Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.
The essay writing process consists of three main stages:
- Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
- Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
- Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
Table of contents
Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .
For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services
Discover proofreading & editing
Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:
- Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
- Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
- Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
- Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
1. Hook your reader
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
2. Provide background on your topic
Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
3. Present the thesis statement
Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:
As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.
4. Map the structure
In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Write your essay introduction
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Length of the body text
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.
See the full essay example
The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :
- Returns to your thesis
- Ties together your main points
- Shows why your argument matters
A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.
What not to include in a conclusion
To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:
- Including new arguments or evidence
- Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
- Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Write your essay conclusion
My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).
My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.
My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.
I use paragraphs to structure the essay.
I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.
Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.
I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.
I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.
I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.
My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .
My essay has an interesting and informative title.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).
Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.
Open Google Slides Download PowerPoint
An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked.
- How long is an essay? Guidelines for different types of essay
- How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples
- How to conclude an essay | Interactive example
More interesting articles
- Checklist for academic essays | Is your essay ready to submit?
- Comparing and contrasting in an essay | Tips & examples
- Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks
- Generate topic ideas for an essay or paper | Tips & techniques
- How to revise an essay in 3 simple steps
- How to structure an essay: Templates and tips
- How to write a descriptive essay | Example & tips
- How to write a literary analysis essay | A step-by-step guide
- How to write a narrative essay | Example & tips
- How to write a rhetorical analysis | Key concepts & examples
- How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
- How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips
- How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples
- How to write an expository essay
- How to write the body of an essay | Drafting & redrafting
- Kinds of argumentative academic essays and their purposes
- Organizational tips for academic essays
- The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples
- Transition sentences | Tips & examples for clear writing
What is your plagiarism score?
- More from M-W
- To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In
Definition of essay
(Entry 1 of 2)
Definition of essay (Entry 2 of 2)
attempt , try , endeavor , essay , strive mean to make an effort to accomplish an end.
attempt stresses the initiation or beginning of an effort.
try is often close to attempt but may stress effort or experiment made in the hope of testing or proving something.
endeavor heightens the implications of exertion and difficulty.
essay implies difficulty but also suggests tentative trying or experimenting.
strive implies great exertion against great difficulty and specifically suggests persistent effort.
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'essay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle French essai , ultimately from Late Latin exagium act of weighing, from Latin ex- + agere to drive — more at agent
14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4
14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2
Phrases Containing essay
- photo - essay
- essay question
Articles Related to essay
To 'Essay' or 'Assay'?
You'll know the difference if you give it the old college essay
Dictionary Entries Near essay
Cite this entry.
“Essay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/essay. Accessed 1 Sep. 2023.
Kids definition of essay.
Kids Definition of essay (Entry 2 of 2)
More from Merriam-Webster on essay
Nglish: Translation of essay for Spanish Speakers
Britannica English: Translation of essay for Arabic Speakers
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about essay
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Can you solve 4 words at once?
Word of the day.
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
- Academic Essays
- Approaching Writing
- Sentence-level Writing
- Write for Student-Run Media
- Writing in the Core
- Access Smartthinking
- TutorTrac Appointments
- SMART Space
“What Is an Academic Essay?”
Overview (a.k.a. TLDR)
- Different professors define the academic essay differently.
- Thesis (main point)
- Supporting evidence (properly cited)
- Your academic essay is knowledge that you create for the learning community of which you’re a member (a.k.a. the academy).
As a student in Core classes, especially in COR 102, you can expect that at least some of the major work in the course will entail writing academic essays. That term, academic essay , might sound as if it’s referring to a specific writing genre. That’s because it is. An academic essay is not a short story, an electronic game design document, a lesson plan, or a scientific lab report. It’s something else. What exactly is it, though? That depends, to some extent, on how the professor who has asked you to write an academic essay has chosen to define it. As Kathy Duffin posits in an essay written for the Writing Center at Harvard University, while an academic essay may “vary in expression from discipline to discipline,” it “should show us a mind developing a thesis, supporting that thesis with evidence, deftly anticipating objections or counterarguments, and maintaining the momentum of discovery.”
Even though Duffin’s essay is more than 20 years old, I still find her description interesting for a few reasons, one of which being the way that she has sandwiched, so to speak, some established content requirements of academic essays in between two broad intellectual functions of the academic essay. Here’s what I see:
When Duffin writes that an academic essay “should show us a mind,” she is identifying an important quality in many essay forms, not just academic essays: a sense of a mind at work. This is an important consideration, as it frames an academic essay as an attempt to understand something and to share that understanding. Essay is, in fact, also a verb; to essay is to try or attempt.
The established content requirements are as follows:
- a thesis (which Duffin describes also as a “purpose” and “motive”)
- evidence in support of the thesis, and
- an anticipation of objections or counterarguments
Duffin caps this all off with something about “maintaining the momentum of discovery.” Honestly, I’m not positive that I know what this means, but my guess is that it means an academic essay will construct and advance a new way of knowing the essay topic, a way that makes this process seem worth the writer’s and the reader’s time.
Again, your professor may or may not define academic essays as Duffin does. The only thing I would add to the above is a reminder that the academic essays you write in COR 102 and other courses represent knowledge that you’re creating within and for the academy —another word for Champlain College, an academic institution. You’re creating knowledge for a community of learners, a community of which you, your professor, and your peers are members. Keeping this conceptualization of your academic essay in mind may help you appreciate such other common elements of academic essays as voice , citations , and essay format.
Duffin, Kathy. “Overview of the Academic Essay.” Harvard College Writing Center, Harvard U., 1998, https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/overview-academic-essay Accessed 29 July 2020.
Quick tip about citing sources in MLA style
What’s a thesis, sample mla essays.
- Student Life
- Career Success
- Champlain College Online
- About Champlain College
- Centers of Experience
- Media Inquiries
- Contact Champlain
- Maps & Directions
- Consumer Information
How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips
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 their abilities to gather and present information and data. In this guide from our essay writing service , we are going to explain to you how to write an excellent academic essay and show you the different types you can choose from.
What Is an Academic Essay?
In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas. This type of assignment allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity and encourages them to develop their ideas to communicate a message.
Get Your Academic Essay Written!
Simply send us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll get it done.
Compared to other types of academic writing, essays are usually shorter in length and present the authors’ opinions to support their arguments. Here are some key features of an academic essay for you to keep in mind:
- Conciseness — as a rule, essays are short; the length of such papers range from 200 to 500 words.
- Topic — due to their short lengths, a perfect topic for an essay should be narrowed-down and not too broad.
- Well-structured text — although essays can be considered as one of the least formal types of writing, they still need to have a solid structure and follow the proper academic paper format.
- Clear central idea — every academic essay should deliver a specific point that should be clear and powerful (i.e. thesis statement).
- Personal motivation — unlike other types of writing, essays often imply that their authors are personally interested in the subjects they are discussing.
- Supporting facts, evidence, and examples — although essays may present an author’s personal beliefs and ideas, they should also provide arguments that support those ideas.
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.
To fully understand how and when to use an academic essay, our custom writing service will describe the main types of them for you.
Academic Essay Example
Here is a perfect academic essay example from our research paper writer .
Types of Academic Essays
Academic writing can be categorized into four main types of essays that serve unique purposes—though some share similar structures. With that being said, the four types of academic papers are narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.
Expository and persuasive types are most commonly seen in university curriculums as they are more scientific and objective. Narrative and descriptive essays are more subjective and engage your creativity. Now, let’s break down each type and look at each academic essay definition.
This type of writing requires the author to create a compelling story of practically anything imaginable. In other words, it is a super-condensed version of a novel. This type of essay requires students to demonstrate their creative abilities. Therefore, it implies the constant use of strong adjectives. Their use will help the author of an essay to create a strong, graphic picture for their story and enhance the audience's perception of the topic. Although telling a compelling story is basically the main purpose of this type of essay, there is much more to it than there seems. A well-written narration should also have a point that is “written between the lines”. Simply put, there should be a clear message delivered through the text. By putting a hidden message between the lines, you motivate the reader to read the paper in its entirety as it sparks their curiosity.
Read more about how to write a narrative essay .
In short, in this type of essay, the author chooses a specific thing, experience, emotion, or idea and describes it for the reader. Just like with narrative writing, this style requires the author to be subjective and creative. And, just like a narrative essay, the author is meant to draw a picture in the audience’s eyes. Another key to success in writing a descriptive essay is carefully selecting words. Such a paper should evoke certain emotions in the reader and connect them to the object of discussion. Finally, the paper should describe the subject in simple terms. When the reader understands the subject well after reading an essay - that’s when you know you have written a stellar descriptive paper.
Another type of academic writing — an expository essay is used to help readers understand subject matter by providing grounded information and facts. This type of writing requires its author to support all of the information included in the paper with valid evidence. An expository paper is no place for opinions or personal views on a subject. A quality paper should use analysis that consists of factual information on its subject. The author's key goal is to inform and educate the audience through clear logic and facts. Just to give you an example, this “How to Write an Academic Essay” article can be considered as expository writing.
Writing a persuasive paper requires one to embrace the role of a salesman (or saleswoman). You can state an opinion, project, or idea which you then have to sell to your reader(s). The logic behind how you supply the reader(s) with information should be impenetrable, leaving them with no doubt that what you are expressing is the only truth they need to know. Cater your points carefully to avoid being pushy, and hide your sales tactic behind well-thought-out sentences. When it comes to defending an argument, you can use logical tactics, emotional tactics, or a mix of both; this depends on what you are attempting to argue.
Good Academic Essay Topics
Logically, topics will vary based on the style of writing you are creating. Sometimes you can find the same topic within separate academic essay categories, but the main content will always vary depending on the category of paper you write about. That being said, here are some good academic essay topics for high school and college students:
Narrative Essay Topics
- Describe how you and your family survived the quarantine. Explain how it affected you.
- Talk about your experience of being engaged in remote learning. How did it affect your grades and overall performance? Do you think that remote education is better or worse than the traditional alternative?
- Write a story that explains the importance of technology in the modern person’s life.
- Write a story that explains the value of every person’s contribution to the process of solving the global problem of climate change.
Descriptive Essay Topics
- Describe a person who has had the biggest impact on your life.
- What is the most significant recent event in global history?
- Describe the experience of falling in love. How does it affect one’s personality?
- Describe the most impactful piece of art or music you have ever seen. What traits do you think define powerful art?
Expository Essay Topics
- Why does the rate of teen suicides keep increasing? What forces youth to commit suicide?
- What can each individual do to contribute to the prevention of climate change and reduce the threats it brings with it?
- What strategies can our society adopt to recover after the global pandemic as quickly and painlessly as possible?
- George Floyd’s death and the police’s abuse of authority: What can we do to prevent future cases?
Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Topics
- Should the government make relevant amendments to the constitution to restrict the actions permitted by police officers during arrests?
- Should we keep on following self-distancing rules even now since the danger has diminished?
- Gun control: Provide arguments for stricter gun control in the US.
- Should technology (apart from those devices used for educational purposes) be banned in colleges?
Don't have time to finish reading all of this?
Count on the support of our professional writers. We process all requests fast.
Proper Format for Your Academic Writing
Usually, an academic essay follows the standard 5-paragraph structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Moreover, each section will have its own unique internal structure. The introduction’s main goal is to introduce the topic and to reveal the essay’s main message (a.k.a. the thesis statement). The body paragraphs’ primary tasks are to defend the thesis with 3 sub arguments—1 per paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion is there to wrap up the entire argument and to leave a lasting impression in the form of an overall concluding statement. Down below we have presented a graphic organizer that illustrates the breakdown.
Need an Essay WRITTEN FAST?
No worries, we've got you covered. Send us your paper requirements and we'll write you an original essay in no time.
Start Off the Writing Process by Creating an Outline
Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary.
- Thesis Statement: This is the focal point of your writing and one of your introductory paragraphs' key elements. It is the main message the author is trying to deliver.
- Body Points (Subpoints): These are the key points or statements that you will use to support your thesis.
- Connection: When writing an academic essay, it is important to tie it directly or indirectly to the real world. Provide a reason why it is important to you or why it is relevant to society. This will fill your paper with new meaning and showcase your unique way of thinking.
- Summary: This is a short and strong statement that briefly explains your given points.
You might also be interested in getting more info about HOW TO WRITE AN OUTLINE in MLA and APA styles.
To help you get a better idea of how to shape a perfect outline for your essay, here is a sample outline for a paper written about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on the Society”:
- ~ Hook: Statistics show that in 2019 alone, almost two thousand people were killed due to police brutality.
- ~ Background information and explanation of key terms: The term "police brutality" refers to the excessive, unwarranted, and often illegal use of force by the policemen. Throughout the US, and throughout global history, there have been plenty of cases of fatal force that range from assault to torture, and even murder. Moreover, statistical data indicates that the levels of violent crime in the United State do not determine the rates of police violence. That is why, recently, police brutality has become a real and prevalent issue that is being widely discussed and spotlighted in the media.
- ~ Thesis statement: The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant impact on how people view their society, and it has to be addressed appropriately to prevent further growth of discontent and violence.
- ~ Point 1 + example/evidence
- ~ Point 2 + example/evidence
- ~ Point 3 + example/evidence
- ~ Summary of the key points discussed in the main body.
- ~ Restatement of the thesis statement.
- ~ A final sentence that leaves readers with more to consider.
Once you have created a proper outline, listed your main points, and collected evidence to support your ideas, it is time to start writing your paper. A lot of people choose to come up with a title before the writing process as it helps them set the mood for their work. Others prefer writing first and then creating a title based on their written information. The second option is more suitable for writing a narrative or descriptive essays, as the title’s meaning could be abstract. However, when it comes to expository and persuasive papers, it is important to set a specific essay title and to follow its general theme.
Introduction: How to Start an Academic Essay
The academic essay format we are talking about in this article is pretty basic. It has been widely used to create high-quality essay examples for university for years. The main reason students still use it is that it is considered to be the most effective in terms of delivering information to the reader.
Where to start: When writing any academic writing assignment, a student should begin by shaping a solid introduction.
Quick tip: If you are not too experienced in writing academic papers, don’t hesitate to find a good academic paper example to give you an idea about how to make a good introduction. Looking at good samples can help to get you going.
A reader’s attention span is at its peak at the very beginning of a paper, when they just start reading, so your introductory paragraph will basically set the tone for the entire academic paper. Luckily, EssayPro can share a few handy and highly effective techniques to help you build a compelling introduction!
First of all, you should begin with a powerful hook. The term “hook” is used to refer to the first sentence of the introduction paragraph—the main purpose of which is to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read on. To help you get on the right track, here are some of the best tactics for creating a hook that works:
- Quote: Starting an introduction with a creative and meaningful quote is one of the most popular techniques for introducing a paper. When the quote is chosen right, it can make a powerful impact on a reader and set the right tone for the entire essay. Therefore, quotes often serve as good openers. However, it is vital to pick the right quote that will directly relate to your topic and does not distract your reader from your topic’s main point.
- Fact: Another common opening technique is to begin an essay with a factual statement or statistic. This is most helpful when writing an expository or persuasive essay, as, in this case, such an opener will add credibility to your paper. Also, starting with a fact will demonstrate that you have researched your topic well.
- Rhetorical Question: Finally, another way to begin your essay is to start with a rhetorical question. This technique will help you to connect more with your reader(s). A good rhetorical question will stick in your reader's mind as they go through the rest of the paper. However, it is important that you answer the rhetorical question from the introduction in your essay’s body or, at least, guide your audience towards a relevant observation.
Bad Hook Example: “Police brutality must stop.” – This is not intriguing and does not grab the reader’s attention, though it gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about.
Good Hook Example: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – This hook will have a stronger impact on a reader because it is a famous quote from a police-brutality victim. Consequently, it hints on the topic of the essay, but keeps the intrigue.
When you have a powerful hook, it is time to give your readers an insight into the essay's main topic. Since the main theme of the paper may not yet be evidently clear at this point, you need to narrow down your paper’s focus by introducing some valuable contextual background information. Outlining the background data will help readers understand how the topic will unfold throughout the paper. Finally, after you provide the background, it is time to shape your golden sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).
In a nutshell, the thesis statement is the key theme, idea, or argument of your essay. In other words, it summarizes the entire message you are going to deliver in a single sentence.
Bonus tip: When shaping your thesis statement, do not overload it with unnecessary information. Keep it straight to the point and concise. Remember that the main purposes of this sentence are to lay out the focus of the paper and to introduce the readers to the main ideas you will cover within the body paragraphs.
Bad Thesis Statement Example: “Police violence is bad for society.” – This is too short and does not indicate a solid opinion from the author.
Good Thesis Statement Example: “The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant influence on society and has to be addressed appropriately to prevent the growth of discontent and violence further.” – This is concise, but detailed enough to let the readers understand the purpose of the writing. It is logical and states the clear position the author supports.
The Main Body
The body paragraphs of your essay will be the source of information for your audience. The main body is always the biggest part of a 5 paragraph assignment and requires the most attention. When writing your body paragraphs, your main points should be stated according to the order of your outline and should support your thesis statement with valid arguments and facts. If you deviate from that, it’s going to confuse the audience, especially those who are very attentive to your essay’s flow.
Here are the main requirements for writing a strong body section:
- Accuracy : Be cautious with information and do not contradict yourself. Include the relevant subpoints (based on the body paragraphs) you presented in your thesis.
Bad Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) However, according to some sources, Antarctica is now gaining back ice, which indicates that the problem is being resolved. (Point 2)
Good Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) Also, according to scientists and the reports from statistics taken from satellites, Antarctica keeps losing its land ice rapidly, which also indicates continued global warming. (Point 2)
- Evidence: Every topic or idea you present should be defended with sufficient evidence to accredit your words. Provide details such as facts, statistics, and references.
Bad Example: Global warming is a real threat because of the increase in the carbon footprint left by people.
Good Example: According to the official Nasa report, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have now almost reached the point of 420 parts per million. This indicator is considerably larger compared to the level of the atmospheric carbon dioxide reported in 1950, which barely reached 320 parts per million. These facts let us conclude that the issue of climate change is now indisputable.
- Word Choice: Mind your vocabulary, especially when it comes to persuasive or descriptive papers. The words you use should accurately represent your information. Use vivid adjectives and strong adverbs. Some things you want to avoid in terms of word choice are misused words, jargon or technical terms that confuse readers, slang or inappropriate language, cliches, wordiness, etc.
Bad Example: Last but not least, police brutality cases cause society discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
Good Example: Lastly, police brutality causes discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
- Keep It Consistent: A body paragraph should be between 5-7 sentences. Logically, they should all follow a similar structure, with the main difference revolving around the presentation of the subpoint. We always recommend students check out a quality academic writing sample to get a good idea of how the whole piece should look like.
The main body's goal is to answer any questions that have appeared in the reader’s mind after the introduction. Every new point should get the audience closer to understanding the complete concept you deliver throughout your essay. Ideally, your goal is to bring them to the same level of knowledge on the subject as you have in your capacity. After doing so successfully, it is time to transition to the conclusion.
Academic Essay Conclusion
In any assignment you write, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of your paper, your reader might not even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, you have to remind them. Overall, a good essay conclusion is going to include:
- Summary: A condensed paraphrasing of the information stated in the thesis and the subpoints. (Only if you are writing an expository, descriptive, or persuasive paper)
- Personal or Social Connection: In other words, why this information is relevant to society. Stating such a connection showcases the general importance of the subject and its modern-day relevance.
- Overall Concluding Statement: This will normally be the last sentence that serves the purpose of tying a knot around your work. If you have initially started with a rhetorical question, a nice touch would be to give the audience an answer to it here. If you have written a quote, rephrase it in your own words. It is important to leave the audience with a strong statement that will stay in their minds.
The drafting process takes you from a compilation of information to the structured delivery of your idea within your essay. No excellent-quality paper has ever been written in a single draft. The process begins with a rough draft – a stage where you use all of the information you have acquired from your relative outline. From there, you narrow down this information to the most relevant parts that add actual value to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also rid itself of content problems, structural flaws, or simple typos. The final draft of an essay might end up being drastically smaller than its original draft.
Word choice is one of the factors that define the quality of an academic essay. It is also often overseeded or neglected. It is no secret that some words are better at communicating ideas than others. It is also no secret that vocabulary plays a big role in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is especially significant in descriptive essay writing when your goal is to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. If you are writing a paper on a specific area of study, it is crucial to use words related to that field and avoid simple neutral words that offer no contribution to the text.
Finalizing the Submission
At this stage of writing, your content should be well polished. After taking your essay through a peer review and/or red pen edits, make sure to:
- Fix all grammatical mistakes and punctuational errors
- Finalize your title
- Add a bibliography if needed (basically, a “references” or “works cited” page that also includes the sources you have used, but weren’t referenced within the text)
- Make sure your paper meets its specified academic paper formatting requirements.
If you need dissertation writing help , leave us a message ' rewrite my essay ' or ' buy essay cheap ', and we'll help asap.
We hope we’ve given you a good head start at becoming an expert academic essay writer. Remember, the purpose of an academic essay is to develop your ideas to deliver a message. As a result of getting better at academic essay writing, you will be able to articulate yourselves clearly and be able to write and speak more confidently. Good luck with your assignment!
Want Us to Write Your Academic Paper?
Still aren’t sure if you can handle writing an academic paper all by yourself? No worries, we’ve got you covered! EssayPro has a large pool of professional writers with MA and Ph.D. degrees, and many years of experience in delivering top-quality academic help.