How to conclude your essay well

You may be surprised when we say that an essay conclusion is, in some ways, comparable to a piece of text as emotive as say, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Sounds ridiculous? Perhaps. But, extravagant comparisons aside, what we mean here is that the core purpose of an essay conclusion can be compared to the end of any great speech, monologue or presentation that leaves you feeling something. Ultimately, when you conclude an essay, you want to engage the reader’s emotions, whether they be excitement, surprise, contemplation, or a mix of these and more. And you want to do this in much the same way that Martin Luther King would have done with his captivated audience on that memorable day in 1963. Conclusions are among the hardest parts of an essay to write well. You need to round off your essay effectively. You need to leave your Read More …

A great example of a reflective essay

Fieldwork experiences can often be a daunting way of conducting research but they can also be fulfilling. I have had first-hand experience conducting fieldwork for my master’s degree, and while it was a generally enjoyable experience, I did make a number of mistakes during the process. However, I learned some valuable lessons as a result of this too. During my fieldwork in Rwanda, I increasingly realised that it was important to incorporate primary research data into my study, but because of a lack of data on my topic, I made use of other sources of qualitative data to validate my findings. This strategy, according to Denzin (1970), is known as methodological triangulation and it allows researchers to make use of various data gathering methods to ensure internal validity. Based on the use of methodological triangulation, I specifically designed interviews targeted at both elite groups and slum dwellers in Rwanda to Read More …

8 tips for great essay writing

The Internet is awash with not-so-helpful essay writing advice, making it tricky for students to find the advice they need when writing essays. So our academic experts have written the following tips for you to utilise before and whilst crafting your essay, to ensure your writing hits the mark. Understand the question This may, at the face of it, sound like somewhat banal advice – but fact of the matter is that failing to properly understand the question set is one of, if not the most common reason behind a disappointing grade when it comes to essay writing. Are you being asked to critically evaluate something? Compare and contrast? Analyse a particular circumstance? Evaluate the usefulness of a particular concept? These are some of the common phrases found in essay questions, and each indicates a different set of expectations. If you are Read More …

How to start a reflective essay

With all its peculiar codes and conventions, essay writing can often be a tricky business. This is why the reflective essay, which is unique even among academic writing, tends to give cause for confusion. All of a sudden students are being asked to turn the lens inward, to examine themselves, their thoughts and feelings, as opposed to some external object or topic. Here is an example of a Reflective Essay which demonstrates such internal examination. As the example shows, with a reflective essay, we are essentially dealing with a combination of traditional, objective scholarly analysis and a form of subjective, diarising or reportage. We are looking at how these objective and subjective elements interact. The overall purpose, therefore, is to show how our experiences have influenced our behaviour; what we have learned and how we will change as a result of those lessons. Read More …