Essay based Subjects: What they are and Some Examples
Essay writing is a very important part of your academic studies. In your academic journey, you will find essay-based subjects that will require you to write an essay on a particular topic.
No matter the subject you are writing about, essays can be simple to write as long as you follow the right structure.
What is an Essay Based Subject?
A good example is English literature and History. If a student does not have these skills, writing a good essay will become a problem.
Is Psychology an Essay-Based Subject?
Psychology is an essay-based subject in many ways. If you are pursuing a degree in psychology, you have to know how to write compelling essays which will be part of your final grades.
Research for essay writing from a psychology perspective will allow the student to learn terms and methods in this subject.
30 Essay Based Subjects
How to study and pass essay based subjects.
It is not easy to prepare for exams involving essay-based subjects. If you want to pass with a good grade, you have to make the most out of your revision. Practice essay writing tips to keep you focused.
1.Be a friend of the teacher
If you are a friend of the teacher, it will be easy to ask questions and get good tips on how to prepare for your exams. You’ll also not be the students who have excuses to submit their assignments late.
2. Plan your revision
Small revision parts each day for a longer period are more effective than trying to cram everything the night before your exams.
3. Relaxing activities
Just take part in whatever activity you like but ensure the breaks do not become distractions.
4. Avoiding distractions
If there is no quiet place at home, the nearby library is the best place where you can study comfortably.
5. Create a glossary
6. practice essay writing regularly.
With the use of past papers, you can know the type of questions that are frequently asked in your area of study. This will boost your flexibility and confidence because you will be familiar with all the course materials.
What A - level subjects are essay - based?
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What is the best way to revise for essay based subjects?
While revision is subjective, with successful methods depending on the individual, essay based subjects are widely considered difficult to revise for. Especially during stressful times like exam season. I often wondered what the best way to revise for essay based subjects is during my GCSE's and A levels and is a question I get asked constantly by many younger students. Firstly, it is very important and valuable that you perfect essay/exam technique before you start revising content. Having a lot of content knowledge is futile when you can't put it on paper and craft it in a way that the marking criteria demands. The most common and consequently the most successfully way to craft and high marking essay is to use the PEEL method (Point Evidence Explanation Link). This is pretty straight forward. You have your point and and support it with evidence. Then you explain/analyse using the evidence why your argument is correct ( this is the most important part), then you link back to the exam question, in order to make sure you didn't get lost on the way! After this, you can begin content revision. Now this is extremely subjective as it is based off memory, so do which ever revision technique works the best for you. For me it was flashcards, but it can be mind maps, look cover write check, quizzes, etc! After you feel comfortable with all the content, you can move onto past papers. The majority of your allocated revision time should be on past papers! For all my exams I practiced planning not writing all the past papers I was given. This is a useful tactic the. revising for essay based subjects because it is a lot less time consuming and it showed me that whether I understood what the questions were asking, how they would be worded and ensured that I had enough content/evidence to write a whole essay mop matter what the question. Finally, once I felt comfortable being able to answer any question on the syllabus, I began planning and wiring essays under timed conditions. I highly recommend doing this so there are no nasty surprises when you come to sit the exam!
Related History A Level answers
Evaluate the interpretations in both of the two passages and explain which you think is more convincing as an explanation of the nature of those involved in the pilgrimage of grace. (25 marks), how do you retain and understand information when you are reading, how far does the power of the state explain the decline of chartism by 1850, 'personal ambition was more important than revolutionary principles in napoleon's consolidation of power in the years 1799 to 1804.' assess the validity of this view., we're here to help, company information, popular requests, © mytutorweb ltd 2013– 2023.
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Each application we receive is carefully considered on an individual basis, taking into account the full range of information presented on the UCAS application form.
The information below is designed to help our prospective applicants who may have queries ranging from preferred subject combinations, our stance on retakes, and the manner in which we assess the information presented in your application.
As you will see from the application data provided on our individual programme pages , there is a great deal of competition for places at the School. In 2021, we received around 26,000 applications for 1,700 places. This fierce competition for places means that meeting or exceeding the entry requirements does not guarantee that an offer will be made, and every year we unfortunately have to disappoint many well-qualified applicants.
Introduction As the majority of our applicants apply with A-levels, this guidance is written primarily towards that audience. However, the information contained is relevant to students offering any qualification. If you are unsure how this guidance applies to your qualification, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office . Note that where specific guidance regarding the suitability of a particular subject/subject combination is given on the entry requirements pages of Information for international students , that guidance supersedes the more general guidance given below. Subject combinations and non-preferred subjects The School considers not only the individual qualifications offered by applicants but also the combination of subjects offered. Individual degree programmes may have specific subject requirements or preferences which are listed in the admissions criteria for each individual programme. We also have a number of general policies, listed below. We consider traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE. We expect applicants to offer at least two full A-levels or IBDP Higher Levels in these subjects (although typically, applicants will apply with three or four); please see the list below for guidance. Some subjects provide a less effective preparation for study at LSE. We refer to these as non-preferred subjects; please see the list below for guidance. These subjects should only be offered in combination with two traditional academic subjects. Finally, there are a small number of A-levels which are normally excluded from our standard offer; please see the list below. Applicants should offer three full A-levels or equivalent alongside these subjects. Common traditional academic/'generally preferred' subjects:
- Ancient History
- Classical Civilisation
- English (English Language, English Literature and English Language and Literature)
- Further Mathematics*
- Government and Politics
- Languages: Modern Foreign, Classic and Community**
- Religious Studies
Common "non-preferred" subjects:
- Any Applied A-level
- Art and Design
- Business Studies
- Citizenship Studies
- Communication and Culture
- Creative Writing
- Design and Technology
- Drama/Theatre Studies***
- Film Studies
- Health and Social Care
- Home Economics
- Information and Communication Technology
- Leisure Studies
- Media Studies
- Music Technology
- Physical Education/Sports Studies
- Travel and Tourism
Normally excluded subjects:
- Critical Thinking
- General Studies
- Global Perspectives and Research
- Knowledge and Enquiry
- Project Work
- Thinking Skills
If you would like information about the suitability of a subject which does not appear on these lists, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office .
* See the Mathematics and Further Mathematics section below.
** See Language Qualifications information on the Entry Requirements webpage
*** The Departments of Anthropology, International History, International Relations, Social Policy and Sociology consider Drama and Theatre Studies equally with other generally preferred subjects. Therefore, they will consider Drama and Theatre Studies alongside one other subject from the non-preferred list. However, the majority of departments continue to regard Drama and Theatre Studies as a non-preferred subject.
**** The Department of Accounting considers Accounting equally with other generally preferred subjects. Therefore, they will consider Accounting alongside one other subject from the non-preferred list. However, the majority of departments continue to regard Accounting as a non-preferred subject.
Essay based A-Level subjects:
- Art History
- Business Studies
- English Literature
- English Language
- English Language and Literature (Combined)
- Environmental Studies
- Modern Languages
- Modern Studies
The combination of subjects studied, in conjunction with the level of competition for the programme, may sometimes result in those offering three (or more) preferred subjects being deemed as less competitive by the Academic Selector on the basis of their subject combination.
Many of the undergraduate programmes at LSE are multi-disciplinary and for this reason we consider a broad mix of traditional subjects to be the best preparation for study. A broad academic background will provide the skills to perform well in any of the challenging programmes at LSE. Students offering a narrow range of subjects may be at a disadvantage compared to those offering a broader combination. Examples of narrow subject combinations might be Economics, Business Studies and one other or English Language, English Literature and one other. Please also refer to the subject combination guidance on our programme pages and the Mathematics and Further Mathematics section below.
Core Maths is a generic title for a range of different Level 3 mathematical qualifications; it is not a qualification title in itself.
For the qualification titles see below:
- AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies
- City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics
- OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving
- OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning
- Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context
- WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life
*MEI: Mathematics in Education and Industry
The key purpose of Core Maths qualifications is to widen participation in the study of mathematics from age 16 and to support the development of mathematical skills for progression to higher education and employment. The qualifications offer an opportunity for students not studying AS or A-level mathematics to study a Level 3 mathematics course alongside their main programme of study. Core Maths is available to those with grade C/4 or above at GCSE and is based on GCSE content with 25% new material.
Core Maths may add value to an application, similar to the EPQ, in particular where the programme has a specific mathematical content but does not require a specific maths qualification e.g. Psychology or Geography.
Core Maths cannot be used as a replacement for A level Maths (or equivalent qualifications) for programmes with a maths A level requirement.
Core Maths can be considered as an alternative way to meet the standard LSE GCSE maths requirement (Grade B/6).
Mathematics and Further Mathematics
Some degree programmes at the School are highly mathematical in content and therefore Mathematics A-level or equivalent is a requirement. A number of programmes also require a qualification in Further Mathematics (where available), or consider one helpful. However, the combination of Mathematics, Further Mathematics plus one other subject is considered insufficiently broad for many of our programmes. Please refer to the degree programme pages and/or the table below for details on Further Mathematics and its acceptability for each programme. We are aware that not everyone has the opportunity to follow a Further Mathematics programme and find it helpful if applicants and/or their referees can indicate whether or not the applicant’s school or college offers Further Mathematics classes. For programmes requiring A* in Mathematics A-level, an A* in Further Mathematics in addition to an A grade in Mathematics is an acceptable alternative.
* BSc Accounting and Finance and BSc Management prefer an essay writing subject but will consider other combinations.
Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019
IBO revised their Mathematics curriculum in September 2019, introducing two new subjects ; Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation .
Additional information is available on our Entry Requirements page.
- For programmes requiring Further Maths A-level (for example BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics, BSc Mathematics and Economics) Mathematics: analysis and approaches at Higher Level will be a requirement.
- For programmes where Further Maths is strongly preferred (for example, BSc Economics, BSc Finance) we would strongly prefer Mathematics: analysis and approaches at Higher Level however we would still consider both streams for admissions purposes.
- For other programmes where A-level Maths is a requirement (for example, BSc Management) then either stream at Higher Level would be acceptable.
Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA)
If you are applying to study programmes offered by the Department of Mathematics at LSE then you are encouraged to take this test as part of your application. The test is not compulsory, however a good performance on the test may help in securing an offer.
Further information about the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA).
Given the competition for places and the nature of assessment at LSE, we prefer students who have achieved high grades in their first attempt (and in one sitting) at relevant examinations. If extenuating circumstances have impacted your exam performance, you should include details of these in your application.
Please note that the overall disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational experience of applicants will automatically be taken into account by our Admissions Selectors.
LSE welcomes applications from older students and values the contribution they make to the School community. LSE also has a large proportion of postgraduate students. This means that the student population at LSE is rather older on average than at many other universities; older undergraduates should not feel out of place. Information for mature applicants .
For applicants from the UK who are eligible for Home tuition fees, contextual information is used to gain a more complete picture of the educational and individual context of an applicant. This allows our admissions selectors to assess achievement and potential whilst recognising the challenges an applicant may have faced in their educational or individual circumstances.
You do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application, your application will automatically have the contextual information added when we receive it.
What contextual information is used?
The following nine pieces of contextual information will be flagged for the attention of the admissions selector:
1. Care experienced (This means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support). This information is self-declared on the UCAS form and verified at a later stage.
2. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their GCSEs (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.
3. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their A-levels (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.
4. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the POLAR 4 dataset. The Office for Students (OfS) assess how likely young people from different postcodes are to progress to Higher Education. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent least likely to progress to Higher Education). The Office for Students has a POLAR 4 postcode checker on their website.
5. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the IMD (Indices of Multiple Deprivation) dataset. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent most deprived areas). The UK Government has this postcode checker for English postcodes on their website. For the IMD classification of Northern Irish postcodes see this postcode checker ; for the IMD classification of Scottish postcodes see this postcode checker ; and for the IMD classification of Welsh postcodes see this postcode checker .
6. The home postcode of the applicant is compared to CACI’s Acorn dataset. CACI classifies postcodes according to a range of socio-demographic indicators. We will flag applicants with postcodes in Acorn types 40 and above.
7. Participation in an intensive LSE Widening Participation (WP) programme. We will flag applicants who have completed LSE CHOICE, LSE Pathways to Law, LSE Pathways to Banking and Finance, Promoting Potential or the LSE Year 11 Summer School/LSE COMPASS.
8. Participation in any Sutton Trust Pathways programme at any UK university. This includes Pathways to Engineering, Pathways to Medicine, Pathways to Law (in-person or online), Pathways to Banking and Finance (in-person or online), and Pathways to Consulting online.
9. Where a student is known to have been eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) in the previous six years.
10. Other individual circumstances that may have disrupted or adversely affected an applicant’s education and achievement, as outlined in an Extenuating Circumstances Form .
How is contextual information used?
Applicants who have been flagged for the attention of the admissions selector will receive additional consideration.The selector may use this information in the following ways:
- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant’s academic record (eg, GCSEs/AS levels or equivalent) or personal statement may be marginally less competitive than the cohort overall
- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant is predicted marginally below the usual entry requirements
- when making confirmation decisions for offer holders that have marginally failed to meet the entry criteria (usually this means one grade below the standard entry requirements).
Eligible students (students flagged with a home postcode that is classified as POLAR4 Quintile 1 or IMD Quintile 1, as a care leaver, or a participant in a specified LSE WP programme or a Sutton Trust Pathways programme), may be considered for a contextual offer. The contextual offer will be one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme (with the exception of LLB Laws, BA/BSc Anthropology, BA Geography, BSc Geography with Economics, BSc Environment and Development, BSc Environmental Policy with Economics, and BSc International Social and Public Policy, where the contextual offer will be 2 grades lower than the standard offer). Any mathematics requirement must still be met. All academic departments are participating in the contextual offer scheme.
The contextual offer grades are listed alongside the standard offer A-level and IB entry requirements on the relevant programme pages .
Contextual information is used as part of the holistic admissions assessment and applicants are assessed alongside all other similar applicants, therefore having a contextual flag does not guarantee that an offer will be made.
Information regarding use of GCSE and equivalent qualifications
If you have taken GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, these will be taken into account when we assess your application. All applicants who have taken GCSEs/iGCSEs are expected to have at least grade B/grade 6 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics or the equivalent. For some programmes this may be higher. Exceptions are made for applicants with extenuating circumstances. As competition for places at LSE is intense, we look for applicants who have achieved highly at GCSE (multiple A or A*/8-9 grades), particularly within the context of their school. If you have not taken GCSEs or iGCSEs, you will not be disadvantaged. The assessors will refer to the equivalent qualification in the curriculum that you have studied (if applicable) and consult the information provided by your UCAS referee to gain an understanding of your education history.
Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA)
LSE requires students who study certain qualifications to complete the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA) before a final decision can be made on their application. Only the most competitive applicants with these qualifications are invited to sit the assessment. Applicants cannot request to sit the assessment and invitations will be sent on a rolling basis from January. Further information about the UGAA
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- Text Structure Analysis
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Identifying an essay topic can be quite tricky! It is the crucial first step to take before writing an essay – it gives your essay a purpose. If you are not happy with your essay topic or do not understand it, this will affect the quality of your essay. This is why it is important to be aware of what makes a good essay topic and how to identify one!
But what is an essay topic?
An essay topic is the overall subject of an essay. It gives your essay a purpose and lets the reader know what the essay is about.
Identifying an Essay Topic
When identifying an essay topic, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Which topics do I like?
If you choose a topic that you are interested in, you will be more likely to create an engaging essay that also holds the reader's attention!
Which topics am I most familiar with?
If you choose a topic that you already have knowledge of, you will find it easier to develop an argument and strengthen your opinion.
Is my topic detailed enough?
If you choose a topic that is too vague, this may lead to you not being able to carry out an in-depth analysis. On the other hand, if your topic is too specific or narrowly focused, you may struggle to find enough points to make or enough research to back up your points.
Is my topic well established?
Consider whether the topic has been researched before – is there proof of existing research on the topic? If the topic already has credible research, this will give you a foundation and credible data/sources to start with, and will also help to develop your own work.
Is my topic too popular with other students?
A popular topic is a sign that many people have taken an interest in it. You might think this is a good thing, but it may also cause problems! If you pick a topic that many other people are also writing about, this might limit the originality of your work and may become less interesting for the reader.
Techniques for choosing a topic
There are a few things you can do to make choosing a topic easier. Here are a few suggestions!
1. Brainstorm – create a mind map or list of ideas.
2. Look at existing research topics – this will give you a better idea of previous studies.
3. Look at past modules you have studied – which modules did you find less challenging? Which were more enjoyable?
4. Ask your teacher for advice – they may be able to give you some suggestions or help you narrow down your choices.
Persuasive Essay Topics
As the title suggests, a persuasive essay focuses on persuasion. You should be persuading the reader to agree with your own point of view. The reader may not always agree with every point you make, but your perspective should stay consistent and your opinion should be clear.
Persuasive essay topics tend to be more subjective and personal as there is a focus on proving your own point of view to the reader. For example:
Take the following topic:
'Is language change bad?'
If you were to write a persuasive essay, you would be able to use the topic to explore your own opinion. For example, if you believe language change is bad, your essay will focus on persuading the reader that they are. There is no need to explore another point of view, as the reader should be convinced by yours.
Discursive Essay Topics
A discursive essay focuses on presenting an objective (unbiased) and balanced argument by analysing evidence from a variety of different perspectives. The aim is for the reader to consider a range of viewpoints, instead of being persuaded to side with a single viewpoint.
Discursive essay topics often tend to be more controversial (although this is not always the case ). They may also be quite open-ended, as this gives you the opportunity to explore multiple aspects of the topic and consider more than one perspective. For example:
'How does language in the media affect the public?'
If you were to write a discursive essay, you would be able to consider multiple viewpoints and create an unbiased analysis. For example, you could write about how language used in the media can affect the public in many different ways, both positively and negatively.
You could take into account different perspectives while remaining neutral and objective. You do not need to convince the reader of your own opinion.
Argumentative Essay Topics
An argumentative essay focuses on presenting both sides of an argument, and either arguing for or against a topic. This is done through the analysis and interpretation of evidence, as well as developing your own perspective. Unlike discursive essays which give a more objective analysis of multiple viewpoints, argumentative essays should persuade the reader of your point of view, so tend to be more biased towards one side.
Argumentative essay topics should have an element of agreement and disagreement, as you should consider both sides of the argument. Think about it like a debate! What are the positive and negative aspects of a topic, and which side will you be in favour of or against? For example:
'Does slang positively affect the way we communicate with others?'
If you were to write an argumentative essay, you would be able to argue for/against the topic and back up your argument with evidence.
For example, you could write a couple of paragraphs arguing that slang does positively affect communication, and give your own opinion. You could then write a paragraph opposing this view, arguing that slang can negatively affect communication.
Essay writing topics
Some examples of different topics you could consider when writing an English Language essay (such as one of the above types) are as follows:
Language and gender
Do men and women speak in different ways?
Does a particular gender hold more power in a conversation?
How does the use of marked and unmarked terms negatively reflect gender roles in society?
How does gendered language contribute to negative stereotypes of men or women?
Why are some accents perceived more negatively than others?
Compare the pronunciation differences between two accents.
How do regional dialects differ from one another?
Compare the differences between the phonetic pronunciations of two dialects
What are the positive effects of regional slang ?
How does language contribute to our personal identities?
Does slang positively affect the way we communicate with others?
Can language negatively impact our social identities?
Historical changes in language over time
How have language features changed over time?
What are the reasons for language change?
Are language changes bad?
Code-switching (mixing between English and other languages/language varieties)
Why do people code-switch?
What are the positive or negative effects of code-switching?
Generational differences in language use
The language used by teenagers (gen z) versus the language used by older generations.
Language in the media
How does language in the media affect the public?
How does social media positively or negatively impact modern communication?
How is language used in the media to create stereotypes?
Are language stereotypes in the media always harmful?
Analyse a media text and examine the ways they positively or negatively represent an event
Compare two media texts and examine the ways in which they present an attitude, opinion or idea
How does the visual language of a text contribute to its meaning?
Child language development
How do children acquire language?
What is the best way for a child to learn a language?
What are the negative or positive effects of bilingualism on children's language development?
Compare the language development of two children
Which factors can negatively impact language development in children?
Language as discourse
How can a chosen text use language to present attitudes, opinions, ideas etc?
Compare the ways two (or more) texts use language to present attitudes, opinions, ideas etc.
Identifying the Topic - Key Takeaways
- An essay topic should be something that you like, are familiar with, is detailed enough, well established, and not too popular amongst other students.
- Persuasive essay topics tend to be more subjective and personal, as there is a focus on proving your own point of view to the reader.
- Discursive essay topics often tend to be more controversial (although this is not always the case ).
- Discursive essay topics may be quite open-ended, as you are able to explore multiple aspects of the topic and multiple perspectives.
- Argumentative essay topics should have an element of agreement and disagreement, as you should consider both sides of the argument (like a debate).
Frequently Asked Questions about Essay Topic
--> what is a topic sentence in an essay.
A topic sentence is a sentence that conveys the main idea of an essay paragraph.
--> How do I identify a good essay topic?
There are a few different techniques you can use to make it easier to identify a topic for your essay. These include:
- looking at existing research topics
- looking at past modules you have studied
- asking your teacher for advice
--> How do you determine the topic or purpose of an academic essay or article?
To determine the topic or purpose of an essay or article, you should first look at the introduction. This will let you know what the essay/article is about and the main points that will be covered.
--> What is an essay topic?
An essay topic is the overall subject of an essay. It tells the reader what the essay is about.
--> How do you identify a research topic?
To identify your own research topic, you could look at existing research to gain a better understanding of previous studies. You should make sure your topic is something that you are interested in and already have knowledge of, as this will make for a more interesting and in-depth essay!
Final Essay Topic Quiz
Your essay topic should be __________________
Something you are interested in
Fill in the blank:
Your essay topic should be something you are ________ with.
Your essay topic should be really vague.
True or false?
If your essay topic is too vague, what won't you be able to do?
Carry out an in-depth analysis
Your essay topic should not be too popular among other students.
You may struggle to find enough points to make if your topic is too what?
Your topic should be well __________.
Which type of essay topic tends to be more subjective and personal?
Persuasive essay topics
Which type of essay topic tends to be more open-ended to allow for the exploration of multiple perspectives?
Discursive essay topics
Which type of essay topic should have an element of agreement and disagreement like a debate?
Argumentative essay topics
What are some techniques to help you choose your essay topic?
- Reading past papers
- Looking through your notes and past lessons
- Talking to your teacher
What is an argumentative essay?
An essay that examines both sides of an argument.
What is a discursive essay?
A discursive essay focuses on presenting an objective (unbiased) and balanced argument by analysing evidence from a variety of different perspectives.
What is a persuasive essay?
A persuasive essay focuses on persuasion. You should be persuading the reader to agree with your own point of view.
True or false, it's a good idea to write about something that has been covered a lot before.
True and false. Whilst you want to choose a topic that has lots of academic literature surrounding it, you don't want to spend your time rewriting something that already exists.
- Rhetorical Analysis Essay
of the users don't pass the Essay Topic quiz! Will you pass the quiz?
More explanations about Essay Writing Skills
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