Essay Writing Guide - Essay Writing Guide School of...

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Essay Writing Guide - School of Historical Studies Table of Contents Introduction 1. The purpose of essay writing. 2. Who is an essay written for? 3. Choosing and comprehending the question or topic 4. Coming up with an argument 5. Planning the draft 6. Writing the draft o 6a. Introducing and developing the argument o 6b. Using different kinds of evidence o 6c. Concluding the argument 7. Writing clearly and effectively 8. Referencing Instructions for Essays o 8a. When to cite sources o 8b. Numbering and placement of footnote and endnote numbers o 8c. Citing different kinds of sources Abbreviation principles Documents in printed collections Newspapers Books Chapters in edited collections Articles in journals or magazines Film Television and radio Internet Using resources from the internet and WWW Citing something for the second time: use of abbreviations and short titles Harvard referencing system 1
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9. Forming a bibliography and an annotated bibliography 10. Format and presentation Introduction This guide is intended to provide you with information about the skills of essay writing, including how and when to use footnotes or endnotes, presentation requirements and how to reference different kinds of sources (books, articles or web pages, for instance) and with more general advice about planning, introducing and developing your essays as coherent and effective arguments. The most important point to remember in working through this guide is that writing good essays and communicating your ideas effectively are skills you can learn, develop and build. 1. The purpose of essay writing One of the most important skills developed in an Arts degree is the ability to communicate your ideas in writing clearly and effectively. This involves numerous other skills, including the ability to summarize and paraphrase the work of other writers, the development of arguments and conclusions, and the effective use of evidence to support a case. Essay writing in History is particularly aimed at helping you progressively develop your skills in research, analyzing different forms of source material, using different kinds of evidence, and writing strong, critical and clear arguments. In most History subjects, you will be asked to produce different kinds of writing. Short tutorial and document exercises usually address specific skills or tasks (locating sources, analyzing a documents point of view, or assessing how particular images or words help us understand historical context, for instance), while examinations assess your knowledge of the content covered in particular subjects. Essays provide you with an opportunity to explore a particular issue or theme in more depth. In general, the functions of an essay are: to introduce an argument, or contention, based upon the question or problem you choose to tackle; to develop and defend that argument or contention by discussing and
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