is essential, Brinda, that you have all your ideas well organised
in order to provide good answers to questions like these. This means
thoroughly sorting out all your resources and materials in advance,
checking through any notes you have made, and then, most importantly,
constructing mind maps or spidergrams in order to organise your
thoughts or ideas. This will enable you both to condense and signpost
If you have thoroughly memorised your mind maps, you should be able
to retrieve all the relevant items or sections quite easily and
transfer them to paper when it comes to answering the essay question.
you begin, remember to read the questions carefully and underline
the key instruction words, such as compare and contrast or
discuss and justify, so that you know exactly what you have
to do in relation to the topic.
the introductory section, it depends upon the custom in each individual
country to some extent, but, generally speaking, the introduction
need not be very long, perhaps one or two paragraphs, setting the
scene for what is to follow or saying what you are intending to do.
This will then be clear, both to you and the reader.
the body of your answer, you can then retrieve from your mind map
those elements or sections which will enable you to develop the argument.
The way you structure your arguments is important, and may change
from institution to institution. Whilst you are developing your arguments
in this section, at the back of your mind the conclusions that you
can draw should be taking shape.
you have fully developed your topic in the main body of your answer,
it may be useful to pause and read through what you have written before
you write your concluding paragraphs which will not need to be very
extensive if your arguments in the main body of the answer are well
to overall length of your answer, there should be information on this
somewhere in the exam instructions. Have a look at Tony Buzan's advice
on taking exams.