When talking to senior high school and university students, we have found that while most of them are confident about the content of their various subjects, nearly all of them are daunted by the prospect of integrating that knowledge into a well-structured essay which will do justice to their mastery of the subject. Many find essay-writing to be the most difficult aspect of their studies. Even those who are good at essay-writing (and are well advanced in university study) are keen to improve their writing skills and maximize their marks.
It is very frustrating if you have worked hard to master a subject and then find that your attempts to communicate that mastery are frustrated by your inability of good essay writing about it, to put your ideas across interestingly and compellingly and be rewarded appropriately.
Because students are invariably either studying English language and literature at school, or have done so if they have left English behind at college or university – and because it is my own discipline – many of the examples we use are drawn from the kinds of essay writing set and written for English, either at the senior secondary and matriculation level, or at college and university. However, the skills which are needed for an essay writing for English are applicable to other subjects. Also, other kinds of essay writing techniques are considered too.
The proper essay writing is fulfilled if it assists students to think logically, intelligently and even excitedly about what is required and expected in their essay-writing and to find ways of displaying their knowledge to its best advantage and adapting it to the various kinds of topics and tasks which are set for essays.
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