I conclude this book by analysing two complete essays: a weaker and a stronger one. The essays were chosen because they are accessible and illustrate much of what has been covered, and also because they are relatively short. Comments are made throughout. Most transition signals and reporting verbs and phrases have been underlined, and occasionally extraneous words have been struck out. After each essay, comments are made on a marking sheet whose criteria closely follow the topics covered in the book. Our first complete essay comes from a course which explored comedy. The 1350 word essay was responding to the question, ‘Why do we like to laugh?’ As there are many theories across the sciences and arts about why we like to laugh, the question very much lends itself to the three basic academic activities of showing knowledge, exploring complexity and making evaluations. The essay is weak because it is poorly structured and dominated by others’ ideas (the student’s voice is not sufficiently present). Also, while much of what it discusses is broadly relevant, the student often does not clearly link their points with the question.
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