Writing Essays and Reports

Report
Writing Essays and Reports
Notes taken from Jean Rose
“The mature students guide to
writing,”
palgrave study guides
Writing an essay
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The a,b,c approach
By now, you will
have read and made
notes on the main
areas you will be
covering
The next step –
make a plan
Three steps:
Part A the introduction
Part B the middle
Part C the conclusion
Don’t rush this stage – marks are
allocated for structure as well as
content. Plan the paragraphs as well,
even although you may not be about
the exact content
Part A - The introduction
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Do a brief draft,
but write the
“proper”
introduction at the
end!
It should indicate
the main issues
State what ground
your essay will
cover
Planning is the key
Part B – the middle
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Explain the issues
and theories
Give examples and
other evidence
Show what others
have said, AND you
should comment on
these aspects as
you go along
Part C – the conclusion
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Probably only two
paragraphs
Sums up
State what you see
as the most
reasonable
conclusions to draw
You need to include:
A clear line of argument – by thinking
clearly about what you think is the
most valid interpretation of the
issues you’re covering and commenting
clearly on the material you cover.
How to….
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Construct a paragraph – use
a key sentence that sets out
the main point of the
paragraph. Start by trying
to use your first sentence as
the key one
The rest of the paragraph
will have explanation and
comment, or maybe evidence
and examples. Link the
paragraph back to the
question
How to …
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Develop the argument
Evidence, explanation and comment are all
parts of a good essay!
Link one paragraph to another – this may
seem difficult during the draft phase, but
as you write, you will develop ideas and
start to see the linkages
Read Sue Egan’s paper, “Guidance on
academic writing” available from the BX101
website under week 7
Tips:
Write impersonally:
“Education for adults is essential” is more
valid than
“I think education for adults is essential”
And
“Margaret Hodge, the Secretary of State
for Education said in her recent speech to
Parliament that education for adults is
essential” is even better!
And reports?
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Report writing involves gathering of
information…usually for a discussion
intended to change the ways things
are done. Reports concentrate on the
gathering of facts, so that those that
read and discuss them can have a very
clear picture of what is going on in a
particular field
The key components:
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A brief note on what its on (abstract or
executive summary)
An explanation of why and how it was et up
(terms of reference and procedure)
A description of what you found out
(findings)
An analysis of what you found out
(conclusions)
Your suggestions for how things might be
improved in the future (recommendations)
More information?
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The learning development
unit has hand outs on
writing essays and reports
(in learning centre)
They also have tutors
available to work with you
every day apart from
Sunday
Read a good study skills
book – the learning centre
have most, the bookshop
also have a good selection
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There is an online
writing and
communication
workshop called WCW
that has step by step
guidance online – ask
your tutor or the IT
helpdesk about
creating a webCT
account and accessing
the course
Next week is Virtual Lecture week!
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We want to give
students the
opportunity to work
online
There will be no
lectures slot but
student are expected
to look at the website
to see what you have
to do – seminars will
run as usual

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