Essay Success: How to Answer the Essay Question to Achieve Better Grades | Shellie Cleaver | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Essay Success: How to Answer the Essay Question to Achieve Better Grades

teacher avatar Shellie Cleaver, Visual art + academic writing classes

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Essay Success Answer the Question

    • 2. Why it Matters

    • 3. Read the Essay Question

    • 4. Key Words

    • 5. Question Purpose

    • 6. Do you Agree

    • 7. Use the Introduction

    • 8. Stay on Track

    • 9. Thanks Answer the Question

    • 10. More Classes on Essay Writing

    • 11. Academic Teacher Introduction Shellie Cleaver

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

All students want essay success. In this short class learn how to understand, interpret and answer the essay question to maximise your grades.

Answering the essay question may seem obvious but many students loose track of what they are writing and why when they draft an essay. 

Join experienced essay editor and tutor Shellie for a class that looks at why sticking to the essay question matters, and various techniques to help you understand exactly what the essay question is asking you to do. The information in this class can help you improve your essay marks.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shellie Cleaver

Visual art + academic writing classes


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Essay Success Answer the Question: Hello, Welcome to s a success. Answering the question. If there's one essential thing you must do in your essays to achieve good marks, its to answer the question. It's so easy to get led astray with the research you do, you've learned something. You really want to include it in your essay, but all it does is detract from the marks you can receive. So this class is tailored to help you to learn how to first of all, understand what the question is on what it's asking you for. And it also helps you to assess what sort of knowledge and how the essay question wants you to show your knowledge. So we're going to delve into several aspects off, understanding the question and working out how to best answer it. And this is a really great class if you're looking to lift your marks up a little bit higher in your university studies, so let's get started on the lens and new. It's a new tricks and tricks to get better marks 2. Why it Matters: So why does answering the question in an essay matter so much? Well, we all know what it's like when you start to write. You come up with lots of ideas, you might find yourself going off on a tangent, and sometimes it's hard to leave things out because you think, Oh, this is interesting. But if you're not just answering the question, you're actually doing yourself a disservice. So when an essay achieves a high result, the distinctions high distinctions, those essays very firmly answering the question and the question alone. So you cannot address any other topic or side topic unless it's mentioned in the question, or unless you're drawing it in and relating it to a core part of the question. So in this class, we're going to actually unpick how to determine what the question is to make sure that you are focused on it and that you're everything about your essay is pointing toward the question and showing the marker that this is what you're doing. You are answering the question very, very specifically and very carefully 3. Read the Essay Question: that will sound really obvious to say this, but the first thing you must do is read the essay question. You need to actually people. Students often read the essay question quite quickly and then kind of rushed to start working on it. And by doing that, they often misunderstand it or misinterpret it. So the first thing you have to do is slow yourself down and actually give yourself time to do that. One task to simply read and try and absorb the essay question and all of the extra information that they provide in the essay assignment sheet and breath through it once. And then you may want to read through it again and start highlighting parts of it that seem like key bits and, you know, important things not to forget and and just try. And while you're reading through, try to take it on board, try and in your mind solidify the key aspects that you're that you're reading so that you have a solid sense off. What the question is asking that you truly do understand what it's asking. You haven't made assumptions. You have read the actual words. You've understood the tone of the question. You understood the focus of the question. Um, and once you are sure that you've spent you know, you could easily spend five minutes actually reading through carefully time and again just to guarantee you understand, because there's no point misunderstanding the question and starting work on it. And when you come toward the end, revisiting the S a information and finding Oh, I've been focusing on entirely the wrong thing or Oh, it didn't mean that they meant this. Then you'd have to start all over again. So it's crucial. Take sometimes, slow yourself right down and really just be with the information, let it sink in and make sure you correctly understand what the task is asking from you. 4. Key Words: Yes, I questions are actually fantastic things in themselves because they spell out to you exactly what they require. Your role is to read them carefully and to actually interpret them correctly and understand what they are asking you for. So one approach is to go through the essay question with a very fine tooth comb and try to identify what you think the keywords are. These are words that might reference the topic they want you to discuss. They might reference, um, how they want you to address the subject matter. You know, they may give instructions about, you know, including this this and this where they've actually named two or three specific aspects of the topic they want you to cover. So go through the question, spend some time actually highlighting or underlining these keywords, and this will give you a really good starting point to make sure that you are addressing the question. Keep an eye out for the way that language is giving you clues about what they want you to do. For example, the essay question may say, Do this and this and address this and this, or it might say, Consider a all be where they want you to choose one or the other, not both. Misunderstanding those type of language clues is a key mistake students make, so make sure your understanding whether they want you to address everything or make a choice between several options. Another thing to keep an eye out for is plural. Are they asking for examples off something, which means several will have they specified to illustrate with an example indicating they want one example? And from that you can assume they would like further depth and detail about that one example. There are two distinct approaches that an essay may ask for. One is where you are describing a topic and showing the knowledge and the other is where you are analyzing aspects off the topic. So for the 1st 1 you're being asked to demonstrate your knowledge by exploring the features of a topic. Okay, and they they use words such as define, explain illustrate. Where is he feel being asked to actually demonstrate your knowledge by delving deeper into the analysis of different perspectives, models and theories. You expect to see questions like critically analyze, examine, consider, assess, investigate. So these words were really given you a clue about what they want you to do and how the essay question is asking you to show your knowledge to the markka, either by talking about a topic and showing a knowledge through that method or by analysing and assessing aspects of a topic or theory or ah, a phenomenon. 5. Question Purpose: to make sure that you are addressing the essay question specifically, it might be worth taking a few moments to sit back and just consider what the purpose off this essay is. Think about it from the point of view of your lecturer and the markers. What is it that they're looking for from you to show in your essay so that they can allocate you high marks? They want evidence that you have actually learned the content presented in the classes, but they also want evidence off you thinking independently and re researching more widely than simply what you've seen in class. By doing this, you can actually narrow down the focus off your approach to the essay and really zero in on a target and actually tale of the essay to meet the requirements off the marker and the lecture. 6. Do you Agree: to ensure that you are answering the essay question, Look for clues that the question wants you to profess an opinion about the topic or a statement somewhere. Say questions require you to think independently and put forward a perspective or view on a situation or a theory or an opinion, and you need to consider. Do you agree with what is stated in the essay question or do you not? And this could be a really good basis for the argument that you might present in your essay and could show good independent thinking and research because you would back up whatever you say with journal article references and work from the industry. 7. Use the Introduction: it could be argued that the introduction of an essay is the most important part of it. The reason for this is that it actually creates the context for what's going to be covered in the essay, and a good introduction always tells the reader what will be covered. So this is actually a road map, something that will guard not only the reader in the marker of your essay, so they know what's coming and what to expect, and they get a sense of the logic and the flow of the arguments to come. But it also helps you as you write your essay, because it will help you keep on track. It'll make sure you do. Answer the essay question. So if you can write a clear, succinct introduction that addresses all aspects off the essay question and does not address anything extra and sticks simply to the question, you can follow those topics as you Liston, so the sentence might go toward the end of the introduction. You may say this essay will firstly consider A B and C. Secondly, it will address whatever it's going to address, and finally this and something else will be considered in detail. Now this is your roadmap. And if you reflect that in the body of the essay, you are on track to having entered the question and stayed on track to get high marks. 8. Stay on Track: the final challenge for you as you write your essay to make sure that you do address the question is to make sure you stay on track. It's so easy to get involved in what you're researching and reading about to sort of diverge onto a different tangent, become interested in some small aspect of the topic and want to include what you've just learned in your essay. But this really doesn't help you. If you include all of these extra things into your essay, you're really going to distract your marker. They're going to be thinking, but this doesn't relate to the question. Why is it in here? So you need to be very strict with yourself and not include anything that doesn't relate to the question specifically. So one strategy, while you're writing the essay, is to simply take a moment to sit back and think. Does this still relate to my question? May say question. How does this relate to my essay question? Am I answering the question specifically enough? And if not delete whatever is not related? It's great that you've learned these new things, but don't include them in your essay. Cause will only detract from the mark. She'll achieve 9. Thanks Answer the Question: thanks for joining me on this class about answering the essay. Question our hope. It's being helpful. If you've enjoyed it. Plays like the class. Please leave a review. You may like to follow me to keep up with the latest classes, and I look forward to seeing you in the next class. Happy essay writing. 10. More Classes on Essay Writing: I've recorded many classes on academic essay writing, so follow me on school share and you'll see all of the classes I've done. Here is the follow button. Click on this, and if you hover your mouse over this part here, it'll take you through to my profile as well. Under my profile, you'll see all of the classes I've created, and you'll be able to see the range of classes you could take on academic writing. He's a sample of some of the cake classes I've made s a success. Answer the question. Academic writing Basics. Ace essay introductions Boot camp. Start your essay today. Distinction essays, Secrets to success and s a success. Critical thinking. As you can see, there's a large range of classes you could take with me to improve your academic writing. I look forward to seeing you in these classes and to hearing your feedback on how your essay writing and your university marks have improved. So let's keep learning and improving and let's get started now 11. Academic Teacher Introduction Shellie Cleaver: academia is an entire world on its own. And unless you've come from an academic family, you're likely not to have any idea even exists. Before 2013 I had no idea what academia waas. I studied a finance degree. I was working Rito and I was ready to do something more skilled and more meaningful. So I undertook a masters at Melbourne University, and this two year degree was very, very academic, So I had to learn how to write excites from scratch. I'll never forget the experience of trying to write my first master's s A. I had five different guides in front of me, and I was literally pouring through them, trying to understand. What should a body Vanessa be? How do you conclude the essay? I had no idea, and I achieved a credit or possibly my first say, and from then my lob steadily improved. I'm now completing my second masters degree, where he academic library and I'm going to be a librarian. So I wanted to share my knowledge off academia and essay writing with you guys just to help make your journey