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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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7 Summary

This week you have learned how to use notes and an outline to write an essay. You have also looked at the structure of introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions, and at the way in which these contribute to produce a relevant essay.

These are this week’s most important learning points:

  1. Communication takes place between a sender (a writer or speaker) and a receiver (a reader or a listener).
  2. One way in which students and tutors communicate is through assignments and tutor feedback on assignments.
  3. When writing, it is important to keep the reader in mind as this helps to produce clearer, more relevant texts.
  4. The essay and each of its paragraphs should proceed from general information to specific details.
  5. Introductions often contain an introductory sentence and background information.
  6. Introductions should contain the author’s main claim and an outline of the essay.
  7. Each paragraph should start with a general sentence that introduces its theme.
  8. The supporting sentences should gradually narrow the focus by including explanations, examples and evidence.
  9. The layout of an essay should help to identify each paragraph and the point it makes.
  10. The conclusion should be used to draw together the points made in the main body of the essay, and to refer back to the assignment question and the claim made in the introduction.

You are now half way through the course. The Open University would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for future improvement in our optional end-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which you will also have an opportunity to complete at the end of Week 8. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

You can now go to Week 5.