may be. The structure you choose needs to be one that will be most helpful to you in addressing the essay title.
The content of this central part will probably contain: ideas; explanations; evidence; relevant referencing; and relevant examples. It will be characterised by:. Questions to ask of your essay content may be useful. A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. The aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job.
- general cover letter address.
- An opinion essay | LearnEnglish Teens - British Council.
- Guide to essay writing.
- SAT Writing.
- write an essay on the nationalization of banks.
A generic structure that you may find useful is:. The study guide What is critical writing? With critical writing, you are doing work with the evidence you are using, by adding a level of examination and evaluation. Questions to ask about your level of critical writing may be useful. Another useful tool to support critical writing is the paragraph! Aim to present one idea per paragraph. Within the paragraph you could:. Finally, you need to take a break from your essay so that you can return to it with fresh eyes for the final editing.
They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is well-expressed. Editing is both difficult and important. Yes, editing is important, but no it does not need to be difficult. Also, criticising your writing tends to be easier than creating it in the first place. The study guide: The art of editing and the sheet: Questions to ask when editing may be useful. A tutor can learn a worrying amount about the quality of your essay simply from how it looks on the page.
The lengths of paragraphs; the lengths of sentences; the neatness of the reference list; the balance of length between different sections; all offer insight into the kind of essay they are about to read. Shorter words are often preferable to longer words, unless there is some specific vocabulary that you need to include to demonstrate your skill. Short to middle length sentences are almost always preferable to longer ones. Experts began investigating and came up with two possible explanations. One explanation was environmental pollution and the second was attacks by predators.
It seems clear that it was, in fact, environmental pollution that was the cause. One reason pollution was more likely was because of the known pollution sources along the Alaskan coast such as oil rigs. Also water samples taken in the area showed increased levels of chemicals that could decrease the otters' immune systems and indirectly result in their deaths. Another thing that pointed to pollution as the culprit was the decline of other sea mammals such as seals in the same areas. This indicated that whatever was affecting the otters was also affecting the other sea mammals.
Environmental pollution usually affects an entire ecosystem instead of just one species. Only predators that occurred in a large area, such as orcas a large predatory whale , could cause the same effect, but they usually hunt larger prey. Finally, scientists believed the pollution hypothesis would also explain the uneven pattern of otter decline. In some Alaskan locations the otter population declined greatly while other populations remained stable.
Some experts suggested this could be explained by the fact that ocean currents, or other environmental factors, might have created uneven concentrations of pollutants along the coast. The reading and the lecture are both about theories of the rapid decline in sea otter populations. Whereas the author of the reading states that pollution was the major cause of the decline in sea otter populations, the lecturer suggests that predation is the most likely factor contributing to the reduction in the number of the sea otters.
The lecturer casts doubts on the main points made in the reading by providing three reasons. First of all, according to the reading, the increased levels of pollutants taken from water samples provide evidence for the pollution theory. However, the lecturer disputes this point. He says that if the sea otters had been killed by pollutants in water, they would have been found on shores. Furthermore, he mentions that the absence of dead sea otters on shores indicates that sea otters were killed and eaten by predators. Secondly, the reading states that aside from sea otters other small sea animals also decreased in population due to pollution.
This finding indicates that the pollution is the reason why sea otters are in rapid decline. Nevertheless, the lecturer refutes this argument. He argues that because the whale population decreased, the orcas in the area had to eat otters instead of whales. As a result, the otter population diminished. Finally, the reading claims that environmental factors, which lead to different levels of pollutant concentration, perfectly explain the uneven pattern of the diminishing sea otter populations.
On the other hand, the lecturer believes that the uneven pattern of declining sea otter populations corresponds to the prevalence of orcas in different areas. He thinks that the otter population reduces in places with orcas and there was not a big decrease in otters in places where orcas could not access. In conclusion, although the reading and the lecture are both about hypotheses of the diminishing sea otter populations, the three main points made in the reading are effectively challenged by the lecturer.
Despite the obvious advantages of technology, social media has generated highly negative consequences. To begin with, social media has created a false sense of connectivity and friendship. Additionally, social media has encouraged new forms of harassment through cyber-bullying. One last result of social media is a decrease in overall productivity. These negative attributes make social media a dangerous and controversial set of tools. The first negative consequence of social media is a false sense of connectedness.
Free Online Course: Getting Started with Essay Writing from Coursera | Class Central
People feel a sense of belonging when they can log onto the Internet and see the people they can talk to. Unfortunately, despite the number of people everyone can connect with, there are lower standards for what constitutes a friend. Relationships are casual online interactions rather than legitimate friendships. Another consequence of social media is the creation of cyber-bullying.
People in all age groups now find themselves the object of scorn and derision through message boards. This unfortunate byproduct can have dreadful repercussions for both bullies and the bullied. Finally, social media has become a distraction and decreased productivity. Students doing homework are likely to be pulled towards scouring social media to check on their friends.
Rather than pursuing hobbies, people are more likely to spend time pursuing artificial relationships they established online. Social media has ultimately provided a source of addicting distraction that has turned the world into unproductive workers. Thus when all factors are considered, the presence of social media has simply brought about too many negative repercussions for people.
It has replaced genuine relationships with impersonal interactions. It has introduced a new and almost unpunishable form of bullying. Also, it has become a distraction, turning people into unproductive workers. The snowball effect of negative repercussions is astounding when examined in unison. The reading and the lecture are both about negative effects of social media.
The reading states that three negative impacts of social media on the society are a false sense of connectedness, cyber-bullying, and decreased productivity. The lecture builds upon those same ideas to give a more comprehensive picture with three examples. First of all, according to the reading, one negative consequence of social media is that it destroys relationships. Supporting this idea, the lecturer explains that people have begun to put more value on computer-based relationships rather than real life ones. He frames this idea as people losing touch with the real world, losing genuine relationships, and social skills.
Secondly, the reading states that another negative consequence of social media is cyber-bullying. This is when someone uses the internet to tease or harass someone, oftentimes anonymously. The lecturer goes on the explain that according to a CBS report, 42 percent of young people have experienced cyber-bullying. This high percentage indicates that social media has become a medium for cyber-bullying.
Meet Our Team
Finally, the reading claims that social media is a huge distraction for people. Instead of doing work or homework, people use social media to distract them from their obligations.
In support of this idea, the lecturer brings up the point that the decrease in work productivity due to the overuse of social media has cost some businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue. For instance, one study done by Morse showed that British industries lost 2. In conclusion, the reading and lecture both discuss adverse impacts of the prevalence of social media on the society.
Exam English ✓
The three main points made in the reading are effectively supported by the lecturer. Both variations could also ask you to state your personal opinion or your personal preference. In your opinion, which source is more important? Compare these two attitudes. Which attitude do you agree with? Support your choice with specific examples. Some people believe that the best way of learning about life is by listening to the advice of family and friends. Other people believe that the best way of learning about life is through personal experience. Compare the advantages of these two different ways of learning about life.
Which do you think is preferable? Use specific examples to support your preference. Here are examples of the second variation: Some young children spend a great amount of their time practicing sports. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. A company has announced that it wishes to build a large factory near your community. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this new influence on your community.
Do you support or oppose the factory? Explain your position.
Compare aspects of two subjects. Compare the advantage and disadvantage of one subject. Introductory paragraph Gives an overview of comparison and your personal opinion if the question asks you. Gives an overview of advantage and disadvantage and your personal opinion if the question asks you. Body paragraph A Compare and contrast both two subject in one aspect. Discuss the advantage of the subject.
Body paragraph B Compare and contrast both two subject in another aspect. Discuss the disadvantage of the subject. Conclusion paragraph Give a summary of comparisons between two opinions and restate your personal opinion if the question asks you. Summarize the advantage and disadvantage, and include a reinstatement of your personal opinion if the question asks you. As you can see, the major difference is how you write your two body paragraphs.
There are four basic criteria on which your essay is evaluated. These four criteria are: How well you address the topic. How well you develop and support your ideas. How well you organize the essay and connect your ideas. How well you use the English language , including grammar, vocabulary, and writing conventions. These four criteria are: How well you select important information from the lecture. How well you relate the lecture points to the reading points.
How well you organize the essay and provide details How well you use the English language , including grammar, vocabulary, and writing conventions. To write well, first you need to read good essays so your brain has a database of good English structures and vocabulary you can use when writing. That being said, we recommend that you read and learn from our sample essays as much as possible. When learning these sample essays, do not just memorize them, but study how a paragraph is formed with different sentence structures, what words are used, and what main ideas are included. The more you study, the more your writing skills will improve.
The next time you write about a similar topic, you will be able to utilize them in your writing and add your own ideas. If you are not a good writer, spend at least an hour a day practicing independent writing and integrated writing tasks.