Essay writing guide

Essay writing guide
Essay Preparation
To write a good essay you need to organize your thoughts and ideas. Preparing an outline,
diagram or mind map enables you to see connections and links between concepts. Start by
analyzing the question, and identify relevant keywords. Think of all the synonyms that may be
related to those keywords, and consider narrower or broader terms. Create a mind map to
visually organise your keywords, terms and subjects. Also, look at the assessment rubric if one
is available. Note the emphasis on the weighting of the marking.

Think of the types of sources that will provide you with the evidence you need to support your argument
or position. These could be journal or newspaper articles; books; images; data; documentaries or
The word count can be used to structure your essay. For example if you have a 1,500 word essay you
might like to break down your word count by the structure 150 words for Introduction; 1,200 words for
the body and 150 words for the conclusion.
Identifies the purpose, outlines the scope and states your thesis. What you are trying to prove, argue or
establish. Each point raised corresponds to a paragraph in the body.
Where you prove your argument. Backed up with evidence (your research) in the form of in-text
citations. Each paragraph expands on the points made in the introduction.
Restates your thesis and summarises your findings.
Harvard style referencing is the preferred referencing style at AIT. For every in-text citation in the body
of your essay there should be a corresponding source in the reference list. You only need ONE entry in
the reference list, even though you may have provided more than one in-text citation. Please see the
Harvard style guide for examples of how to cite various types of information resources and how to
structure a reference list.
Proof reading and editing
Proof read; revise and edit your essay to ensure that the structure flows in a logical progression, and to
ensure that you are not excessively under or over the word count. As a final step run a grammar and
spelling check on your work.
Essay presentation and style
Your essay should be created using document or word processing software such as MS Word or
Google Docs, unless the assessment requires a different software package or format. Use the
`normal’ (default) margin settings in MS Word. If using Google Docs, this also defaults to normal
margins. Line spacing should 1.5, and use fonts such as Arial, Verdana or Helvetica, in 12-point
font size, black font colour. Your essay should also be aligned left or justified. Indentation of
paragraphs is not required.
Word limit
A word limit will be specified on your assignment outline, and there may be penalties for not
meeting the word limit or for exceeding it. The word count can be automatically calculated in
MS Word and in Google Docs. For MS Word Click on Review and then Word Count. In Google
Docs go to Tools and then select Word Count. The word count does not include your list of
references. The word count should be noted on the cover sheet.
Cover sheet
A cover sheet must be completed for your assessment. Please fill in all required fields of this
• Student name
• Student ID
• Question selected or essay topic
• No. of pages
• Word count
• Sign and date the statement that you are submitting original work.
A title page is optional, but may be required for a particular unit. Follow the instructions
provided by your teacher.
An electronic signature can be created in a number of ways. Instructions can be found here:
How to electronically sign documents
Essay Example
Has media changed the traditional dating game? Discuss this topic and it’s evolution.
The following keywords and phrases were useful in searching for information for this assignment:
Communication media; social media; telecommunications; electronic media; virtual communities;
online communities; social networks; online dating services; internet dating; social relationships;
courtship; arranged marriages; mate selection.
The need to form a romantic relationship is fundamental to an individual’s physical and emotional
wellbeing. Traditionally meeting at social events; match-making by friends, family or agencies; dating;
and placing personal ads were an intrinsic part of the search for a suitable partner. With the advent of
dramatic technological and social changes the nature of courtship has changed. Various forms of media
that facilitate online dating are now commonly used to meet potential partners, with both positive and
negative outcomes.
Traditional dating was generally initiated by men, often preceeded by meeting socially; informal
matchmaking; or by introductions facilitated by family or friends. In some cultures formal match making
was conducted by a professional matchmaker as the first step of an arranged marriage. Traditional
dating was highly ritualized with set rules, and relationships moved in stages towards exclusivity. There
was some social stigma towards using match making agencies or advertising for a partner.
With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, the dating game changed in response to both technological
and social changes. Online dating has become the 2nd most popular way to meet someone, after
introductions from friends being the most popular method (DeMers 2013). Three quarters of
relationships that commenced online started through online dating, social media or chat groups
(Horgan, Li & Dutton 2011, pp.18-19). Online dating is viewed by many people as a method
complementing traditional forms of meeting potential partners (Horgan, Li & Dutton 2011). There are
generational differences as well – older people tend to meet their partners through online dating
(Horgan, Li & Dutton 2011).
The positive aspects of using modern media in a search for a partner are increased access and
information to a pool of available people (DeMers 2013). However there are also negative aspects that
add complications to contemporary dating which include stalking; excessive choice; false intimacy ;
social media induced jealousy; emotional cheating and physical affairs; and finding closure from
previous relationships (Harding 2015; Hill 2013; Karahassan 2015; Suval 2015).
In response to rapid technological and social changes the dating game has changed. It has shifted from a
formal, ritualized process to a more fluid and complicated process. While new media such as chat
groups, social media, and online dating sites have increased in popularity as sources to seek a
relationship, they often complement the more traditional methods of meeting potential romantic
partners. The positive aspects of contemporary dating such as fast and easy access to other single
people, it is counterbalanced by excessive choice and other negative social outcomes.
Reference List
DeMers, J 2013, `The evolution of dating: there is an app for that’, Huffington Post, 7 April, viewed 26
April 2017 at
Dutton, WH, Helsper, EJ, Whitty, MT, Buckwalter, G, Lee, E 2008, Mate selection in the network
society: the role of the Internet in reconfiguring marriages in Australia, the United Kingdom and United
States, September 30. Viewed 24 April 2017 at SRN: <>
Harding, B 2015, `Facebook and relationships: how has social media changed the dating landscape?’,
Huffington Post Technology, 5 May. Viewed 24 April 2017 at <
Hill, K 2013, `Five ways technology has allegedly ruined dating’, Forbes, 14 January. Viewed 24 April 2017
at <
Hogan, B, Li, N, Dutton, WH 2011, ` A global shift in the social relationships of networked individuals:
meeting and dating online comes of age’, Me, my spouse, and the internet, University of Oxford, Oxford.
Viewed 24 April 2017 at <>.
Karahassan, P 2015, `How technology is changing dating’, PsychAlive : psychology for everyday life.
Viewed 24 April 2017 at <>.
Suval, L 2015, Social media and insecurity in relationships, World of psychology, 14 August, viewed 1
May 2017 at <>.

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