Then write the essay

Then write the essay

Writing an essay is a big project and there are lots to say about how to do it. All we can not address here, therefore we have made a list of reading tips at the end of this chapter. Your institution may also have its own thesis guide. Read it carefully!

Since this text is aimed at all students at Stockholm University, we keep our advice very general. Therefore, you have to find out for yourself how exactly your institution wants the paper.

What is an essay?

When writing an essay, you are involved in creating new knowledge. You simply make a research effort in miniature. Research always begins with a question, or a problem, that captures what you want to investigate. A research question should be objective and be able to lead to a meaningful answer. Often you have to work with the research question in several different steps. From the beginning it can be quite wide and a little fuzzy, but as it is, the picture clears.

Another important point is that your investigation in most cases must be theoretically rooted. There must therefore be a starting point in a perspective and a research that already exists. In other words, there are limitations as to how innovative you can be. If you are unsure of how the research looks within the area you are interested in, you need to ask your teacher, supervisor or other involved person.

Another requirement for research is described with the words validity and reliability. Validity is about your study measuring what you believe. Maybe there are sources of error that affect the result? Reliability is about if your survey is replicable, that is, if someone else can redo it and get the same result.

Reliability is primarily important if you do a quantitative investigation. It is a survey of a larger, often statistical material, where the answer can be expressed in numbers. For example, it may be a large questionnaire survey where a certain percentage of the informants answer yes to a question and others no. The opposite is a qualitative study in which the answer is expressed in words. It may, for example, be about interviews with a small group of people who have received open questions.

Choosing topic

In some institutions there are given subjects to choose from when it is time to write an essay. If you do not get any suggestions on topics, you have to choose one yourself. Then it may be good to choose one

which you are interested in – but not too interested. Writing an essay can be struggling. If you choose a topic that you are interested in, it will be a little easier. However, if you choose your absolute favorite subject that you have been looking for since you learned to read it, it can cause problems in terms of fact selection and objectivity. So just interested is the best!
which is close to what you have studied during any module

as recommended by a previous essay writer. Almost all essays conclude with proposals for continued research in their field. Older papers can therefore be a gold mine. However, go no more than about five years back in time if there are newer essays.