There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA. Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014.
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.
Each subject discipline will have certain writing conventions, vocabulary and types of discourse that you will become familiar with over the course of your degree. However, there are some general characteristics of academic writing that are relevant across all disciplines.
- Planned and focused: answers the question and demonstrates an understanding of the subject.
- Structured: is coherent, written in a logical order, and brings together related points and material.
- Evidenced: demonstrates knowledge of the subject area, supports opinions and arguments with evidence, and is referenced accurately.
- Formal in tone and style: uses appropriate language and tenses, and is clear, concise and balanced.