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What Is a Descriptive Essay?

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What is critical writing?

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What is descriptive writing?
Knowledge and Understanding

Next conduct preliminary reading based on your lecture notes. At this stage it's not crucial to have a robust understanding of key theories or studies, but you should at least have a general 'gist' of the literature.

After reading, plan a response to the task. This plan could be in the form of a mind map, a summary table, or by writing a core statement which encompass the entire argument of your essay in just a few sentences.

After writing your plan conduct supplementary reading and refine your plan and make it more detailed. It is tempting to skip these preliminary steps and just write the first draft while reading at the same time. However, reading and planning will make the essay writing process easier, quicker, and ensure a higher quality essay is produced.

Now let us look at what constitutes a good essay in psychology. There are a number of important features. Each paragraph should comprise a main theme which are illustrated and developed through a number of points supported by evidence. In the main body of the essay every paragraph should demonstrate both knowledge and critical evaluation.

There should also be an appropriate balance between these two essay components. Most students make the mistake of writing too much knowledge and not enough evaluation which is the difficult bit. It is best to structure your essay according to key themes. Themes are illustrated and developed through a number of points supported by evidence.

Choose relevant points only, ones that most reveal the theme or help to make a convincing and interesting argument. Don't make the mistake of writing all the information you know regarding a particular topic. You need to be concise, and clearly articulate your argument. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.

Be clear why each point is is relevant to the argument. It would be useful at the beginning of each paragraph if you explicitly outlined the theme being discussed. Try not to overuse quotations in your essays. It is more appropriate to use original content to demonstrate your understanding.

Psychology is a science so you must support your ideas with evidence not your own personal opinion. If you are discussing a theory or research study make sure you cite the source of the information. Bowlby claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 months, i.

Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fullfil the next one, and so on. As a general rule make sure there is at least one citation i. Remember to answer the essay question. Underline the key words in the essay title. Don't make the mistake of simply writing everything you know of a particular topic, be selective. Each paragraph in your essay should contribute to answering the essay question. In simple terms this means outlining the strengths and limitations of a theory or research study.

Is the sample biased or can we generalize the findings to other populations? What are the strengths and limitations of the method used and data obtained? Be careful to ensure that any methodological criticisms are justified and not trite. Rather than hunting for weaknesses in every study; only highlight limitations which make you doubt the conclusions that the authors have drawn — e. Refer to debates such as nature or nurture, reductionism vs.

For example, would they agree or disagree with a theory or the findings of the study? If research is biased towards men or women it does not provide a clear view of the behavior that has been studied. Make the point first and then use the evidence to support it. My third guideline for writing an essay is to use a plan. Once you've done all your reading, once you've done all your research you need to step back from it and decide what you're going to say.

Come up with your main line of argument, but plan your essay before you launch into the actual writing of the essay. That means that you need to decide exactly what your key points are. So you need a logical sequence of key points that actually build up your argument. One of the mistakes that I often see students doing, and one of the things that makes plans a bit problematic for a lot of students, is that when they're coming up with their outline for their essay they just have a list of subject headings: First I'm going to be talking about this, then I'm going to be talking about that, and then last of all I'm going to talk about that.

And actually that's not a very good plan, because when you go down to write something you don't know what you're going to say. You know what you're going to talk about, but you don't know what you're going to say about it. So the most important thing about the plan is to decide what your main points are and to express them in complete sentences -- not just what are you going to talk about but what are you going to say about it?

Once you've got that sequence of key points expressed in complete sentences you should have a pretty good summary of your essay. And that should be able to stand alone as an answer to your essay question. Once you've decided on your sequence of key points, then you can start to flesh out your plan by listing the evidence that you're going to include for each key point.

What examples are you going to draw on? What pieces of evidence or empirical work or theoretical work are you going to use to actually support each of those key points? Once you've actually done that you've got a really good framework for writing your essay: One final point about the plans. If you look at your plan and you find that you've got nine, ten or even more key points then think again about whether they really need to stand separate from each other as different points.

In an essay, and even in longer essays like 4, word essays, you'll usually only need to have a handful of key points. Remember the main objective is to support the main line of argument that you want to present to the reader. That doesn't mean that you have to cover absolutely everything that you've read. My next guideline for writing an essay is to make sure that you give it to someone else to read. It's really important to get a second opinion on your essay and sometimes when you've been working on an essay for a long time it can be really hard to adopt a fresh objective stance and look at your essay.

So find someone, maybe a friend that you can bribe to read your essay, maybe a family member, long suffering flat mates - whoever you can. Get someone else to read the essay and to try and extract the main points. So that would be a good sign that you've accomplished what you wanted to accomplish in the essay. OK, my final guideline for writing an essay concerns originality.

You'll probably see in most of the assessment criteria for essays in different subjects across the university that originality is one of the markers of first class essays. Can you show originality and flair in the way that you write your essay? Do I just say what my opinion is about the subject matter? Originality in an academic essay is all about the way that you interrogate the material in front of you and the way that you put the material together. Regarding the second point -- about how you put ideas together and how you put your points and evidence together in your essay -- that's a really important opportunity to show your originality.

But it's about how you put the argument together. That's where you can really show your originality. Have you taken these theories, these different bits of evidence, the different readings that you've done, have you put them together in an interesting and innovative way to answer the question?

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29 rows · Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, ), which instruct you how to answer the question. Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay.

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I: Purpose of the Essay. This lecture will guide you toward the draft of your Critical Evaluation Essay, and along the way, ask you to complete two assignments. In the "Critical Evaluation" essay, you will be writing a review -- supporting a judgment -- on the fiction stories in Blues Vision.

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A critical evaluation of a subject will warrant an assertive essay response that details the extent to which you agree with a set of findings, a theory, or an argument. The key to tackling these question words is providing ample evidence to support your claims. Critical Evaluation Essay Writing Help Critical evaluation essay is a type of an academic paper in which students must present their opinion about the value and quality of movies, books, sporting events, restaurants and etc.

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A critical evaluation essay involves writing about the quality and value of something, such as a book, movie, sporting event, restaurant or product. But starting a critical evaluation essay isn’t just about presenting your opinion. It’s also about drawing the reader in so he will want to read. Critically evaluating something requires that the person be able to exercise their sense of reason, employing multiple skills for arguing and demonstrating various points. Critical thinking is often synonymous to active learning. Active learning contrasts with passive learning in that it requires.