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Essay/Assignment Writing: Planning to Editing. Agenda. 4 stages in essay writing: Preparing Planning Drafting Editing. Questions for you:. What makes a good essay? If you were marking an essay, what would you look for?. “To essay”.

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agenda
Agenda
  • 4 stages in essay writing:
  • Preparing
  • Planning
  • Drafting
  • Editing
questions for you
Questions for you:
  • What makes a good essay?
  • If you were marking an essay, what would you look for?
to essay
“To essay”
  • The verb “to essay” means “to put to the test, to attempt something difficult”.
  • Essays give you opportunities to come to terms with new knowledge.
  • Writing an essay helps you to measure how much you really understand.
four stages in writing an essay
Four Stages in Writing an Essay
  • 1. Preparing
  • 2. Planning
  • 3. Drafting
  • 4. Editing
  • Post-essay writing
  • 5. Learning from the experience
stage 1 preparing
Stage 1Preparing
  • What question do I need to address and what does it mean?
  • What do I know about this already?
  • What do I need to find out?
  • Research
analyse the question
Analyse the question
  • What is the subject?
  • What are the key verb(s)?
  • What are the key aspect(s)?
  • Any other other significant words?
  • Ask questions about the question
understand key verbs
Understand Key Verbs
  • analyse
  • compare and contrast
  • describe
  • discuss
  • evaluate
  • examine
  • explore
  • outline
  • summarise
paragraphing i
Paragraphing (I)
  • Paragraphs structure thoughts and help the reader
  • Each paragraph should contain
  • one clear idea
  • support sentences
  • Support sentences add to the topic sentence, e.g.
  • explain ideas raised
  • define terms more fully
  • give supporting detail
paragraphing ii
Paragraphing (II)
  • For every paragraph, ask:
  • Is there one main idea here?
  • Is it stated clearly?
  • Is it properly supported with evidence?
  • Have I commented on the evidence?
  • Does it link with the previous paragraph and anticipate the next?
beginning a new paragraph
Beginning a new paragraph
  • To mark off the introduction and the conclusion
  • To signal a shift to a new idea
  • To indicate an important shift in time or place
  • To emphasise a point
  • To highlight a contrast
stage 3 drafting
Stage 3Drafting
  • Drafting shapes the notes into an essay.
  • How?
  • Revise, reconsider and rewrite what you have done.
  • Fill in any gaps.
  • Revise plan, now you know more.
checking a rough draft
Checking a Rough Draft
  • Look for:
  • the sequence of ideas
  • logic
  • paragraphing
  • sign-posting
  • need more information?
  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • Am I answering the question?
introductions
Introductions
  • State clearly
    • How you are going to answer the question
    • What you are going to cover
  • Address the question, the key idea.
  • Define key terms.
  • May help to write the introduction last.
  • Should be 10% of the word count
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Pull the essay together.
  • Show where you stand in the debate (judgement).
  • Draw conclusions or extract general principles (factual).
  • May indicate an area for further study.
  • Link back to the question / essay title.
  • 10-13% of the word count
stage 4 editing
Stage 4Editing
  • Proof read your essay.
  • Check for mistakes:
    • spelling
    • grammar
    • punctuation
  • Check quotations, citations.
  • Have I answered the question?
  • Is there a logical, coherent argument?
presentation
Presentation
  • Word limit
  • Margins
  • Spacing
  • Font types and sizes
  • Legibility
  • Does it comply with the required layout?
  • Diagrams
  • References
citations
Citations
  • Examples:
  • According to Jones (1998), ….
  • Jones (1998) argued that ….
  • To quote from Jones (1998), ….
  • In name of text, Jones (1998) supported the idea of ….
  • …. paraphrases …. (Jones, 1998, p82)
quotations
Quotations
  • Short quotation

Jones (1999, p23) described the idea as ‘quoting a few words’ ….

  • Long quotation

Jones wrote:long quotes

  • long quotes
  • long quotes (Smith, 1999, p9)
  • etc. etc.
references
References
  • Put at the end of an essay.
  • Do not number them.
  • Begin each source on a new line.
  • List alphabetically by the first author’s surname.
  • Italicise the book or journal title.
  • Place single quotation marks around the title of an article within a journal.
examples of references
Examples of References
  • A book

Cottrell, S.M. (1999) The Study Skills Handbook, Macmillan.

  • An article in a book

Tizard, B. (1991) ‘Working Mothers and the Care of Young Children’ in Woodhead, M., Light, P. and Carr, R. (eds) Growing Up in a Changing Society, Routledge.

bibliography
Bibliography
  • A list of everything you read for the assignment.
  • They need not be referred to in your writing.
  • Listed in the same style as references.
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