how to write a university essay
Essays are used to assess your understanding of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words.
- Thinking about the question.
- Gathering information and ideas.
- Organising your ideas.
- Getting something on paper.
- Writing a first draft.
- Reviewing in light of feedback or reflection.
- Producing a final draft.
- 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.
A university essay can be thought of as an extended answer to a question. Most importantly, it presents your position on a topic, which is often referred to as your argument. The essay is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can think critically about complex issues, and can clearly communicate the conclusions you have reached as a result of your research.
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.
- 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
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