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Whatever the essay you have been asked to write, the key to making it as effective as it can be is to write it as a well structured and well-supported argument. You will find that an ‘argument’ essay is easier to plan, more fulfilling to write and for your teacher (or the examiner). A pleasure to mark (and that’s no bad thing!!).

It’s important to get one thing out of the way at the outset: an essay question has no ‘right’ answer. You can breathe easy on that one. It’s just not like that. This is English and we leave those kinds of ‘right answers’ to the mathematicians and scientists. An English essay is not an ‘answer’ in that way at all, rather, it’s an informed opinion; but, like all opinions, it’ll require explanation, argument and support. It requires you to argue your case. If you want to take home work help online, so you can visit on http://www.advancedwriters.com/custom-homework/ for getting custom homework help online.

What’s the first thing you do when you set about starting an essay?

Many people start by searching through the text on which their essay is based in the hope of finding suitable quotations to help ‘answer’ the essay question. Well, there’s no getting away from this basic process, but there are ways to make it altogether more efficient, useful and most importantly, more likely to earn a higher grade. More on this later.

The Argument Essay

The secret of a good essay? Write it as an argument for what you believe! What is there to argue about? Plenty! You’ll be arguing to support your point of view on the essay question – one that you’ve boldly stated in the opening lines of the essay! “This is what I believe and I’m going to show you why I believe it..!” This is a view you’ll have developed after careful reflection and consideration on what the essay question or title asks or states. The trick is to be able to condense this view down into a brief and succinct statement.

 This becomes what is called your thesis statement.

 Writing an essay as an argument makes it easier to keep the essay focused, clear and logical; not only that but what you write is much more likely to stay in line with the essay question. This means that you won’t lose marks through waffling, generalizing or re-telling.

Essays are about opinions, not facts

It’s worth repeating that one of the most interesting aspects of English essays is that there can never be a straightforward ‘right’ answer. This doesn’t mean you can’t get things wrong through, for example, misinterpreting the text, but it does mean that the ‘answer’ to any essay will always be your opinion or point of view: essays deal in opinions, not facts.

 This is why your teacher is looking to read in your essay your views and why you have come to think in this particular way.

How do you arrive at an ‘overriding’ point of view?

This is the hardest part of the essay, for sure. Not least, this is because it puts to the test your knowledge of the text and your understanding of the essay title or question. The good news is that when its done and done well, the remainder of the essay becomes so very much more straightforward to write. But it’s easier than might be imagined. Imagine for a moment that, instead of being asked to write your essay, you were asked to answer the same question in class. What would be expected of you? A thousand-word reply? Of course not. What would be wanted is for you to give a highly condensed answer - a kind of overall conclusion or ‘take’ on the essay question. You might begin this with something like, ‘From my understanding of the text,

In the written essay, this ‘take’ on the question is central to making the essay an argument. You write it at the beginning of the essay and this becomes the single controlling idea that flows throughout the remaining paragraphs of the essay. It is the idea that holds the essay together, helping it flow with seeming logic and naturalness.

 Because the ‘thesis statement’ is your ‘condensed answer’ to the essay question, it provides exactly the kind of strong initial focus that will allow you to go on to create a highly focused and structured essay. This is just the kind of essay to which examiners and teachers give the highest marks.

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## Notes

### Figure This Challenge #56

• Complete Solution will be given on May 17, 2015

Complete Solution:

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Created by Wanda Collins May 10, 2015 at 1:56pm. Last updated by Wanda Collins May 10, 2015.

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# Math Limerick

Question: Why is this a mathematical limerick?

( (12 + 144 + 20 + 3 Sqrt[4]) / 7 ) + 5*11 = 92 + 0 .

A dozen, a gross, and a score,
plus three times the square root of four, divided by seven, plus five times eleven, is nine squared and not a bit more.

---Jon Saxton (math textbook author)

Presentation Suggestions:
Challenge students to invent their own math limerick!

The Math Behind the Fact:
It is fun to mix mathematics with poetry.

Resources:

Su, Francis E., et al. "Math Limerick." Math Fun Facts.

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