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Guide: How to Write a Good Essay

Step One: Choose a Fresh Topic

❶If you research a specific case or issue, you should present your arguments and counterarguments logically. A primary source is any type of first-hand or direct evidence about your topic.

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Step Two: Collect Information and Learn about the Right Structure


You might accomplish this by starting each paragraph with a brief sentence that connects it with the topic of the previous one or ending each paragraph with a sentence that links it to the next. Cite your sources clearly and correctly. Follow the rules of the citation style that you are using to determine how to format each citation e.

Instead, every line of the quote should be indented from the left-hand side. If you come across any convincing counterarguments to your thesis, acknowledge them in your essay. If you can, provide evidence to refute these counterarguments. Addressing alternative interpretations of the evidence will show that you have researched your topic thoroughly and allow you to present your case in a fair and balanced manner.

Convincingly rebutting the major counterarguments will make your own argument more compelling to your readers. Write a concluding paragraph. Once you have presented your arguments and evidence, tie everything together with a concise summary. State, in a clear and confident way, why you think that your argument successfully supports your thesis, and summarize a few of the key points or discoveries that you made.

If you have any final thoughts, such as ideas for further research on the topic or questions that still need to be answered, this is the place to state them.

Use a few sentences to reflect on the significance of your argument, and how it might affect future studies of this topic. Your bibliography should contain a list of every source that you made reference to in the paper, however briefly. While the format of the bibliography will vary depending on the citation style you are using, each citation should include at minimum: The name of the author.

The title of the work. The name of the publisher, and usually the place of publication. The date of the publication. If you can, sleep on it and come back to it the next day, so that you can look at it with a fresh perspective. Read over your draft. As you read, look for any obvious issues with style, flow, and organization. If it helps, read the essay out loud to yourself. Make note of anything that jumps out at you as needing improvement. As you read, keep the following questions in mind: Are there any words or sentences that you could cut out?

Is your writing clear? Does everything make sense? Is the essay well-organized? Is there anything that would flow better if it was arranged in a different order? Do you need to make the transitions between sections flow more smoothly?

Check the language and tone of your essay. As you read over your essay, consider whether the language you use is appropriate for academic writing. Keep your language and tone formal and objective. Proofreading is the nitty-gritty task of catching and correcting issues like formatting problems, typos, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes.

Read your essay slowly, line by line, and correct any problems that you see. Have someone else check your work. When it comes to revising your writing, two sets of eyes are definitely better than one. If you can, have a friend or classmate read over your essay before you finalize it and hand it in.

They may catch errors that you missed, or point out passages that need to be clarified or reworded. Sample Essays Essay Template. Can my thesis statement be in the form of: This might be part of your thesis statement. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Can I use first person pronouns when I write an academic essay assignment? Never use the first person in an academic essay when you are trying to get a point across.

Use terms like "it can be argued" or "in contrast to this point" instead. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Typically, in-line citations are used like this: Last Name, Year , so that the reader can go to your reference list and easily find the work you're referencing. Not Helpful 8 Helpful Yes, after your 1st paragraph and thesis statement, you may use a new subtopic in each new paragraph. Make sure your information is tied together well.

Not Helpful 5 Helpful Writing a good introduction is like an art. However, the best way to write a proper introduction is beginning with general information about the topic 1 or 2 sentences , defining some of the important terms or subject matter 1 or two sentences , narrowing down to your topic 1 or 2 sentences and finally writing the purpose statement or the thesis statement.

Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Can I use my experience as an example when writing an academic essay? It depends on the type of essay. In many essays, you can.

You can always ask your teacher if you're not sure. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. Why is it necessary to write an academic essay to persuade the readers about a person's ideas using evidence? The ability to write a good persuasive essay can show a lot about the person and their abilities. It demonstrates their reasoning skills, ability to read and understand a text or analyze data, etc.

These essays also often require the writer to make connections across various texts and link different ideas together. This will vary depending on the topic of your essay and the field of study in which you are writing. In general, it is best to use peer-reviewed works, such as academic books or journal articles. How to write a thesis sentence on advertising? Answer this question Flag as Compare and contrast academic essay writing and report writing?

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write an academic essay, start by coming up with a sentence thesis statement that will be the main topic or argument in your essay. Did this summary help you? Some instructors may actually deduct points for attempts to make the paper look longer.

Slang, colloquialisms, and chatty language are not appropriate for an academic paper. Unless you are good at writing quick papers under stress, give yourself plenty of uninterrupted time to complete your assignment. Warnings Do not plagiarize. If you use the words or ideas of others and don't indicate where they came from, you're misleading your readers. It's dishonest, a form of cheating, and it's usually easy to see. Plagiarism can have serious consequences for your academic career.

Essays In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. LB Lisa Bowers Aug 4. All I can say is wow, this has been a whirlwind. Your site is a breath of fresh air. Textbooks are so technical, and learning online is a lonely place when you have a question at 2: Your site makes a lot of confusing things simple to understand!

CC Claire Cromarty Mar 11, In my day I was just stupid, but now I found out I am dyslexic. This essay plan is so simple, clear and supportive. A really good framework for me to work from. CC Cynthia Chavez Oct 4, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the steps that were laid out. An academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. 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.

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What does a good essay need? 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: 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. Use books, journals and other credible academic sources for support and evidence.


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In any essay you write, whether it's an academic success essay or an academic goal essay, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of the paper, your reader won’t even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, your duty is to give them a reminder.

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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.

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Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic. 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.

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