Essay: The mortal sins

18 08 2011

Committing any one of the following essay sins puts you in serious danger (read: exceedingly high likelihood) of failing:

  1. Having no stand
  2. Contradicting your stand
  3. Failing to engage (correctly) with key terms
  4. Flaws in logic
  5. Adopting the wrong approach* to the question
*Note: Many questions allow for multiple approaches, all of which would be acceptable; other questions actually require a certain approach. See the recent post on “Addressing the wrong debate” for an explanation of one such incorrect approach.
These essay sins may not cause you to fail, but are serious problems nonetheless, because chances are, you won’t get any more than 13m for content:
  1. No balance
  2. Vague arguments (no examples)
  3. Limited scope

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