During university, academic essays are one of the most common types of assignments. Granted, you’re not expected to know every single thing about the topic, but it is essential that your essay reflects your grasp over the topic and how much effort you have put in to research it. The basic endeavor is to help students understand a new subject and create valuable content.
- Pick a topic:
Your instructor may have assigned you a topic or you may have to pick one. In case of the latter, choose a theme that aligns with your interests. In case you do not completely understand the topic, ask someone. If the subject is ambiguous, the essay will definitely not be able to do justice to your ideas.
- Define a purpose:
Understand the aim of the essay. Different essay prompts necessitate varying approaches. Check whether or not you are required to explain a concept or compare two methodologies or analyze/present your views on something. You must think along the lines of the expected approach before analyzing the keywords in the topic.
Your essay should have reliable evidence to support your conclusions; hence it is essential to delve deeper into the topic beforehand. Academic writing hinges on factual support. While conducting your research, keep track of the papers, journals, and websites you referred to, so that you can cite all the bibliographic sources at the end.
- Create an outline:
Your essay should not be an assortment of vague rambling points. Create an outline of the structure, keeping in mind that each paragraph should focus on one central idea. To ensure that your paragraphs flow in a cohesive manner, use transitory sentences at the beginning and end of each paragraph that ends up conveying your train of thought.
- Write the essay
Keep the outline in mind and write your essay using appropriate vocabulary. The introduction should provide a background for your argument and introduce the reader to your content’s structure. Divide your content into several well-defined paragraphs. The conclusion must reiterate your central idea and summarize the key supporting points.
After writing, ensure that your essay does not have any spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Make the sentences short and avoid using any slang. The essay should consistently be in active/passive voice and informal language.
Every instructor may provide different formatting guidelines. Make note of the line spacing, page length, number of words, font, font size, and section headings, among other possible details.
You may have written an excellent essay, but your essay may not be accepted at all if you do not follow the basic instructions.
Your essay should show not just your research on the topic, but also your understanding of it. The purpose of an academic essay is to encourage students to analyse a topic to widen their thinking horizons. Ensure that you give sufficient thought to the arguments and convey your understanding in a well-articulated manner. Your essay should be structured well enough to allow the reader to follow and appreciate your ideas.
By Anne Mitchell
The WriteSmartly Team