You are on page 1of 37

ESSAY

WRITING
Lecturer dr. Eliana Ionoaia
FOCUS, COHERENCE AND
ORGANIZATION

2
OVERVIEW
Getting started 3 phases
The facts of the assignment
The task
Marking criteria
Prewriting
Brainstorming
Research
Whats the plan? Narrowing the focus
Writing DOs and DONTs
Post-writing
Plagiarism
Help!
Good luck!
Bibliography 3
GETTING STARTED: THREE
PHASES
Phase one: Resistance /
Procrastination
Phase two: Crisis
Phase three: Smugness

4
RESISTANCE /
PROCRASTINATION
The first phase is always resistance
sometimes because you think you still have
time, sometimes because you are unsure
where to start
Resistance turns to procrastination thinking
that you work better under pressure,
anyway
https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCRDskZrUMU
What happens next is

5
CRISIS

6
CHASING YOUR TAIL
Not knowing where to start can be daunting
https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpHbwGRhf4A
You will either be given a specific assignment
or you will have to choose your own topic,
either way, you can ask for clarifications
from your seminar tutor.

7
SMUGNESS
Once you have figured out your
assignment / topic and you are
ready to write, you might feel
smug, but you still have to
write the essay!

8
FACTS OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Length: 5 pages (around 1500 words 10%)

Every essay will be put through plagiarism


detection software on submission!
Tempus fugit!
LATE SUBMISSION
Leave plenty of time to write and to
submit your essay by email / in person

In case of technical issues, let the seminar tutor know


BEFORE THE DEADLINE!
Late submissions will be penalized unless you have evidence
of extenuating circumstances or an extension has been
agreed in advance of the deadline.
9
THE TASK
Theory

Psychoanalysis
Your Feminism
text

10
THE TASK

Your essay MUST demonstrate:


1.

Your knowledge and understanding of


a. your chosen theory
AND
Your ability to effectively apply your
chosen theory to your chosen primary
b. text.

11
identity
who Why that identity (character/ narrator) ?

theme
what Why that event / matter / issue ?

Time
When Why that time / period ?

Space
where Why that place / setting ?

Manner
how Why that genre / relationship / attitude /
tone ?

Intensity
how much Why that voice / atmosphere?

Brown, Daniela. Unpublished taught seminar Essay writing 12


The most important
question

why Shows relationship of


causality (cause and
effect)

Connected to any of the


other questions

why Revealing significance /


relevance
Central question to
interpretation
Brown, Daniela. Unpublished taught seminar Essay writing 13
MARKING CRITERIA
Understanding the task at hand
Knowledge and critical understanding of your
chosen theory and its key concepts
Analytical skills and ability to apply theory to text
Ability to construct a persuasive, coherent and
critical argument
Ability to identify, understand, discuss and use
appropriate scholarly sources
Academic writing skills
Presentation and referencing (in-text quotation
and properly formatted bibliography)
14
PREWRITING
Come up with a topic / question what do you want to
1 answer with your essay?
Develop a thesis / outline come up with a working
2 thesis, an argument that might change, but that will
help with the direction of your essay
Gather ideas what will you write about the topic
3 brainstorm, mind-map or free-write

4 Do your research

Organise decide which of your ideas should go first,


5
which of them you want to use
Write a draft the next steps will involve reviewing,
6 revising, correcting (structure and content),
proofread and make final corrections.
15
BRAINSTORMING
DISCUSSION CLOCK
Psychological

Historical Religious, Moral

Political, Scientific
Economic

Social Artistic

It allows you to examine a topic from various viewpoints and decide on


ideas/points to include in your essay
A topic may not relate to all these aspects AND not all these aspects need
not be included in the essay 16
RESEARCH Books
Theory
Criticism
Literary Theory

17
RESEARCH
Going to the library
The library at the Faculty
BCU
National Library
Romanian Academy Library
British Council Library

18
RESEARCH
Electronic
resources
Questia.com
Ebsco.com
Proquest.com
Jstor.com
Muse.com
Academia.edu
Sage.com

Bcub.ro
website ANELIS
access to data
bases
19
WHATS THE PLAN?
NARROWING THE FOCUS
Research can give
you too many ideas
An essay needs to
be focused and
coherent
You need to narrow
the focus
Essays that try to
do too much:
https://
www.youtube.com/
watch?v=5iTTNRE- 20
WRITING
Grammar and spelling
Paragraphing and structure
Clarity
Coherence and unity
Formatting
Referencing

21
WRITING DONTs
Long, awkward, unclear sentences
Description without analysis
Summary
Quotes without interpretation
Introducing quotes using semi-colons
Generalization and lack of research
Improper research (using Wikipedia)
Paragraphs without a clear point
No logical flow of idea
No cohesion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iix5J8w4XOQ
Improper introduction (e.g., biography) and conclusion (e.g.,
generalizations)
Title that tells the reader nothing about the content [even worse,
the title of the primary text becomes the title of the essay OR
there is no title!]
22
WRITING DOs
Clear, concise sentences
Analytical sentences
Introducing quotations with commas or colons
Formatting long quotes (exceeding three lines) as indented
paragraphs
Evidence from primary text
Evidence from secondary sources
Proper research [not wikipedia, schmoop, sparknotes, cliffnotes,
enotes, so on and so forth] which is properly referenced (MLA
STYLE check the OWL Purdue website for indications on how to
quote and what information to include in the bibliography!!!)
Structure and focus
Proper introduction and conclusion
Original title that is an implied question, to which you offer an
answer in the body of the essay

23
INTRODUCTION
Start by explaining WHY
your title!
HOW
WHA
T

Meant to catch the


readers attention

Present your general statement / thesis for the essay, the methodology
(theory) you plan on applying to it and a briefly introduce the main ideas
of the essay. 24
HOW TO MAKE A POINT
1 point = 1 paragraph
Introduce the theme of your new paragraph
Explain the theoretical concept you are about to use by
quoting and / or paraphrasing a relevant theoretical source
[always give the source]
Analyze a quotation from your primary text by using the
theoretical concept you have introduced
Finish your paragraph by telling your reader what the
application of this particular theoretical concept can tell us
about your primary text
You may want to use a quotation from a secondary source on
the text (criticism) to reinforce your point or to argue against
what another critic has said
Your paragraphs neednt obey this particular structure, but
they should contain these elements, in whatever order you
feel makes sense.
25
KEY COMPONENTS OF A POINT
Theoretical concept + theory quotations
Analysis of textual evidence from primary
text
Explanation of what this concept can tell us
about the text
Secondary sources on text / genre / period,
where applicable

26
CONCLUSION
Make sure that your conclusion is
the logical next step resulting
from the main points you have
WHY
chosen for the body of your essay!

HOW
WHA
T
Your conclusion should
flow naturally from the
main points it should be
the jewel in the crown

Dont introduce new ideas in the conclusion!


27
UNITY AND COHERENCE
All ideas in an essay should be connected to a single
topic the thesis statement from the introduction
UNITY
When you are editing for unity, you should eliminate
ideas that are not relevant for the thesis statement
Arranging ideas in a clear and logical way so that the
flow of argumentation can be easily understood by
the reader COHERENCE
Use cohesive devices: words that connect sentences
and paragraphs together [firstly, secondly,
nevertheless, however, on the other hand,
furthermore, specifically, in particular, therefore,
thus, since, to conclude, to sum up,]
28
POST-WRITING
Correcting spelling and grammar
Editing
Formatting
Checking your references
Deciding what to keep and what to cut
Deciding final order of paragraphs
Ask a colleague to proofread for you and to
provide suggestions (is it easy to read and
understand?) peer-editing

29
PLAGIARISM

30
PLAGIARISM
We know you did it.
You know you did it.
https://
www.youtube.com/w
atch?v=irSC4-j_Nj
Y&t=8s

31
PRESENTATION
Complete, properly formatted bibliography
References for all quoted and paraphrased
material
1.5 spacing
Font size 12
Serif font
Standard margins
Page numbers 1 of 5, 2 of 5 5 of 5
Student name, year, group and languages
Name of subject and of seminar tutor
32
HELP! and SEND!
If you need
clarifications, do not
hesitate to contact the
seminar tutor.
Dont forget to send the
essay on time use the
preferred method, as
indicated by the seminar
tutor!

33
34
And Youre done! 35
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brown, Daniela. Unpublished Taught Seminar on Essay Writing. 2006.
Colectivul catedrei de limba si literatura engleza FLLS, UniBuc. Limba engleza: Exercitii
oentru admiterea in invatamantul superior. Bucuresti; Editura Didactica si Pedagogica,
1978.
Collinson, D.J. Writing English: A Working Guide to the Skills of Written English. London:
Pan Books, 1982.
Crme, Phillis and Mary R. Lea. Writing at University: A Guide for Students. Maidenhead and
Philadephia: Open University Press, 2003.
Evans, Virginia. Successful Writing: Proficiency. Newbury: Express Publishing, 1998.
Grenville, Kate. Writing from Start to Finish: A Six-Step Guide. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin,
2001.
Hedge, Tricia. Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Kane, Thomas S. The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1988.
Marggraf Turley, Richard. Writing Essays: A Guide for Students in English and the
Humanities. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.
McCarter, Sam. A Book on Writing. London: IntelliGene, 2002.
Muller, Nadine. Prezi on Essay Skills.
http://www.nadinemuller.org.uk/teaching/essay-preparation/
Wilson, Page and Theresa Ferster Glazier. The Least You Should Know about English: Writing
Skills. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, 2014.
Woolf, Judith. Writing about Literature. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.
Zemach, Dorothy E. and Lisa A. Rumisek. Academic Writing: From Paragraph to Essay.
Oxford: Macmillan, 2003.

36
37