how to write an essay for university
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.
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.
They follow a particular structure: you will set out your argument in the introduction, build and present your argument in the main body, and should end with your overall key message or argument in the conclusion.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
An essay displays your knowledge within a subject area and are often used to assess your progress and provide a grade. An essay will not only display your subject knowledge and writing skills, but will also demonstrate your critical thinking, research and reading skills, all of which add to your employability.
What is it?
- Section One is a neutral sentence that will engage the reader’s interest in your essay.
- Section Two Picks up the topic you are writing about by identifying the issues that you are going to explore.
- Section Three is an indication of how the question will be answered. Give a brief outline of how you will deal with each issue, and in which order.
Writing a Body Paragraph
There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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If you’re new to academic writing, the prospect of starting to research and write an academic essay can be intimidating. Before you start working on a specific paper, please view the resources linked below to receive an introduction to academic research and writing at RRU:
Now that you’re ready to begin the process of writing a specific essay, this guide will take you step-by-step through the process of researching and writing a paper with resources, tips, and suggestions from both the Library and the Writing Centre. You can work through each step by using the “next” navigation on each page, or you can use the list below to jump into a particular topic. To begin, click on the first link below.