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Does the application of the theory reveal any particular shortcomings, or strengths?
Critical thinking is what will make your essay stand out.
It shows the marker that you are not simply repeating the arguments that have been fed to you throughout your studies, but actually engaging with theories in an academic manner.
It is important to show that you understand both (or all) core theories in great depth, both on a theoretical and applied level.
In essence, the wording of the essay question will tell you how the essay should be written.
A good way to practice this is to pay careful attention when reading literature reviews in published articles – you will see that authors don’t simply summarise previous studies, but offer a critique leading to a gap for their own research.
How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure.
Once you have identified a few solid articles, you should (a) go through their bibliographies and take note of who they are citing, as these articles will likely be of value for your own research; and (b) check on Google Scholar to see who has cited them.
To do this, simply input the name of the article in the search bar and hit enter.
Students often underestimate the amount of work required to write a good essay, which results in two things: (1) late nights at the library, and (2) a disappointing grade.
If you want to achieve a good mark, you should start planning your essay the moment you receive the essay question.