Show your Analytical Skills

Unlike the compositions you wrote at school, you are no longer just presenting information. Most college essays are argumentative essays and you must show your analytical skills. In order to write a persuasive essay you still need to collect and present your information. But you must also work out implications, assess its relevance, judge the results, evaluate the evidence, criticize and debate the essay topic. You’ll find you need to critically research propositions to decide if the evidence justifies the conclusions or if you need to question the assumptions underlying a new theory. In other words, you must show that you can think clearly and reason logically.

In most subjects, your tutors are not looking for the correct answer. If you are discussing an issue or describing an historical event, there’s no one way of answering or one line of reasoning to follow. You may even disagree with the conventionally accepted view on a subject — although in doing so, you should assess and deal with opposing views.

Your tutors may agree or disagree with the views you present, but they should not mark you down for taking a standpoint. Disagreement will not result in a poor grade, writing a bad essay will. Whatever line you argue, you will gain a good grade if you back it up with firm evidence, logical reasoning and sound arguments.

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