Essay Writing
Essay Writing
  1. UQ Student Services
  2. Citations - essay writing
  3. Guides to Style
  4. References and Citations

1. UQ Student Services

We recommend undergraduate students registering for a Student Essay Writing workshop with UQ Student Services.
 
UQ Student Services also has different assignment writing information available on their website.

2. Citations - essay writing

There are many books available in the UQ library that provide useful information about essay writing, here are a few citations to get you started:

3. Guides to Style

In general, you should use simple language but avoid ambiguity, pretentious language and circumlocution. Technical terms should be used only if they are essential for precision and, whenever there is any doubt about the expertise of your audience, esoteric terms should be explained. Further suggestions about style are included under Technique and Strategy below.

George Orwell's 1945 essay 'Politics and the English Language' contains timeless advice about writing. Every student (and every veteran) should visit this essay at least once a year. The following rules, proposed by Orwell, should be inscribed in every author's soul:

  • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

General guides to style are:

  • Strunk, William (1918). The Elements of Style. Online edition © copyright 1995-96 Columbia University, New York; based on 1st edn, New York: Press of W.P. Humphrey.
  • Strunk, William and E.B. White (1979). The Elements of Style. 3rd edn. New York: Macmillan.
  • Davis, Lloyd and Susan McKay (1996). Structures and Strategies : An Introduction to Academic Writing. Melbourne : Macmillan Education Australia.
  • Dummett, Michael (1993). Grammar & Style: For Examination Candidates and Others. London: Duckworth.

Other useful references for style and layout which may assist the composition of essays are:

  • (1994). Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers. 5th edn. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
  • Murray-Smith, Stephen (1989). Right Words: A Guide to English Usage in Australia. 2nd edn. Viking.
  • Gowers, Ernest (1987). The Complete Plain Words. 3rd edn. Penguin.

4. References and Citations

There are a number of recognised conventions for citing references. You can use any of these, but please be consistent.
 
Endnote has justifiably become the market leader in bibliographic software and is a powerful tool for organising and storing references and constructing bibliographies. It is worth acquiring and learning this program. Endnote can be obtained from the Library, which also provides courses on using it. Endnote can be configured for Harvard, Chicago and many other systems of referencing.
 

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