Tips

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR EFFECTIVE WRITING

EFFECTIVE WRITING TIPS

Effective writing will help you to achieve good results in your exam, and for that, you should know some important writing tips, and our blog helps you to explore those important writing tips and guidance.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENERAL ESSAY AND REFLECTIVE ESSAY

Following are the main differences between the essay writing and reflective writing

Essay writing

 

  • You are expected to give a respond to a given essay question
  • You are given a particular set of expectations
  • Should follow academic conventions such as referencing
  • There is a logical structure, and a traditional format should be followed
  • Write normally using a passive voice
  • Written in the third person

Reflective writing

 

  • You have the ownership of writing, since you can use your personal learning points. But you are expected to frame your personal writing in relation to the learning outcomes
  • It should trace the experience of your personal developments and emotions and different ideas as a part of that experience
  • It should be written in the first person
  • Writing allows using emotional forms
  • Structure is less prescriptive
  • Use learning logs and personal reflective diaries instead of academic referencing conventions. But you have to use academic conventions if you are reflecting on any published or theoretical work.

Both the essays involve in personal storytelling with a purpose of explaining your views regarding a particular topic. But both the general narrative essay and reflective essay often differ in terms of the content, structure, tone and the purpose of the essay as below;

  • Purpose – the main purpose of reflective essay is to analyse the opinions or view explicitly. Not like general essays, reflective essays should focus more on the causes and the effects of those opinions and views. General essays normally provide your opinions in a clear and logical way but without explicit close analysis.
  • Structure – normally a standard essay format also suitable for the reflective essay as well. But general essay uses more flexible structure than the reflective essay. Reflective essay should show the introduction discussing the series of events and then it should narrow eventually on the main part of your critical analysis. When you are introducing a new concept in a reflective essay, you should use body paragraphs breaks.
  • Content – a reflective essay should have a content that could lead for a critical analysis of the topic you discuss. Write only the things which have meanings and critically important to the overall narrative. But general essay, you just write about something without lead the discussion for critical analysis
  • Tone – the tone of the writing a reflective essay should be critical and objective, but some flexibility also required helping with the discussion. But when writing a general narrative essay, author’s tone usually ranges from the first-person perspective to third-person objective.

HOW TO WRITE YOU RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND WHAT AREAS YOU HAVE TO POINT OUT?

Content – Should be very clear, objective and those objectives should be very realistic. You should always make sure what is the significant of your research and why it is important. And also you should make sure the benefits of your research or the contribution of your research for the society. Your objectives should be justified (here, ‘because it is interesting’ is not enough).

You should ask yourself;

  • Who is my research going to benefit?
  • Are there evidences about your research area within the literature?
  • Is your research timely?
  • How is your research personally addressing your academic requirements?
  • Style – there should be a proper structure for your research proposal. Make sure to use section headings. Do not use solid block of text, instead use only short paragraphs and also write short sentences. Use diagrams and images only if it allows by the university.
    The general tips
  • You should have a prospect supervisor and should always discuss with his about your idea. Always contact his and get his feedback
  • You should allocate plenty of time for your proposal
  • Always stick to the guidelines and keep the deadlines in your mind.
  • You should have a clearly defined research topic which you are interested in and show that you understand your research area
  • Should be very professional in writing, use good English with correct grammar
  • Areas you have to point out (Content and the style of your research proposal)
    Different universities have different guidelines, so strictly follow the content which the university requires. If you are not given any guideline you can follow the following content;
  • Title and the abstract – abstract discuss the overall summary of your research proposal
  • Introduction – introduce to the research area
  • Background information – this describes brief summary of your title and theoretical assumption behind the title
    The rational of the study – briefly discusses what is the research issue? why is it an issue?, why is it an issue now? And what could this research shed light on?
    Significance of the study – this discuss the importance of undertaking this research for the society or the case study
    The objectives, research questions and hypothesis
  • Literature Review – Brief review of the literature regarding the research topic also important
  • Research methodology – should briefly discuss how you are going to undertake the research, what are the methods going to use to collect, analyse and present data, population and sample of your study and justify their selection
  • Possible limitations of the research
  • Ethical considerations – mention what are the ethical issues and how you are going to deal with ethical issues
  • Time plan and resources require to conduct the research
  • Conclusion – provide a brief summary about the overall research
  • Reference list – make sure to put the books, journals and other sources which you have referred to

 

HIGHEST MARKS FOR YOUR DISSERTATION

In order to score highest marks for your dissertation, you should demonstrate a first-class dissertation criterion on your research. In order to write a first-class dissertation, you have to know what the markers are exactly looking for. You can follow following guidelines;

  • Communicate always with your supervisor – since your supervisor plays a crucial role in getting highest grade for your dissertation always make sure to communicate with his. Request his to review your work thoroughly before the final submission. Expect both positive feedback and constructive criticisms. Always make sure to keep inform your supervisor throughout the research process.
  • Content – strictly follow the specific dissertation structure required by the supervisor or the university. The common structure begins with an introduction and literature review, followed by the research methodology and then data analysis, conclusion, recommendations and the final referencing.
  • There should be a well-written introduction which can motivate and interest the reader.
  • You should always demonstrate a clear and thorough knowledge of both the theoretical and practical materials. When you write a dissertation regarding business and management studies, you should make sure to develop your dissertation upon the business and management practice strategies.
  • You should always use reliable data sources. You should also analyse related theories and models through the literature search. You can use textbooks, journal articles, the news and newspapers. Your information of any secondary sources should be reliable and accuracy. You can take accurate statistics and other secondary data from www.emeraldinsight.com, www.bbc.co.uk and www.statistics.gov.uk
  • Pay proper attention to the writing style. Dissertation writing is far different from informal and personal letter writing. Following discuss the appropriate terminology;
  • Avoid informal, colloquial or conversational expressions such as ‘just about’, ‘a kind of’. Also avoid excessive technical languages. There should be a clear concise writing style.
  • Do not use first person terms like ‘me’ or ‘I’, instead you should choose nouns such as ‘the researcher’. You should also use plural subjects instead of using ‘he/she;
  • Avoid words which lead for qualitative judgements such as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘ideal’, ‘perfect’ and etc. Instead you can use words such as ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ to refer to facts.
  • Use proper punctuation, grammar and spelling. You should make sure to use correct punctuated marks for all the sentences and have no spellings and grammar mistakes. Your sentences should include appropriate linking phrases and words. It should include five to six sentences for a paragraph.
  • After you have finished with your writing ask another person to read your paper.
  • If you have any doubt or question, you are advisable to discuss them with your supervisor.

If you want to achieve highest marks for your dissertation, you must ensure that your dissertation is included all necessary elements, free from spelling and grammar errors, concisely and more importantly is  presented valid argument which can support by both theoretical and practical evidences.

TIPS TO PREPARE FOR A CLOSED-BOOK EXAM

  • When you are going to face for a closed book exam, following steps are very significant;

  • Timing – in order to ready for a closed book exam, the most important thing is the time, therefore, give plenty of time for you to study the facts. You should allocate your study time depending on the size of the exam and what it covers. You will need two to six weeks’ time

  • Planning – better make a study timetable if you already know the information of the exam and the content of the exam. You should not plan to study the whole content within two days. Instead, you should have enough time and opportunity to take as much as information

  • Content – study only the content which will test on the exam. Since you cannot remember little things ever even though you have started studying for weeks ahead, it is vital to study only the points which your lecturer says. Keep in mind that you are not required to remember the things as the same details which you studies in the class, so do not try and freak out to remember the whole details in the textbook

  • Learning – within your study time it is better to take one or two hours to read the subject each day and ensure yourself that you understand the topic before you move into the next topic. You should not aim for longer study sessions; instead take plenty of breaks in order to give your brain a chance to proceeds fully. Only after you feel comfortable with the materials, you can increase the study amount.

  • As a starting point, you can read a detailed set of notes and do a reading for several times. Then edit them through summarising into a half of the original length and read it also again and again. Again you can cut them down and revise several times until you have only few important details in few pages. When you are revising the note, you can highlight the things you can now remember and give some extra times to remember the other notes instead of studying whole note. The things you have trouble remembering, it is better to copy those notes by hand for several times.

  • You can write them down time to time in any place to test whether you can remember them. Another most important tip is you better meet the classmates and teach or explain the concepts with each other. Teaching is the most effective method of remembering things as well as it helps you to understand what you want to learn further.

  • If you have start studying for weeks, you are very confident to sit for the exam. You will be able to recall the things you study, but if you cannot sprightly recall something do not hang on to that point. You should move to the next point and always keep your mind very calm. That will help to remember the things you need.

HOW TO WORK ON HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE?

  • Referencing is an important part of the academic works. This is because, referencing demonstrate that you have read the topic in the assignment or research widely. For an accurate referencing record, it is very important to collect all the details what you have researched. Therefore, when taking notes, you should have a separate note for books, articles, journals and electronic sources.
  • Referencing in the text
    Direct quotations – when you are taking direct quotations from a published source, you should use single or double quotation marks as below;

When organising our time ‘the centrepieces will tend to be goals and objectives’ (Adair 1988, p.51)

When organising our time, Adair (1988, p.51) states that ‘the centrepieces will tend to be goals and objectives’ Or
When organising our time ‘the centrepieces will tend to be goals and objectives’ (Adair 1988, p.51)

N.B.: Sometimes you cannot avoid taking direct quotations, but it is advisable avoid direct quotation where it possible, instead you can paraphrase the author’s work on your own words. Other in text citations When you paraphrase the quotations of others, it looks like much same as a direct quotation example but without the inverted commas. Following are some of the examples;

Citation for a book or journal with two authors

By improving their posture people can improve how they communicate feelings of power and confidence (McCarthy and Hatcher 1996, p.111) Or
According to McCarthy and Hatcher (1996, p.111) people can improve how they communicate feelings of power and confidence by improving their posture

Book or journal with more than two authors

Morris et al (2000, p.47) suggest that the any debate regarding issues should be left with the representative committees to be solved.
Or Any debate regarding issues should be left with the representative committees to be solved (Morris et al 2000, p.47)

When you want to refer materials from discussion, seminars and etc, it should be citing as below

Dr Wilma Flintstone stated in her lecture on 5 September 2000 that acid jazz has roots as far back as 1987

Creating the references list according to the Harvard System that should be as below; Book references
One author
Adair, J. (1988), Effective time management: How to save time and spend it wisely, London: Pan Books
Two authors
McCarthy, P. and Hatcher, C. (1996), speaking persuasively: Making the most of your presentations, Sydney: Allen and Unwin
Three authors
Fisher, R., Ury, W. and Patton, B. (1991), Getting to yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in, 2nd edition, London: Century Business
Journal articles with volume and issue no Muller, V. (1994), Trapped in the body: Transsexualism, the law, sexual identity, The Australian Feminist Law Journal, 3(2), August, pp. 103-107

 

WHAT IS RESEARCH METHOD/METHODOLOGY

Research method or methodology is s systematically reviews of the tools and techniques which you are going to use to undertake a particular research study.

  • When you are writing a research methodology, it is very significant to use concepts and theories underlie them and justify with the clear reason for the choice of your particular methods.
  • It is very important to show that you understand the concept of the methodology.
  • You should also mention the necessary of the particular research method and how you address your research objectives, questions and hypotheses from those methods.
  • Key points to be focused
  • When writing your research methodology you can get a best understand through Saunders et al., (2009) research onion model. Below you can see the research onion model;

onion-model

  • Layer 1 – first you should discuss the philosophical stances you are going to use for your research study. Understanding and choosing an appropriate research philosophy is the most important step in planning and carrying out research.
  • Layer 2 – Research approach. Mainly available approaches are deductive and inductive. The approach you are going to use for the research should be strongly indicated by the decision you made in layer 2 regarding the research philosophy
  • Layer 3 – Research strategies. You are available with different research strategies such as experiments, survey, case studies, action research, grounded theory, archival research and ethnography. The selection of the research strategy should be totally based on the philosophy and the research approach standpoints.
  • Layer 4 – Research choice. Here you have to define how you wish to use quantitative and qualitative methods for your research study. You should decide whether you use both methods and only one method. This decision also made based on the decisions you have taken in previous layers.
  • Layer 5 – Time horizon. There are only two-time horizon choices. These are cross–sectional, which is a short-term study, and longitudinal which is the research carried out over a longer period
  • Layer 6 – techniques and procedures. This is the final layer of your methodology where you should discuss methods, and techniques use for your research study. Mainly you should discuss the data collection and analysis techniques, decision regarding the sample group, questionnaire content, what are the questions to be asked, etc. Here, you should always make a decision regarding the data collection and analysis tools based on the philosophies, philosophical stances, approaches, strategies, choices and time-horizons you made in previous layers.

HOW TO WRITE A CRITICAL ESSAY

Writing a critical essay is different from descriptive writing. Most probably students get feedback from tutors as ‘not enough critical analysis’ or ‘too much descriptive’, therefore. It is very significant to know what are the features of critical writing compared to descriptive writing;+++

  • There should be confident refusal if the conclusion of particular writing that cannot be accepted even without evaluating the evidences provided by the writers.• Critical writing should have a balanced presentation of the reasons pointing the why the writer’s conclusion may be accepted or on the other hand should consider with a caution
  • Should present clearly your evidences and different arguments that could lead your conclusion
  • There should also be an acknowledgment of the limitations of your conclusion and arguments
    The main difference between critical writing and descriptive writing is, in descriptive writing, you do not develop arguments and you just build a background within the topic. But critical writing should always present analysis and discussions based on arguments and identification of limitations of the conclusion. Therefore; before starting up to write a critical essay you should;
  • Find and read as much as evidences for and against a particular topic
  • Ensure the quality of those evidences and arguments
  • Identify both the positive and negative points which you can comment upon those readings
  • Analyse the usefulness and the relevance of those points to your debate that you are using for the assignment/essay.

 

Below are the necessary considerations to write critical essays

 

  • When students engage in critical writing, it is very significant for them to develop their academic voice within the selected subject. This academic voice should involve judgements which is very critical not dismissive, confidence but not arrogance, opinions but without being opinionated, health scepticism but not cynicism, fair assessment of strength and weaknesses of other ideas without any prejudice and should have judgements which are based on all the available evidences but not use assertions without reasons.
  • It is also very significant to string together quotes that can support your argument. Here, you should present the quotes and also explain the relevance of hem through pointing the validity and relate them with the evidences.
  • Should use paragraph breaks to switch from description to critical writing or vice versa. This visual representation emphasises the readers that you present both descriptions and critical analysis. Within the paragraphs, you can introduce your points, make them with supporting evidences and reflect the points critically using your academic voice
  • There should be a certain amount of descriptive writing but not too much. Use one or two sentence to describe and reference the evidences and use next few sentences to explain the contribution of the evidences to your arguments.
  • When considering the overall structure of the critical writing, it should include a line of argument from the introduction to the conclusion of the writing. Consider the ordering of the paragraphs also very important.

 

TOP TIPS TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH REPORT

Below are the top tips to be considered in order to write an effective research report;

  1. Select your research topic – if you have the freedom to choose a research topic, you should select a topic that you always curious about. So, that you have an interest to carry out the research and learning about that in depth. This is because, if you have not selected a topic that is not interest to you that will not motivate you to undertake an effective research study. The selected research topic should not too general but should very specific. A research topic with a wealth of resource can become overwhelming of learning a topic in depth.
  2. Getting ready with the relevant data – learn what information and data are essential and contribute best to the research topic. After deciding on a research topic, you should the collect all the important and relevant data, tables, plots and different analyses.
  3. Organise how you are taking down the notes –Should not bog down with useless facts. Should also highlights the most important points and whatever you note, write down the bibliographical information such as book title, author name, publisher name, volume/edition number and page numbered used. Then those data should organise in a logical sequence and very importantly, discuss the data and the information with your tutor, advisor or the supervisor and get his feedback. You should note down all the important points discussed.
  4. Write an outline – using the notes you have taken down, now you should establish the best fit between the topic and the supporting information. Brainstorming is very important when writing the outline. Should identify what information should come at the beginning, middle and the end of the research paper
    Here, the most important thing is to know the focus and the scope of your research
  5. First draft – after finish with outline now you can work on the first draft. You should now structure your outline with the sentences and paragraphs and put more details into the outline. Here, you also can do further research if you feel that your report lacks information. Discuss with the supervisor and get his feedback to improve your research further.
  6. Finalize the report – after reviewing the first draft now you can proceeds with writing and editing your final draft considering the supervisors feedback carefully. It is very important to meet the supervisor’s requirement in the final report. Structure of the report – the general structure of your research report should be like below;Cover page including the title
    Declaration
    Acknowledgement
    Abstract

Table of content, list of figures and list of tables
Chapter one – Introduction
Chapter two – Literature Review
Chapter three – Research Methodology
Chapter four – Data Analysis and Discussion
Chapter Five – Conclusion and Recommendations
References
Annexure
Before submitting the report you should check the accuracy of the content, grammar, accuracy of the figures and captions.

HOW TO CREATE A GOOD RESEARCH TITLE

Creating an interesting research/dissertation title for your university research paper or your final dissertation is not always easy. In many cases the title is the first to be read and is always read. More importantly, you should indicate your subject and the scope of the research throughout your research title.

  • Step one when writing your research paper remember to take note of modules or units and keywords of each module that keep re-appearing in your study programme. These keywords and modules or units can be given you some ideas on the selecting the right title best match with your study programme.
  • Second make a list of questions your paper answers. When you make questions, you should identify at least two variables, one should be independent and other variable should be dependent.
  • Three use vivid language to make your paper interesting to the reader.
  • Four use the basic hypothesis. Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis.
  • Five include a quotation from the work that supports your research paper/dissertation. Create a title using the quotation followed by a sub title specifying the details of your paper.
  • Six divide your title into sub titles. The title can be more literary or descriptive while the subtitle details the specifics or the paper.
  • Seven remember to define the tone with your title. Your paper is a serious and conventional academic study; therefore do not write a casual or fun title containing flowery language or a play on words.
  • Lastly write a title that is no more than 15 to 20 words. The title is meant spark interest in the paper and gives readers the gist of the information that is included. If your title is too long or complicated, it may turn off your readers before they even start reading your paper.

DOING RESEARCH FOR ESSAYS AND DISSERTATIONS

  • Doing research for a dissertation or essay can be sometimes very scary and time consuming. Assuming you’ve been given a topic your first task is to research the topic. Today the world has many resources for doing research. The first place to start is the internet think of this as light research. Search on the internet about your related topic then move to more thorough research on academic databases. The next step would be to visit a library and bury yourself in books related to your research topic. Keep in mind research papers using only internet sources is weak. This could put you at a disadvantage for not utilizing better information from more academic sources. Remember that at each point of your research you keep a note book and pen handy to write down interesting quotations you have found. You need to read widely in order to gather source on your topic. As you integrate you research make sure you do not get all research from only one source. Creativity is also required when writing your essay or dissertation. Try and use your own wording so your work is original. For more help check Globalessay

Top tips on essay writing

  • One of the scariest parts of the most students or professionals dread is essay writing. Here are some tips to fight these demons. The first tip is to do research on your topic. Make sure you make detailed notes keeping track of which facts come from which sources. Never ignore facts and claims that seem to disprove your original idea or claim. The second tip is to analyse well written essays from others. Ask what claims does the author make, is it the logical and does the author back up his/her claims with examples that are easy to follow. Third tip is to brain storm your idea. You can use the arguments of others to back up what you want to say.
  • You need to come up with original spin on topic to make it unique.  Fourth tip is to pick your dissertation and research topic. Choose one to three of your strongest ideas that support your topic. The fifth tip is to plan your essay using thoughts that you brainstormed and assembled into an outline. The six tip is to write the body of your essay. You do want to think about length here. Come up with a compelling title and introduction. Last tip is to conclude your essay.
  • Summarize your points and suggest ways in which your conclusion can be thought of in a large sense.

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