Academic Essay Writing

Academic essay writing is an important part of any degree course. Essays are used to test your knowledge and research skills when set as coursework during the term or semester, and in exams to find out how much of the course material you've remembered.

The advice here and elsewhere on this site focuses mainly on essays you'll have to write as coursework, during the semesters, rather than on exam essays but much if the information will still be relevant.



The Most Important Point About Academic Essay Writing

Academic essay writing will be much easier if you're organised.

Is to follow the academic writing process. Remember to read the title of the assignment carefully and keep to the topic. Do not go off topic. The teacher who set the essay wants to see that you can write about that topic, whether or not it's something you're interested in or already know a lot about.

While the title might not be phrased as a question a question is often implied. You should try to answer this question in the essay.

Save time by planning. By planning first, when you start to write, it'll happen much more easily and you'll save time in the revision and editing stage as the material will be ordered in the correct way.

Make sure that the introduction and conclusion match the main body of the essay.

As you draft and revise your essay, your argument may change. So you'll need to make sure that the introduction and conclusion also change, if you'd written them before any revisions to the main text.



Introduction

The introduction should contain the background information needed and introduce the topic in more detail than the title did. You could possibly state the main questions that you'll answer in the body of the text.



Main Body

The main body of the text should remain focused on answering the question (or implied question) in the title. Do this in as many paragraphs as needed, but remember that paragraphs that are very long are hard to read. Vary the lengths of the paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on only one main point.



Conclusion

The conclusions should sum up the main points from the essay and provide a final answer to the question you've been trying to answer. Do not repeat chunks of text from the main part; summarize and restate the main points in new language.

You could try to write the conclusion first. Then you'll know where you need your argument to reach by the end of the essay. This'll help you remain focused so that you can stay on topic.



References

When using references choose the best ones and use those. Make sure that they're cited and referenced properly.



Be concise

Academic writing generally as well as academic essay writing is all about conveying your meaning. Do this the best way possible by not using any extra words.

All the extra words can hide the important points. If you use fewer words for one part you'll be able to fit more into the total word count for the topic and so get more marks.

Saying the same thing in more words won't get you more marks. It'll cost you marks as you've used words up which could've been used to fit an extra point into your allotted word count.

During academic essay writing stick to the word count. If you go over try to change the words so fewer are used rather than cutting whole sections out.

As with everything manage your time. If you're stressed and up against a deadline your work won't be as good as if you'd been able to write it in a more relaxed fashion; where you could recheck your facts and add extra information as needed. You'll also need time to proofread your finished essay.



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