by Harriet Castor
[Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in the Department of Arts & Cultural Industries]
When you are planning an essay, you need to be clear on your point of view. Try condensing your argument – the view that you’re going to put forward – into a single sentence. You don’t necessarily need to put this sentence into your essay – it’s just to help your own sense of clarity.
Now, ask: what are the strengths/weaknesses of my viewpoint? What contrasting views do I need to acknowledge in my essay, even if I don’t agree with them? Are there any ways in which these opposing views can be reconciled?
Asking these questions helps to make sure that, in building your strong and clear argument, you don’t ignore the complexities of the subject you’re writing about.
If you’d like to book a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills, please emailHarriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk I’m at Frenchay on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays