Masterclass in Essay Writing


Library for Educators
2 min readSep 21, 2023

Materials: Slides, jamboard.

Group: Social Work PGTs

Venue: online (although not set in stone)

Session created in response to a lack of student confidence in essay writing and critical analysis.

The session takes students through how to prepare for and plan an essay, as well as how to incorporate critical writing, analyse sources critically and practise critical reflection.

Section 1 &2:

Takes students through their next assignment question — how to break down the question and identify key words. Here we solicited the group for what they took to be the key words and then drew on this further to ask them what these key words required them to then do. A jamboard was used, although the students were also happy to talk online and ask questions.

Important to emphasise that the question should guide the planning and researching of the assignment.

The experience which can be drawn upon doesn’t necessarily have to be something which went well, but rather something which gives you a lot to talk about.

Section 3:

This is a worked example of how to critically analyse a piece of theory, before getting the students to work through another example in breakout rooms.

When coming back together ask the students to share their thinking and these ideas are then put into a short sentence by the trainers to demonstrate how to put the critical thinking into critical writing.

Section 4:

This takes the students through critical reflection. Key here is to mention that just because reflection is about personal experience does not mean that criticality can be dropped and the writing lapse into description. A short description of the event is required, but this should not be the focus.



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