Before you start writing your essay, it is important that you plan it. Below is an example of what an essay plan should look like (including explanations and tips), and how much detail it should contain. You can use this as a guide for your essay plans.
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Essay Question: Was the Russian Revolution a genuine revolution or was it a coup?
Word Limit: 2,000 words
Introduction (10% of word limit): 200 words
Introductions should never be longer than 500 words, so this 10% guide only applies to essays shorter than 5,000 words.
To be considered an Introduction, an Introduction must do two things:
Answer the question – It was a genuine revolution.
This must be done first. An Introduction must answer the question. This is how you put forward a strong argument.
List the evidence your essay will put forward to prove your answer – This can be seen through an examination of the sections of society which supported the revolution. workers, peasants, soldiers, national minorities. Any major topic or subject that you plan to discuss in your essay must be introduced in the Introduction.
Body of the Essay: 400 words each
How long you spend writing about each subject should reflect the importance of each subject. If all four topics are of equal importance, write roughly the same amount of words on each. If a topic is more important, write about it first and write more words on it. If a topic is less important, write about it last and write fewer words on it.
Topic 1: workers
Topic 2: peasants
Topic 3: soldiers
Topic 4: national minorities
Conclusion (10% of word limit): 200 words
Conclusions should never be longer than 500 words, so this 10% guide only applies to essays shorter than 5,000 words.
To be considered a Conclusion, a Conclusion must do two things:
Answer the essay question again (using different words than in the Introduction, don’t repeat yourself exactly) – It was a genuine revolution.
Recap (repeat, summaries) all the evidence you have given to prove your answer during your essay– workers, peasants, soldiers, national minorities
A conclusion must not contain any new information, you are only summarising what you have already written.
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Sample essay 2
Download Sample Essay 2 (63KB)
Discuss the extent to which online users alter their identity
(Word limit: 2000 words)
Interpreting the assignment question:
Topic: online users alter their identity
Focus: the extent to which
This is quite a difficult question because it is asking you to examine how much (the extent to which) people alter their identity online, rather than highlighting the fact that people can change their identity – a potential trap for first-time essay writers.
Certainly, it is good at the beginning of the essay, whether in the introduction or the body, to acknowledge that people do alter their identity. However, to actually answer this question, you need to go beyond acknowledging the fact that people do change their identity, and discuss or debate the extent to which this happens and why.
It may be that identity alteration occurs in different contexts. For instance, it may be that different groups are more likely to alter their identity than other groups, who do not alter their identity online. Alternatively, some groups may alter their identity to a greater degree than other groups. Answering this essay question requires a thorough analysis and examination of the different variables or factors influencing people's identity construction online.
The following keywords and phrases were useful in searching for information for this assignment: identity, social identity, alter ego, persona, internet, online, chatrooms, IRC, multi-user dungeons, MUDs, computer-mediated communication.
In writing this essay, notes were constructed based on the ideas in books, book chapters, and journal articles surrounding the topic. These notes were then grouped together according to similar ideas and points of view to create topic units. From there, it became possible to identify a position or argument on which to base the essay.
The introductory paragraph was then written, with a thesis statement crafted which functioned to summarise the ideas in the essay. At this time, a concluding paragraph was also roughly put together. Then the paragraphs forming the body of the essay were polished up from their rough shape and were checked to ensure that they were in line with the thesis statement. Topic sentences were crafted for paragraphs in the body, along with summary sentences rounding off the paragraphs. Finally, the concluding paragraph was elaborated on from its original form, ensuring that it adequately summarised the whole essay, but also managed to move the essay forward to the future. In total, the essay (excluding the reference list) came to 1895 words, which fits easily within a 2000 word limit.
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Last updated on 25 October, 2012