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28 August 2014
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Writing an Essay
The Brief

Becky's tutor has asked to to write an essay. Her brief is to find out how to set up a health club that will be run as a business and to present her findings in an essay of between 1,000 and 1,200 words.

The title of the essay is:
"Research and outline factors in setting up a local health club."

key pointA Level 3 essay, or piece of work, for any of the subjects you have chosen should involve a certain amount of:

  • discussion;
  • analysis;
  • synthesis.

This is true whether you are writing for Key Skills, History or Psychology. Key Skills Communication teaches you the skills you need to write a successful essay. You can apply these skills to any other subject you study, and use them to improve your grades.

Writing an essay can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially if you have to write about something that don't know much about. If this has been your experience, you're not alone. Lots of students feel anxious when they first face the task of putting words to paper. However, they soon find out that, with proper planning and organisation, it isn't as bad as it first seemed.

key pointBecky decides to plan ahead and identifies the key things she will need to concentrate on.
In order, these are:

  • Preparation
  • Research
  • Planning the content of her essay and laying out the argument
  • Finding images to support or illustrate the text
  • Writing the essay up
  • Adding references and appendices

Preparation and planning is crucial. If you can master this, writing the essay will be a much easier task.

Before you go on to follow Becky's progress with her essay, it will be useful if you have a look at the section on Writing a Good Report. Many of the skills involved in report writing also apply to writing an essay.

Another helpful site is the Returning to Learning website, which offers some useful advice on essay writing.

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