Essay Writing Tip # 1 - Answer the Question

11 February 2020
Essay Writing Tip # 1 - Answer the Question

This is the first of a number of posts on Essay Writing.  For more in depth help on writing successful essays, enrol in our holiday program essay writing classes for Year 7-10 or Year 11-12.

Tip 1 – Answer the question by understanding what needs to be identified from your text

The most important objective for any student is to answer the question that is being asked.  To do this, it is essential that you look carefully at the question and identify the key components that you are being asked to draw out of your text.

Let’s take an example question below.

Discuss how text 1 positions readers to respond to ideas.

What does this question demand that you identify from the text in your response?

Discuss – This tells you what you are supposed to do, but it is not something that you will find in the text itself. 

How – This is important, as students are being asked to identify the ways a text presents its argument. This is calling for the student to identify the relevant conventions that the text is using to influence the reader.

Text 1 – This identifies the particular text that a student is going to use to form their response.

Positions – the word ‘positions’ is like ‘discuss’, you will not find the word or concept ‘positions’ within the text.

Respond – This is telling you to specifically identify the impact that the ideas of the text have on the reader.

Ideas – The student must identify and explain the key ideas that are in the text.

Understanding the key elements that the question requires you to identify is an essential first step to writing a successful essay.

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