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Ten Secrets to write an Outstanding Essay

State what your paper is going to explore. What is your paper about? Why do you have an interest in this subject? Some reasons can be directly related to the themes of the course, or it can simply be related to your more general interests, nonetheless state explicitly what these interests are. Use the “Guidelines for the analysis of a theoretical arguments” (see this as a separate memo) as your point of reference.
Make sure that you address directly and explicitly the aims of the course for which you write the paper. Note also that the course material and the compulsory reading set for the course are expected to make up at least 75% of the bibliographical material and the references you use in your paper. This means that no more than 25% of material you refer to is allowed to come from sources outside the course reading material.
State clearly what the general structure of your argument is going to be. In other words, map out the journey your reader is going to have to take with you. Note that this journey is expected to be linear and understandable, so do tell us how you get from point A to point B, with the conclusion as the final destination.
Make sure you tell us what the name of your game is: how much of this paper is analytical? How much of it is based on textual readings? How much does it have to do with personal experience and story-telling? Please note that in this course we prefer the analytical and textually-based type of argument.
Note that descriptions are useful but it would be a mistake to just repeat what you read in the compulsory texts or heard in the lectures. Too many descriptive details can be distracting from your main point. Use them to enhance not derail your argument.
Make your conclusion as brief and synthetic as possible. A conclusion is intended to recapitulate all of the information you have gone through in the paper. Conclusions answer, in a more general way, the ideas or questions raised in the introduction. At this point you should be asking yourself: Did I answer the questions I sought to explore in my introduction statement? Was I successful in going through examples or case studies to prove my point?
A conclusion can never introduce totally new concepts. It is meant to bring an end to your research, not open up new questions that then need to be investigated and answered as well.
Give credit when credit is due. Never borrow thoughts, quotes, or even paraphrase without properly crediting the original source. This is done through footnotes and through a list of references at the end of your paper, which is also known as bibliography. Accurate, clear referencing offers the reader the opportunity to engage in the process of your research, and to understand how your arguments and ideas have been initiated and developed. It is also, of course, essential that you distinguish clearly between your own ideas and arguments, and those of other people.
Not doing this is called plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting work done by others as your own. Plagiarism invalidates your essay and may result in further disciplinary procedure, including possible expulsion from the course.
Short quotations can be written as part of the flow of the sentence, with quotation marks. Longer quotations (three or more lines) should be separated from the main body of the text by means of indention. In this case quotation marks are not needed


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