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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsReturning to Patrick’s essay on food waste, you can see that it begins with some general background information about the topic, food waste, within Europe, giving some statistics to show the extent of food waste.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 secondsThe writer then moves on to suggest that contrary to the common belief that food waste is a negative phenomenon, in fact food can be recycled, and by doing this, some social and economic problems can be addressed. His argument is supported in the sections which follow. He considers different kinds of food waste, differentiating between food waste which is edible, and that which is not. Then he presents us with various options for the distribution of edible food, before moving on in the next section to look at how inedible food can be used as a source of renewable energy, as well as to produce pectin.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsFinally in the conclusion, he sums up his arguments, and suggests the huge potential for development of these areas, and the impact this could have globally.

Skip to 1 minute and 25 secondsIn the examples above we have looked at distinct patterns for individual essay titles. However in reality, many essay titles will involve using several structures – you might be required to describe the causes of a situation, discuss the consequences, and take a position on how best to address it. Alternatively, you could be asked to analyse a problem, and suggest some solutions. Key to understanding which structure to use is careful analysis of the question.

Patrick's essay: structure

In this video you return to the third text, which is adapted from the essay written by Patrick. Jonathan goes through the essay structure in closer detail, and explains how Patrick presents his answers to the essay question:

“Describe the key issues related to food waste in Europe and evaluate the effectiveness of methods to reduce food waste.”

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This video is from the free online course:

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading