Words of Wisdom:

"I know I am but what are you?" - Diane

How to Write an Essay

  • Date Submitted: 03/03/2014 03:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.7 
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Interpreting the Title


The first task involved in writing an essay is working out what is being asked for by the essay title; it is important that you interpret what the essay question is asking for correctly. This involves understanding what topic area the title refers to and what are you being asked to do with the information. Common faults with essays are that they cover the wrong topic or they fail to deal with the information in the way that was asked by the essay title. Thus there are two main questions that need to be asked at this stage; "what information is being asked for by the question?" and "what are you being asked to do with that information?"



What is the Topic?

The first question concerns what area of sociology the essay is to be about, for example: The Welfare State

Although the general area of the question is obvious, the relevance of the some of the information you gather may not be.

For the example above, the focus of the essay should be on the reasons the welfare state developed, but there can be arguments that there were ulterior motives to this to provide the contrast.


What is being asked?

The next issue to be dealt with when interpreting the question is; "what are you being asked to do with the information you have researched?" It is important to know initially what is being asked by the question.

Questions fall into two main categories; the descriptive and the analytic. The descriptive is merely asking for a description of a certain area, for example the title above should be answered with a full description of the different reasons the welfare state may have begun when it did. Therefore, in answering such a question you should provide a comprehensive account of the different reasons and sociological arguments within the essay's word limit. The next type of question is the analytical. Title such as:


The Structure of an Essay

It is a teaching cliché that an essay should have a beginning, middle and...

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