What it can do, however, is help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls of undergraduate essay writers. You can surely avoid being a very bad essayist, and you can very likely become a better essayist than you are already. What follows is a short set of suggestions, accompanied, where available, with cautionary examples drawn from online essay mills. This suggestion may be taken as insulting because it is so obvious; still, it is commonly ignored in practice. The professor usually drops some very strong hints about what she is looking for when she assigns a piece of writing. It is best to pay attention to those hints.
For example, if you are asked to write a term paper on a problem of international cooperation, you should ensure that your term paper explicitly focuses on a topic that a involves cooperation, b has, at the least, some international aspect, and c is potentially problematic. Sometimes, assignments are ambiguous. Professors too may err. The assignment may be inexactly worded or involve contradictory requirements. In these cases it is obviously best to ask the professor what she is looking for it is often better to ask via email, to ensure that you have a written explanation of what the professor wants that you can refer to later.
Where this is not possible e. Poor essays very often ignore the question asked in a quite specific way. The student spots some topic in the assignment that seems familiar, and immediately sets about writing an essay which tells the professor everything they know about that topic, in no particular order. For obvious reasons, such essays rarely receive high grades. Universities encourage or, at least, they should encourage students in the social sciences and liberal humanities to criticize, to analyze, and, ideally, to think.
Mere demonstration that one possesses a disorganized body of knowledge on a topic, and is prepared to inflict this jumble upon the professor in printed or worse handwritten form, suggests that this encouragement has fallen on untilled ground. Undergraduate essays frequently begin with an extended session of throat-clearing irrelevances and vague generalities. They talk about everything except the question that has been asked. Take this example drawn from a free term paper. The Internet has played a major role in the lives of people all over the world.
Now, it is not limited to just important organizations or governments. Everyone who owns a computer is logged on to the Internet; and this has made the world seem smaller. No one has to wait for the postman to deliver the mail, but instead one can just connect to the Internet and right away, you got mail.
This, like many other essays that I have corrected on the political consequences of the Internet I sometimes teach a course on this topic begins with a paragraph that has nothing whatsoever to say about the politics of the Internet. Alternatively, students sometimes state and re-state the question in a manner intended to suggest that they understand it, without ever providing anything so provocative as an actual answer. Should the internet be censored? The internet is a wonderful place for entertainment and education, but, like all places used by millions of people, it has some pecularities that lead to a lot of talking and arguing over, should the internet be censored?
Most of people who use the internet are furious about the censorship on the internet. The issue of whether is it necessary to censor the internet is being argued all over the world. This essay starts off well. It sets out a short, pithy question that the reader might hope will be answered in the paper. But then it goes horribly, horribly wrong. The second sentence restates the first, garnished with a couple of irrelevant commonplaces. The third sentence suggests that there is controversy surrounding the topic of Internet censorship a safe guess, given that the writer has been asked to write a paper about this controversy.
The fourth sentence repeats the third. And so on. The writer evidently knows little or nothing about the essay topic, and is trying to conceal that fact. Unfortunately, he or she is failing. These are the beginning sections of very bad essays. Most undergraduate essays are not nearly as bad as that. Still, many essays do begin with weak and meandering introductions that do not address the topic of their paper.
This is a shame. It is important that you get the introduction right. By the time the reader has finished reading the first two sentences, she should know which question the essay addresses. By the time the reader has finished reading the first five or six, she should have a pretty good idea of how the author is going to tackle the question.
The following provides one example of a punchy beginning nb: this is not taken from an essay mill :. Should the Internet be censored? While many Americans would say no, there is in fact a very good case for limited Internet censorship. Pedophiles can use the Internet to find each other and to swap child pornography. Terrorists can use the Internet to propagandize for their beliefs, and to recruit for their causes.
Neo-Nazis and others can spread disinformation to the gullible, and persuade them that the Holocaust never occurred.
In this essay, I argue that some kinds of Internet speech child pornography, terrorist recruitment and hate speech should be banned. I acknowledge that this may hurt legitimate forms of free speech if they become confused with the harmful kinds, but show that the beneficial consequences of banning bad speech outweigh the harmful consequences of accidentally banning some good speech. This is, in my opinion, a good opening paragraph since I wrote it myself as an illustration, it is perhaps unsurprising that I like it.
It immediately states the question that the essay will try to answer. Shortly afterwards, it provides the reader with the proposed answer, and briefly describes the kind of evidence that it will use to support this answer. The essay will not necessarily convince its readers it takes a quite controversial stand , but it does signal to the reader that it has a clear question, a clear answer to that question, and a willingness to address the best arguments against the case it is making.
Many student papers are badly organized. They wander from point to point. They tack an introduction and conclusion onto a main body that does not have any internal system of order. Or they do not have a distinguishable introduction, body, and conclusion at all. Some excellent essayists can get away with apparently disorganized writing.
It is usually a very bad idea to try to emulate them. Very often, apparently disorganized work is in fact highly organized. Sometimes, apparent disorganization is instead the product of a highly subtle mind, or of an elliptical writing style that approaches its topics indirectly rather than directly.
Unless you are very confident indeed and have evidence in the form of past work, print publications etc to justify this confidence I strongly recommend that you avoid overly clever and non-linear approaches to writing.
How Can You Cope With Writing a Political Science Essay?
They require a lot of practice usually at the more traditional sorts of writing before they can be carried off well, and when they are carried off badly, they are very bad indeed. Genius may do as it will; mere intelligence and talent should be appropriately modest in their ambitions. This is the broad structure of the essay itself.
Unless you feel very comfortable that you are an excellent writer, it is usually best to stick to the traditional frame of an introductory section, a main body, and a conclusion. The introduction tells the reader what you are going to say.
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The main body tells the reader what you are saying. The conclusions tell the reader what she has just read perhaps adding some thoughts as to its broader implications if you are feeling adventurous.
This not only helps the reader understand your argument, but disciplines your thought and prose. It forces you to begin your essay with a clear, concise account of your major claims. Do not decide on an argument you want to make and then make it, regardless of what the evidence says. Be sure to engage with the other side of the debate honestly.
Rather than dismissing it, think about it. That is how real growth happens. Begin the process by finding trustworthy information. Then explore your material and orgranize your thoughts in a manner that works best for you. You can then start to construct your thesis statement. The key is to develop a solid argument with supportive evidence.
There are many different ways to go about organizing a paper.
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To perfect that crucial organization element, consider using one of the four common approaches illustrated below. Each example is for an essay exploring connections between political power and power over the media. There are three components of a thesis statement, though what it specifically looks like may determine on the assignment.
- General Political Science topics.
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A research paper vs analytical essay. This may be one sentence.
For longer papers, however, more complex arguments might require many sentences to effectively convey the paper's main idea s. To show how this works, here is a process to make a thesis for an analytical essay comparing Karl Marx and J. In any thesis, your argument must come from some truth or observation you have made within these two texts. This observation usually forms the first part of your thesis. The next step is to analyze that difference to develop that observation further.
For a compare and contrast essay, you will have to analyze what these differences in worldview suggest.
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