how to writing academic essays

Academic Essay: From Basics to Practical Tips

how to writing academic essays

Has it ever occurred to you that over the span of a solitary academic term, a typical university student can produce sufficient words to compose an entire 500-page novel? To provide context, this equates to approximately 125,000 to 150,000 words, encompassing essays, research papers, and various written tasks. This content volume is truly remarkable, emphasizing the importance of honing the skill of crafting scholarly essays. Whether you're a seasoned academic or embarking on the initial stages of your educational expedition, grasping the nuances of constructing a meticulously organized and thoroughly researched essay is paramount.

Welcome to our guide on writing an academic essay! Whether you're a seasoned student or just starting your academic journey, the prospect of written homework can be exciting and overwhelming. In this guide, we'll break down the process step by step, offering tips, strategies, and examples to help you navigate the complexities of scholarly writing. By the end, you'll have the tools and confidence to tackle any essay assignment with ease. Let's dive in!

Types of Academic Writing

The process of writing an essay usually encompasses various types of papers, each serving distinct purposes and adhering to specific conventions. Here are some common types of academic writing:

types of academic writing

  • Essays: Essays are versatile expressions of ideas. Descriptive essays vividly portray subjects, narratives share personal stories, expository essays convey information, and persuasive essays aim to influence opinions.
  • Research Papers: Research papers are analytical powerhouses. Analytical papers dissect data or topics, while argumentative papers assert a stance backed by evidence and logical reasoning.
  • Reports: Reports serve as narratives in specialized fields. Technical reports document scientific or technical research, while business reports distill complex information into actionable insights for organizational decision-making.
  • Reviews: Literature reviews provide comprehensive summaries and evaluations of existing research, while critical analyses delve into the intricacies of books or movies, dissecting themes and artistic elements.
  • Dissertations and Theses: Dissertations represent extensive research endeavors, often at the doctoral level, exploring profound subjects. Theses, common in master's programs, showcase mastery over specific topics within defined scopes.
  • Summaries and Abstracts: Summaries and abstracts condense larger works. Abstracts provide concise overviews, offering glimpses into key points and findings.
  • Case Studies: Case studies immerse readers in detailed analyses of specific instances, bridging theoretical concepts with practical applications in real-world scenarios.
  • Reflective Journals: Reflective journals serve as personal platforms for articulating thoughts and insights based on one's academic journey, fostering self-expression and intellectual growth.
  • Academic Articles: Scholarly articles, published in academic journals, constitute the backbone of disseminating original research, contributing to the collective knowledge within specific fields.
  • Literary Analyses: Literary analyses unravel the complexities of written works, decoding themes, linguistic nuances, and artistic elements, fostering a deeper appreciation for literature.

Our essay writer service can cater to all types of academic writings that you might encounter on your educational path. Use it to gain the upper hand in school or college and save precious free time.

academic essay order

Essay Writing Process Explained

The process of how to write an academic essay involves a series of important steps. To start, you'll want to do some pre-writing, where you brainstorm essay topics , gather information, and get a good grasp of your topic. This lays the groundwork for your essay.

Once you have a clear understanding, it's time to draft your essay. Begin with an introduction that grabs the reader's attention, gives some context, and states your main argument or thesis. The body of your essay follows, where each paragraph focuses on a specific point supported by examples or evidence. Make sure your ideas flow smoothly from one paragraph to the next, creating a coherent and engaging narrative.

After the drafting phase, take time to revise and refine your essay. Check for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Ensure your ideas are well-organized and that your writing effectively communicates your message. Finally, wrap up your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

How to Prepare for Essay Writing 

Before you start writing an academic essay, there are a few things to sort out. First, make sure you totally get what the assignment is asking for. Break down the instructions and note any specific rules from your teacher. This sets the groundwork.

Then, do some good research. Check out books, articles, or trustworthy websites to gather solid info about your topic. Knowing your stuff makes your essay way stronger. Take a bit of time to brainstorm ideas and sketch out an outline. It helps you organize your thoughts and plan how your essay will flow. Think about the main points you want to get across.

Lastly, be super clear about your main argument or thesis. This is like the main point of your essay, so make it strong. Considering who's going to read your essay is also smart. Use language and tone that suits your academic audience. By ticking off these steps, you'll be in great shape to tackle your essay with confidence.

Academic Essay Example

In academic essays, examples act like guiding stars, showing the way to excellence. Let's check out some good examples to help you on your journey to doing well in your studies.

Academic Essay Format

The academic essay format typically follows a structured approach to convey ideas and arguments effectively. Here's an academic essay format example with a breakdown of the key elements:

academic essay format

Introduction

  • Hook: Begin with an attention-grabbing opening to engage the reader.
  • Background/Context: Provide the necessary background information to set the stage.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state the main argument or purpose of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

  • Topic Sentence: Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis.
  • Supporting Evidence: Include evidence, examples, or data to back up your points.
  • Analysis: Analyze and interpret the evidence, explaining its significance in relation to your argument.
  • Transition Sentences: Use these to guide the reader smoothly from one point to the next.

Counterargument (if applicable)

  • Address Counterpoints: Acknowledge opposing views or potential objections.
  • Rebuttal: Refute counterarguments and reinforce your position.

Conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis: Summarize the main argument without introducing new points.
  • Summary of Key Points: Recap the main supporting points made in the body.
  • Closing Statement: End with a strong concluding thought or call to action.

References/Bibliography

  • Cite Sources: Include proper citations for all external information used in the essay.
  • Follow Citation Style: Use the required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) specified by your instructor.
  • Font and Size: Use a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) and size (12-point).
  • Margins and Spacing: Follow specified margin and spacing guidelines.
  • Page Numbers: Include page numbers if required.

Adhering to this structure helps create a well-organized and coherent academic essay that effectively communicates your ideas and arguments.

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How to Write an Academic Essay Step by Step

Start with an introduction.

The introduction of an essay serves as the reader's initial encounter with the topic, setting the tone for the entire piece. It aims to capture attention, generate interest, and establish a clear pathway for the reader to follow. A well-crafted introduction provides a brief overview of the subject matter, hinting at the forthcoming discussion, and compels the reader to delve further into the essay. Consult our detailed guide on how to write an essay introduction for extra details.

Captivate Your Reader

Engaging the reader within the introduction is crucial for sustaining interest throughout the essay. This involves incorporating an engaging hook, such as a thought-provoking question, a compelling anecdote, or a relevant quote. By presenting an intriguing opening, the writer can entice the reader to continue exploring the essay, fostering a sense of curiosity and investment in the upcoming content. To learn more about how to write a hook for an essay , please consult our guide,

Provide Context for a Chosen Topic

In essay writing, providing context for the chosen topic is essential to ensure that readers, regardless of their prior knowledge, can comprehend the subject matter. This involves offering background information, defining key terms, and establishing the broader context within which the essay unfolds. Contextualization sets the stage, enabling readers to grasp the significance of the topic and its relevance within a particular framework. If you buy a dissertation or essay, or any other type of academic writing, our writers will produce an introduction that follows all the mentioned quality criteria.

Make a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central anchor of the essay, encapsulating its main argument or purpose. It typically appears towards the end of the introduction, providing a concise and clear declaration of the writer's stance on the chosen topic. A strong thesis guides the reader on what to expect, serving as a roadmap for the essay's subsequent development.

Outline the Structure of Your Essay

Clearly outlining the structure of the essay in the introduction provides readers with a roadmap for navigating the content. This involves briefly highlighting the main points or arguments that will be explored in the body paragraphs. By offering a structural overview, the writer enhances the essay's coherence, making it easier for the reader to follow the logical progression of ideas and supporting evidence throughout the text.

Continue with the Main Body

The main body is the most important aspect of how to write an academic essay where the in-depth exploration and development of the chosen topic occur. Each paragraph within this section should focus on a specific aspect of the argument or present supporting evidence. It is essential to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs, using clear transitions to guide the reader seamlessly from one point to the next. The main body is an opportunity to delve into the nuances of the topic, providing thorough analysis and interpretation to substantiate the thesis statement.

Choose the Right Length

Determining the appropriate length for an essay is a critical aspect of effective communication. The length should align with the depth and complexity of the chosen topic, ensuring that the essay adequately explores key points without unnecessary repetition or omission of essential information. Striking a balance is key – a well-developed essay neither overextends nor underrepresents the subject matter. Adhering to any specified word count or page limit set by the assignment guidelines is crucial to meet academic requirements while maintaining clarity and coherence.

Write Compelling Paragraphs

In academic essay writing, thought-provoking paragraphs form the backbone of the main body, each contributing to the overall argument or analysis. Each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that encapsulates the main point, followed by supporting evidence or examples. Thoroughly analyzing the evidence and providing insightful commentary demonstrates the depth of understanding and contributes to the overall persuasiveness of the essay. Cohesion between paragraphs is crucial, achieved through effective transitions that ensure a smooth and logical progression of ideas, enhancing the overall readability and impact of the essay.

Finish by Writing a Conclusion

The conclusion serves as the essay's final impression, providing closure and reinforcing the key insights. It involves restating the thesis without introducing new information, summarizing the main points addressed in the body, and offering a compelling closing thought. The goal is to leave a lasting impact on the reader, emphasizing the significance of the discussed topic and the validity of the thesis statement. A well-crafted conclusion brings the essay full circle, leaving the reader with a sense of resolution and understanding. Have you already seen our collection of new persuasive essay topics ? If not, we suggest you do it right after finishing this article to boost your creativity!

Proofread and Edit the Document

After completing the essay, a critical step is meticulous proofreading and editing. This process involves reviewing the document for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation issues. Additionally, assess the overall coherence and flow of ideas, ensuring that each paragraph contributes effectively to the essay's purpose. Consider the clarity of expression, the appropriateness of language, and the overall organization of the content. Taking the time to proofread and edit enhances the overall quality of the essay, presenting a polished and professional piece of writing. It is advisable to seek feedback from peers or instructors to gain additional perspectives on the essay's strengths and areas for improvement. For more insightful tips, feel free to check out our guide on how to write a descriptive essay .

Alright, let's wrap it up. Knowing how to write academic essays is a big deal. It's not just about passing assignments – it's a skill that sets you up for effective communication and deep thinking. These essays teach us to explain our ideas clearly, build strong arguments, and be part of important conversations, both in school and out in the real world. Whether you're studying or working, being able to put your thoughts into words is super valuable. So, take the time to master this skill – it's a game-changer!

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What Is An Academic Essay?

How to write an academic essay, how to write a good academic essay, related articles.

How to Write a Summary of a Book with an Example

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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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The Ultimate Guide: How to Write an Academic Essay

Learn how to write an academic essay with ease! Our comprehensive guide will help you master the art of creating a compelling academic essay.

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Academic essays serve as a platform for sharing knowledge, engaging in critical discourse, and contributing to the ever-evolving body of scholarly work. By honing your essay writing skills, you not only enhance your academic performance but also develop essential abilities that are transferable to various facets of your personal and professional life.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of writing an academic essay, from understanding its definition to mastering grammar, punctuation, and proper source citation.

What Is An Academic Essay?

An academic essay is a formal piece of writing that presents a well-structured argument or analysis on a specific topic within a particular academic discipline. It is a scholarly endeavor that requires critical thinking, research, and evidence-based reasoning to support the author’s claims and assertions.

Unlike other forms of writing, academic essays are characterized by their focus on intellectual inquiry, logical organization, and adherence to academic conventions. They are typically written for an audience of peers, instructors, or scholars in the field, to contribute to the existing body of knowledge, advancing understanding, or engaging in critical discourse.

Academic essays play a significant role in the academic world, serving as a means for students to demonstrate their understanding of a subject, engage in critical analysis, and communicate their ideas effectively. They contribute to the broader academic conversation, foster intellectual growth, and advance knowledge within a particular field of study.

Types Of Academic Essays

There are several types of academic essays, each with its own unique purpose, structure, and approach to presenting information and arguments. It’s important to note that essay types serve as general categories, and some essays may combine elements of different types. Additionally, within each type, there can be variations and subgenres depending on the specific requirements of the assignment or the academic discipline. Understanding the purpose and conventions of each type of essay will help you choose the appropriate approach and structure for your writing.

Let’s explore four common types of academic essays:

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay tells a story or recounts a personal experience. It engages the reader by providing a vivid description of events, characters, and settings, often using sensory details and storytelling techniques. Narrative essays aim to entertain, evoke emotions, or convey a lesson or moral. They may be used in subjects such as literature, creative writing, or personal development.

Descriptive Essay

Descriptive essays focus on providing a detailed description of a person, place, object, or event. Through the use of sensory language and vivid imagery, descriptive essays create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. The goal is to help the reader experience and visualize the subject being described. Descriptive essays are commonly used in subjects such as literature, geography, or visual arts.

Expository Essay

An expository essay aims to explain, inform, or describe a particular topic or concept. It presents a balanced analysis of a subject, providing factual information, definitions, explanations, or step-by-step processes. Expository essays require thorough research and a clear presentation of ideas, often using evidence and examples to support the explanations. They are commonly used in subjects such as history, science, or social sciences.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay aims to convince the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint, take a specific action, or change their beliefs or behavior. It presents arguments and evidence to support a specific position, using persuasive techniques such as logical reasoning, emotional appeals, or appeals to authority. Persuasive essays require in-depth research, strong rhetoric, and effective use of evidence to sway the reader’s opinion. They are commonly used in subjects such as sociology, political science, or communication.

Good Academic Essay Topics

When it comes to selecting a good academic essay topic, it is important to choose a subject that is engaging, relevant to your field of study and allows for in-depth analysis and discussion. Here are some examples of good academic essay topics across various disciplines:

  • Psychology: The impact of childhood trauma on adulthood.
  • Sociology: The effects of social media on interpersonal relationships.
  • Economics: Income inequality and its implications for economic growth.
  • Environmental Science: How to use renewable energy for combating climate change.
  • History: The impact of World War II.
  • Literature: Exploring the portrayal of gender roles and expectations in Jane Austen.
  • Political Science: Analyzing the rise of populism in contemporary politics.
  • Health Sciences: The ethical considerations of gene editing technologies.
  • Business Management: The impact of organizational culture on employee performance.
  • Education: Examining the effectiveness of online education.

Proper Format For Your Academic Writing

When it comes to academic writing, following the appropriate format is essential to ensure clarity, organization, and professionalism in your work. While specific formatting requirements may vary depending on your institution and the type of document you’re writing. Here are some general guidelines for the proper format of academic writing:

  • Include the title of your paper, your name, the course/instructor’s name, the institution, and the date of submission.
  • Adhere to any specific title page guidelines provided by your institution.

Font And Margins

  • Use a legible font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Set the font size to 12 points.
  • Use standard 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.

Line Spacing

  • Use double spacing throughout the entire document, including the body of the text, quotations, footnotes, and references.
  • Check if your institution or professor has any specific requirements for line spacing.

Page Numbers

  • Include page numbers in the header or footer of each page, typically in the upper right corner.
  • Start numbering from the first page of the introduction or the first page of the main body of your document.

Heading And Subheadings

  • Use clear and consistent headings to organize your paper.
  • Follow a hierarchical structure with main headings (e.g., Introduction, Methodology, Results) and subheadings (e.g., Literature Review, Data Analysis) as needed.
  • Apply a logical numbering system (e.g., 1. Introduction, 2. Literature Review) if required by your institution or style guide.

In-text Citations

  • Depending on the citation style (e.g., APA , MLA, Chicago ), use appropriate in-text citation formats when referring to sources.
  • Include the author’s name, publication year, and page number (if applicable) within parentheses or as per the prescribed style guidelines.

References/Bibliography

  • Include a separate section at the end of your document to list all the sources you have cited.
  • Follow the citation style guide (e.g., APA, MLA) for formatting the reference list.
  • Include all necessary details for each source, such as author(s), title, publication year, and publication information.

Paragraphs And Indentation

  • Begin each new paragraph with an indentation (usually half an inch or 1.27 cm).
  • Ensure that each paragraph focuses on a single idea or topic and provides clear transitions between paragraphs.

Headings And Formatting

  • Use bold, italics, or underlining sparingly for emphasis or to highlight titles, names, or specific terms.
  • Maintain consistency in your formatting choices throughout the document.

Proofreading And Editing

  • Carefully proofread your paper for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Check for clarity, coherence, and logical flow of ideas.
  • Ensure that your paper adheres to any additional formatting guidelines provided by your institution or instructor.

Steps On How to Write an Academic Essay

Writing an academic essay can seem like a daunting task, but breaking it down into smaller steps can make the process more manageable and less overwhelming. Here are the steps on how to write an academic essay:

1. Understand The Essay Prompt

Carefully read and comprehend the essay prompt or question. Identify the key requirements, such as the topic, scope, formatting guidelines, and any specific instructions.

2. Conduct Thorough Research On The Topic

Begin by gathering relevant information and conducting research on your chosen topic. Consult academic books, scholarly articles, reputable websites, and other reliable sources to gather evidence, examples, and supporting materials.

3. Develop A Clear Thesis Statement

Formulate a clear and concise thesis statement that presents your main argument or central idea. The thesis statement should guide the direction of your essay and provide a focus for your analysis and discussion.

4. Create An Outline To Organize Your Ideas

Organize your thoughts and ideas by creating an outline for your essay. Outline the main sections or paragraphs that will constitute the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Arrange your supporting points and evidence in a logical order.

5. Write An Engaging Introduction With A Clear Thesis Statement

Start your essay with an engaging introduction that captures the reader’s attention and provides necessary background information on the topic. Clearly state your thesis statement in the introduction and provide an overview of the main points you will discuss.

6. Develop Each Main Point In Separate Body Paragraphs

Develop each main point or argument in separate paragraphs. Begin every body paragraph with a topic sentence that presents the primary concept of that particular paragraph. Offer substantiating evidence, illustrations, and analysis to bolster your arguments. Ensure each paragraph has a clear focus and connects back to your thesis statement.

7. Analyze And Interpret The Evidence To Support Your Arguments

Offer critical analysis and explanations of how the evidence supports your main argument. Use logical reasoning and scholarly insights to strengthen your claims.

8. Summarize The Key Points Discussed And Reiterate The Central Thesis

Reflect on the significance of your arguments and provide a sense of closure to your essay. Refrain from introducing fresh information or arguments in the conclusion.

9. Revise And Edit For Clarity, Coherence, And Grammar

Thoroughly examine your essay to ensure clarity, coherence, and a logical progression of ideas. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Make sure that your essay adheres to the specified formatting guidelines. Revise and edit your essay for content, structure, and language use.

10. Proofread Your Essay For Errors And Make Final Improvements

Carefully proofread your essay to catch any remaining errors or inconsistencies. Read your essay aloud or have someone else review it to identify any areas that may require improvement. Pay attention to sentence structure, word choice, and overall readability.

Grammar And Punctuation Tips

To ensure clarity and coherence in your academic writing, pay attention to grammar and punctuation:

  • Ensure subject-verb agreement, meaning that the subject and verb in a sentence should match in terms of number and person. 
  • Maintain consistent verb tenses throughout your essay to avoid confusion. 
  • Proper use of punctuation marks, such as commas, semicolons, and apostrophes, is essential for conveying your intended meaning. 
  • Be cautious of run-on sentences and strive for concise and clear expressions of your ideas. 
  • Carefully proofread your essay for spelling and typographical errors, using both automated tools and manual review.

Proofreading And Editing Tips

The process of proofreading and editing is crucial for enhancing the quality of your academic essay. Here are some tips:

  • Begin by taking a break before proofreading to approach your work with fresh eyes. 
  • Reading your essay aloud can help identify awkward sentence structures, grammar errors, and areas that need improvement. 
  • Pay close attention to clarity and coherence—make sure your ideas flow logically and that your arguments are well-supported. 
  • Obtaining feedback from peers, professors, or writing centers can offer valuable insights and perspectives.
  • Edit your essay for conciseness and clarity, removing any unnecessary repetition or wordiness. A thorough review will help refine your essay’s overall structure and language use.

Citing Sources

Citing sources is essential in academic essays to give credit to original authors and avoid plagiarism. Follow these key points:

  • Choose a citation style required by your institution, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.
  • Include in-text citations when using external sources, mentioning the author’s last name and publication year.
  • For direct quotes, use quotation marks and provide a page number in the in-text citation.
  • Paraphrase or summarize information from sources in your own words, while still providing in-text citations.
  • Create a reference list or bibliography at the end of your essay, listing all sources used, following the specific formatting guidelines of your citation style.
  • For online sources, include the URL or DOI if available.
  • Remember that accurate and consistent citation practices acknowledge others’ work and add credibility to your own essay.

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About Jessica Abbadia

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How to Write an Academic Essay in 6 Simple Steps

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Written by  Scribendi

Are you wondering how to write an academic essay successfully? There are so many steps to writing an academic essay that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here, we outline how to write an academic essay in 6 simple steps, from how to research for an academic essay to how to revise an essay and everything in between. 

Our essay writing tips are designed to help you learn how to write an academic essay that is ready for publication (after academic editing and academic proofreading , of course!).

Your paper isn't complete until you've done all the needed proofreading. Make sure you leave time for it after the writing process!

Download Our Pocket Checklist for Academic Papers. Just input your email below!

Types of academic writing.

With academic essay writing, there are certain conventions that writers are expected to follow. As such, it's important to know the basics of academic writing before you begin writing your essay.

Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

Before you begin writing your essay, you need to know what type of essay you are writing. This will help you follow the correct structure, which will make academic paper editing a faster and simpler process. 

Will you be writing a descriptive essay, an analytical essay, a persuasive essay, or a critical essay?

Read More: How to Master the 4 Types of Academic Writing

You can learn how to write academic essays by first mastering the four types of academic writing and then applying the correct rules to the appropriate type of essay writing.

Regardless of the type of essay you will be writing, all essays will include:

An introduction

At least three body paragraphs

A conclusion

A bibliography/reference list

To strengthen your essay writing skills, it can also help to learn how to research for an academic essay.

How to Research for an Academic Essay

Step 1: Preparing to Write Your Essay

The essay writing process involves a few main stages:

Researching

As such, in learning how to write an academic essay, it is also important to learn how to research for an academic essay and how to revise an essay.

Read More: Online Research Tips for Students and Scholars

To beef up your research skills, remember these essay writing tips from the above article: 

Learn how to identify reliable sources.

Understand the nuances of open access.

Discover free academic journals and research databases.

Manage your references. 

Provide evidence for every claim so you can avoid plagiarism .

Read More: 17 Research Databases for Free Articles

You will want to do the research for your academic essay points, of course, but you will also want to research various journals for the publication of your paper.

Different journals have different guidelines and thus different requirements for writers. These can be related to style, formatting, and more. 

Knowing these before you begin writing can save you a lot of time if you also want to learn how to revise an essay. If you ensure your paper meets the guidelines of the journal you want to publish in, you will not have to revise it again later for this purpose. 

After the research stage, you can draft your thesis and introduction as well as outline the rest of your essay. This will put you in a good position to draft your body paragraphs and conclusion, craft your bibliography, and edit and proofread your paper.

Step 2: Writing the Essay Introduction and Thesis Statement

When learning how to write academic essays , learning how to write an introduction is key alongside learning how to research for an academic essay.

Your introduction should broadly introduce your topic. It will give an overview of your essay and the points that will be discussed. It is typically about 10% of the final word count of the text.

All introductions follow a general structure:

Topic statement

Thesis statement

Read More: How to Write an Introduction

Your topic statement should hook your reader, making them curious about your topic. They should want to learn more after reading this statement. To best hook your reader in academic essay writing, consider providing a fact, a bold statement, or an intriguing question. 

The discussion about your topic in the middle of your introduction should include some background information about your topic in the academic sphere. Your scope should be limited enough that you can address the topic within the length of your paper but broad enough that the content is understood by the reader.

Your thesis statement should be incredibly specific and only one to two sentences long. Here is another essay writing tip: if you are able to locate an effective thesis early on, it will save you time during the academic editing process.

Read More: How to Write a Great Thesis Statement

Step 3: Writing the Essay Body

When learning how to write academic essays, you must learn how to write a good body paragraph. That's because your essay will be primarily made up of them!

The body paragraphs of your essay will develop the argument you outlined in your thesis. They will do this by providing your ideas on a topic backed up by evidence of specific points.

These paragraphs will typically take up about 80% of your essay. As a result, a good essay writing tip is to learn how to properly structure a paragraph.

Each paragraph consists of the following:

A topic sentence

Supporting sentences

A transition

Read More: How to Write a Paragraph

In learning how to revise an essay, you should keep in mind the organization of your paragraphs.

Your first paragraph should contain your strongest argument.

The secondary paragraphs should contain supporting arguments.

The last paragraph should contain your second-strongest argument. 

Step 4: Writing the Essay Conclusion

Your essay conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay and primarily reminds your reader of your thesis. It also wraps up your essay and discusses your findings more generally.

The conclusion typically makes up about 10% of the text, like the introduction. It shows the reader that you have accomplished what you intended to at the outset of your essay.

Here are a couple more good essay writing tips for your conclusion:

Don't introduce any new ideas into your conclusion.

Don't undermine your argument with opposing ideas.

Read More: How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph in 3 Easy Steps

Now that you know how to write an academic essay, it's time to learn how to write a bibliography along with some academic editing and proofreading advice.

Step 5: Writing the Bibliography or Works Cited

The bibliography of your paper lists all the references you cited. It is typically alphabetized or numbered (depending on the style guide).

Read More: How to Write an Academic Essay with References

When learning how to write academic essays, you may notice that there are various style guides you may be required to use by a professor or journal, including unique or custom styles. 

Some of the most common style guides include:

Chicago style

For help organizing your references for academic essay writing, consider a software manager. They can help you collect and format your references correctly and consistently, both quickly and with minimal effort.

Read More: 6 Reference Manager Software Solutions for Your Research

As you learn how to research for an academic essay most effectively, you may notice that a reference manager can also help make academic paper editing easier.

How to Revise an Essay

Step 6: Revising Your Essay

Once you've finally drafted your entire essay . . . you're still not done! 

That's because editing and proofreading are the essential final steps of any writing process . 

An academic editor can help you identify core issues with your writing , including its structure, its flow, its clarity, and its overall readability. They can give you substantive feedback and essay writing tips to improve your document. Therefore, it's a good idea to have an editor review your first draft so you can improve it prior to proofreading.

A specialized academic editor can assess the content of your writing. As a subject-matter expert in your subject, they can offer field-specific insight and critical commentary. Specialized academic editors can also provide services that others may not, including:

Academic document formatting

Academic figure formatting

Academic reference formatting

An academic proofreader can help you perfect the final draft of your paper to ensure it is completely error free in terms of spelling and grammar. They can also identify any inconsistencies in your work but will not look for any issues in the content of your writing, only its mechanics. This is why you should have a proofreader revise your final draft so that it is ready to be seen by an audience. 

Read More: How to Find the Right Academic Paper Editor or Proofreader

When learning how to research and write an academic essay, it is important to remember that editing is a required step. Don ' t forget to allot time for editing after you ' ve written your paper.

Set yourself up for success with this guide on how to write an academic essay. With a solid draft, you'll have better chances of getting published and read in any journal of your choosing.

Our academic essay writing tips are sure to help you learn how to research an academic essay, how to write an academic essay, and how to revise an academic essay.

If your academic paper looks sloppy, your readers may assume your research is sloppy. Download our Pocket Proofreading Checklist for Academic Papers before you take that one last crucial look at your paper.

About the Author

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

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The Basics of Essay Writing

What does a good essay need.

An academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence .

  • An academic essay should answer a question or task .
  • It should have a thesis statement (answer to the question) and an argument .
  • It should try to present or discuss something: develop a thesis via a set of closely related points by reasoning and evidence.
  • An academic essay should include relevant examples , supporting evidence and information from academic texts or credible sources.

Basic steps in writing an essay

Although there are some basic steps to writing an assignment, essay writing is not a linear process. You might work through the different stages a number of times in the course of writing an essay. For example, you may go back to the reading and notetaking stage if you find another useful text, or perhaps to reread to locate specific information.

Possible steps (In no strict order)

  see next: getting started, essay and assignment writing guide.

  • Getting started
  • Research the topic
  • Organise your ideas
  • Write your essay
  • Reference your essay
  • Edit your essay
  • Hand in your essay
  • Essay and assignment planning
  • Answering assignment questions
  • Editing checklist
  • Writing a critical review
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Reflective writing
  • ^ More support

Scholarly Resources 4 Students | scite.ai 21 May 2024

Discover your Library: Main Library 21 May 2024

  • Academic Skills
  • Reading, writing and referencing

Writing a great essay

This resource covers key considerations when writing an essay.

While reading a student’s essay, markers will ask themselves questions such as:

  • Does this essay directly address the set task?
  • Does it present a strong, supported position?
  • Does it use relevant sources appropriately?
  • Is the expression clear, and the style appropriate?
  • Is the essay organised coherently? Is there a clear introduction, body and conclusion?

You can use these questions to reflect on your own writing. Here are six top tips to help you address these criteria.

1. Analyse the question

Student essays are responses to specific questions. As an essay must address the question directly, your first step should be to analyse the question. Make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you.

Generally, essay questions contain three component parts:

  • Content terms: Key concepts that are specific to the task
  • Limiting terms: The scope that the topic focuses on
  • Directive terms: What you need to do in relation to the content, e.g. discuss, analyse, define, compare, evaluate.

Look at the following essay question:

Discuss the importance of light in Gothic architecture.
  • Content terms: Gothic architecture
  • Limiting terms: the importance of light. If you discussed some other feature of Gothic architecture, for example spires or arches, you would be deviating from what is required. This essay question is limited to a discussion of light. Likewise, it asks you to write about the importance of light – not, for example, to discuss how light enters Gothic churches.
  • Directive term: discuss. This term asks you to take a broad approach to the variety of ways in which light may be important for Gothic architecture. You should introduce and consider different ideas and opinions that you have met in academic literature on this topic, citing them appropriately .

For a more complex question, you can highlight the key words and break it down into a series of sub-questions to make sure you answer all parts of the task. Consider the following question (from Arts):

To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?

The key words here are American Revolution and revolution ‘from below’. This is a view that you would need to respond to in this essay. This response must focus on the aims and motivations of working people in the revolution, as stated in the second question.

2. Define your argument

As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument.

Consider these two argument statements:

The architectural use of light in Gothic cathedrals physically embodied the significance of light in medieval theology.
In the Gothic cathedral of Cologne, light served to accentuate the authority and ritual centrality of the priest.

Statements like these define an essay’s argument. They give coherence by providing an overarching theme and position towards which the entire essay is directed.

3. Use evidence, reasoning and scholarship

To convince your audience of your argument, you must use evidence and reasoning, which involves referring to and evaluating relevant scholarship.

  • Evidence provides concrete information to support your claim. It typically consists of specific examples, facts, quotations, statistics and illustrations.
  • Reasoning connects the evidence to your argument. Rather than citing evidence like a shopping list, you need to evaluate the evidence and show how it supports your argument.
  • Scholarship is used to show how your argument relates to what has been written on the topic (citing specific works). Scholarship can be used as part of your evidence and reasoning to support your argument.

4. Organise a coherent essay

An essay has three basic components - introduction, body and conclusion.

The purpose of an introduction is to introduce your essay. It typically presents information in the following order:

  • A general statement about the topic that provides context for your argument
  • A thesis statement showing your argument. You can use explicit lead-ins, such as ‘This essay argues that...’
  • A ‘road map’ of the essay, telling the reader how it is going to present and develop your argument.

Example introduction

"To what extent can the American Revolution be understood as a revolution ‘from below’? Why did working people become involved and with what aims in mind?"

Introduction*

Historians generally concentrate on the twenty-year period between 1763 and 1783 as the period which constitutes the American Revolution [This sentence sets the general context of the period] . However, when considering the involvement of working people, or people from below, in the revolution it is important to make a distinction between the pre-revolutionary period 1763-1774 and the revolutionary period 1774-1788, marked by the establishment of the continental Congress(1) [This sentence defines the key term from below and gives more context to the argument that follows] . This paper will argue that the nature and aims of the actions of working people are difficult to assess as it changed according to each phase [This is the thesis statement] . The pre-revolutionary period was characterised by opposition to Britain’s authority. During this period the aims and actions of the working people were more conservative as they responded to grievances related to taxes and scarce land, issues which directly affected them. However, examination of activities such as the organisation of crowd action and town meetings, pamphlet writing, formal communications to Britain of American grievances and physical action in the streets, demonstrates that their aims and actions became more revolutionary after 1775 [These sentences give the ‘road map’ or overview of the content of the essay] .

The body of the essay develops and elaborates your argument. It does this by presenting a reasoned case supported by evidence from relevant scholarship. Its shape corresponds to the overview that you provided in your introduction.

The body of your essay should be written in paragraphs. Each body paragraph should develop one main idea that supports your argument. To learn how to structure a paragraph, look at the page developing clarity and focus in academic writing .

Your conclusion should not offer any new material. Your evidence and argumentation should have been made clear to the reader in the body of the essay.

Use the conclusion to briefly restate the main argumentative position and provide a short summary of the themes discussed. In addition, also consider telling your reader:

  • What the significance of your findings, or the implications of your conclusion, might be
  • Whether there are other factors which need to be looked at, but which were outside the scope of the essay
  • How your topic links to the wider context (‘bigger picture’) in your discipline.

Do not simply repeat yourself in this section. A conclusion which merely summarises is repetitive and reduces the impact of your paper.

Example conclusion

Conclusion*.

Although, to a large extent, the working class were mainly those in the forefront of crowd action and they also led the revolts against wealthy plantation farmers, the American Revolution was not a class struggle [This is a statement of the concluding position of the essay]. Working people participated because the issues directly affected them – the threat posed by powerful landowners and the tyranny Britain represented. Whereas the aims and actions of the working classes were more concerned with resistance to British rule during the pre-revolutionary period, they became more revolutionary in nature after 1775 when the tension with Britain escalated [These sentences restate the key argument]. With this shift, a change in ideas occurred. In terms of considering the Revolution as a whole range of activities such as organising riots, communicating to Britain, attendance at town hall meetings and pamphlet writing, a difficulty emerges in that all classes were involved. Therefore, it is impossible to assess the extent to which a single group such as working people contributed to the American Revolution [These sentences give final thoughts on the topic].

5. Write clearly

An essay that makes good, evidence-supported points will only receive a high grade if it is written clearly. Clarity is produced through careful revision and editing, which can turn a good essay into an excellent one.

When you edit your essay, try to view it with fresh eyes – almost as if someone else had written it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Overall structure

  • Have you clearly stated your argument in your introduction?
  • Does the actual structure correspond to the ‘road map’ set out in your introduction?
  • Have you clearly indicated how your main points support your argument?
  • Have you clearly signposted the transitions between each of your main points for your reader?
  • Does each paragraph introduce one main idea?
  • Does every sentence in the paragraph support that main idea?
  • Does each paragraph display relevant evidence and reasoning?
  • Does each paragraph logically follow on from the one before it?
  • Is each sentence grammatically complete?
  • Is the spelling correct?
  • Is the link between sentences clear to your readers?
  • Have you avoided redundancy and repetition?

See more about editing on our  editing your writing page.

6. Cite sources and evidence

Finally, check your citations to make sure that they are accurate and complete. Some faculties require you to use a specific citation style (e.g. APA) while others may allow you to choose a preferred one. Whatever style you use, you must follow its guidelines correctly and consistently. You can use Recite, the University of Melbourne style guide, to check your citations.

Further resources

  • Germov, J. (2011). Get great marks for your essays, reports and presentations (3rd ed.). NSW: Allen and Unwin.
  • Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students in Higher Education [online]. Retrieved January 2020 from http://www.uefap.com
  • Williams, J.M. & Colomb, G. G. (2010) Style: Lessons in clarity and grace. 10th ed. New York: Longman.

* Example introduction and conclusion adapted from a student paper.

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Facing Difficulty Writing an Academic Essay? — Here is your one-stop solution!

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Academic writing is an important aspect of higher education, as it helps to develop critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. However, for many people, writing an academic essay can be a daunting task. In this blog, we will take you through the process of writing an academic essay, step by step, so that you can approach your next writing assignment with confidence.

From understanding the assignment and researching the topic to developing an outline and revising your work, we will cover all of the key elements of the academic essay-writing process. We will also provide tips and tricks for overcoming common challenges and improving your writing skills. Whether you’re just starting out in your academic career, or you’re a seasoned pro looking to refine your writing skills, this blog has something to offer.

So, if you’re ready to take your academic writing to the next level, read on and discover how to write an academic essay that will impress your readers and help you achieve your goals.

Table of Contents

Writing an Academic Essay

1. introduction.

The introduction is one of the most important parts of an academic essay, as it sets the stage for what’s to come. The introduction should provide background information on the topic, establish the purpose of the essay, and clearly state your thesis. The purpose of the introduction is to engage your reader and make them want to continue reading.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong introduction:

1. Start with a hook

Begin your introduction with a hook that will grab the reader’s attention. This could be a quote, a statistic, or an interesting fact related to the topic.

2. Provide background information

After the hook, provide some background information on the topic to give context to the reader. This information should be relevant to the topic and help the reader understand why it’s important.

3. State your thesis

The thesis statement is a clear and concise statement of what you will argue in your essay. It should be placed near the end of the introduction and should reflect the focus of your essay.

4. Preview the main points

Preview the main points of your essay, so the reader knows what to expect. This will give your reader a roadmap for what is to come and will help you to stay focused as you write your essay.

5. Engage your reader

The introduction should engage your reader and make them want to continue reading. Avoid using too much technical language or jargon, and instead, focus on making your introduction accessible and interesting.

Writing a strong introduction to an academic essay is crucial for engaging your reader and setting the stage for what’s to come. By starting with a hook, providing background information, stating your thesis, previewing the main points, and engaging your reader, you will be well on your way to writing a strong academic essay.

2. Literature Review

The literature review is a critical component of an academic essay, as it provides a foundation for the rest of your research. The purpose of a literature review is to summarize and synthesize previous research on the topic and to identify gaps in the existing knowledge. The literature review should be more than just a list of articles and books, but rather an evaluation of the relevant literature.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a literature review :

1. Choose the right sources

Start by identifying relevant sources for your literature review. This may include academic journals, books, conference proceedings, and theses. Make sure to choose only the most relevant and up-to-date sources.

2. Read and take notes

Once you’ve identified your sources, it’s time to read and take notes. Use a system to keep track of the information and be sure to note the author, date, and key findings of each source.

3. Summarize the literature

In your literature review, you should summarize the key findings of each source, highlighting their relevance to your research. You should also synthesize the information, looking for patterns, similarities, and differences among the sources.

4. Evaluate the literature

A strong literature review should not just summarize the sources, but also evaluate them. This means examining their strengths and weaknesses and assessing their relevance to your research question .

5. Identify gaps in the literature

As you evaluate the sources, look for gaps in the existing knowledge and areas where further research is needed. This will help you to identify the significance of your research and justify the need for your study.

6. Organize your literature review

Once you’ve completed your evaluation, you should organize your literature review clearly and logically. This could be chronologically, thematically, or based on methodology.

By choosing the right sources, reading and taking notes, summarizing and evaluating the literature, identifying gaps, and organizing your review, you will be able to provide a thorough and well-supported foundation for the rest of your essay.

3. Methodology

The methodology section of an academic essay is where you describe the methods you used to conduct your research. This section is an opportunity to explain the steps you took to answer your research question and to justify why you chose these methods. The methodology should be detailed, precise, and transparent so that others can understand and replicate your study if necessary.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong methodology:

1. Define your research question

Before writing your methodology, you should have a clear understanding of your research question. This will guide the choice of methods you use and the information you collect.

2. Choose the right methods

The choice of methods should be guided by the research question. For example, if you’re conducting a survey, you would use a different method than if you were conducting a case study. Consider the strengths and limitations of each method, and choose the one that is best suited to your research question.

3. Explain your methods in detail

In your methodology, you should describe your methods in detail, so that others can understand how you conducted your research. This should include information on the sample size, how you collected the data, and any instruments or techniques you used.

4. Justify your methods

You should justify why you chose the methods you used and how they are appropriate for answering your research question. This might involve a discussion of the limitations of your methods and how they affect the results.

5. Address ethical considerations

If your research involved human subjects, you must address ethical considerations in your methodology. This might include information on informed consent, data confidentiality, and any potential risks to participants.

6. Be transparent

Your methodology should be transparent and honest so that others can understand and replicate your study if necessary. Be sure to report all of the methods you used, even if the results were not what you expected.

By defining your research question, choosing the right methods, explaining your methods in detail, justifying your methods, addressing ethical considerations, and being transparent, you will be able to provide a thorough and well-supported methodology for your essay.

The results section of an academic essay is where you present the findings of your research. This section should be clear, concise, and objective, and should present the data without any interpretation or discussion. The results should be organized logically and should include tables, figures, and other visual aids as necessary.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong results section:

1. Summarize the data

The first step in writing the results section is to summarize the data you collected. This might involve calculating means, standard deviations, and other descriptive statistics , depending on the type of data you collected.

2. Organize the results

This might involve presenting the results for each hypothesis, each research question, or each variable, depending on the nature of your study.

3. Use visual aids

Visual aids, such as tables and figures , can help to clarify and simplify the results. Make sure to label each visual aid clearly, and provide a caption that explains what the visual aid is showing.

4. Be objective

The results section should be objective, presenting the data without any interpretation or discussion. The interpretation of the results should be left to the discussion section.

5. Report results accurately

The results section should report the results accurately and precisely. This might involve rounding numbers to a specified number of decimal places, or using appropriate units of measurement.

In summary, by summarizing the data, organizing the results, using visual aids, being objective, and reporting the results accurately, you will be able to present your findings in a clear and compelling manner.

5. Discussion

The discussion section of an academic essay is where you interpret the results of your research and relate them to your research question and the broader literature. This section is an opportunity to conclude, make recommendations, and reflect on the strengths and limitations of your study. The discussion should be well-organized and should provide a clear and concise interpretation of the results.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong discussion section:

1. Interpret the results

The first step in writing the discussion section is to interpret the results of your study. This might involve comparing your results to previous research, explaining any unexpected results, and drawing conclusions about the implications of your findings.

2. Relate the results to your research question

The discussion should relate the results of your study to your research question, demonstrating how the results answer the question and providing insights into the topic.

3. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of your study

The discussion should include an evaluation of the strengths and limitations of your study, addressing any limitations that might affect the validity of the results, and suggesting areas for future research.

4. Draw conclusions

The discussion should conclude the results of the study, make recommendations based on the findings, and discuss the implications for future research.

5. Consider the broader context

The discussion should consider the broader context of the research, relating the findings to the broader literature and making connections to other related fields.

6. Write clearly and concisely

The discussion should be well-written and easy to understand, using clear and concise language. Avoid using technical jargon, and make sure to define any terms that may be unfamiliar to your reader.

6. Conclusion

The conclusion of an academic essay is the final section in which you summarize the key points of your argument and provide closure to your reader. This section should be concise and to the point, reiterating the main points of your essay and providing a final perspective on your topic. The conclusion should also reflect on the implications of your research, considering the broader context of your study and its contributions to the field.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong conclusion:

1. Summarize the key points

The first step in writing the conclusion is to summarize the key points of your essay. This might involve restating your research question, summarizing your findings, and reiterating your arguments.

2. Reflect on the implications of your research

The conclusion should reflect on the implications of your research, considering the broader context of your study and its contributions to the field. This might involve discussing the potential applications of your findings, considering any ethical implications, or discussing future directions for research.

3. Provide closure

The conclusion should provide closure to your reader, bringing your argument to a logical end and tying up any loose ends. This might involve suggesting a conclusion based on your research, or providing a final perspective on your topic.

4. Avoid introducing new information

The conclusion should avoid introducing new information or arguments that were not discussed in the body of your essay. This might confuse your reader and undermine the coherence of your argument.

5. Write concisely

The conclusion should be concise, using clear and concise language to summarize the key points of your essay. Avoid using technical jargon, and make sure to write in a way that is easy for your reader to understand.

By summarizing the key points, reflecting on the implications of your research, providing closure, avoiding introducing new information, and writing concisely, you will be able to provide a compelling conclusion to your argument.

7. References

The references section of an academic essay is a crucial component that provides a list of the sources you used in your research and writing. The purpose of the references section is to give credit to the authors whose work you have used, to provide evidence for your arguments, and to support the validity of your research.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong references section:

1. Follow a specific citation style

The first step in writing the references section is to follow a specific citation style. There are several citation styles used in academic writing, including APA , MLA , and Chicago , and it is important to choose the one that is appropriate for your discipline and the type of essay you are writing.

2. Cite all sources used in your essay

The references section should include a citation for all sources that you used in your essay, including books, journal articles, websites, and other types of sources.

3. Follow the format guidelines

The references section should be formatted according to the specific citation style that you have chosen. This might involve including information such as the author’s name, the title of the source, the publication date, and the page numbers for any direct quotes or paraphrased material.

4. Alphabetize the references

The references section should be alphabetized according to the author’s last name, or the first word of the title for sources without authors.

5. Check for accuracy

Before submitting your essay, make sure to check the references section for accuracy, verifying that all of the information is correct and that all of the sources are cited properly.

By following a specific citation style, citing all sources used in your essay, following the format guidelines, alphabetizing the references, and checking for accuracy, you will be able to provide a comprehensive and well-documented references section for your essay.

8. Appendices

The appendices section of an academic essay is an optional component that provides additional information that supports the main argument or research findings. This section might include materials such as graphs, tables, maps, images, or other types of data or supplementary information.

writing an academic essay

Here are some key steps to writing a strong appendices section:

1. Decide what to include

The first step in writing the appendices section is to decide what to include. This might involve evaluating the relevance of different types of information and determining which information is necessary to support your argument.

2. Label and organize the appendices

The appendices should be labeled and organized clearly and consistently, making it easy for the reader to understand the information being presented. This might involve including a title or description for each appendix, and numbering the appendices in a logical order.

3. Refer to the appendices in the main body of your essay

The appendices should be referred to in the main body of your essay, helping to connect the appendices to your argument. This might involve including a reference to the appendix in your text, or including a cross-reference to the appendix in your table of contents.

4. Use clear and concise language

The appendices should be written using clear and concise language, making it easy for the reader to understand the information being presented. Avoid using technical jargon, and make sure to write in a way that is accessible to your reader.

Before submitting your essay, make sure to check the appendices section for accuracy, verifying that all of the information is correct and that all of the tables, graphs, and other materials are properly labeled and organized.

By deciding what to include, labeling and organizing the appendices, referring to the appendices in the main body of your essay, using clear and concise language, and checking for accuracy, you will be able to provide a comprehensive and well-documented appendices section for your essay.

In Conclusion

Writing an academic essay is a complex and challenging task that requires careful planning, research, writing, and revision. From developing a strong thesis statement and researching the topic to writing the introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references, each step in the essay writing process requires attention to detail and a commitment to producing a high-quality essay.

By following the guidelines and tips outlined in this blog, you will be able to write a clear and well-structured essay that effectively communicates your argument, supports your claims with evidence, and meets the expectations of your reader.

In conclusion, writing an academic essay is a multi-step process that requires time, effort, and dedication. However, by breaking the process down into manageable steps, and by focusing on the key elements of writing an effective essay, you will be able to produce a high-quality essay that meets the expectations of your reader and contributes to your academic or professional success.

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How To Write an Academic Essay: A Beginner’s Guide

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During college, you must participate in many writing assessments, one of the most important being academic essays. Unfortunately, only a few are well-informed about the process of academic writing. 

If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn how to write an academic essay. Follow our guide! Here we’ll introduce the concept of the academic essay, the five components of an academic essay, the format of an academic essay, and more.

Ready to master your academic essay writing? Let’s go!

What Is an Academic Essay?

An academic essay is writing created to initiate debate, defend an idea, or present a new point of view by supporting it with evidence. 

One of the most important components that differentiate it from typical essays you have written in high school is supporting ideas with evidence. If you claim that, for example, “divorces have a negative impact on young children,” you need to find sources that support your argument to make it more convincing.

Interpreting facts is another essential element of a successful academic piece of writing. Academic essays should be written in a formal tone, with a set structure, and have a critical, based, and objective viewpoint. You should be able to understand and transmit different points of view to your readers in a simple but formal manner. 

Are you still trying to figure out what steps you should take to start writing? Keep scrolling!  

How To Write an Academic Essay

how to writing academic essays

Writing an academic essay can initially seem intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the rules and requirements. 

The time and effort spent on the writing task might differ depending on the topic, word limit, deadline, and other factors. However, the key steps, including preparing for the writing, creating a thesis statement, introduction, conclusion, and editing process, must be included in every academic writing style. 

By following the detailed list of actions below, you can start and finish your essay in no time.

Prepare to write your essay

Before going into the technical part of the writing process, one piece of advice you should keep in mind is planning. Planning is as important as the writing process. If you plan correctly, you will have sufficient time to perform every step successfully. Failure to plan will lead to a messy essay and, worst-case scenario, an unfinished writing piece. 

Understand your assignment

First and foremost, before you take any action regarding writing your essay, you must ensure you have clearly understood every tiny detail that your instructor has provided you—this step will determine your academic essay’s effectiveness. But why is that? Understanding the assignment in detail will leave no space for any irrelevant information that would lead to wasted time and, ultimately, a lower grade. 

Develop your essay topic

If your instructor doesn’t give you a specific topic, you should spend some time finding a topic that fits the requirements. Finding a topic sounds easy, but finding the right one requires more than just a simple google search.

So, ensure you develop an original topic, as it adds more value to your academic writing. However, ensure that there is enough evidence from other sources to help you back up your arguments. You can do this by researching similar topics from trusted sources.

Do your research and take notes

Once you determine the topic, go on and do some research. This part takes a lot of effort since there are countless sources online, and obviously, you have to choose some of the best. 

Depending on your topic, there might be cases where online sources are not available, and you’ll also have to visit local libraries. Whatever the case, you need to take notes and highlight the components you want to include in your essay. 

A quick tip: Go back to your topic often to avoid getting swayed or influenced by other less relevant ideas. 

Come up with a clear thesis statement

An excellent academic essay contains a strong thesis statement. A strong thesis statement successfully narrows your topic into a specific area of investigation. It should also intrigue your readers and initiate debate. 

A good thesis statement is:

  • NOT a question  
  • NOT a personal opinion

Create a structure

After gathering all the necessary information, you can begin outlining your main ideas. The primary academic essay structure is classified into the following 

  • Introduction

Failure to maintain these three components in your academic essay will result in a poorly written assignment. Luckily, you can easily avoid that by following our guide.

Writing the introduction

what-is-the-format-of-academic-essay

Your essay will be divided into paragraphs of equal importance, but the introductory part should always stand out. You must make your introduction as presentable as possible and get the reader’s attention. Work on it as if you were to get graded only by the evaluation of that first paragraph. 

The purpose of the introduction is to demonstrate that your thoughts and ideas are logical and coherent. Also, depending on the word limit, you can use more than one paragraph.  

Hook the reader

All forms of writing benefit from an attractive hook. If you have no idea of how to hook the reader, you can go the safe way and choose a recent fact or statistic. Statistics will give your essay credibility, surprise the readers, and make them want to keep reading.  

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Give background on the topic

Now that you have the reader’s attention, you should strive to expand the essay’s key points but to a limit since the introduction is only one part of the whole essay. You should generally explain what gaps from previous sources you will cover and what others have covered so far. 

Present your thesis statement

When introducing your thesis statement, you can present it as a statement of fact or controversial. If you decide to give a statement fact, it will be challenging to keep your audience engaged since facts can be easily proven. But presenting it more controversially will keep your audience awake and can even result in a better grade overall.

Writing the body of your essay

how-do-you-write-an-effective-academic-essay

The body part of your essay is where you’ll expand all of your ideas presented in the introduction. It’s essential to stay consistent and not include irrelevant information. Since it is the longest part of your essay, you can easily get lost, and to prevent that, it would be best to map an internal outline specific to each paragraph. This way, you know what to include and where. 

Paragraph structure

Each paragraph should follow a specific structure. It should begin with an introductory sentence that tells the reader the main ideas you will discuss in the paragraph. It’s advisable to point back to your thesis statement to identify the relationship between it and the existing idea. Also, ensure that each paragraph demonstrates new ideas.  

Length of the body paragraphs

Depending on the topic and the arguments you’ve gathered, it’s advisable not to exceed 200 words per paragraph in academic writing. If your paragraphs are too long and contain unnecessary wording, it will become difficult for the reader to follow your point. So keep them clear and concise.

Writing the conclusion

Congratulation, now you’ve made it to the last paragraph of your essay. The conclusion’s primary purpose is to summarize the ideas presented throughout your essay. Writing a good conclusion should take little time since you know what the essay contains. However, be aware of what points you should or shouldn’t include.

What to include in your conclusion 

A strong conclusion needs to have an introductory sentence. In some cases, if your instructor approves, it can include other areas that need to be investigated in the future. But at its core, it should only remind the reader about the main arguments discussed.

What not to include in your conclusion 

You should at all times refrain from including new ideas. Since the essay ends with the conclusion, don’t go into details or support new points. Doing that will confuse the reader and result in a poor grade. 

Editing your essay

how-to-write-an-academic-essay

Without a doubt, editing is just as important as writing. No matter how careful you are during writing, there’s a high possibility that there will be some slip-ups. These can range from spelling mistakes to grammar, punctuation, and so on. We suggest you spend time doing other things and return to the essay again. This will help you notice errors that you otherwise wouldn’t. 

Tips for Writing a Great College Essay

Now that you have a clear idea of the process of writing an academic essay, we have a few more tips: 

  • Always cite your sources
  • Gather enough sources to support your thesis statement
  • Keep your sentences short and comprehensive
  • Start the research as early as possible 
  • Do not skip revising 

The Bottom Line

Writing an academic essay is a complex task. But with the right tools, guidance, and willingness to learn from your mistakes, you will master academic writing in no time. Make sure to follow each of the abovementioned steps and practice as much as possible. And don’t forget to edit!

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Essay Writing

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help.

The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.

Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.

Before delving into its various genres, let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay.

What is an essay?

Though the word essay has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English, its origins provide us with some useful insights. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English; tracing it back further, we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere , which means "to examine, test, or (literally) to drive out." Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.

Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition. As is evidenced by this list of attributes, there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing.

The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from his or her purpose; the writing must be deliberate and interesting.

This handout should help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres.

This handout includes a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing:

  • Expository essays
  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Argumentative (Persuasive) essays
  • Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
  • Asking Analytical Questions
  • Introductions
  • What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
  • Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
  • Transitions
  • Tips for Organizing Your Essay
  • Counterargument
  • Conclusions
  • Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
  • Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

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What is Academic Writing: Tips for Students

academic writing

Students and early career researchers need to distinguish clearly between academic and general or non-academic writing. Both types of writing have their respective styles, structures, and basic guidelines that writers use depending on the matter and the audience they are intended for. It’s crucial to understand the implications of mixing these two styles, as it can lead to confusion and a lack of clarity in your writing. In this article, we will explain the difference between general and academic writing, explain the nuances of academic writing and share some valuable tips for students and early career researchers to follow while undertaking formal academic writing assignments.   

Table of Contents

  • Critical characteristics of academic writing  

Research paper

Literature review, lab reports.

  • Do’s   
  • Don’ts  

Critical characteristics of academic writing

Academic writing can be defined as a formal style of writing which is typically bound by strict scholarly conventions and is based on extensive research and analysis to support arguments. The main aim of academic writing is to contribute to new knowledge or insights within a specific field of study. Academic writing has its distinct characteristics and purpose. Some key characteristics of academic writing are:  

  • It takes a formal approach and an impersonal tone.  
  • It is usually written in the third person.  
  • The sentences are well-structured and consist of arguments and evidence.  
  • It is well-referenced, citing scholarly sources.  
  • It is evidence-based.  
  • The focus will be on a well-formulated and apparent research problem.  
  • There is an appropriate choice of words.  
  • The terminology used will be academic and discipline specific.  
  • It is usually intended for a scholarly audience.  

Hence, academic writing is not:  

  • Informal   
  • Personal   
  • Conversational   
  • Long-winded  
  • Emotional   

Types of academic writing

There are different types and categories of academic writing. Some key ones include:  

On a topic or question provided by the instructor, students are expected to write a short and focused text consisting of a central idea supporting evidence that is properly cited and share researched analysis and interpretation. Sometimes, students are allowed to write an essay on a topic of their choice.  

Unlike essays, research papers are more detailed, scholarly, and based on independent research. They should demonstrate their knowledge of the topic, employ analytical rigour, and demonstrate strength in dealing with a variety of sources. Your study and investigation should be able to make an original contribution to the existing body of knowledge in a specific discipline. This means that your research should add something new to the field, whether it’s a new perspective, a new method, or new data. It’s not enough to summarize what others have said; you need to bring something new to the table.   

A literature review is a comprehensive and critical review of published literature on a particular topic. It provides an overview of the current knowledge in the field and helps situate your work within the larger body of knowledge. A literature review is not just a summary of what others have said about your topic; it’s a critical analysis that identifies gaps in the existing literature and provides context for your study. It’s an essential part of academic writing, as it shows that you’re familiar with the current state of research in your field and that your work is building on that knowledge.  

A lab report communicates the aim, method, results, and conclusions of a scientific experiment. It is usually used in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  

Dos and don’ts for students who are starting with academic writing

  • For practical academic writing skills, focus on developing a habit of writing clearly. Spend sufficient time planning your work, creating an outline, organizing your thoughts, and managing your time.  
  • Depending upon your institutional or discipline-specific guidelines, you have the power to choose one style manual, such as the MLA, APA, or the Chicago Manual of Style. This choice is yours, and it’s essential to use the chosen style consistently. Each manual style has its own rules regarding how to write numbers, footnotes or endnotes, citations, and references. The choice of words is essential for clear and effective writing. Be concise and avoid confusing language.  
  • While the use of discipline-specific terminology is essential, make sure to use it appropriately and accurately.   
  • Structure your writing well so that the information is presented logically and straightforwardly so that the reader can quickly understand it. Make sure that your text is divided into chapters or sections. Structure your paragraphs so that each one presents a central point or idea and there is a clear link between the paragraphs. The thread of your research paper’s central argument should run throughout the text.   
  • Citing sources: Follow academic conventions and accurately cite any quoted text, data, findings, or arguments from other studies used in your text.  
  • Always make sure to proofread and edit your work before submitting it.  

Don’ts

  • As mentioned earlier, academic writing adopts a formal tone. Therefore, it should altogether avoid conversational language and the use of regional dialects or slang.  
  • Avoid overusing complex jargon just for the sake of using it.  
  • Vague terms or statements that can confuse the reader should not be used.  
  • Avoid plagiarism by following proper citation styles.  

Academic writing requires a formal approach, an impersonal tone, and evidence-based arguments to support a well-formulated research problem. It is a distinct type of writing with its characteristics, structure, and purpose. To excel in academic writing, students need to understand the nuances of academic writing and differentiate it from general writing. They also need to structure their writing well, use appropriate terminology, and follow academic conventions. By following these tips, students can produce transparent, concise, and well-referenced academic papers that contribute to new knowledge and insights within their respective fields. 

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Most popular 50+ Essay Topics of 2024

  • Updated On February 27, 2024
  • Published In IELTS Preparation 💻

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) writing section is a 1-hour test that comprises two questions: task 1 and task 2, which assess your vocabulary, grammar, word count, collocations, and ability to construct complex sentences with moderation and without repetition. 

Table of Contents

To begin, it is pivotal to understand that the IELTS essay topics vary for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Tasks. In Task 1 of IELTS Academic, you must write a report on a graph, diagram or chart, whereas, for IELTS General Training Task 1, you must write a letter. Task 2 of the General and Academic modules is essay writing; while the topics for essays in both modules may differ, the essay writing strategy remains the same. 

Examiners use the following criteria to calculate Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 scores: Task Achievement, Task Response, Coherence, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Lexical Resource.

IELTS Writing Task 2 for Academic

The IELTS Academic Writing section consists of two tasks that must be completed in one hour: 

Writing Task 1

In Task 1, you are assigned a graph, visual information, table or chart, which you are required to describe in your own words. You must write a report in 150 words, accurately describing what the information in the graph or picture represents. The IELTS writing task 1 marking criteria accounts for 33% of the total IELTS writing evaluation score, and you should try to finish this part in 20 minutes or less because IELTS writing task 2 is more difficult and will take at least 40 minutes to complete.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Most popular 50+ Essay Topics of 2024

Writing Task 2

 IELTS writing task 2 marking criteria has a 66% weightage, where you must complete a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. Candidates must respond to a problem, a point of view, or an argument in this task, with a curated response. The essay’s content should be written with perfect grammar and focused solely on the topic. As task 2 holds more weight, candidates should devote significant time to it and ensure a properly curated essay for a good band score. 

Let us now review some fundamentals of IELTS essay structure that you can apply to this task. A typical writing piece includes an introduction, the main body consisting of a few paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should write the context of your issue and a thesis statement representing the main idea of your text.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Most popular 50+ Essay Topics of 2024

The central section of your essay will discuss various facts and arguments that support or oppose the thesis statement. Finally, restate the thesis statement, bolstering it with new details from the main body. 

Here’s a list of the latest IELTS essay topics and sample questions to help you efficiently prepare for task 2 of the IELTS Writing section.

Latest IELTS Essay Topics for 202 4

IELTS essay writing topics are usually based on current events and world affairs. You will find a series of essay writing topics for IELTS in the following listicles. Also, one of the most effective ways to prepare for answering essays in the Writing section of IELTS is to work on the sample essay questions. The topic categories and essay writing samples to help students looking for the latest IELTS essay topics are stated below:

Environment

  • Environmental Crisis: One of the most common topics in IELTS is the environment essay IELTS band 9. Many students, however, do not see the need to prepare for this because it is one of the most specific topics resulting in a loss of marks. 

Click here for the Environmental Crisis essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Global Warming: It is common for IELTS speaking and writing sections to include questions about broad discussion topics, such as climate change, the greenhouse effect, global warming, and deforestation.

Click here for the Global Warming essay format, sample and answers for practice.

  • Sustainable Energy: If you are unfamiliar with the framework and concepts of an essay, it can be a daunting task. All of the sentences must be related and formed in such a way that they provide a clear view and information. You may be penalised if you veer off-topic while writing your essay. Sustainable energy and nuclear power topics are debated topics; hence practising them will give you an edge over your peers. 

Click here for the Sustainable Energy essay structure, sample and answers for practice.

  • Fossil Fuels: The IELTS essay topics for writing task 2 are usually based on common themes frequently discussed in the average aspirant’s daily life. One such theme is the use of renewable energy sources in place of nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels.

Click here for the Fossil Fuels essay sample and answers for practice.

Personality

  • Importance of First Impression:  IELTS examiners have a short attention span and read hundreds of essays daily. Hence, it is pivotal for you to get the start right and make a good first impression in your First Impression is Important IELTS essay.

Click here for the Personality essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Hobbies: ‘Hobbies’ is a common theme in both the IELTS Writing Task 2 and the Speaking section. This is a simple, mark-fetching topic with few challenges for students taking the exam.

Click here for the Hobbies essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Fashion: Fashion is a recurring topic with global themes and one of the best topics to practise your public speaking skills.

Click here for the Fashion essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Importance of Leisure Activities and School Values: The IELTS Essay on Education is one of the most challenging tasks, with unpredictable questions in the exam. These education essay topics, like the Importance of leisure activities, are opinion-driven and assess students’ ability to express their knowledge and skills thoughtfully.

Click here for the Education essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Government and Society: As an IELTS exam candidate, you should review as many common topics for Writing Task 2 as possible. One such common IELTS test theme is government and society, with which you should be well-acquainted. 

Click here for the Government and Society essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Ideal Society: Candidates should practise sample questions and answers for the Ideal Society IELTS essay to gain a firm grasp on writing and vocabulary and improve their overall band score.

Click here for the Ideal Society essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Social Media: Social media essays are a popular topic in IELTS writing task 2. For a social media IELTS essay band 9 and similar topics, the most straightforward approach is maintaining the proper word count and being aware of various approaches to the topic.

Click here for the Social Media essay sample and answers for practice.

Business & Global Consumerism

  • International Trade: Over the years, one of the topics covered in the IELTS exam has been global business. Your answer for such topics should contain everything; your responses, solutions, arguments, reasons, opinions, and evidence are critical to answering the question.

Click here for the International Trade essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Management and Leadership: In any organisation, leadership and management are critical roles. Your essay for such topics should always be pertinent to the question.

Click here for the Management and Leadership essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Foreign Languages: Foreign languages and language barriers are recurring themes in the IELTS writing task 2. Express your own opinions on such topics. 

Click here for the Culture essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Sports and children: Sport is a recurring theme, and the essay content should not deviate from the main points at any point in the essay.

Click here for the Sports essay sample and answers for practice. Covid 19

  • Covid impact: The topics of IELTS Writing task 2 are usually drawn from current events worldwide, making Covid-19 an anticipated topic. 

Click here for the Covid 19 essay sample and answers for practice.

  • Obesity: Overweight essays are among the most common topics in IELTS writing task 2. Obesity, recent trends in health among children and adults, and other similar topics may also be discussed in relation to overweight.

Click here for the Health essay sample and answers for practice.

Types of IELTS Essays

IELTS essay writing topics are usually classified under various sections. You can expect essays in the IELTS exam from any of the following types:

Opinion Essays 

In this essay category, you must discuss your opinion on the given topic. Naturally, the best way to score high in such essays is to have prior knowledge of common topics that are popular in the IELTS exam. 

Sample Questions:

  • Most teenagers today own a smartphone. Provide your opinion to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Crime novels and TV series have become quite popular in recent years. What is your opinion about these crime dramas?
  • Developing nations often require international assistance. Many believe that this assistance should be monetary, while some think practical help and advice would be more beneficial. Discuss both these views along with your opinion.
  • Many consider automobiles to be the biggest source of pollution in urban areas, while some believe industries are responsible for it. Explain both views and provide your opinion.
  • Many people believe individuals involved with creative arts should be financially supported by the government. Some others believe they should find separate resources. Discuss each of the views and give your opinion.
  • Some believe success in life comes from hard work, dedication, and motivation. While many believe success depends on other important factors like money and appearance. Discuss both views and provide your opinion. 
  • Many think that governments should fund programs in search of life on other planets. However, others believe governments should focus on unresolved issues on the planet. Provide your opinion and discuss both views.

You can also check out this detailed guide on Opinion Essays to learn the appropriate structure for maximum scores!

Discussion Essays

In the case of discussion essays, the candidates need to put forward an explanation for or against any given topic. Such essays are the most common to appear in the IELTS exam. 

Sample Questions: 

  • Many believe living in big cities comes with more advantages than residing in the countryside. Do you agree or disagree with this?
  • The shopping habits of people depend more on their age group than on any other factors. Do you agree or disagree with this? 
  • More and more children and minors are becoming overweight in developed nations. This is a major problem for most wealthy countries. Explain the causes and impacts of this issue.
  • The internet is a great invention that brings a host of advantages for the world population. However, there are several issues in terms of security and control of personal data. Do you agree or disagree with this?
  • Advertising prevents originality in people and makes them look the same and do the same. Do you agree or disagree with this?
  • Parents today often tend to organise extra classes on weekends or even after school. Do you believe this is at all useful? Or do you think the education provided in school is sufficient?
  • Some people believe that capital punishment should be done away with. Do you agree or disagree with this?

We have covered valuable tips & tricks to attempt Discussion Essays that can come in handy in your exam.

Solution Essays

For solution essays, you will have to provide a solution to a particular issue. At times, questions might be provided as to why a specific issue has occurred, and candidates have to provide their opinion on the answer.

  • The massive movement of people from agricultural areas to cities in search of employment can lead to serious problems in both places. What are the problems, and how can these be solved? 

Check out our sample question and answer on Solution Essays for a more thorough explanation.

Advantage or Disadvantage Essays

In this type of essay, students have to write about a particular topic’s positive and negative sides. Such essays test your argument construction skills and how well you can use English to communicate your views as clearly and coherently as possible. 

  • International tourism has greatly benefited many places. However, there have been major concerns about its impact on the local environment and inhabitants. Do the negative impacts of international tourism outweigh the benefits?
  • Some countries have recently passed laws to restrict the daily working hours of employees. Explain whether this will have a positive or negative impact.
  • More and more people today are visiting extreme places such as Antarctica or the Sahara desert. What are the advantages or disadvantages of such travels?
  • Social media is gradually replacing in-person face-to-face contact with many people worldwide. Do the benefits of social media outweigh the disadvantages? 

Use the sample questions from the Advantage/Disadvantage Essay type to practise your writing skills.

Direct Question Essays

For this type of essay, the topics will be provided as direct questions, which students have to answer based on their experiences and thoughts.

  • Shopping used to be a routine domestic task in the past. However, today, it has become more of a hobby. Is this a positive trend?
  • You can get more information on these rare essay-type questions on our  Direct question essay structure blog.

Preparation Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2

Many students believe they don’t need to prepare much because they speak English reasonably well. Well, the IELTS exam is not that easy. In fact, even native English speakers may find the test difficult. As a result, candidates should prepare for this section rigorously and methodically and start early preparation.

  • Begin your IELTS preparations at least 6 months before your intended test date, and ensure to devote some time daily to all 4 sections.
  • Choose writing topics for both tasks, especially writing task 2, and try to write about them daily. Time yourself; remember that you must complete both tasks in one hour.
  •  Spend significant time learning new vocabulary and brushing up on your grammatical skills. Following that is structured thinking, allowing you to convey your ideas logically. While writing, pay close attention to lucidity, logic, and clarity.
  • You should expand your ideas because the IELTS writing task 2 could cover any topic. Go through all the resources like magazines, books, and online materials to expand your knowledge and vocabulary. Additionally, practice as many mock tests as possible. 

As mentioned above it’s only practice that can get you the desire scores. But along with it you also need the best preparation materials and guidance. And the best solution we suggest is to register for the LeapScholar IELTS courses . Along with live classes from the best IELTS tutors, you’ll also have access to mock tests, speaking and writing evaluations and comprehensive study materials. As a reward you’ll also receive a course completion certificate.

How to Answer Task 2 Essays in IELTS Writing Section?

Students can employ the following steps to successfully enhance their ability to answer essays in the Writing section:

Step 1: Read and Understand the Question

The first step to nailing task 2 essays is to read and understand the question carefully. Most of the time, candidates answer the question without understanding what it demands. Candidates should carefully analyse the question, identify the question type and try to identify the keywords. Finally, they should clearly understand the instructions and then attempt to answer.

Step 2: Plan the Answer

Once students have understood the question, they need to plan the structure of the answer. This will allow candidates to organise their ideas and produce a clear and coherent response. 

Step 3: Write a Solid Introduction

The introduction of the essay should give an idea of what the essay is all about. Make sure to write an appropriate introduction conveying the gist of the essay.

Step 4: Carefully Curate the Main Body

The main body is the essential part of the essay, where you must provide the necessary details. State your points accordingly and substantiate them with explanations, examples, and other relevant data. Once done, you need to give a proper conclusion.

Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2

Candidates can use the following tips to ace their IELTS Writing test:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips

Although IELTS is a difficult test to master, one can achieve a good score with systematic and consistent preparation. If you require assistance in acing your IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2, our Leap Scholar experts will provide the necessary guidance, tips, and tricks to help you pass your IELTS test with flying colours. If you are planning to prepare for the essay task in the Writing section, you can go through this comprehensive guide to get an idea about the latest IELTS essay topics. You can prepare for the essay task accordingly with the help of sample essay topics and questions provided in the above sections. 

Still unclear about some portions of IELTS, then enrol for IELTS professional coaching. IELTS Prep app by Leap Scholar is a one-stop solution for your study abroad dream. You can access specially crafted lessons by experts accredited by IDP, British Council, and Cambridge. About 1M + students have trusted us with their IELTS prep journey. Join us, download our IELTS prep app and get access to the best resources!

Frequently asked questions

How can you score well in ielts writing task 2.

Ans. IELTS Writing Task 2 mainly has four performance descriptors: Task Response, Cohesion & Coherence , Lexical Resource, and finally Grammatical range and accuracy. The scoring happens on four parameters, so follow these and prepare with the correct books and practice questions.

What are the most popular questions asked in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Ans. The different types of questions in IELTS Writing Task 2 include: Problem/ Causes questions, Opinion questions, Advantage/ Disadvantage questions, Discussion of views, etc.

What are the main themes on which IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are based on?

Ans. Some of the broad themes include Environment, Food, Health, Art, Business, Communication, Crime & Punishment and more. Ideas and topics are taken under these broad themes for question framing.

Is it necessary to use complex words in IELTS Writing section?

Ans. Having a good vocabulary is an added advantage. However, difficult words should not be forcefully put in sentences. Your sentences should be organic and should fit the meaning and the context of your essays.

 How to develop ideas for IELTS Writing Task 2 2024?

 Ans. The easiest ways to generate ideas for IELTS Writing Task 2 are by analyzing model essays, finding ideas on google, talking to experts, watching movies, asking yourself some questions about the topic, generating main ideas from specific examples.

How many mistakes are acceptable in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Ans. Making one or two mistakes is overlooked by the examiner if the overall essay is good. However, making more mistakes than that can lead to lower IELTS band score.

What are the basic topics in IELTS writing task 2?

Some of the common IELTS topics for Writing Task 2 are  Art, Environment, Education, Health, Jobs and Employment, Sport, Science and Technology Friends and Family, Government and Society etc.

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  1. Academic Essay Examples

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  2. How to write a good academic essay. 💣 Good academic essay. Short Academic Essay. 2022. 2022-11-05

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  3. sample college application

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  4. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

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  5. Academic Essay Examples

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  6. Academic Essay

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VIDEO

  1. Lecture 11- TESOL Canada Writing Essays & Research Papers 2023/02/01

  2. Structuring An Essay

  3. Using the Internet as a Research Resource

  4. Expert Academic Writing Help

  5. How to Write a Good Essay in Academic Career

  6. Foundations of Essay Writing

COMMENTS

  1. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    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.

  2. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 8 Thesis Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is

  3. Academic Essay: From Start to A+ Finish

    In academic essay writing, thought-provoking paragraphs form the backbone of the main body, each contributing to the overall argument or analysis. Each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that encapsulates the main point, followed by supporting evidence or examples. Thoroughly analyzing the evidence and providing insightful ...

  4. How to Structure an Essay

    The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body. This article provides useful templates and tips to help you outline your essay, make decisions about your structure, and ...

  5. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  6. Beginning the Academic Essay

    The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. In order to engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay has to accomplish certain business. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient ...

  7. Essay and dissertation writing skills

    A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.. Short videos to support your essay writing skills. There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing ...

  8. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing ...

  9. The Ultimate Guide: How to Write an Academic Essay

    Writing an academic essay can seem like a daunting task, but breaking it down into smaller steps can make the process more manageable and less overwhelming. Here are the steps on how to write an academic essay: 1. Understand The Essay Prompt. Carefully read and comprehend the essay prompt or question. Identify the key requirements, such as the ...

  10. How to Write an Academic Essay in 6 Simple Steps

    Step 4: Writing the Essay Conclusion. Your essay conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay and primarily reminds your reader of your thesis. It also wraps up your essay and discusses your findings more generally. The conclusion typically makes up about 10% of the text, like the introduction.

  11. The Basics of Essay Writing

    Possible steps (In no strict order) Research the topic. Use books, journals and other credible academic sources for support and evidence. Take notes from your readings. Write an essay plan and organise your ideas. Write a first draft to include your introduction, body and conclusion. Set the draft aside for a day or two, then re-read and make ...

  12. Writing a great essay

    2. Define your argument. As you plan and prepare to write the essay, you must consider what your argument is going to be. This means taking an informed position or point of view on the topic presented in the question, then defining and presenting a specific argument. Consider these two argument statements:

  13. PDF HOW TO WRITE AN ACADEMIC ESSAY

    He wants his students to "suck the marrow out of life", "to seize the day", and to make their lives "extraordinary". Keating teaches poetry, but his students get a lot more than that - they learn passion, courage, and romance. A group of his students dare to form the Dead Poets Society, a secret organization.

  14. How to Write an Academic Essay: A step-by-step process

    Here are some key steps to writing a strong conclusion: 1. Summarize the key points. The first step in writing the conclusion is to summarize the key points of your essay. This might involve restating your research question, summarizing your findings, and reiterating your arguments. 2.

  15. Example of a Great Essay

    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 ...

  16. How To Write an Academic Essay

    Now that you have a clear idea of the process of writing an academic essay, we have a few more tips: Always cite your sources. Gather enough sources to support your thesis statement. Keep your sentences short and comprehensive. Start the research as early as possible. Do not skip revising.

  17. Essay Writing

    Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast ...

  18. PDF ACADEMIC WRITING

    Academic Writing "Writing" is usually understood as the expression of thought. This book redefines "writing" as the thought process itself. Writing is not what you ... In my writing classes, every time I asked students to write an essay on Hamlet, I wrote one myself—to get a sense of the steps they were going through and

  19. Strategies for Essay Writing

    Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt. Asking Analytical Questions. Thesis. Introductions. What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common? Anatomy of a Body Paragraph. Transitions. Tips for Organizing Your Essay. Counterargument.

  20. How to write an academic essay

    1. An introduction: an overview of the essay's purpose and key contents. 2. A (fully referenced) review of the key topic of the essay: its history and debates. 3. A discussion of the development of the topic and its debates to a resolution. 4.

  21. What is Academic Writing: Tips for Students

    The main aim of academic writing is to contribute to new knowledge or insights within a specific field of study. Academic writing has its distinct characteristics and purpose. Some key characteristics of academic writing are: It takes a formal approach and an impersonal tone. It is usually written in the third person.

  22. How to Write a College Essay

    Making an all-state team → outstanding achievement. Making an all-state team → counting the cost of saying "no" to other interests. Making a friend out of an enemy → finding common ground, forgiveness. Making a friend out of an enemy → confront toxic thinking and behavior in yourself.

  23. How to Write an Academic Essay in 10 Minutes or Less

    Use these paragraph formulas to write your academic essay in 10-minutes or less. Don't stare at the page, trying to write sentences in your head. Instead, pu...

  24. PPP+7.1+-+Writing+an+academic+essay (pptx)

    A creative essay is subjective and personal. An academic essay is factual, is usually based on research, is impersonal and is objective. An academic essay should provide the reader with insightful information. We do not use the first person when writing an academic essay. Instead of writing "In this essay I will discuss these themes," write ...

  25. Academic English: How to Write an Essay

    Infineon Technologies uses the edX Professional Program in Lean and Six Sigma from the Technical University of Munich to train hundreds of employees worldwide and set a standard of excellence globally. Infineon Technologies A.G. is one of the largest producers of semiconductor chips in the world, with over €14.2 billion in revenue.

  26. What Is Academic Writing?

    Academic writing is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications. You'll encounter it in journal articles and books on academic topics, and you'll be expected to write your essays, research papers, and dissertation in academic style. Academic writing follows the same writing process as other types of texts, but ...

  27. IELTS Writing Task 2: Most popular 50+ Essay Topics of 2024

    Task 2 of the General and Academic modules is essay writing; while the topics for essays in both modules may differ, the essay writing strategy remains the same. Examiners use the following criteria to calculate Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 scores: Task Achievement, Task Response, Coherence, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and ...