As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days. But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated. We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game.
Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year. When he was asked to deliver sessions on the art of essay-writing, he decided to publish a comprehensive (and brilliant) blog on the topic, offering wisdom gleaned from turning out two or three essays a week for his own undergraduate degree.
“There is a knack to it,” he says. “It took me until my second or third year at Cambridge to work it out. No one tells you how to put together an argument and push yourself from a 60 to a 70, but once you to get grips with how you’re meant to construct them, it’s simple.”
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The goal of writing any essay is to show that you can think critically about the material at hand (whatever it may be). This means going beyond regurgitating what you’ve read; if you’re just repeating other people’s arguments, you’re never going to trouble the upper end of the marking scale.
“You need to be using your higher cognitive abilities,” says Bryan Greetham, author of the bestselling How to Write Better Essays. “You’re not just showing understanding and recall, but analysing and synthesising ideas from different sources, then critically evaluating them. That’s where the marks lie.”
But what does critical evaluation actually look like? According to Squirrell, it’s simple: you need to “poke holes” in the texts you’re exploring and work out the ways in which “the authors aren’t perfect”.
“That can be an intimidating idea,” he says. “You’re reading something that someone has probably spent their career studying, so how can you, as an undergraduate, critique it?
“The answer is that you’re not going to discover some gaping flaw in Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume 3, but you are going to be able to say: ‘There are issues with these certain accounts, here is how you might resolve those’. That’s the difference between a 60-something essay and a 70-something essay.”
Critique your own arguments
Once you’ve cast a critical eye over the texts, you should turn it back on your own arguments. This may feel like going against the grain of what you’ve learned about writing academic essays, but it’s the key to drawing out developed points.
“We’re taught at an early age to present both sides of the argument,” Squirrell continues. “Then you get to university and you’re told to present one side of the argument and sustain it throughout the piece. But that’s not quite it: you need to figure out what the strongest objections to your own argument would be. Write them and try to respond to them, so you become aware of flaws in your reasoning. Every argument has its limits and if you can try and explore those, the markers will often reward that.”
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Fine, use Wikipedia then
The use of Wikipedia for research is a controversial topic among academics, with many advising their students to stay away from the site altogether.
“I genuinely disagree,” says Squirrell. “Those on the other side say that you can’t know who has written it, what they had in mind, what their biases are. But if you’re just trying to get a handle on a subject, or you want to find a scattering of secondary sources, it can be quite useful. I would only recommend it as either a primer or a last resort, but it does have its place.”
Focus your reading
Reading lists can be a hindrance as well as a help. They should be your first port of call for guidance, but they aren’t to-do lists. A book may be listed, but that doesn’t mean you need to absorb the whole thing.
Squirrell advises reading the introduction and conclusion and a relevant chapter but no more. “Otherwise you won’t actually get anything out of it because you’re trying to plough your way through a 300-page monograph,” he says.
You also need to store the information you’re gathering in a helpful, systematic way. Bryan Greetham recommends a digital update of his old-school “project box” approach.
“I have a box to catch all of those small things – a figure, a quotation, something interesting someone says – I’ll write them down and put them in the box so I don’t lose them. Then when I come to write, I have all of my material.”
There are a plenty of online offerings to help with this, such as the project management app Scrivener and referencing tool Zotero, and, for the procrastinators, there are productivity programmes like Self Control, which allow users to block certain websites from their computers for a set period.
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Look beyond the reading list
“This is comparatively easy to do,” says Squirrell. “Look at the citations used in the text, put them in Google Scholar, read the abstracts and decide whether they’re worth reading. Then you can look on Google Scholar at other papers that have cited the work you’re writing about – some of those will be useful. But quality matters more than quantity.”
And finally, the introduction
The old trick of dealing with your introduction last is common knowledge, but it seems few have really mastered the art of writing an effective opener.
“Introductions are the easiest things in the world to get right and nobody does it properly,” Squirrel says. “It should be ‘Here is the argument I am going to make, I am going to substantiate this with three or four strands of argumentation, drawing upon these theorists, who say these things, and I will conclude with some thoughts on this area and how it might clarify our understanding of this phenomenon.’ You should be able to encapsulate it in 100 words or so. That’s literally it.”
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Newspaper is a set of large sheets containing printed news, stories, information, articles, advertisements, etc. It plays a great role in keeping us up-to-date about all over the world.
Essay on Newspaper
Newspaper is a collection of news from all over the world which keeps us up-to-date about everything going outside. We should practice news reading on daily basis. It is a good habit. You can promote your kids and children about this and motivate them to take part in the essay writing competition or group discussion on the subject of Newspaper in their school. We have provided some simple and easy essay on newspaper for the students. They can select any newspaper essay given below:
Newspaper Essay 1 (100 words)
Now-a-days, it is difficult to imagine the life without newspaper. It is the first and foremost thing everyone looks for every morning. It helps us a lot by keeping us up-to-date about every news of all over the world. It let us know what is going on in the society, country and world. Newspaper brings us each and every news and views to us from every corner of the world. Newspaper brings information about businessmen, politician, social issues, unemployed people, sports, games, international news, kids, science, education, medicine, celebrities, fairs, festivals, technologies, etc. It helps us in widening our knowledge, skill, and technical awareness.
Newspaper Essay 2 (150 words)
In the modern era, the revolution of newspapers has been spread to the whole country. Now-a-days, everyone has become much conscious about their knowledge. It is a good habit to read newspaper on daily basis. We all should practice to read newspaper in our daily lives. It let us know about the latest trends and traditions. It helps us by telling about the schools, colleges, courts, politics, offices, hotels, restaurants and other things new in the markets.
Newspaper is a most important thing used by everyone (rich or poor) of any religion, caste or creed. It helps us a lot in preparing our school projects and home works. It let us know about new researches, new technologies, all the high and low of the market and so many things. There are many types of newspaper and magazines according to their brand and subscription.
Newspaper Essay 3 (200 words)
Now-a-days the newspaper has been a necessity of the life. It is available in the market in almost all languages. A newspaper is a publication of the news which gets printed on the paper and distributed to everyone at their home. Different countries have their own news publication agencies. Newspaper gives us all about what is happening in our own country as well as whole world. We let us know exact information related to the topic of sports, politics, religion, society, economy, film industries, movies, food, employment etc.
Earlier, newspapers were published with only news details however, currently it contains news and views about various subject almost everything. Various newspaper in market costs differently according to their news details and popularity in the area. The newspapers having current daily affairs are printed daily however of them gets printed twice a week, once a week or once a month.
Newspapers serve more than one purposes according to the need and requirement of the people. Newspapers are very effective and powerful give all information at one place from all over the world. In comparison to the information it gives, it costs very less. It keeps us well informed about all the happenings in our surrounding.
Newspaper Essay 4 (250 words)
The newspaper is very important thing in these days. It is first and foremost thing of everyone to start the day. It is better to start our day by filling our mind with fresh news and information. It makes us confident and helps in improving our personality. First of all in the morning it greets every member of the family with bulk of information. As a citizen of the country, we are fully responsible to know all the pros and cons going in the country or other countries. It informs us about the current affairs of the politics, sports, business, industries, etc. It also informs us about the personal affairs of the Bollywood and business personalities.
Newspaper let us know about cultures, traditions, arts, classical dance, etc. In such a modern time when everyone does not have time to know about things other than their job, it let us know about days and dates of the fairs, festival, occasions, cultural events, etc. It is a collection of news as well as interesting things about the society, education, future, motivational messages and topics, etc so, it never bore us. It always stimulates and excites us to about everything in the world through its interesting topics.
In the modern time, when everyone is so busy in his/her daily life, it is hardly possible for them to get any idea or knowledge about the outer world so newspaper is the best option to remove such weakness. It gives us a vast knowledge in just 15 mins or half an hour. It is beneficial for persons of all fields as it contains knowledge for everyone like students, businessmen, politicians, sportsperson, teachers, industrialists, etc.
Newspaper Essay 5 (300 words)
Newspaper comes to us every morning and I feel better having newspaper with a hot cup of tea in my balcony. Day by day, the newspaper is getting popularity in every area whether backward or forward because of the increasing importance of it. People in the society are getting more conscious about their knowledge level and current affairs of the country especially politics and Bollywood. Newspaper reading is best activity for the students as it gives general knowledge about everything. It helps them to beat any technical and competitive exams for the government job or non-government jobs.
Reading news paper is very interesting job. If one becomes used to of this, he/she never drop reading newspaper. It is good for the students as it inspires us to speak English fluently with correct accent. Newspapers are becoming popular in the backwards areas of the country. People speaking any language can read newspaper as it is available in languages like Hindi, English, Urdu, etc according to the regions. Newspaper is of great importance to all of us because it brings tons of news to us from all across the world.
News is first and foremost interest and charm for us. Without newspaper and news, we are nothing and just like a fish without water. India is a democratic country where public rules its own country so it is must for them to know about each and every activities in the politics. In the modern technological world where everything depends on the high technology, news is also available on the computer and internet. Using internet, we can get all the information about world. Newspaper is the best way to enhance awareness about any social issues among common public. It is the best way of communication between government of the country and its public.
Newspaper Essay 6 (400 words)
Newspaper is a powerful tool which enhances confidence and personality of the person. It is a best means of communication between the outer world and people. It is most important medium of knowledge. It is a good source of getting more knowledge and information as well as enhancing skill level. It is available in all the regions at very low cost. We can have an easy access to any newspaper. We just need to contact any newspaper and subscribe it. It is published in various languages of the country. In the early morning everyone waits for the newspaper with full courage.
Newspaper has affected positively the people in society. Everyone has become interested in knowing the current affairs of the country. Newspaper is a best link of the knowledge between government and people. It gives people every big and small detail about the whole world. It makes people well aware about their rules, regulations and rights in the country. Newspapers are of great importance for the students especially as it gives them lots of general knowledge and current affairs of national and international level. It gives us information about all the happenings, developments, new technology, research, astrology, seasonal changes, natural calamities, etc.
Newspaper also contains fine articles on social issues, humanity, cultures, traditions, arts of living, meditation, yoga, etc. It contains information about common public views and helps in solving various social and economical issues. Using this can know about politicians, reviews about them, certain governmental policies including other political parties. It helps job seekers in search new jobs, students to get admitted to best school, businessmen to know about current and important business activities, current trends of the market, new strategies, etc.
Newspapers help us a lot if we make the habit of reading it on daily basis. It develops reading habits, improve our accent and let us know everything about outside. Some people are highly used to of reading this newspaper in the morning. They become very restless in the absence of newspaper and feel whole day that something has missed. Students preparing to appear in the competitive exams regularly read newspapers to keep their mind up-to-date about current affairs. Newspaper contains bulk of information under attractive headings according to everyone’s choice so no one can be bored. We should continue reading variety of newspapers and motivate other family members and friends also to read newspaper.
Slogans on Newspaper
Speech on Newspaper