Steps To An Essay

The purpose of an Essay is to demonstrate the validity of a point of view.This point of view should be derived from the study of a reasonable amount of evidence that is subjected to analysis.

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Why do you favour a particular point of view by an author? Remember that we are always quick to see (and condemn) the bias of others but rarely see it in ourselves...

In the process of analysis, you will soon find that facts do not speak for themselves; it is up to you to arrange them in some fashion so that they acquire meaning.

These provide invaluable clues as to the views and the findings of your source; so do the beginning and the end of each of the chapters.

Your first reading is to get a sense of the general thesis of the author and to identify the parts that are more relevant to your subject, and consequently earmarked for more elaborate examination.

The paper must be written as well, so this also must be done.

The consequence of a late start is usually that the analysis phase is virtually skipped over, with the resulting effects of incoherence, contradiction, superficiality, misrepresentation and scores of other ills.This aspect is dealt with separately in the Notes on Research; please refer to them.The purpose of research is to inform you of the range of ideas and opinions, as well as of the facts, that have been raised on your subject, and thus to provide you with a factual base to conduct your argument.Your second reading should be very specific: its purpose is to allow you to extract the fine points of the demonstration and to provide you with concrete factual information and arguments that you will need.Write down this information and views very carefully and register precisely where it was found, not forgetting to note the page where the information was found.Are there contentions that seem better supported by evidence? Hiding a bias is often the most insidious of defects in a piece of work.Have all the essential elements of a question been handled appropriately? Are you able to honestly and objectively summarize the views of each of your authors?Your paper must clearly contain three parts: the introduction, the main body and the conclusion.Given the length of your paper, your introduction should not exceed one page.For the most part, the paper of such students becomes a clumsy stringing together of the views of their sources; this rarely achieves coherence, aside from demonstrating a complete lack of originality.The opinions and the data you have gathered must be submitted to analysis.


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