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The several elements to a good essay

There are several elements to a good essay

1) Facts This is the foundation of an essay but is also just assumed to be something you would have. An essay with just the facts is a C grade essay. However, it is important that your facts be correct and well referenced. Facts that are incorrect hurt an essay a lot, so it is important that you get this right.

2) Referencing The best way to make sure your facts are sound is to make sure that every claim you make is backed up by a reference. Word has an inbuilt referencing tool, but you can use any you’re comfortable with. Most referencing formats will use inline citations that point to your bibliography. The incline citations do count for the word count, the bibliography itself does not.

3) Analysis - This is the single most important aspect This is the heart of an essay and the quality of your analysis will dictate where on the range of C to A you end up. An essay is an argument, facts are the evidence for your point of view and your analysis is the glue that pulls it all together. Good analysis not only expresses a single perspective, it acknowledges possible criticisms  and tries to deal with those criticisms of your stance in advance.  Any facts you’ve introduced should be used in support of your argument or acknowledged as a weakness in your perspective. 

4) Clarity This could also be called re-writing. Many of us don’t know what we are going to say when we sit down to right an essay and it all kind of comes together as we go. When you are happy with the argument you want to use, the evidence you’ve assembled to make that argument and you are confident that you’ve addressed obvious criticisms of your point of view, it’s time to rewrite the essay so that you say exactly what you mean when you mean to say it. Only during the rewrite should you seriously tackle your introduction and your conclusion.  An aid to clarity can be headings and subheadings. It prompts the reader to look for that concept in that paragraph, but it can also help you make sure that your essay is following a central thread or narrative that flows clearly from introduction to conclusion.

In economics, graphs can also aid clarity. Graphs should be clear, well labelled and if taken from an external source, credited accordingly right below the image.


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