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Begin by looking over the question and those 'key words' that you have selected.Next, consider the evidence you have collected and how the two complement each other.
We recommend that you seek advice on the referencing style required before starting your research.
A good tip to remember when referencing is that, although most referencing styles will allow for the use of abbreviations, the first time a book is quoted the full details should be given.
However, if you were asked to examine the causes of the outbreak of a war, you would adopt quite a different approach, balancing fact and opinion.
Add to this an awareness of whether the question is asking you to give your own opinion in isolation, or whether it requires you to assess the previous and current thinking on a subject (this is more common), and follow this with a conclusion which summarises your own thoughts.
Plagiarism is a major concern and it is easy to do without meaning to.
It's simple to forget where your ideas start and someone else's end.As you develop your argument ensure that you continue to check back to see that you are answering the question and not just reeling off everything you know about a given topic.Whether you have selected the topic or not, you will need to research critical opinion before you begin to write.The type of essay you are required to write will be determined, to some extent, by the particular field in which you are engaged but the general points of construction will hold good for all subjects.The first and most important aspect of writing a good essay is to examine the essay question.Increasingly, students are penalized for exceeding the specified word count so ensure that all your evidence is really related to the points you are making and to the topic concerned.It is useful to make a rough plan or diagram of your essay at this stage where you write down paragraph headings and where you will use each piece of evidence.The importance of close analysis of the question as the basis of a good essay cannot be overestimated.Despite this, it is surprising how many students simply write down everything they know about a subject without reference to what the question is actually asking them to do.Try to strike a balance between finding evidence that supports your own ideas and those which appear to contradict you.A good essay will present a balanced case and display an awareness of all points of view (within reason), not just those that agree with your own!