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.
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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. The writer evidently knows little or nothing about the essay topic, and is trying to conceal that fact. Unfortunately, he personal 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. This is your best opportunity to grab the readers attention and to persuade her that you have something interesting to say.
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 lined 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.
People who werent much aware of the parts world became drawn to computers, which in turn brought about the Internet, connecting the world all over. 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 gender 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. Instead, the papers author sees the word Internet and grabs desperately for banalities that he associates with this word. 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.
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. Cut to the Chase, 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 onset of computers on the general population has given a boost to the Economy in the worlds market.
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What follows is a short set of suggestions, accompanied, where available, with cautionary examples drawn from online essay mills. Read the requirements for the Assignment. 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 is potentially problematic. Sometimes, assignments are ambiguous.
Professors too may err. The assignment student 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.g. If you are trying to write an exam answer you may want to be quite clear in saying how you are interpreting the question. For example, you might want to start by saying In this answer, i interpret the phrase international cooperation to mean If your interpretation is a reasonable one, this places the onus on the professor to either read the essay according to your interpretation. Avoid Data dumps, poor essays very often ignore the question asked in a quite specific way.
Update: some small improvements made and. Cross posted to, the monkey cage, good Writing in Political Science: An Undergraduate Students Short Illustrated Primer. By henry farrell, version.01, this work is licensed under a creative commons Alike.0 United States License. Leo tolstoy famously observed that happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Tolstoy, happily for all of us, was not a teaching political scientist. Had he been, he might have observed that undergraduate political science papers are subject to a different logic.
Really good papers are unique each has its own particular thesis, style of argumentation, body of empirical evidence and set of conclusions. Really bad papers, in contrast, tend toward a dismal uniformity. They draw on the same evidence (garbled versions of what the professor has presented in class are organized according to similar principles of incoherence, and all wend their eventual ways towards banal conclusions that strenuously avoid making any claims or positive arguments whatsoever. This short set of guidelines cannot make you into a really good essayist. For that you need time, practice, and native genius. 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.
Words not to use in an essay
There is nothing like writing an essay this way and there is nothing like reading. Featured topics on Language essay writing descriptive essay how to summary write a descriptive essay descriptive essay topics narrative essay writing a narrative essay. Below is an essay that I wrote for my undergraduate class last semester, providing them with my (doubtless idiosyncratic) ideas about how to write good political science essays. Its also available under a cc license. Pdf format, as well as, multiMarkdown (its native format latex and, rtf in case someone wants to play around with it (e.g. By adapting it for another discipline). Feel free to suggest improvements, point out grammatical errors or biography typos etc in comments, or indeed to comment generally on good and lousy writing in undergraduate papers.
The five senses have a major role to play. For example, describing the mansion of your dreams would call for a description of how the dream mansion actually is visualized. Conjure up an image of the smells and sounds associated with the garden or the summerhouse. The sense of touch comes into resumed play when you describe the texture of the hangings, the wall, the floor, or the feel of books in the library. By using the five senses, the descriptive essay begins to have feeling and depth and a sense of belonging. Use concrete ideas but mix them up with abstract ones and the result is an essay that is alive and full of vitality, refusing to be subdued. It bursts at its seams as if urging the reader to get it all in one. Be natural and refreshing and avoid clichés even at the expense of being extravagant.
understand the purpose of the essay and the readers who are being targeted. Researching is an absolute must, the more material you have, the better your essay will. Just as a sketch acts as a skeleton for a painting, so too an outline is a must for a descriptive essay. Using the outline, fill in the vast spaces and rewrite as many times you can. Often it is felt, that this is the best that you can. Read it aloud to yourself and you will find that a first written draft augurs a lot of improvement.
Allow for a free play of emotions and feelings, for this adds to the essence of the essay. Adjectives and verbs are of primary importance as writers often resort to them to convey their state of mind on the topic. The writer has to be creatively suggestive in order to convert the descriptive essay into something exciting and out of the ordinary. This holds the attention of the reader and urges him to continue reading. Allow the reader to relate and feel the intensity by evoking images. Organization is a very important tool for effective descriptive essay writing. There plan should be more than one paragraph and a general pattern should be developed before becoming specific. Remember, such essays do not merely indicate statistical data like a scientific paper or need not consist of facts.
How to put an essay together
Whenever you write an essay, the obvious thing to supermarket do first is to write down in any order things that may strike you. Different people will associate the topic with different things, but the most important thing is to put it down in black and white before you. Surprisingly it will be very easy to write once you have phrases or words with which to work with. For instance if you are asked to describe a day in summer, to some it may be the heat which is dominant while it is others a time to get away and enjoy themselves. Depending on the train of thought and the associations which summer brings, the essay forms itself. One way to tackle a descriptive essay is to use vivid language which clearly brings out the principal features, another way would be to compare it with something else while others would merely allow their senses to come into play. While writing a descriptive essay, use time effectively to show change or evolution.