Referencing notes in an essay

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Referencing notes in an essay

Evaluating the question It is important to assess, before anything else, what it is you are being asked to do. The directives in essay questions are often very specific and require that you deal with the question in a particular way.

Referencing notes in an essay

For example, if you are asked to 'analyse' something, you should approach the question by breaking the issue into components Referencing notes in an essay, examining each critically and critically and minutely.

If however you are asked to 'compare' a number of things, you will be expected to identify clearsimilarities and differences between each, and perhaps to reach conclusions about which is preferable.

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A very good guide to these directives can be found in our essay writing area: With so much material available to you, translating your essay question into a search strategy or statement is an important first step in tracking down the information you need.

Your development of a search strategy must start with thinking about the kinds of words related to your topic that you might expect to find in books or in newspaper articles. A good search statement can be applied to whichever sources you might decide to use, such as specific computer databases or library catalogues.

The next step will be to decide, based on your formulated search statement, which will be the most relevant, appropriate resources in your subject area. For example, if your search statement was: I want to find out about the consequences, harm, risk or side effects - of giving or denying the MMR vaccination, either as a triple vaccine or as three single injections, to children You might be looking for: You will need to weigh up the relevance of the information you find, and develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read - in some cases, authors may be explicitly expressing a particular viewpoint but in others there may be hidden bias, which can be misleading.

Your reading lists will already include many of the most important writers; by checking their bibliographies and works cited in those articles, you will have access to the most up-to-date writing on the topic.

Reading, making notes and generating ideas Your search for relevant information for your essay will undoubtedly generate a mass of material and so it is essential that you develop concise note taking skills. A good place to start is to make a document on your computer just for source material, but divide it into the parts of your essay for example, if you are writing a dissertation, you may wish to include sections such as introduction, background, methodology, literature review, evidence, conclusion and recommendations.

Into this, copy all good sections, quotes, statistics and other useful source material that you find, making sure that you note where you found each piece of information. Each source can be placed into the section introduction, conclusion etc where you are most likely to use it.

This will give you a rough framework for when you begin writing and will help you form a direction of where your essay is likely to go, based on your findings. Some key points to bear in mind when taking notes for your essay are as follows: Write down anything you find that is good - and where you found it including page numbers and search terms so that you can repeat your search if needs be.

Don't depend on your memory! If you are writing a balanced or comparitive argument, make sure your source document has both a 'for' and 'against' section so you can find appropriate material for both sides of your debate. As you read and note sources, you may find that ideas and questions come to you which you may want to address later.Note: When you list the pages of the chapter or essay in parentheses after the book title, use "pp." before the numbers: (pp.

). This abbreviation, however, does not appear before the page numbers in periodical references, except for newspapers. Introduction Basic steps in the essay writing process Analysing the essay question Note-taking systems Essay plans The introduction The body An academic argument The conclusion The paragraph Structuring your essay Referencing Editing The cat sat on the mat.

(Note: This essay does not contain authentic references and has been written specifically to use for this teaching task.) Question Discuss why assignment essays are common assessment tasks in undergraduate tertiary coursework, and evaluate the effectiveness of .

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You should take note that it does not matter whether you are writing an argumentative essay or some other kind of essay. The way you provide references remains the same.

in-text citations and a list of references at the end of the essay OR footnotes (or endnotes) and a bibliography at the end of the essay For more information, view the Citing and Referencing Library Guide which contains guidelines and examples for the main referencing styles used at .

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