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Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum.
More information on directive words is contained in the QUT cite|write booklet (PDF, 726KB). The most logical way to approach a multi-part assignment is to address each part of the task in the order that it is stated on the assignment task sheet.
The first sentence of each section of the assignment should be a direct response to each part of the task. Examples of this include questions which ask you to discuss, analyse, investigate, explore or review.
Before you start, it is important to understand what type of essay you are required to write.
The language of the question, especially the directive (task) words, will indicate the type of essay and suggest an appropriate structure to follow in your essay.
This may be, for example, an historical event, the implementation of a policy, a medical condition or a natural disaster.
These essays may be structured in one of two ways: either the causes(s) of a situation may be discussed first followed by the effect(s), or the effect(s) could come first with the discussion working back to outline the cause(s).Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation.Essays are used as assessment at University to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a topic.They are also useful tools to promote thinking and learning.Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence.However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.These essay questions often require you to structure your answer in several parts.An example may be to ask you to investigate a problem and explore a range of solutions.The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English; tracing it back further, we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb , which means "to examine, test, or (literally) to drive out." Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition.