A large portion of university and high school education is based on writing academic essays. They are most effective at demonstrating students’ knowledge of a subject and showcasing one’s ability to gather and present information and data.
In this guide, we are going to explain how to write an excellent academic essay, and show you the different types you can choose from.
Academic essay writing is a style that anyone can learn to produce, once they know the basics of writing an essay. An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. Most research follows a standard set of guidelines. Remembering some basic principles for academic essay writing will allow you to create valuable, persuasive papers, even if you're under a time crunch.
It is essentially a structured form of writing that serves the purpose of presenting new information, or applying already existing knowledge to deliver a point. The academic essay encourages students to develop ideas to communicate a message.
It helps to develop your academic writing skills early, as they are skills you will carry forward throughout your studies, and lifetime. People who are good at writing academic essays also tend to be able to articulate themselves more clearly, and tend to have more confidence when speaking.
Here are some general tips in writing academic essay:
- Start early. Read and analyze the essay question as soon as you receive it. Note down your first ideas.
- When researching: Make notes when reading; record bibliographic information from the sources you refer to, quote from and paraphrase; start making links between the writer’s observations and your own thoughts on a topic.
- Brainstorm to generate ideas. Use lists, words and phrases. Write down whatever comes to mind.
- Based on your brainstorming, generate a working thesis statement – it doesn’t matter if it is clumsily expressed at this point. You can revise it later.
- Begin planning your essay.
- Allow a rough draft to be rough. In a rough draft you are writing for yourself, not for your reader. You are working to formulate ideas; later you can polish at the sentence level. Try to get your ideas down as fast as you can. Revise later.
- When you’re feeling ‘blocked’ in your writing, do something mechanical, like compiling your reference list.
Your essay should connect your thesis/focus statement and the major points you make to support it (your topic sentences). It should also connect the topic sentences with the evidence and examples you use to develop and illustrate them.
Failing to provide an adequate, workable thesis/focus statement or failing to support it or ‘stick to it’ are two of the more common mistakes made by undergraduate essay writers. Reed more.