Writing a good essay involves providing an answer to a given question, or, once again, a solution to a problem. However, there is much more to it than that. You also need to demonstrate that you have a number of characteristics. These characteristics are closely related to the broader purpose of universities themselves and can be identified in most marking criteria. By exploring the broader purpose of universities and providing an overview of the criteria that will be used to mark your essays, this chapter will equip you with the ‘first principles’ of essay writing. Once you understand these, much of the time you will be able to work out yourself what you need to do to score well in a given essay. The chapter will finish by saying a few words about the people who will be marking your essays.
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