It’s a chance to add depth to something that is important to you and tell the admissions committee more about your background or goals. Test scores only tell part of your story, and we want to know more than just how well you work. We want to see how you actually think.
The essays can be the most important components of your application.
Essays are used to assess your understanding of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
The SAT Essay is a lot like writing assignments you’ll see in college. It asks you to read a passage and analyze how the author constructs a persuasive argument. You’ll have 50 minutes to complete your response.
You don’t have to take the SAT with Essay, but if you do, you’ll be able to apply to colleges that recommend or require it.
An essay is a formal piece of writing written with a particular structure and layout with a particular task set . Some essays may be formative (as the mark doesn’t go towards your final grade) and some may be summative (graded). Formative essays play an important role in helping you develop your understanding and writing skills to meet the requirements of the module, so take advantage of essay these opportunities if possible.
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.
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Finally, draw together the question, the evidence in the essay body, and the conclusion. This way the reader knows that you have understood and answered the question. This part needs to be clear and concise.
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.
Tracy Lamping, Senior Lecturer delivering the Work Based Learning Programmes at the Business School, recommends her ‘top tip for academic writing’ which is to redraft assignments and proof read them before submitting work.
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.
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.
The Academic Skills Centre provides one-to-one help, advice and online resources for University of Leicester undergraduate and masters students.
- Maths and Statistics
- Academic writing
- Dissertations, projects and assignments
- Study skills and preparing for exams
- Researching, finding and evaluating sources
Guidance on writing essays.
Guides for good practice on citation are available on the Good Academic Conduct page .