Magoosh GRE

The Different Styles of Essay Writing Between US and UK Students

| October 17, 2011 | 1 Comment

UK Essay Styles

Students follow a straightforward format when writing essays. Basically, you start with the ‘Introduction’, then write the ‘Main Body’ of the text, and finally add the ‘Conclusion’. Each of these sections has a different function. You name and briefly describe the main points you’re going to cover. Often you’ll also relate how you’ve made your analysis, and explain why you have chosen that particular method. Finally, it’s a good idea in the introduction to summarise the extent of available evidence and evaluate it. Present the evidence in the main body of the text, explaining fully what this reveals and commenting on the key issues, including negative as well as positive implications. Provide a brief summary of the main points in the body of the essay and draw out any significant judgements or interpretations you’ve made.

US Essay Styles

Students also follow the system of using the ‘Introduction’ and the ‘Conclusion,’ but in the US the approach to the central section can vary according to the focus or subject matter. For example, if you want to explore opposing views you can do so right at the beginning of an essay, or right at the end. Or you can choose to create a section specifically for this purpose – and place it wherever you think it fits with the overall narrative of the writing. Sometimes background information or historical material is located up front in the text, after the introduction. However, if this information is relevant to a particular subject area, it can also appear just before that topic is introduced. You have the flexibility to decide what works best.

One useful tip for all students when structuring an essay is to answer imaginary questions, such as: what is the issue being explored, how does the evidence support it, or not, and why is it significant?

Sources:

http://www.intranet.hereford.ac.uk/Services/Study Skills/Essay Structure.htm

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/Structure.html

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Category: International Student Guide

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