Need advice on writing an honours essay

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Faye__1996
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Hi everyone, i'm in third year of a four year digital/humanities course so i'm now in junior honours. I have a few questions -

When defining key terms relevant to the essay, should you quote a definition from a source, or try put it in your own words as much as possible?

When writing arguments (the essay is if something is basically good or bad) should you always get your arguments from some sort of source so you can cite them? E.g. not come up with your own arguments?


I would be grateful for any other advice as well. Thank you!
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SHUGURU
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(Original post by Faye__1996)
Hi everyone, i'm in third year of a four year digital/humanities course so i'm now in junior honours. I have a few questions -

When defining key terms relevant to the essay, should you quote a definition from a source, or try put it in your own words as much as possible?

When writing arguments (the essay is if something is basically good or bad) should you always get your arguments from some sort of source so you can cite them? E.g. not come up with your own arguments?


I would be grateful for any other advice as well. Thank you!
Hi!

In my experience, I would say that a bit of both always works. You want to show that you've done plenty of prior research by using references and sometimes quotations, but if you embed the definitions of terms within your essay and in your own words (and then referencing them clearly), this will sound great. I've been told off for using too many quotations, but I do get higher marks when I have done a wide selection of reading and when I show that. Use your instinct to decide whether a quotation is really poignant and worth putting in, or whether it'd be clearer to explain it in your own words - sometimes I find that adding quotations to explain everything can make each sentence or paragraph white long and convoluted.

Writing an argument is similar - you want to show that you have thoroughly researched both sides and that you have a clear understanding of the argument, which means using theories as a basis to those arguments, including examples where you can. But you do need to be critical of these arguments to get the highest grades. Evaluate them from your own perspective and/or an opposing theorist's. Try to use the research to form your own argument and your own conclusion towards the end of the essay.

I hope this helped.

Ellie
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