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Phoenix: Writing Process

What to sign up for and how, assignment related suggestions, and general information

The Writing Process

Before you write:

  • Brainstorm, "talk it out", think, ask questions, think some more.
  • Give yourself a frame - have a "dummy" thesis and a few key questions that you expect to answer - a bit of an idea of what you want your essay to look like.  Let your thoughts and questions rotate around that frame, and let the frame change to match your new ideas.

As you write:

  • Find gaps in your knowledge and make sure you plug them
  • Let the writing process "teach" you by "writing out" what you've learnt - let your understanding change as you process it.
  • Use your research actively - elaborate, argue and confirm
  • Consider using a concept map to organize and expand your understanding.

After you write:

  • Don't forget!  Don't decide you don't need to remember that information any more.
  • Have an opinion about that topic (and be prepared to change it), and notice when something new comes along
  • Look at where you can reuse the knoweldge (and research) you attained for this essay - you can't reuse your previous words, but you can recycle the information and build on the understanding you gained

Other John Cook University Online training : Essay Writing, the Process

What is a Critical Essay?

A critical essay involves evaluating information, theories or situations and is an important way of analyzing information, posing questions and challenging information.

The critical essay is an important academic tool that allows your knowledge to develop, because rather than being a personal opinion, the critical essay requires an in-depth analysis of a topic.

You can download Guidelines for a Critical Essay (pdf) , a Critical Essay Planner (pdf) and see some examples from different disciplines below:

Example 1: Critically discuss how psychology can help prevent false confessions (Forensic Psychology PY2110)

Example 2: Using the sociological imagination to analyze economic and social dislocation in Australia (Introduction to Sociology SY1001)

Information used from John Cook University

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