“Economic, social and cultural rights are more important contributors to human dignity than are civil and political rights.” Do you agree?
Advice on Essay writing
• What is expected of you?
? read widely and critically analyse the literature on any given topic.
? have a coherent argument than runs throughout your essay and directly addresses the essay question.
? provide evidence to support your argument. Don’t forget to address arguments that are contrary to yours.
? source the content of your essay by using a recognised referencing system (e.g. Harvard or Cambridge systems) which shows where you sourced the information from.
? organise your information in a logical way – i.e. your essay should have a clear structure with an introduction, body and conclusion.
? address the question (including all its parts). Stay focused on the question without going off on a tangents and make sure that every paragraph contributes to addressing the question.
• The Introduction
‘Outline the argument and structure’
? It is important that you make a direct statement of your argument in your introduction. The examiner should not be left guessing about what it is you are attempting to argue. Try to answer the essay question in a nutshell. A sentence beginning with words like “This essay will argue that… because…’ might be helpful here. Make sure that you also explain the logic of your position by explaining why you take the position you do.
? You must directly address the essay question but try to avoid simply restating it; instead interpret or elaborate on it. It might be helpful for you to restate the question in a way that clarifies any ambiguities. If your response narrows the question in some way it would be helpful to justify why you have chosen to focus on the issues you have chosen. It might be valuable to make mention of other issues or approaches that you could have chosen but have not.
? Tell the examiner what the essay is going to cover by outlining the structure of the essay in a way the preview the major issues, concepts and theories you are going to use.
? It is perfectly acceptable to be explicit by using phrases like ‘This essay will argue…’, ‘this essay contends…’, ‘This essay begins with a discussion of…’ ‘The issue of sovereignty will be used to explicate…’, ‘The second section will argue….’
? Always review and edit your introduction after you have written the body of your essay. Make sure what you are introducing matches what you actually say.
? Remember: after reading your introduction the examiner should be perfectly clear on what position you are taking on the question (i.e. what your argument is); what evidence/issues/concepts you will use to argue it (i.e. what the essay will cover); and what limits you have placed upon the discussion.