Being able to write a strong academic essay is a critical skill for college and university students. It is also a skill that will continue to serve you if you plan to go into an academic career, or any field that involves persuasive or analytical writing.
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.
The first step in academic essay writing is to determine your topic and develop a thesis statement, which is simply a concise statement of your essay’s main idea. Before you start writing, research your topic using good, reputable sources. Organize your essay clearly, and support your arguments with strong examples and evidence.
Before you even start writing an essay, it is important to know what you want to say. 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.
Introduce the Essay. The beginning lets your readers know what the essay is about, the topic. The essay’s topic does not exist in a vacuum, however; part of letting readers know what your essay is about means establishing the essay’s context, the frame within which you will approach your topic.
Once you determine your thesis statement, it’s time to begin your research, if necessary. If you’re writing an essay describing a personal experience or your feelings about a certain topic, research may not be necessary. For other types of essays, though, it’s important to find information from reputable sources to bolster your argument or present accurate information.
Grammar, style, and punctuation are incredibly important if you want your research to be understood and taken seriously.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. Try to use the active voice instead of the passive whenever possible. 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.
Focus the Essay. Beyond introducing your topic, your beginning must also let readers know what the central issue is. What question or problem will you be thinking about?
When considering how to write an academic essay, don’t wait until the last minute to begin your research.
When you’re searching for reputable sources, look for academic journals, newspapers, government or organizational websites, or websites written by someone with expertise and credentials in the topic you’re researching.
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.
The fullness of your idea will not emerge until your conclusion, but your beginning must clearly indicate the direction your idea will take, must set your essay on that road. And whether you focus your essay by posing a question, stating a thesis, or combining these approaches, by the end of your beginning, readers should know what you’re writing about, and why—and why they might want to read on.
It’s vital to write down or save the bibliographic information for all your sources, including websites. This information includes the author’s name, the title of the article or webpage, the page numbers (for printed material), the date on which the source was published, and the URL.
In the process of writing an academic essay, you should always have your main argument in mind.
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.
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.