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most common reason behind a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. If you are asked to critically evaluate a particular theoretical approach, for instance, you have to gain an understanding not only of said theory, but also other common approaches. Yes, you should still acknowledge alternative approaches, and yes, you should still note some strengths and weaknesses – but the bulk of the work must emphasise the concepts practical usefulness.Are you being asked to critically evaluate something? They must all be weighed against each other, highlighting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each theory and, importantly, you must come to a well-justified and confident conclusion. Perhaps the best approach is to find one, or a few, case studies where the theory has been used – what was the outcome of this?
It is also important that you leave time, ideally a couple of days, between finishing your first draft and proofreading.
A classic piece of advice is to “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and tell them what you told them” – this, in essence, summarises the core introduction, main body, and conclusion structure of your essay.
Having a clear and logical structure will help ensure that your essay stays focused, and doesn’t stray from the question being answered.
What are the limitations of the theories you are drawing on? How do they impact the quality of arguments presented, and to what extent do they limit our understanding of what you are studying?
What alternate explanations might offer additional depth?