Composing Your Essay As part of your coursework, you will be writing academic essays on various topics. This is to demonstrate that you have a firm grasp of the academic concepts and principles. Some students are uneasy with this writing component, as they have not written a formal essay in some time. In an attempt to give these students a sense of calm, we want to offer the following guidance. 1. Write in an essay format. Academic essays should be composed of multiple paragraphs. The first paragraph of an academic essay should be the Introduction. This paragraph should get the reader’s attention and provide a roadmap to the essay. Following the introduction is the Body of the essay. Typically there are about 3-5 paragraphs in the body, and each paragraph will consist of 3-5 full sentences. This is where course concepts from the textbook are identified and discussed. The last paragraph is the Conclusion. This is where you should summarize your points and suggest things the reader may consider when thinking about the essay’s topic. Depending on your background, this is also an ideal place to voice your reasoned opinion about the topic or what you read in the textbook. Students should avoid using bullet-points, as this format does not allow for a full discussion of the concepts and principles. If you are submitting your writing assignment online via the Student Portal, please use single-spacing. Our computer system will then automatically convert this to double-spacing. If you are submitting a saved document via email attachment (to or printing a hard copy and sending it via US Mail, please double-space your essay. 2. Restate the question. For the professor to know exactly which question you are addressing, you must write the question and question number at the very beginning of each essay. Without the question, the professor grading your essay does not know which concepts should be addressed in the assignment. To differentiate the question from the actual essay, the question should be highlighted in bold font type. 3. Proofread your work. Everyone makes mistakes when writing. Each student should proofread the essay for typos, spelling errors, grammar and punctuation errors, and especially for clarity when reading. Proofreading does not occur as you are writing; it is done after you write your first draft. When you try to proofread your work while you are writing, many times you know exactly what you intended to write, and therefore you skim right over the mistakes. Students should write the essay and then put it away for a while. Then, when you reopen the file read your essay out loud. You will be amazed at how the mistakes seemingly jump right off the page when the material is no longer in your short-term memory. 4. Utilize the assigned textbook. Your essay is being evaluated to determine if you learned the appropriate concepts that are presented in the textbook. You must identify and fully discuss those concepts to receive a satisfactory grade on the assignment. Unless your professor says otherwise, you may use outside reference sources to supplement the assigned textbook, but not as a replacement for the textbook. 5. Cite all reference sources. CCU students should utilize APA style to cite and reference their sources. This is done with a short-form in-text citation at the end of a cited sentence, and a complete reference of the source at the end of the essay in a Reference section. Footnotes and Endnotes are not used in APA citation format. For detailed instructions on citing, please read APA Style Instructions in this resource section. PLEASE CITE YOUR WORK FROM THIS BOOK-LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT DENISE BOYDE AND HELEN BEE


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