Academic writing is about knowing your topic and reading extensively in order to show understanding. It is more than just packing information into your brain; it involves a whole range of techniques. You should approach your essay or dissertation as a type of puzzle to be solved, which requires the right approach or way of thinking. One of the most useful ways to do this is to approach your problem from different angles.
Thinking about your essay or dissertation writing from different angles, and often requires that you take on another person’s perspective. It is about embodying someone else’s view of the problem at hand. Brainstorming in a group is often an enlightening process for this reason. It is an excellent way to find new, interesting links to your area of study. Often, when working alone, we can have a focus or an idea, a type of tunnel vision that might not be conducive to putting together well-rounded arguments.
Thinking from different angles could mean delving deeper into a particular author, or line of thinking that you might not agree with. In fact, the easiest ways to structure an essay involves outlining a distinctive argument so as to critique or analyse it. The text or author might put forward a view that you not only find difficult to engage with, but wholeheartedly disagree with. That’s fine, read it anyway and add it to your corpus of knowledge. Weak academic texts usually show a lack of an engagement with a discipline as a whole. Remember your aim is to “know” your topic, to get to grips with different perspectives, and to show engagement and academic value. Having perspective is more than an erudite involvement with a very discrete subject area.