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* Analyse: What can you conclude from this? What does it mean? Why do you think that?


* Compare: Compare by using words like similarly, likewise, also, like, just as, just like,


similar to, the same as, compared to.


* Contrast: Contrast by using words like however, nevertheless, nonetheless, still,


although/even though, though, but, yet, despite/in spite of, in contrast (to)/in comparison, while, whereas, on the other hand, on the contrary.


Research


Research the facts for your essay by studying the Stone Age in Ireland in this textbook and check the suggested websites for additional information.


You will need to:


* Know how people lived in the Neolithic period, what we think their spiritual beliefs were and why we think that.


* Know how Stone Age people developed new technologies that helped their building


methods.


* Know what structures have survived from this time (tombs).


* Know where to find these tombs, how they were constructed and what function they


served. * Be able to compare these tombs.


* Make notes of the relevant facts. * Make an essay plan. * Write the essay.


Planning the essay


* Read the essay question carefully. Highlight key words.


* Identify the task words of what needs to INTRODUCTION xxi


* Understand why passage graves were impressive by examining the location, structure, function and decoration in detail.


be done, e.g. discuss, explain, compare.


* Identify the topic words that indicate the subject of the essay, e.g. ‘the most impressive


early tombs in Ireland were passage graves’, ‘the people who built the tombs and their spiritual beliefs’.


* Make notes in response to the question.


* Develop the key elements of your discussion. Spend time on this, because it is the backbone of the essay. State it in the introduction and in the main body of the essay. Return to it in the conclusion.


* Draw sketches. Decide on the sketches that will best support your points. Sketches


generally carry 10 marks (or 5 marks for questions with accompanying illustrations). They should be clearly labelled and annotated. If you like, use different colour pens to create impact.


Writing the essay


The introduction Your introductory paragraph should accomplish two tasks:


* It should get the reader’s interest so that they will want to read more.


* It should let the reader know what the writing is going to be about.


Avoid phrases like:


* I’m not sure about this, but… * In this essay I will…


* I agree with the statement… Your opening statement should be strong. For example:


Ireland has a wealth of neolithic and megalithic monuments, ranging from standing stones, dolmens and court cairns to the great burial mounds of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth at Brú na Bóinne in Co. Meath.


INTRODUCTION

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