Night Owl Essay Guide

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Night Owl Education and Equestrian

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Message from the authour

I didn’t really learn how to write well until after I’d finished both school and a university degree course. I went on to do a doctorate, and then I really had to learn how to write!

My supervisor, an uncommonly modest man, would patiently edit my long-winded and flowery prose. He’d mildly suggest I made “just a few little changes, nothing major really”, as he reworded large parts of my thesis. I carefully studied how this early work had been altered and thereby learnt how to improve my style. When the first scientific papers we wrote received glowing comments about the standard of the writing I was secretly very proud. Since then I’ve published various works and now consider writing to be one of the most enjoyable tasks I do.

I have regularly found myself in the position of having to assess the written work of students, and occasionally of colleagues. While I’m always delighted to read a well written piece, it seems a pity that otherwise intelligent people often let themselves down by their poor standard of writing. I’ve known people who, even though they’ve already attained high level academic qualifications, still can’t write well. This can become a nuisance, both to them and work-mates who have to compensate for them!

I decided to try and help some of my students. Amongst other things I wrote them an essay on “how to write an essay”, which is now presented in the appendix, at the back of this guide. Some time later I was encouraged to write this guide, in the hope of helping more people who need to improve their essay writing skills.

I hope that once you’ve mastered the basics you’ll find writing fun, as I do.

I wish you all the best!

Heather E. Ryndaws, August 2009.

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The stages of essay writing
    (1)	Analysing the task
    (2)	Making a plan
    (3)	Research
          (i) How to find resources
         (ii) How to use resources
        (iii) How to reference resources 

    (1)  Introduction
    (2)  Main body
    (3)  Conclusion
    (4)  Writing style	

Writing exam essays

Appendix: Essay on “How to write an essay”

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don't let your research get the better of you

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