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How to Write an Academic Essay

By Joseph M  11 months, 2 weeks ago

pic sourced from pixabayPhoto: pic sourced from pixabay

Whether in high school or university, most parts of your learning will involve writing academic essays. These essays play a key role in showing a students’ potential in gathering information. They also show their ability to present data and information and most importantly, their understanding of a given subject. Are you looking to learn how to come up with an excellent essay? Are you having challenges in selecting the type of essay to write? Read on! This guide got you covered.

What Is an Academic Essay?

Typically, it is a specific way of writing what a student learns. It is usually part of their curricula whether in college or university. Why do they present an academic essay? The point of all this is to give information that has never been given before. They also serve the purpose of delivering certain information from the available data. Such an assignment shows the knowledge and creativeness that the student has and pushes them to come up with new ideas to give certain information.

Different from other academic writings, essays are shorter. Their purpose also differs from other academic writings them seeking to show what the authors' opinion is and backup the arguments presented. Some major elements of an academic essay include:

·         Conciseness – They are usually short with their length running from 200 to 250 words.

·         Topic – A narrow topic is perfect for an essay considering that its length is short.

·         Well-structured text – Essays need to be in line with the formatting of an academic paper and its structure should be fixed.

·         The clear central idea – The general idea of the essay need to be specific and direct to the point (i.e thesis statement).

·         Personal motivation – Essays show that the writers have some self-interest in what they are writing about, which is not the case in other academic writing forms.

·         Supporting facts, evidence, and examples –  Essays provide what an individual thinks about the topic, on top of that, they should also have evidence to back up the idea.

Academic writing skills are a must in your studies and you may also apply them all through your life. The earlier you practice them the better. Academic essay gurus are more often eloquent and their confidence when talking is unquestionable.

Understanding how and when to apply an academic essay is crucial, But first, let's understand the different types.

Types of Academic Essay

There are four main categories of academic writing essays, each serving a specific purpose. They include narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive. Even though they each serve their function, there are some whose features are similar.

For university students, mainly encounter expository and persuasive essays in their curriculum. The reason being they are research-based and impartial. The narrative and descriptive essays require you to be original and intuitive. Here is a comprehensive guide on the type and definition of each academic essay.


Narrative Essay

Here the writer needs to come up with a captivating, unique, and believable story. Typically, a narrative essay emulates a novel but this time pared down to something short showing a students’ creativity. They apply strong adjectives that help the author come up with a powerful and striking visage of what they are writing. It will in turn boost the readers' insights. This essay has more to it other than telling a captivating story. For your narrative essay to be perfect, it should be able to deliver a certain message written between the lines. They contain a hidden message that has a meaning leaving the reader more curious which motivates them to read the entire paper.

Here are more tips on writing a narrative essay.

Descriptive essay

The general idea here is to describe a certain thing, idea, or experience to the reader. Similar to narrative essays, the author needs to create something unique, subjective and at the same time seek to create a picture for the audience as they read. Descriptive essays are also characterized by careful word selection. It should also create certain emotions to the readers ultimately linking them up to what the discussion is all about. To sum up, the subject in the paper should be simple to understand by the reader. If the reader easily understands the paper, then, the descriptive essay is excellent.

Expository Essay

An expository essay is also part of academic writing works. The facts and information it provides are practically making it easy for readers to understand the subject matter. For all the information in this essay, there should be evidence to back it up. Here, you don’t give your personal views or opinions on the subject, the paper needs factual writings regarding the subject.  The main purpose of the paper is to equip readers with sensible facts. A good example of expository writing is "How to Write an Academic Essay".

Persuasive Essay

Do you see how salespersons perform their tasks? Then, that's how one should be like when dealing with a persuasive essay. Just like a salesperson introduces something to the potential buyer, one needs to state the idea, project, or opinion to the reader. When doing so, ensure that you leave no room for doubt and those are the only facts that they need to keep in mind. Ensure you arrange your points well in a manner that they don't feel like you are on their neck. This way you will be hiding your sales tactic in between perfectly structured points. Now, you have to defend these points. Employ both sensible and emotional strategies if possible depending on the argument.

Good Academic Essay Topics

Depending on the writing format you employ, it’s the same way the topics will vary. You can find the same topic but in a different type of academic essay, and therefore the content will also change based on the category of paper. Below are great examples of essay topic students can write about:

Narrative Essay Topics

·         How did you and your family survive the quarantine? Did it affect you in any way?

·         Describe your experience with remote learning. Did it impact your grades and how you perform? Is it a better learning method relative to traditional learning?

·         Is technology important in the modern life of a person? Write a story about it.

·         Narrate how everyone contributes to solving the climate change problem globally.


Descriptive Essay Topics

  • Who has impacted your life largely? Describe that person.
  • Narrate an event that has occurred recently and is crucial in global history.
  • Ever fallen in love? Did it have an impact on your personality? Describe.
  • Describe a piece of art or music that had the most impact on you. What characterizes a powerful act?


Expository Essay Topics

  • The rate of suicide among teens keeps increasing. Why is it so and what pushes them to commit suicide?
  • What can people do to prevent climate change and minimize the effects it brings?
  • What measures can society employ to quickly and painlessly heal after a global pandemic?
  • Regarding George Floyd’s death and the general police brutality: What measures can we adopt to avoid such from happening again?


Persuasive/ Argumentative Essay Topics

  •  Should the government revise the constitution and deny some powers that police officers have?
  • Is it necessary to keep on upholding the self-distancing rule considering the risks are now less?
  • Gun control: Argue the case for the severe gun control rule in the US.
  • Is there a need to burn technology In colleges and leave only those useful for learning purposes?


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