Academic Writing

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jenniferbraid
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Academic Writing

Post by jenniferbraid »

I'm writing my essay on ethics. I've been working on it for days and i'm really happy with my research, the facts and my essay plan. But i'm only on my second paragraph of the main body of the essay and i'm at 756 of 850 words. I don't want to cut much out because it's all relevant but I so stuck!
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by PPoskitt »

Hi Jennifer,

These essays can be pretty tricky with the word counts, but word counts are definitely a useful skill to get used to & learn ready for HE! Sometimes it almost feels demoralising and demeaning to take out parts that you have spent so much time and research on - but obviously some of these TAQ's are achievable with Distinction with the word counts given.

I'd say the best thing to do, is to look at all of your research, take out key points and make a list of bullet points. From these bullet points, decipher where in your essay you would like to talk about these key points (make sure what you do talk about is all relevant to the Assessment Criteria, if it doesn't follow the Criteria - it's not worth putting in! Make all your detail and further research FOCUS on what is asked of the question). So with an essay plan of set-out bullet points, set a rough word count for each section that you want to stick to (For 850 words, I would think about something along the lines of 100 words for my introduction, 400-500 words for my main body and discussion, then focus the entire remaining words on a conclusion (a conclusion that has discussion, analysis, arguments for/against, criticism and possibilities for future research). From the main discussion and conclusion of your essay, you will be able to pick up the most marks.

Stick to that assessment criteria as closely as possible, filter the good information you already have and get the marks! You'll be fine :)

Good luck :thumbup:
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jenniferbraid
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by jenniferbraid »

Thanks that actually really helpful, i suppose a lot of what is in my introduction can go in the main body and a few point from the main body would be better in the conclusion!
Thank you!
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by PPoskitt »

All the best Jennifer, hope it goes well :thumbup: :)
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by Rhia Hayday »

Excellent advice (as ever!). Also Jen, don't forget about the 10% you can go over your word count, and that quotes and references don't count as part of your word limit.
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by PPoskitt »

Thanks Rhia, always nice to give something back! :thumbup:

Definitely use the above advice with the quotes and 10% - to be honest, I used the maximum +10% for most of my TAQ's - maybe I waffle on too much?? ;)
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by LovelyDay »

Hi,

I totally back everything Phil has said and keeping to word count is a skill. I know that I tended to waffle when I started to write an essay.

As well as picking the facts out try and use as much subject specific language as you can, this will help in this essay but also when you come to biology and psychology subjects (if you're doing them). I found that specific language made it easier to explain things in fewer words.

Good luck :thumbup:
Carol G :thumbup:

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Re: Academic Writing

Post by PPoskitt »

How did you get on Jennifer?
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by jenniferbraid »

I only got a pass in the end :( im having the same problem again on my Psychology module. Have to do 50 words in my intro and im closer to 100!
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by LovelyDay »

Hi,

Don't worry I know it's really hard but it really is skill that have to be learnt. What feedback did you get from your last essay?
Carol G :thumbup:

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Re: Academic Writing

Post by LovelyDay »

Hi

Just been having a think about this and this is how I tackle an introduction.

When writing an intro you don't have to give long explanations for anything as this is what the main body of your essay will contain and there is no point in repeating yourself (seeing the word count for Psych is a little brutal) so, it's okay to keep it brief but, you have to keep to the point. For example if I was to write an essay on mental health and human rights my intro could look something like this (just in case I get into trouble I would like say this is not how my actual essay looked).

This essay will look at ........(whatever the essay question has asked to you cover) To do this xxx will be explained and a case study will be used to compare, contrast and evaluate if human rights are indeed impinged. 39 words

Basically I was always taught the following:

Tell the reader what your essay is about (one sentence).
Tell them what you will be looking at to answer the question.
Tell them how you will come to a conclusion (this is dependent on what type of essay you have to write)

Also, the order that you address things in your intro should be the same order to expand on them in the main body of the essay.

To be honest I found the psych modules hard to start with and I struggled with requests to critically evaluate etc as it was something I had never done and had no clue how to do it. All I can say is don't panic, read the feedback from your last assessment, if you need help contact your tutor, it's okay to say you're stuck or you don't understand what you are required to do and also how do you improve your marks. My ongoing question was "how do I get a distinction if I don't know what a distinction answer looks like". In the end persistence/practice got me there and I learnt a lot even though my brain sometimes felt like it was wading through mud.

I have waffled enough good luck :thumbup:

Let me know if you need any more help.
Carol G :thumbup:

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jenniferbraid
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by jenniferbraid »

That may be the best advice for introductions ever. Re-wrote it completely and i now have a 57 word count (so still a few over the word count but can be tweaked... i hope!)

THANK YOU!!!!
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by LovelyDay »

Brilliant good luck with the rest of the essay :thumbup:
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by PPoskitt »

Great advice there Carol!

Let us all know how you get on with the Essay :) :thumbup:
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Hoplikeabunny
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Re: Academic Writing

Post by Hoplikeabunny »

Sorry, I know this is an old thread, but i'm doing this assessment at the moment, and i'm a bit confused about who the target audience is supposed to be? Are we supposed to decide that ourselves? The target audience will completely change how I write, so I don't want to get it wrong! :wtf:

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