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发表时间:2014-11-13 11:09:22


  • It is very easy to wander off the point and to add anecdotal or irrelevant information (one of the biggest causes of examination failure in essay subjects);
  • Longer assignments can often become shapeless, drifting on with no apparent purpose or aim.

  • It is easy to end up by doing something completely different from what you said at the beginning of the assignment. Make sure that you stay 'on track'.
  • Too much time is often spent discussing one piece of literature, or one example, and the reader does not get any real sense of academic debate.
  • There may be no immediate sense of how one piece of research or writing discussed in an assignment leads on to another. Links between different theories are not always apparent.
  • The correct items of literature may not be prioritised. Lots of time can be wasted discussing general textbooks instead of primary texts.

  • It is tempting to 'waffle' in order to 'use up' as many words as you can. This is unwise practice and can also lead to a reduction in marks.

  • The body of the essay can sometimes become a bit 'mechanical'; following predictable formats can be a reliable and safe, but rather boring way of writing.

  • Due attention needs to be given to referencing- by no means an easy task.

  • Use of quotations is often a problem; students often use quotations either because they think it is clever to do so, or because they do not understand the concepts very well. Make sure that your quotations do not simply serve as a decorative ornament, but that you introduce them and comment on them.

  • It goes without saying that you must always avoid lifting words and phrases from your reading and including them without due acknowledgement (plagiarism). Penalties are usually very severe for this kind of practice and you could even end up by failing your assignment.