how to write essay for university
- 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.
An academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence.
Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
An essay usually follows the format of:
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.
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.