They are also useful tools to promote thinking and learning.
You are required to develop an argument and apply critical thinking skills to analyse a range of academic sources in support of your argument.
The language of the question, especially the directive (task) words, will indicate the type of essay and suggest an appropriate structure to follow in your essay.
More information on directive words is contained in the QUT cite|write booklet (PDF, 726KB). The most logical way to approach a multi-part assignment is to address each part of the task in the order that it is stated on the assignment task sheet.
These essays may be structured in one of two ways: either the causes(s) of a situation may be discussed first followed by the effect(s), or the effect(s) could come first with the discussion working back to outline the cause(s).
Sometimes with cause and effect essays you are required to give an assessment of the overall effects e.g. Space must be allocated for this assessment in your structure.
The first sentence of each section of the assignment should be a direct response to each part of the task. Examples of this include questions which ask you to discuss, analyse, investigate, explore or review.
In an analytical structure you are required to break the topic into its different components and discuss these in separate paragraphs or sections, demonstrating balance where possible.
A conclusion works to remind your reader of the main points of your paper and summarizes what you want your reader to “take away” from your discussion.
This is your response to the question; your final answer.