Know what the words you are using actually mean. How you use language is important, especially in academic essay writing. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are trying to persuade others that you are an expert who can make an intelligent argument. Using big words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writing. If you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk using it incorrectly. Using obscure language can also take away from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before you pull out that thesaurus to change that perfectly good word to something completely different.
Understand the argument and critically analyze the evidence. In the process of writing an academic essay, you should always have your main argument in mind. While it might be tempting to go off on a tangent about some interesting side note to your topic, doing so can make your writing less concise.
Always question any evidence you include in your essay; ask yourself, "Does this directly support my thesis? When you are evaluating evidence, be critical and thorough. You want to use the strongest research to back up your thesis. Everything you include should have a clear connection to your topic and your argument.
Know how to write a proper conclusion that supports your research. One of the most overlooked areas of academic essay writing is the conclusion. Your conclusion is what ties all your research together to prove your thesis. It should not be a restatement of your introduction or a copy-and-paste of your thesis itself. A proper conclusion quickly outlines the key evidence discussed in the body of an essay and directly ties it to the thesis to show how this evidence proves or disproves the main argument of one's research.
There have been countless great essays written, only to be derailed by vague, weakly worded conclusions. Don't let your next essay be one of those. You'll be able to focus on expressing your ideas while remaining within the word count, rather than having to organise your thoughts as you write. Michael Shields, academic skills tutor at Leeds Beckett University, argues that there are numerous different planning strategies - though key stages generally include evaluating the topic, doing your research around it and formulating an argument.
They then do their planning in reverse by altering the order of ideas, adding examples and expanding on their original draft. Michael says that one of the biggest problems students face when it comes to essays is squarely addressing the topic.
For example, the question, 'Compare and contrast the representation of masculinity in two James Bond films from the s and s', can be classified like this: instruction i. Place the question and these individual components in the context of your subject's key issues, then create a list, diagram or mind map collating your ideas and thoughts on the essay topic. Ask yourself: What is significant about the question and its topic?
What existing knowledge do you have that will help you answer this question? What do you need to find out?
Alternately, you may find that the first thing your reader needs to know is some background information. There are several generic structures that can help you start to think about your essay structure e.
You'll be able to focus on expressing your ideas while remaining within the word count, rather than having to organise your thoughts as you write.
It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. Editing is a crucial part of the process not an optional extra. To answer the question you must examine your evidence, thus demonstrating the truth of your claim. Then go back and revise, revise, revise. However, knowing where to begin and how to go about completing the assignment is not always easy - especially if you've not had to write at undergraduate level before and are still adjusting to university life.
So hop on a computer and get to it. Take time to understand the question or prompt being asked. Essay maps are flexible; they evolve with your ideas. They would much rather enjoy reading it, and be satisfied by the thread of your argument. We have tons—tons— here , including lots of real-world examples!
You need to read every single word of it, and to squeeze out as much guidance you can from the title.
To produce a high quality essay you need to demonstrate your ability: to understand the precise task set by the title; to identify, appropriate material to read; to understand and evaluate that material; to select the most relevant material to refer to in your essay; to construct an effective argument; and to arrive at a well-supported conclusion. A single grammatical error or typo could indicate carelessness—not a trait you want to convey to a college admission officer. Conclusion A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. The heart of the essay The middle part of the essay must fulfil the promises made in your introduction, and must support your final conclusions. It also uses present rather than future tense, and avoids informal terms. London: Methuen.
Such an account will give you a preliminary record of your ideas, and will allow you to remind yourself at every turn of the reader's needs in understanding your idea. When it comes to how much evidence should be included in an academic essay, a good guideline is to include at least three solid points that directly support your thesis. Structure, flow and focus How you present your argument is nearly as important as the argument itself, which is why it is imperative that your essay follows a logical structure. Let your essay sit for a while at least an hour or two before you proofread it. Proofread The last step is editing and proofreading your finished essay.
Throughout this process, the essay title is the single immovable feature. What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application—nor should it repeat it. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are trying to persuade others that you are an expert who can make an intelligent argument. It can be much less stressful to throw all your thoughts down on paper, before you start trying to find answers to these questions. You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set.
Questions to ask of your essay content may be useful. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. Alternately, you may find that the first thing your reader needs to know is some background information. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. Such essays generally have a descriptive thesis rather than an argumentative one.
Some retained a loose link to it while others abandoned it completely, in favour of more fluid patterns. You may wish to create a more flexible or fluid structure. Signs of Trouble A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" also labeled "summary" or "description". If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description. The sentiment behind the text is good, but it reads more like a second-rate blog post than an academic essay. A relevant and useful structure to support the presentation of your response to the title is vital.