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Using ‘signposting’ in your written work will clarify your argument and help the reader. Signposting is explaining the structure of your essay, dissertation or thesis in the introduction, and then reminding the reader of this structure throughout the work. Imagine your assignment as a journey from towns A to F, passing through B, C, D and E on the way — these are your major themes, or chapters. Your introduction provides the route map for this journey. Spell it out, for example: ‘This paper will first consider . . . It will then explore . . . and finally focus on . . .’ You’ve now signalled the structure, which will help the reader know where you are going. At key points in the assignment, refer back to the route map, making it clear you are concluding one section and moving on to the next. Signposting in this way not only helps the reader to follow your argument, but it also strengthens and reinforces your message and improves clarity — which can only improve your mark.

Jen Green
7 February 2018

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