A good place to start is to make a document on your computer just for source material, but divide it into the parts of your essay (for example, if you are writing a dissertation, you may wish to include sections such as introduction, background, methodology, literature review, evidence, conclusion and recommendations).
Into this, copy all good sections, quotes, statistics and other useful source material that you find, making sure that you note where you found each piece of information.
An essay which merely summarises other people's thoughts without analysing each opinion or finding will score very little marks.
You need to develop your own arguments and use other people's findings and opinions to support them.
Each source can be placed into the section (introduction, conclusion etc) where you are most likely to use it.
This will give you a rough framework for when you begin writing and will help you form a direction of where your essay is likely to go, based on your findings.A good search statement can be applied to whichever sources you might decide to use, such as specific computer databases or library catalogues.The next step will be to decide, based on your formulated search statement, which will be the most relevant, appropriate resources in your subject area.We have compiled this guide to essay writing skills, including structuring essays, reports and dissertations, to help you in planning and producing your essay.We hope that you find it helpful - please let us have any comments and suggestions you may have for improving this free study area.For example, if your search statement was: I want to find out about the consequences, harm, risk or side effects - of giving or denying the MMR vaccination, either as a triple vaccine or as three single injections, to children You might be looking for: Once you have a clear idea of what you need to know about your topic to deal with the assignment posed, you will be able to look more closely at the individual resources available to you, such as database, to see what information they contain.You will need to weigh up the relevance of the information you find, and develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read - in some cases, authors may be explicitly expressing a particular viewpoint but in others there may be hidden bias, which can be misleading.With so much material available to you, translating your essay question into a search strategy or statement is an important first step in tracking down the information you need.Your development of a search strategy must start with thinking about the kinds of words related to your topic that you might expect to find in books or in newspaper articles.This guide provides a detailed overview of the essay writing process with tonnes of practical advice to help you attain a better grade for your academic assignments.We've presented the chapters below so you can delve in and out at a point to suit you - but the easiest way to read the guide is to start on the first page and use the walk-through links to access the rest of the pages.