Even though many essay questions are short, given they are the seed from which your essays grow they deserve considerable attention. Too often students hastily select a question then get on with writing their essays without thinking about what exactly the question is asking or indeed whether the question lends itself to scoring a high mark. This chapter will provide eight pieces of advice that will guide you when you are selecting and responding to essay questions. The most substantial piece of advice is presented first: ‘Answer the question, the whole question and nothing but the question.’ The discussion of this will include guidance about how to analyse essay questions. After this, the advice is more or less presented chronologically from the point of view of the researching and writing process.
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