HomeWriting Explored Advanced • Essays (B2 to C2)

THINKING SKILLS


PART 1 • INTRODUCTION

[spoiler title=’Tip 1 • Understanding the Requirements’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

In this lesson, we will learn:

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PART 2 • GENERATING & ORGANISING IDEAS

[spoiler title=’Tip 2 • Generating Strong Arguments’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

An effective essay should raise insightful and refreshing points about a specific issue. To do so, we need to be able to dissect an issue thoroughly and critically, offering, at the same time, our personal take on it. In this lesson, we will learn:

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[spoiler title=’Tip 3 • Analysing Questions’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

The first step in responding to an essay question is to understand its characteristics and identify what the question is asking for. In this lesson, we will learn:

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[spoiler title=’Tip 4 • Thinking about a Specific Issue’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

Having identified the specific issue that the question deals with and the key terms that define the issue, the next step is to explore various dimensions of that issue and consider as many phenomena as possible that may be relevant to it. This will give us plenty of ideas to choose from later on when we construct our arguments. In this lesson, we will learn:

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[spoiler title=’Tip 5 • Making Critical Judgements’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

Now that we have gathered diverse sets of phenomena that may be relevant to the specific issue of the question, and have considered them in sufficient depth, the final step in generating arguments for the essay is to assess and judge those phenomena critically according to the stated criterion. From all the points which we would then have generated, select the best ones for the essay. In this lesson, we will learn:

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PART 3 • WRITING OBJECTIVELY & PERSUASIVELY

[spoiler title=’Tip 6 • Showing Abstract Thinking’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

This reference section discusses how we can use ‘classic’ ideas to generate and frame our arguments, making them more objective and persuasive. Here are the concepts we will look at in this lesson:

    1. Objective vs. Subjective (Aspect vs. Perspective)
    2. Macro vs. Micro (Big Picture vs. Narrow Focus)
    3. Linear vs. Nonlinear (Conventional Wisdom vs. Blue Sky Thinking)
    4. Ethos vs. Pathos vs. Logos (Appeal to Reputation vs. Appeal to Emotion vs. Appeal to Reason)
    5. Classical vs. Romantic (Head vs. Heart)
    6. Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up (Deductive vs. Inductive)
    7. Extrovert vs. Introvert (Expressive vs. Contemplative)
    8. Truth vs. Value (Ideology vs. Pragmatism)
    9. Statistical Evidence vs. Anecdotal Evidence (Aggregated Data vs. Specific Examples)
    10. Form vs. Function (Aesthetics vs. Performance)
    11. Summary Quiz (Abstract Thinking)

It is also essential that our arguments are developed logically. Mistakes with the logical connection in an argument are known as logical fallacies and should be avoided when writing an essay.

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[spoiler title=’Tip 7 • Showing Insights & Perspectives’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

In this section, we will explore the most common essay topics in English Language exams. For more ideas and examples, please read Food for Thought • Insights & Perspectives.

    1. Social Exemplary Instances
    2. Personal Identity & Social Groups
    3. Characteristics of Modern Society
    4. Formal Education, Creativity & Pedagogy
    5. The Duty of Colleges to Students
    6. The Goal of Governance
    7. The Role of Representatives
    8. Government Funding
    9. The Genesis of Leaders
    10. Effective Leaders
    11. Scientific Knowledge
    12. Political Philosophy
    13. Normative Ethics
    14. Environmental Ethics
    15. Business Ethics

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CALIBRATIONS & REMEDIES

(Many calibrations are free for members of the Support Tribe, while some require credits.)


 

References
Acknowledgements

All authors must admit to a dependence on the work of others. We are no exception. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the publications and reference sources that we have consulted and adapted for educational purposes. It would also have been quite impossible to have produced the material on this website without adapting a variety of authentic resources that we have regularly referred to. While every effort has been made, it has not always been possible to identify and cite the sources of all the material used or to trace all copyright holders. We will be happy to omit any contents or include any appropriate acknowledgements when they are brought to our notice.

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