Travel and tourism can be a fun field of study, but is not all about going on fieldtrips and visiting tourism service providers in exotic locations. As a complex and diverse field which incorporates aspects of human resources management, customer relations, hospitality studies, international legislation, marketing, finance and economics, it is important that students of travel and tourism are able to demonstrate a sound theoretical understanding of their subject by means of clear and well-structured essays.
Many pieces of writing you will be expected to produce on your travel and tourism course will be argumentative or thesis-based essays. Rather than simply summarising information from the literature, this means that you will be expected to articulate a clear, coherent position of your own, and to support it using arguments and evidence.
Some points to keep in mind when writing your travel and tourism essays are the following:
- Before you start writing, outline what you are going to say, how you will structure your arguments, and what evidence you will draw upon to substantiate your claims.
- Always keep the question in mind and ensure that your reading is guided by it in order to produce focused notes.
- Only include in the essay what is relevant to answering the question. Padding out the essay with irrelevant or tangential material will not earn you points, no matter how interesting it might otherwise be.
- Use your introductory paragraphs to clearly state your own understanding of the question and to outline the structure of the essay to follow.
- Employ simple, plain language to make your points and avoid convoluted sentences. Prolixity and verbosity will not make you sound clever; they will only frustrate your examiner.
- Ensure that each stage of your argument is clearly signposted; the reader should never have to puzzle over why a particular point is being made.
- Ensure that your sentences and paragraphs follow one another in a logically coherent order and that appropriate transitional phrases and sentences are used
- Substantiate each of your claims with arguments and evidence, and be sure to critically evaluate your sources.
- Avoid over-reliance on particular texts.
- Demonstrate awareness of different points of view, and try to pre-empt counter-objections to your claims.
- Do not introduce new material into your conclusion but succinctly summarise your arguments and demonstrate how you have answered the question.
- Carefully proof-read, revise and edit your work (or have somebody else do it for you) to ensure correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, and be sure to format and reference it in accordance with your department’s preferred specifications.
An outstanding travel and tourism essay will typically have the following characteristics:
- a clear, succinct introduction presenting a strong thesis statement and outlining the structure of the paper;
- a coherent structure, divided up where appropriate into sections and sub-sections;
- clarity of expression and a high standard of academic English;
- use of appropriate signposting and transitions to help the reader to navigate the paper;
- a sound grasp of relevant theory;
- claims supported with rigorous argumentation, appropriate evidence and up-to-date scholarly citations;
- an even-handed engagement with counter-arguments and counter-examples;
- a strong conclusion; and
- professional presentation with properly cited references.
Consulting an Expert
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