5. One Thing to Rule Them All

When you are writing an essay,

there’s only one thing that really matters.

OK that’s stupid.

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But there is one thing that matters a lot, and if it’s not done, then nothing else will really work.

No prizes for knowing this …

You have to answer the question.

Answer the question.

You’ve all been told this a million times. I can see it all over the net in the advice pages. It makes me think, maybe it’s because a lot of people don’t do it?



And look, I don’t want to go too far into this, because, as I said, it is written about a lot.

You can read advice about it here https://www.matrix.edu.au/how-to-structure-a-killer-essay/ 

and here   http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/homework-and-study/english/english-tips/writing-essays 

and here https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/eppcontent/glossary/app/resource/factsheet/4116.pdf

But it is important, so I’m using this page to point out the blinking obvious.

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If you’re going to answer a question,

the first thing you need to know is what the question is actually asking.

So …

Write down the verbs in the question.  

What exactly is the question asking you to do? The verbs might be:

outline, analyse, identify, evaluate, define or a lot of other things like that.

In the example question they are “compare” and “discuss”.


Write these words on a piece of paper and put them in the middle of the clue board. 

I don’t need to take a picture of that. You  know what I mean.

There. That was a short page.

Next page.



“Embarrassed woman” by Michael – Flickr: IMG_4240.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons