essay writing university
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.
- It should try to present or discuss something: develop a thesis via a set of closely related points by reasoning and evidence.
- An academic essay should include relevant examples, supporting evidence and information from academic texts or credible sources.
Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
Essays take time to complete. You will need to set aside time for the following stages of writing:
It assumes you have already analysed the essay question, conducted your initial research, and determined your position on the topic (even though it may be a tentative one). If you need help in these areas, see the tutorials on Understanding the assignment, Finding information, and Reading and Notetaking.
Essays are usually assessed on how deeply you have engaged with the topic, how clearly you have presented your ideas and argument, and how well you have drawn on relevant evidence to support your ideas.
The Academic Skills Centre produces a wide range of short self-study guides to support you to succeed in your studies.
The Academic Skills Centre provides one-to-one help, advice and online resources for University of Leicester undergraduate and masters students.
An essay usually follows the format of:
Why do I need to learn it?
Essays are one of the most common ways you will be asked to communicate your learning at university. University essays are discursive and analytical. They need to be written in appropriate language and carefully referenced. You marker will be looking out for errors, so make sure you have plenty of time to check your work meticulously.
Much of the work you will be asked to do at University is written. Written work is not only a way of communicating your understanding of a topic, but can also be a learning process in itself, prompting you to think about how to organise your knowledge and find new connections.
Reviewing your work
Writing your essay
Advice on the subject of plagiarism can be found under the assessments section of this website.
The subject of how to write a good essay is covered on many other sites and students are encouraged to read a sample of guides for a full understanding.
Material used in the Library’s essay writing workshop:
Kevin Blanchard, Senior Lecturer in Enterpreneurialism at the Business School, offers his ‘top tip for academic writing’ which is an overview of essay writing, typically to concentrate upon structure.