How To Write An Academic Essay
Writing An Academic Essay
An academic essay is a document that has a defined structure, an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Main Types Of Academic Essays
We can define three main types:
- Descriptive – describes a subject, e.g.; a person, place, or event.
- Expository – explains a concept or theory.
- Argumentative – presents an argument through reasoning and the use of evidence.
Your essay will need the following:
An introduction which:
- Sets out the context/background of your argument;
- Introduces the content of the essay;
- Introduces the theoretical perspectives you will be using;
- May define key terms (alternatively you can do the work of definition in the second paragraph;
- Sets out your thesis statement/line of argument/central contention; and
- Explains how the essay will be organized (order of points).
A body containing a number of paragraphs each of which will:
- Present a topic sentence or central idea supporting your thesis statement/line of argument/central contention;
- Contain developing sentences which extend on or amplify the topic sentence;
- Give evidence/examples/references which support/relate to your topic sentence; and
- Provide a concluding/linking sentence;
A conclusion which:
- Restates your thesis statement/line of argument/central contention;
- Summarizes the points and evidence you provided to support your thesis; and
- May suggest areas for further research/ investigation
You should follow a number of academic stylistic conventions when writing:
- Use Standard English avoiding American spelling
- Write in the third person unless otherwise directed
- Avoid slang terms, clichés and colloquial expressions
- Avoid gender bias and sexist language
- Avoid emotive language
- Be direct – use the active rather than the passive voice
- Be concise