Academic essay writing is a style that anyone can learn to produce, once they know the basics of writing an essay. An academic essay should provide a solid, debatable thesis that is then supported by relevant evidence—whether that be from other sources or from one's own research. Most research follows a standard set of guidelines. Remembering some basic principles for academic essay writing will allow you to create valuable, persuasive papers, even if you're under a time crunch.
Make an outline. Know what you are going to write about before you start writing.
Before you even start writing an essay, it is important to know what you want to say. The easiest way to narrow down a thesis and create a proper argument is to make a basic outline before you begin writing your essay. The basic structure of an academic essay includes the following elements: an introduction that includes the thesis; the body of the essay, which should include separate paragraphs discussing evidence that supports the thesis; and a conclusion that ties everything together and connects it to the thesis. When it comes to how much evidence should be included in an academic essay, a good guideline is to include at least three solid points that directly support your thesis.
Acquire a solid understanding of basic grammar, style, and punctuation.
Grammar, style, and punctuation are incredibly important if you want your research to be understood and taken seriously. Before writing an essay, make sure you have a solid understanding of basic grammar. Grammar basics include verb and subject agreement, proper article and pronoun usage, and well-formed sentence structures. Make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation. Be mindful of your comma usage and know when a period is needed. Finally, in academic essay writing, voice is important. Try to use the active voice instead of the passive whenever possible (e.g., "this study found" instead of "it was found by this study"). This will make the tone of your essay stronger. Ensure your language is concise. Avoid transition words that don't add anything to the sentence and unnecessary wordiness that detracts from your argument.
Use the right vocabulary. Know what the words you are using actually mean.
How you use language is important, especially in academic essay writing. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are trying to persuade others that you are an expert who can make an intelligent argument. Using big words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writing. If you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk using it incorrectly. Using obscure language can also take away from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before you pull out that thesaurus to change that perfectly good word to something completely different.
Understand the argument and critically analyze the evidence.
In the process of writing an academic essay, you should always have your main argument in mind. While it might be tempting to go off on a tangent about some interesting side note to your topic, doing so can make your writing less concise. Always question any evidence you include in your essay; ask yourself, "Does this directly support my thesis?" If the answer is "no," then that evidence should probably be excluded. When you are evaluating evidence, be critical and thorough. You want to use the strongest research to back up your thesis. Everything you include should have a clear connection to your topic and your argument.
Know how to write a proper conclusion that supports your research.
One of the most overlooked areas of academic essay writing is the conclusion. Your conclusion is what ties all your research together to prove your thesis. It should not be a restatement of your introduction or a copy-and-paste of your thesis itself. A proper conclusion quickly outlines the key evidence discussed in the body of an essay and directly ties it to the thesis to show how this evidence proves or disproves the main argument of one's research. There have been countless great essays written, only to be derailed by vague, weakly worded conclusions. Don't let your next essay be one of those.
Image source: Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash.com
You've created the blueprint for a perfect paper: outlined the framework, devised a great thesis statement and located enough evidence to support your argument. What remains to be done, is to analyze those facts in original and intriguing ways.
If you've been told time and time again that you express great ideas in your essay writing but your writing needs polishing, you aren't alone. The following tips will help improve your writing skills and turn you into a great writer.
Movie buffs and bookworms can tell a bestseller from a dud within the first few moments. The same is true of any thesis statement you write.
Back to Advice and Articles
How Have I Changed As A Writer?
- Length: 581 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
In the past three months I feel like I have accomplished a great deal. As the semester comes to an end I find myself reflecting not only how I have survived the first semester but also what I have learned. The most important thing I have learned so far is how to become a better writer. I did not think it could really happen to me. I did not think I could handle all the work. I did not think I could actually become a better writer. Some how after all the hours of writing, and putting effort into the papers that I wrote this semester, I became a better writer. I did this because I concentrated on two very important areas, with the attitude of, if I could just become better in those then I would become a better writer. With help from an awesome teacher and a reliable tutor I have become a better writer by improving my skills in the areas of procrastination and content.
Procrastination has become such a bad habit for me. It is very hard to stop procrastinating everything once you have gotten into the habit of doing it. Once I had a term paper due for my religion class. It was to be ten pages long and we were told to spend a lot of time doing it. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited to the very last minute to do it. I waited until the night before to do most of it. Needless to say, I was up very late that night. In this class there was always a part of the paper due on a certain date before the final paper was due. Having things due before the final paper is due keeps me on task and keeps me from procrastinating until the day before the paper is due. There was one paper which we had to get sources for a while before the paper was due and it forced me to keep up with the paper, rather than let it go to the last minute. This class has taught me that the earlier you start the more positive your final result will be.
How to Cite this Page
|My Growth as a Writer Essay - In my past writing assignments it seemed to be that we were learning everything step by step, where as in college more is expected from me as a writer. As a high school student it was quite easy to push everything off till the last moment. Those two o'clock nights were very frequent when a six-page research paper was due the next day. As a college student the requirements are more challenging and not something that can be pushed back till the very last second. It seems strange to me that starting earlier for a college paper and working twice as hard on it, receiving a lower grade on it than I would have in high school is upsetting to think about, but is so true.... [tags: How I Have Changed As A Writer]||524 words|
|How Have I Changed As A Writer? Essay - In the past three months I feel like I have accomplished a great deal. As the semester comes to an end I find myself reflecting not only how I have survived the first semester but also what I have learned. The most important thing I have learned so far is how to become a better writer. I did not think it could really happen to me. I did not think I could handle all the work. I did not think I could actually become a better writer. Some how after all the hours of writing, and putting effort into the papers that I wrote this semester, I became a better writer.... [tags: Essays Papers]||581 words|
|An Evaluation of My Writing Essay - Over my career of schooling my writing has changed dramatically at times and very little at others. Through my years of schooling people have determined my main weaknesses and strengths that I should work on with my writing. My biggest weakness is writing introductions and conclusions they must be so complicated and require so much thought to be defined as good. I excel at writing body paragraphs and explaining all the facts that back up your main ideas though. In all my years of going to school I have had trouble writing introductions and conclusions for my papers.... [tags: How Have I Changed As A Writer]||638 words|
| Essay on Jean Toomer- An African American Writer - Jean Toomer was an African American writer. He was known as the leading American writer of the 1920s after he established his book "Cane" which inspired authors of the Harlem Renaissance. Jean Toomer was born on December 26, 1894 as Nathan Pinchback Toomer. His mother was the governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction and the first U.S. governor of African American descent (Jones 1). In 1985, Toomer's father abandoned him and his mother. He forced them to live with his mother cruel father in Washington.... [tags: Leading American Writer, Cane, Harlam Rennaissance]|
:: 4 Works Cited
|Which character do you believe has changed the most, in Silas Essays - Which character do you believe has changed the most, in Silas Marner, giving reasons why. Change can be natural or provoked manually, it is unavoidable, it is inevitable, it is imperative and it can be both welcome and greeted with apprehension. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says change is to, ‘Make or become different’, and the Oxford Thesaurus offers these alternatives, ‘adapt, adjust, alter, amend, convert, modify and transform’. Change and its effects is the underlying theme of Silas Marner.... [tags: Free Essay Writer]||2527 words|
|Personal Experience: Me as a Writer Essay - I can remember the first day of school when I walked into Mrs. Mary Doe´s room and I wondered, “What am I going to learn this year?” Well, the answer to that question is a lot of information that will help me in the future, especially, how to make a great essay. This valuable information will take me into high school and beyond. This information is the roots of my writing that has made me greatly improved as a writer. This year I learned what kind of writing I like, how I write efficiently and fluently, and how I changed as a writer.... [tags: writing strengths and strategies]||814 words|
|Essay Personal Experience: My Weaknesses and Strenghts as a Writer - ... For example conjunctions, verb tenses, objectives, independent and dependent clauses, direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominatives, and the list continues to grow. Even though I have been taught so much, these areas still give me trouble and I wish to keep improving these areas throughout my entire life. The last thing that I have discovered is the writing I enjoy and the writing that troubles me. The specific type of writing that I enjoy the most is historical fiction. I love the setting and how it ties into real historical events that actually happened.... [tags: mandela, change, reading]||1471 words|
|My Examination as a Writer Essay - My Examination as a Writer The process of examining me as a writer is not easy. Writing, for me, has never been an easy task. Many times I sat for hours contemplating my blank piece of paper just trying to figure out how to begin to write the creative writing assignment due in a few days for my high school English class. I knew that learning to write well took patience and practice, much like learning any other skill. I remember the long hard hours I spent developing my skills as a skateboarder.... [tags: Essays Papers]||549 words|
| Essay on Herman Melville: The Great American Writer - Herman Melville: The Great American Writer Everyone has heard of the novel Moby Dick at some point in their educational career, yet few know much about the life of its author. Herman Melville , the author of Moby Dick had an interesting life. Throughout his life he had many ups and downs. He was born on August 1, 1819 to a wealthy family that owned their own export business. This privileged life was short lived when Allen Melville, Herman's father, died in 1832. This was two years after the family business had gone under.... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]|
:: 4 Works Cited
|Comparing Nothing's Changed and Half-Caste Essay - Comparing Nothing's Changed and Half-Caste Half-Caste and Nothing's Changed are two poems that, despite having different subjects, are full of similarities. Both Half-Caste and Nothing's Changed express anger. Although, the object of their anger is different. The anger in Half-Caste is directed at language, or more specifically the use of one phrase while the anger in Nothing's Changed is towards a culture. In Half-Caste Caribbean dialect is used. Nothing's Changed is written in standard English.... [tags: Tatamkhulu Afrika John Agard Essays]||1112 words|
Writer Last Minute Final Paper Semester Term Paper Tutor Habit Months
Content is what makes a paper good. The content of my paper was, in the past, not as good as it could have been. Often it would be dry and some of the information would seem out of place. Since I have started to get my sources earlier and not wait until the last minute, I have more time to look through all of the information and pick out only the best facts. This makes my paper have better quality than it would if I had just picked out the first interesting facts that I saw. After retrieving better information, I have learned how to better organize my thoughts and put them on to paper. Personally, I think I can better put information together from most important to least important now than ever before. Better organizing information in my papers helps make me a better writer.
After not thinking that I could become a better writer and thinking I would only struggle with college writing, I think I have improved. I have been able to stop my procrastination, at least dropping it to a minimum. I have improved with getting better sources and getting them ahead of time, which makes me gather better information. All around I think this class has made me a better writer.