Indicators of a Good Essay
In broad terms, your essays should include the following:
• A statement of your objectives and summary of how you intend to structure your essay.
• A clear and concise thesis statement.
• Definitions of key concepts and terms, as well as identification of any important assumptions upon which your argument is based.
• A brief review of the existing ideas or events that led to the question you are addressing.
• A brief review of the existing answers to the question you are addressing.
• A critical assessment of the information you have discovered and documented in your research. Be aware that, inevitably, there will be some criticisms of what you are saying. Nonetheless, the strength of your essay will lie in its ability to pursue your argument both logically and coherently.
• A summary of your discussion in your conclusion, indicating some of the problems or dilemmas raised in your essay. If applicable, offer some direction for future research and thought on the question discussed.
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