The most severe problems local students face are related to their written assignment. Whether is a lab report, an essay, a research project or a sub-thesis, they find it hard to express their ideas on paper and frustrating to write under pressure of deadlines.
A English is their own language, fluency is unlikely to be a major problem ; it is the quality of their thinking effectiviness of the way they manage to present it that provide the challenge. And, as we have seen in the previous chapter, the process of developing an argument in writing is demanding.
The stages of producing an assignment, in particular an essay, are extremely complex and can be summarized here1. Most students who become accomplished in writing essays work through some variation of the following stages:
a. Analysing the topic: This involves reading the set topic attention to For a complete account of these stages, and a demonstration of the process of skimming referred to in the previous section, see the authors' text: J. Clancy & B. Ballard, essay writing for students, Longman Chesire, Melbourne, 1981 (reprinted as Hw to Wite essay ( International edition), Longman Chesire, Melbourne 1983)
The content indicated,
The focus required,
The issue to be determined and
The method to be used in the essay.
Look, for example, at this Zoology topic:
By any standards, the insect body must be reckoned the most successful of all the solutions to the problems of living on the surface of the earth.' (Attenborough, 1979) Discuss this statement, critically, basing your discussion on evidence.