How to write an essay?

Writing an essay is easier than it seems, the secret is the work, of course, and more importantly to be organised! In this article, we will give you some tips on how to write your dissertation, and how to successfully defend it. This exercise aims to initiate you into research methods and demonstrate that you know how to establish a problem, argue it and use references.

How to write an essay?

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You will be assisted by a tutor throughout this exercise, from the choice of the subject, through your outline, to the actual writing. Your tutor will validate your subject first, then ask you to come back to them with your problem and your plan. They will schedule several meetings during the year to take stock of the progress of your work.

Pick a topic that interests you, the work will be easier if you have a real interest in the subject.

Don't be afraid of reading "too much", the more you read, the better you can understand your subject. Remember to write down each reference and to quote extracts.


The form of the essay
Introduction to the essay
The development of the essay
The conclusion of the essay
The oral presentation


The form of the essay

At the start of the year, your tutor will provide you with the terms and conditions to be followed when writing your work, for example, the font to use, line spacing, number of pages, date of submission, date of the presentation and number of copies to be provided etc.

Don't forget the cover page with the information which must appear (your name, diploma concerned, title of the essay, year, faculty, name of your tutor, date of presentation...), acknowledgements, summary, appendices, bibliography and the index, which is not taken into account in the count of the number of pages.


Introduction to the essay

Your introduction brings up the subject, your problem and its importance, the documents on which you rely, the methodology adopted, then the plan of your work. Your plan must have a logical continuation and each part must be introduced by coherent transitions. The reader should be able to understand your reasoning.


The development of the essay

You can write the parts and sub-parts of the essay in any order you like, but pay attention to the transitions between each section. Call on your skills of criticism and synthesis.

Include your references directly in the body of the text using footnotes.

Use graphics and tables to illustrate your words and brighten up your text making it more interesting to the reader.


The conclusion of the essay

In your conclusion, go over the questions you have raised and their answers, their scope and their limits. You can open by mentioning another aspect of the problem to be dealt with in another study.


The oral presentation

You will be asked to present your work orally, to defend it and to answer questions posed by a jury. Note that your essay has already been proofread by the jury.

Your presentation lasts 10-15 minutes with a 20-minute questioning.

Prepare for your presentation by asking yourself why you chose this subject, how it is relevant and what documents you referred to in your research. Question your work and be self-critical.

This essay can be useful for your professional life or be part of your CV. The investigation and research are done throughout the year. It requires independent work and involvement so it is up to you to devote your time to its preparation.

Don't delay in starting the work of formatting and writing as some answers to your problem may come as you write!


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