How to Write an Academic Essay (Basic Info & Tips)
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Writing an essay is an art. If you wonder how to write an impressive academic essay then this post explains the process in a nutshell. You’ll get an idea about how to write the essay introduction, tips on structuring an essay, about writing body paragraphs, crafting an impacting conclusion and polishing your essay to create a good impression. ~ Ed.
Writing an essay is an important and necessary skill. Do you agree?
Of course, you do. If you’re in school or college, then you know how important essays are.
Whether it is as a part of your school assignment or an application for college admissions, a compelling essay paves the way to good grades or increases your chances of admission.
As I mentioned in my opening statement – writing an essay is a skill. Yes, it is something that anybody can learn.
So, here are some tips and important aspects that you should know about how to write an academic essay.
But before we do that, let’s clear some basics briefly.
What is an Academic Essay
An essay is a specific writing genre that presents and supports a thesis or proposition on a particular subject.
There are many types of essays and one of them is the academic essay.
An academic essay is a propagation of ideas using reasoned discourse having a defined structure that consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
How to Write an Academic Essay
The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to introduce the essay to the reader. You do that by writing a clear thesis statement.
The reader should know your intent of writing the essay – your proposition or claim, and arguments in support of your claim.
So, you create an outline for your essay in a structured way.
Section 1: Introduction
You start your academic essay with an impressive introduction that contains your thesis at its end.
The introduction should be broad providing relevant background information where you convince the reader to read further.
Though there is no fixed rule, the introduction should not be very lengthy. It can be of about 100-200 words or at the most 300 words if your entire essay is of 1000-1500 words. It can proportionately increase with the increase in the essay length.
The introduction should “hook on” the reader to your essay so you must include a transitional “hook” at the end of the introduction to propel the reader to the body of the essay.
Remember that the first few sentences and the entire introduction are the most important part of your essay because this will help the reader to decide whether to continue reading further or not.
Section 2: Body
An essay body is generally a group of paragraphs with sentences related to your topic or thesis.
The body paragraphs are the building blocks of your academic essay. If it is a five paragraph essay, then the body of the essay should consist of three paragraphs.
In this section, you present your arguments in detail, the strongest one being the first. In fact, this is your opportunity to fully develop your arguments that you’ve outlined in the introduction.
You should support each one of them with proper elaboration in form of evidence or examples.
The body paragraphs should be connected to each other in a logical manner with “reverse hooks” to tie up with the transitional hook at the end of the preceding paragraph.
You should also mention the counterarguments if any, and then address those by convincingly putting forth your views.
Section 3: Conclusion
The concluding paragraph or paragraphs contain nothing new except that they restate and reiterate the main argument or thesis of the essay. This is a wrap-up section.
This section gives you the opportunity to reinforce your ideas and evidence supporting your argument.
You should end the essay with an impressive sentence or two that presents your final thought which nails your argument.
So, all you do in a conclusion is restate your thesis and then summarize your main arguments. To put some weight and create a lasting impression, you can also use a quotation and ask a provocative question to the reader.
How to Start an Academic Essay
You read all about the parts of an essay and how you should write them. However, before writing an academic essay, you need to make some preparations.
Understand the Instructions
Whether this is your school or college assignment, your first step is to carefully read the instructions.
Your essay will be successful only if it incorporates or follows all the instructions or requirements. This may include the formatting requirements or the citation style requirements.
Do Your Research
Once you know the topic, you need to diligently do the research.
For this, you need to choose appropriate sources which probably you can find in your school or college library. Remember, the better your research, the more and stronger will be your arguments.
It is imperative that you read your sources and then cite them clearly and correctly.
Fine-tuning Your Essay
After you’ve read the instructions, done up your research, and written your academic essay, it’s time to review and revise.
The essay that you’ve written is in a raw form. Or, you can put it like that it still has some scope of improvement. Therefore, it is suggested that you do the following tasks.
- Break. Take a break. Yes, get up from your desk and go for a walk! You can engage yourself in some other activity or even go to sleep. The idea is to freshen up your mind and thoughts.
- Re-read. After you’re back from your break, re-read the draft of your academic essay. You might come up with some new ideas or thoughts and even spot some errors that you had missed on earlier.
- Read aloud. Read your essay aloud and assess if it sounds okay. Sometimes, what you’ve written may look good on paper but sound weird when spoken.
- Edit. Edit the essay to correct the spelling or grammar mistakes and change the tone wherever required.
- Proofread. The final step to polish your essay is to proofread it. You can do this yourself and ask the second pair of eyes to do that – it could be your friend or a member of your family.
Writing an essay is a time taking process. If you’re short of time or have other important tasks as your priority you can look up for essay online to submit your assignments on time.
Academic essay writing is a skill that you develop with practice. The more essays you write, the better you get at this art.
The beauty of your essay depends on your initial research, essay structure, and how you connect the different paragraphs and sections of the essay. Further, it should have a good flow and consist of strong arguments with sufficient examples or explanations.
Not the least, the introduction should be very impressive because if that sounds boring, the reader may not proceed further to read the rest of the essay and all your efforts would go in vain.
Hope this post gives you a fair idea about how to write an academic essay.
Over to you
How do you write an essay? What do you think is the main aspect that makes the essay a success? Share in the comments.