Academic Essay: A How-To Guide
Did you know that in a single academic semester, an average college student can write enough words to fill a 500-page novel? To put it in perspective, that's roughly 125,000 to 150,000 words of essays, research papers, and other written assignments. It's an astounding amount of content, and it underscores the significance of mastering the art of scholarly essay writing. Whether you're a seasoned scholar or just starting your academic journey, understanding the intricacies of composing a well-structured, well-researched essay is essential.
Delve into the intricate world of writing an academic essay with our all-encompassing guide. We'll take you on a journey through the various types of scholarly composition, demystify the essay writing process, and provide valuable insights into proper formatting. You'll also find practical examples to inspire your own work and step-by-step how-to guides to ensure your essays stand out. Whether you're a seasoned student or just starting your academic adventure, this resource will be your compass for success in the realm of scholarly endeavors.
What Is an Academic Essay
In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas. This type of assignment allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity and encourages them to develop their ideas to communicate a message.
Compared to other types of academic writing, essays are usually shorter in length and present the authors’ opinions to support their arguments. Here are some key features of an academic essay for you to keep in mind:
- Conciseness — as a rule, essays are short; the length of such papers range from 200 to 500 words.
- Topic — due to their short lengths, a perfect topic for an essay should be narrowed-down and not too broad.
- Well-structured text — although essays can be considered as one of the least formal types of writing, they still need to have a solid structure and follow the proper academic paper format.
- Clear central idea — every academic essay should deliver a specific point that should be clear and powerful (i.e. thesis statement).
- Personal motivation — unlike other types of writing, essays often imply that their authors are personally interested in the subjects they are discussing.
- Supporting facts, evidence, and examples — although essays may present an author’s personal beliefs and ideas, they should also provide arguments that support those ideas.
It helps to develop your academic writing skills early—as they are skills you will carry forward throughout your studies and lifetime. People who are good at writing academic essays also tend to be able to articulate themselves more clearly, and tend to have more confidence when speaking.
To fully understand how and when to use an academic essay, our will describe the main types of them for you.
Elevate your academic performance with EssayPro. Our experts are here to help you craft compelling academic essays that stand out. With our support, you can confidently tackle any topic and impress your professors with your insight and clarity.
Academic Essay Example
Here are the perfect academic essay examples from our research paper writer .
Academic Essay Topics
In our quest to engage and challenge the academic community, we've curated a list of unique essay topics. These topics are meticulously chosen to incite critical thinking, and reflect on the intertwining of traditional theories with modern realities. From exploring the ethical dimensions of AI in healthcare to delving into the socioeconomic aspects of upcycling trends, these topics are a gateway to insightful discussions and a profound understanding of the evolving world around us.
- The Dynamics of Human-AI Relationships: A Look into the Future.
- The Revival of Ancient Herbal Remedies in Modern Medicine.
- Bridging Historical Rifts: An Analysis of Modern Diplomacy Efforts.
- The Role of Urban Green Spaces in Promoting Mental Health.
- The Impact of Classical Literature on Modern Pop Culture.
- The Future of Cybersecurity: Preparing for Quantum Computing Threats.
- The Cultural Significance of Culinary Traditions in Nation Building.
- The Influence of Music on Cognitive Performance.
- The Changing Landscape of Privacy in the Digital Age.
- The Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Vaccine Hesitancy.
- The Intersection of Modern Technology and Ancient Philosophies.
- Evolving Linguistic Norms: The Impact of Social Media on Language.
- The Psychological Effects of Color in Consumer Behavior.
- Ethical Implications of AI in Modern Healthcare.
- Urban Planning in Post-Pandemic World: Lessons and Preparations.
- The Role of Art Therapy in Managing Chronic Stress.
- The Influence of Space Exploration on Earth's Technological Advancements.
- The Future of Biodegradable Plastics: A Sustainable Alternative?
- A Socioeconomic Analysis of Upcycling Trends.
- The Ethical Dilemmas of Genetic Engineering in Agriculture.
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Types of Academic Writing
The process of writing an essay comes in various forms, each with its unique style and purpose. Understanding these types can be essential for tailoring your writing to suit the specific requirements of your assignments. Here, our essay writer service will explore some of the most common types of academic writing:
- Expository Writing : This type of writing is all about explaining and providing information. In expository essays, your goal is to inform your reader about a specific topic or concept. For example, if you were writing an expository essay about climate change, you would present facts and data to inform your reader about the issue's causes and effects.
- Persuasive Writing : Persuasive writing aims to convince the reader of a particular point of view or argument. In a persuasive essay, you would use logical reasoning, evidence, and well-structured arguments to persuade your audience. For instance, an essay advocating for stricter environmental regulations would be a persuasive piece.
- Descriptive Writing : In descriptive writing, your task is to create a vivid picture with words. You want the reader to feel like they are experiencing the subject firsthand. Imagine writing a descriptive essay about a picturesque countryside scene; you would use colorful language and sensory details to transport your reader there.
- Narrative Writing : Narrative essays are like storytelling. They often recount personal experiences, anecdotes, or narratives. For example, you might write a narrative essay about a life-changing event or your journey to a foreign country.
- Analytical Writing : Analytical writing involves breaking down complex ideas or issues into smaller components and then examining them critically. When analyzing a piece of literature in an essay, you would deconstruct the text, explore its themes, characters, and literary devices, and provide insights into the author's intentions.
- Research Papers : Research papers are a hallmark of academic writing. They require you to investigate a topic thoroughly, gather data, and present your findings. Whether it's a scientific research paper, a history paper, or a social science study, research papers demand rigorous research and precise citation of sources.
- Literature Reviews : These are common in humanities and social sciences. A literature review involves summarizing and critically evaluating existing research on a specific topic. It's an essential component of academic research, allowing you to place your work within the broader context of scholarly conversation.
Understanding the Essay Writing Process
The journey of understanding how to write an academic essay is characterized by distinct stages: preparation, writing, and revisions. The nature of this journey, however, is like a versatile chameleon, ever-adapting to the unique demands of each essay type.
Let's consider the scenario of a high school student tasked with writing a five-paragraph expository essay. In this case, the emphasis predominantly falls on the writing stage. Given the straightforward prompt, the student's primary focus lies in structuring and articulating their thoughts effectively within the constraints of these paragraphs. The goal is to convey information clearly, maintaining a well-organized and engaging narrative.
Now, imagine a college-level argumentative essay. Here, the bulk of your efforts shift to the preparation stage. Before a single word is written, a rigorous exploration of the essay topics is imperative. This involves extensive research, diving deep into scholarly articles, dissecting data, and developing a compelling argument. A strong thesis, underpinned by a wealth of evidence and nuanced insights, becomes the keystone of your essay.
The revising stage, a constant companion in this journey, maintains its significance across all essay types. It's during revision that you refine and perfect your work, harmonizing your arguments and ensuring the essay's overall cohesion. At this stage, you become the editor, refining grammar, enhancing clarity, and optimizing the essay's structure.
Setting the Stage for Essay Writing Success
The process of writing an academic essay typically unfolds in the following manner:
- Receiving the Assignment : Your essay journey commences when your instructor or professor hands out the assignment prompt. This prompt serves as your roadmap, detailing the essay's topic, length, and any specific requirements. It's crucial to read this prompt attentively, ensuring you comprehend the expectations.
- Understanding the Task : Once you have the assignment prompt in hand, take the time to understand it fully. Analyze the purpose of the essay. Is it meant to inform, persuade, analyze, or narrate? Determine the target audience, whether it's your instructor, peers, or a broader readership. This understanding will guide your approach to the essay.
- Research and Gathering Information : After grasping the assignment's main idea, it's time to research and collect information. Depending on the topic and type of essay, this might involve library research, online searches, or fieldwork. The quality and quantity of your research will influence the depth and credibility of your essay.
- Developing a Thesis : With the knowledge you've acquired, create a clear and concise thesis statement. This statement encapsulates the main argument or perspective you will present in your essay. It serves as the foundation upon which your essay will be built.
- Planning and Outlining : Before diving into the actual writing, it's essential to create your essay outline. This step helps you organize your thoughts and ideas, ensuring a logical and coherent structure. Consider the essay's introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and decide on the points you will address in each section.
Academic Essay Format
The essay format is your framework for presenting ideas, but it doesn't have to stifle your creativity or individuality. Here's a practical look at the academic essay format example from a unique perspective:
- Introduction - Piquing Interest : Use your introduction as a tool to pique your reader's interest. Rather than simply stating your thesis, start with a surprising fact, a relevant question, or a brief story. Engaging your reader from the outset can make your essay more captivating.
- Body Paragraphs - Building a Logical Flow : Consider your body paragraphs as stepping stones in a logical progression. Each paragraph should naturally lead to the next, creating a seamless flow of ideas. Ensure that your points connect coherently, making your essay easy to follow.
- Evidence and Analysis - Supporting Your Claims : When including evidence, don't just drop quotes or data into your essay. Instead, think of them as puzzle pieces that need critical thinking skills for explanation and integration. Analyze how the evidence supports your argument, providing context and clarity for your reader.
- Transitions - Smooth Connections : Utilize transitional words and phrases to guide your reader through your essay. These simple elements, like 'Furthermore,' 'In contrast,' or 'Conversely,' can significantly enhance the readability and comprehension of your essay.
- Conclusion - Recap and Implication : Your conclusion should summarize your main points, restating your thesis. However, take it a step further by highlighting the broader implications of your argument. What do your findings suggest or inspire the reader to consider? This adds depth to your conclusion.
- Formatting - Clear and Consistent : Follow formatting guidelines diligently. Consistency in font, margins, and citation style reflects your attention to detail and respect for academic standards.
How to Write an Academic Essay: Steps and Techniques
Crafting a Captivating Essay Introduction
The introduction of your academic essay serves as the portal through which your reader enters the realm of your ideas. Let's understand how to write an essay introduction by considering these four dynamic elements:
Engage Your Reader
Start with a thought-provoking question that sparks curiosity. For instance, in an essay about climate change, you might begin with, 'What if I told you that a single-degree change in global temperature could alter the course of humanity's future?' When learning how to write a hook for an essay , questions can be powerful entry points because they create an immediate sense of intrigue. Readers are drawn into your essay in search of answers, setting the stage for exploration.
Offer Context for Your Topic
Rather than a mere factual backdrop, transport your reader to a historical moment or an evocative setting related to your topic. For example, when discussing the history of the Eiffel Tower in an architecture essay, you could begin with, 'Imagine strolling the cobblestone streets of 19th-century Paris, where a colossal iron structure was emerging from the ground, destined to become a global icon.' Whether you write an essay yourself or use the option to buy a dissertation , remember that introducing background information immerses your reader in the context, making them feel like they've stepped back in time or been transported to a specific place.
Introduce Your Thesis Statement
Present your thesis statement with an air of revelation, as if unveiling a well-kept secret. In an essay about the impact of technology on privacy, you might say, 'Hidden in the digital shadows, a critical truth emerges: our privacy is slipping away, pixel by pixel, keystroke by keystroke.' Make it sound like a literary discovery, something that's been hidden and is now about to be revealed. This imbues it with a sense of anticipation.
Outline Your Essay's Structure
Instead of merely outlining your essay's structure, craft it like a guidebook for an adventure. Imagine your essay as a journey through uncharted territory. Present your essay's sections or main points as thrilling destinations your reader is about to explore. For instance, if your essay is about the cultural impact of a famous novel, you could say, 'Our literary expedition will begin in the author's biographical world, then traverse the novel's plot twists, and finally, unravel the web of its influence on modern culture.'
Developing the Main Body
The main body is where your ideas take shape while understanding how to write an academic essay, and it's crucial to approach this section thoughtfully. Here's how to tackle two key elements:
Exploring the Body Text's Length
The length of your body text should align with the complexity of your topic and the depth of exploration required. For instance, consider a historical analysis essay on the causes of World War I. This topic is multifaceted, requiring in-depth coverage. In such a case, it's appropriate to dedicate several pages to thoroughly examine the various factors contributing to the war. On the other hand, in a concise argumentative essay about a specific policy issue, like healthcare reform, brevity can be the key to keeping your reader engaged. In this instance, you might aim for a clear, persuasive argument within a few pages. The key is to tailor the length to your topic, ensuring you provide sufficient evidence and analysis without unnecessary elaboration.
Crafting Effective Paragraphs
Each paragraph in the main body should be a self-contained unit that contributes to your overall argument. Consider, for example, an essay on climate change.
In a paragraph discussing the consequences of rising global temperatures, you could begin with a topic sentence like, 'Rising temperatures have far-reaching effects on ecosystems.' Next, present evidence in the form of data and examples, such as statistics on melting polar ice caps and the impact on polar bear populations. Follow this with analysis, explaining the significance of these consequences for the environment.
Ensure that your ideas flow logically from one paragraph to the next, creating a seamless and coherent narrative. Vary the length and structure of your paragraphs to add dynamic variation to your essay. For instance, in a literary analysis, a short, impactful paragraph may be used to emphasize a critical point, while longer paragraphs could delve into complex themes or explore multiple aspects of your argument. By thoughtfully exploring the body text's length and crafting effective paragraphs, you create a main body that is both engaging and informative, tailored to the unique requirements of your academic essay writing.
Concluding Your Essay
The conclusion of your essay serves as the grand finale, leaving a lasting impression on your reader. However, it's not just a place to restate your thesis; it's an opportunity to add depth and resonance to your essay. Here's how to approach it effectively:
- Summarize Your Main Points with a Twist : Summarize the key points you've made throughout your essay, but do it with a twist. Instead of merely restating what you've already said, provide a fresh perspective or a thought-provoking insight.
- Revisit Your Thesis Statement : Bring your essay full circle by revisiting your thesis statement. Remind your reader of the central argument, but do it in a way that emphasizes its significance.
- Provide a Sense of Closure : The conclusion should provide a sense of closure to your essay. Like the final chapter of a captivating story, it should leave your reader with a sense of completion. Avoid introducing new ideas or even new persuasive essay topics in this section; instead, focus on the culmination of your existing points.
- Inspire Thought or Action : Go beyond summarization and inspire thought or action. Invite your reader to reflect on the implications of your essay or consider its relevance in a broader context. This can make your essay more impactful and thought-provoking.
Refining Your Academic Essay Through Editing
Once you've penned your final words, the journey is far from over. Editing is a crucial step in the essay writing process, much like it is while learning how to write a descriptive essay . It's where you refine your work to its polished best. Here's how to approach it:
- Start by proofreading your essay for clarity and errors. Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.
- Examine the overall structure of your essay. Is it organized logically? Are the paragraphs well-structured? Does the essay have a clear flow from the introduction to the conclusion?
- Ensure that you've cited your sources correctly and compiled your references or bibliography according to the required citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.
- Trim unnecessary words and phrases to make your writing more concise. Check for wordiness and make sure your vocabulary is precise and appropriate for an academic audience.
In this comprehensive guide, we've covered the essential elements of crafting an academic essay, from honing your writing skills to capturing the reader's attention, from the essay's inception to achieving an A+ finish. Remember that mastering the art of essay writing is a valuable skill. It's a process that involves structure, style, and substance, and it serves as your gateway to sharing your ideas effectively. Regardless of your level of experience, this guide is designed to equip you with the tools you need to excel in your essay-writing endeavors!
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4 Examples of Academic Writing
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The best way to understand what effective academic writing looks like is to review academic writing examples.
Let's begin with four of the most common types of academic writing: research proposals, dissertations, abstracts, and academic articles. We'll be examining each type of writing and providing academic writing samples of each.
Whether you aim to earn funding for a passion project or are stymied by how to format an abstract, these academic writing examples will help you nail your next undertaking.
Academic Writing Example 1: Research Proposals
A research proposal is an outline of the proposed research of a PhD candidate, a private researcher, or someone hoping to obtain a research grant .
Your proposal should put your best foot forward: It details your intended research question and how it relates to existing research, makes an argument for why your research should be chosen for advancement or funding, and explains the deliverables you hope to achieve with your research.
A more detailed look at what proposal writing is and what goes into a research proposal may also be beneficial. Every proposal is different because every project is different. Proposal requirements also differ according to the university or funding agency that reviews the proposal.
Research Proposal Structure
A cover letter summarizing your proposal and showcasing why you should be chosen
An introduction or abstract
An explanation of the background, purpose, and significance of your research
A research plan or methodology that includes a timeline (a Gantt chart may be beneficial)
A projected budget, if applicable
Academic Writing Sample: Research Proposal Excerpt
Building on the work of the three foundational sociological theorists—Marx, Weber, and Durkheim—and Mark Traugott's theory of the "insurgent barricade," this proposed research will analyze the appearance, use, and disappearance of barricade warfare as an effective battle strategy.
Focusing on these three theorists, this research will determine which theory or theories best explain the life cycle of barricade warfare, focusing in particular on its disappearance. A brief but comprehensive history of barricade warfare will be provided in addition to the theoretical explanations of barricade warfare's utility.
Research Proposal Writing Tips
Before you format your proposal, contact your targeted university, private organization, or funding agency to confirm what they require for proposals. Then, try to follow this format as closely as possible.
Be detailed when outlining your goals and your funding needs. Connect the objectives of the research to the resources you're requesting.
Be realistic in what you ask for as far as resources—don't ask for more or less than you need, and show evidence to justify your choices.
Don't dedicate too much text in your proposal to describing past research. A summary of key points, arguments, theories, and how your research will build on them should suffice.
Remember that no matter how good your proposal is, it might be rejected. You're likely up against dozens or even hundreds of other candidates who have equally sound proposals. Don't be discouraged if this happens. See it as a learning opportunity for your next proposal.
Academic Writing Example 2: Dissertations
A dissertation is a body of writing that represents original research and is generally written as part of a PhD or master's program.
Typically, it builds on previous research in the field to make a significant contribution or advancement. You may benefit from more detailed information on what a dissertation is , how to write a dissertation , and how to edit a dissertation .
Introduction/background and the significance of the study
Conclusion/contribution to the body of research
Academic Writing Sample: Dissertation Excerpt
There are two options for choosing a unit of analysis for this phenomenon: the social artifact (erected barricades) or the social interaction (the collaboration of insurgents engaged in barricade warfare). The best choice is social interaction.
Most individual occurrences of barricade warfare involve the construction of more than one barricade, and the number of barricades is not necessarily a valid indicator of the sociological magnitude of an insurgence. The most relevant choice is an insurgence, the event of a conflict involving barricade warfare.
Dissertation Writing Tips
Remember to bear in mind the significance of your study. It doesn't have to be paradigm shifting, but you want to infuse the dissertation with reminders of why your research is important.
Don't get bogged down in trying to show that your research is one of a kind or uniquely contributive to the body of research. It likely isn't, and it's more effective to show how you are building on previous research .
Remember to check with your college or university to ensure that you're formatting your dissertation according to the school's expectations.
Ask your advisor questions when you need to.
Be prepared to make alterations to your dissertation according to your thesis committee's suggestions. This doesn't mean you did a bad job—it just means there's room for improvement.
Academic Writing Example 3: Abstracts
The abstract is actually a component of other forms of academic writing, such as scholarly articles and dissertations. The abstract acts as a comprehensive outline of your paper in paragraph form.
You may want to read more about what abstracts are and why they are important in preparing yourself for writing one.
Academic Writing Sample: Abstract
Barricade warfare has occurred across several spectra, but most notably, it occurred almost exclusively in a 300-year period between the 16th and 19th centuries. Each instance had an inciting incident, but a common thread was the culture of revolution: a revolutionary tradition based on the belief that injustice was being carried out and that, in this case, barricade insurgence was the way to resolve it.
This study uses the theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim to analyze barricade warfare, its appearance, and its disappearance. Ultimately, neither theory can independently explain this phenomenon.
Marx offers a reasonable explanation for why barricade warfare may have died, but his theory is difficult to test empirically and fails to explain the absence of recurrences. Conversely, Durkheim's theory is much easier to observe and can explain why barricade warfare has not experienced a renaissance. However, he offered no reason as to why it died in the first place.
These two theoretical orientations complement each other nicely and, ultimately, neither can stand alone.
Notice that this abstract comes in at under 200 words (a common limit) but nevertheless covers the background of the study, how it was approached, and the results and conclusions of the research.
If you are struggling to meet a word count, check out 10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need .
Abstract Writing Tips
Be conscious of your word count. Stay under the limit.
Check with your school or target journal to make sure special formatting is not required.
Don't use abbreviations or citations in the abstract.
Don't simply restate your thesis or copy your introduction. Neither of these is an abstract.
Remember that your abstract often gives readers their first impressions of your work. Despite its short length, it deserves a lot of attention.
Academic Writing Example 4: Articles
Academic articles are pieces of writing intended for publication in academic journals or other scholarly sources. They may be original research studies, literature analyses, critiques , or other forms of scholarly writing.
Abstract and keywords
Materials and methods
References and appendices
Academic Writing Sample: Article Excerpt
"Those great revolutionary barricades were places where heroes came together" (Hugo, 2008). This description by Victor Hugo of the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris comes from his seminal work of fiction, Les Miserables.
Although the account is fictionalized, it is deeply representative of what historian Mark Traugott (2010, p. 225) terms the "culture of revolution." This spirit of heroic response to social injustice swept across Europe during the second half of the millennium and was characterized in part by barricade warfare.
The phenomenon of the insurgent barricade has essentially disappeared, however, leaving no trace of its short-lived but intense epoch, and the question of why this happened remains a mystery. The theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, when taken together, provide a compelling explanation for the disappearance of barricade warfare, and the tenets of each theory will be examined to explain this phenomenon.
Article Writing Tips
Follow these detailed steps for writing an article and publishing it in a journal .
Make sure that you follow all of your target journal's guidelines.
Have a second set of educated eyes look over your article to correct typos, confusing language, and unclear arguments.
Don't be discouraged if your article is not chosen for publication. As with proposal writing, you are up against countless others with equally compelling research.
Don't be discouraged if the journal asks you to make changes to your article. This is common. It means they see value in your article, as well as room for improvement.
Whether you're applying for funding, earning an advanced degree, aiming to publish in a journal, or just trying to cram your 4,000-word study into a 150-word abstract, hopefully these academic writing examples have helped get your creative juices flowing.
Go out there and write! With these academic writing samples at your side, you are sure to model your academic writing appropriately.
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What is Academic Writing? Common Types With Examples
| Candace Osmond
Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.
Every person experiences writing an academic paper at least once in their student life. This type of writing uses accurate language, facts, logical flow, and a formal tone to showcase their knowledge.
These academic writing styles and examples will help you receive a perfect score or get that research grant. Keep reading to know the elements and types of academic writing with examples.
How is Academic Writing Different from Other Types of Writing?
An academic paper is writing used in universities and scholarly publications with a formal tone in its content. It includes essays, research papers, research proposals, and other documents for scholarly publication.
Any academic writing has the same process as other texts. However, the topic, idea, and tone are different. For example, a journal article brings attention to unbiased information through a clear and precise thesis statement.
A thesis statement includes the entire argument of your study or paper. It involves the central idea that shows your content reader what you will reveal or prove. Because it’s supposed to be objective, academic writing must have theories, causes, and effects.
This type of writing doesn’t always need to be based on facts. But it needs to be as objective and unbiased as possible. Here’s what differentiates academic writing from personal writing.
Formal approach with an impersonal tone
Cites scholarly sources
Sentences are made of evidence, evaluations, and arguments.
Focused and well-structured
Formal or informal approach may include conversational language.
Doesn’t require scholarly sources
Content is made of personal experiences
Elements of Academic Writing
The elements of academic writing vary according to the specific type of writing you’re producing. But here are some common elements of any academic writing assignment.
The best-known writers in any field of study know how to use jargon words in any report or essay to convey an academic tone. For the ordinary reader, everything might look like flowery language. But for readers in the same discipline, the writer makes convincing arguments.
An academic writing style always has a certain level of vocabulary. The two types include:
- Academic vocabulary (more general).
- Subject-vocabulary (for a particular field of study).
Some examples of general academic vocabulary include “analyze,” “concept,” and “construct.” In the field of law, some subject-vocabulary include “acquittal,” “dismissal,” “jurisdiction,” and “tribunal.”
Scholarly articles need to include proper citation styles to establish a more authoritative tone. The academic content must include research from reliable sources like studies and journal articles.
Even if you only borrowed an idea and used it in a single sentence, you still need to follow proper referencing. Some style guides include Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual Style, and American Psychological Association (APA).
Academic content should also pay attention to the conventions of the reference list. Check the style guide to see how you should format the bibliography. Remember that other style guides also require footnotes.
Academic essay writing needs to have a proper outline to convey the entire message. First, academic articles should contain a research question or thesis statement to develop their argument. This should be in the introduction part.
The body of writing contains all supporting details. You may use headings to divide longer texts into chapters. Your body paragraph should also start with a topic sentence all the time.
Don’t forget to use transition words when expressing connections between your ideas. Use the proper punctuations with a variety of sentence lengths.
Uses Third Person Point of View Most of the Time
Academic writing usually uses a third-person point of view like “he,” “she,” or “they.” The writer doesn’t refer to themselves as “I” or “me.” Instead, they use “researcher” to name themselves.
Doing so provides more objectivity to the paper, separating the author from the academic topics. It also stresses the academic style where the writer supports their focused argument and not their personal experience.
But some academic journals now accept the first-person point of view, especially APA. It doesn’t necessarily mean the writer is using informal language. Using credible sources and academic vocabulary still keeps the paper’s formality.
Common Types of Academic Writing
There are different types of academic writing, including a book report, journal article, and dissertation. Here are the most common types:
- Research paper.
- Research proposal.
- Thesis and dissertation.
- Lab report.
- Literature review,
- Annotated bibliography.
We can also categorize the major types of these papers into five.
Descriptive papers are the simplest types of writing that academic writers produce. It has several purposes, although it primarily offers facts and information in several fields of study. This academic writing can describe a phenomenon, person, place, case, or object.
You can also use personal experience when making descriptive essays. But effective writing includes using precise language to avoid turning it into personal writing.
Most academic papers in universities aren’t entirely descriptive. A scientific question and an analysis typically follow a factual statement. Analytical writing includes reorganizing facts, showing relationships, and comparing information.
An academic study may include comparing and contrasting complex ideas and theories.
Or you may deconstruct a single notion and contextualize it in a different social setting. You’ll find this writing style in reviews of literature.
When writing an analytical paper, always make the structure of your writing clear. Create an outline beforehand, and don’t forget to add accurate citations.
Persuasive writing has the same characteristics as analytical writing, plus your point of view. This type of writing requires a coherent argument backed by relevant evidence throughout the paper.
The writer also has to include a recommendation, interpretation of findings, and an analysis of others’ scholarly writing. Some academic writing examples include persuasive essays and the final part of a research article.
Any persuasive assignment requires you to “discuss,” “evaluate,” or “argue.” As always, you need to add citations to your work to make yourself more credible.
Critical writing is a form of writing in college essays and postgraduate writing. Critical writing assignments follow a formal writing style with the added feature of another point of view.
What makes it different from persuasive writing is that a critical essay needs more than one point of view. And that includes your own. This writing should also have a strong statement or messages backed by authoritative sources.
Academic Writing Example 1: Research Proposals
Colleges usually submit research proposals before conducting their studies. This form of academic writing is a concise yet coherent summary of your proposed research. It should contain the essential issues and questions that your research should address.
Aside from outlining the general area of your study, the proposal also proves that your research will be unique and beneficial. Although it’s not a persuasive paper, it should convince the professor that your study is worth performing.
An excellent-quality paper also matches your research interest with the professor or supervisor. Consider it like an application on which potential advisers will pick if they want to support your research or not.
The research proposal also allows you to demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the level of research you’re conducting. This is where you can prove that you can communicate complex ideas concisely and critically.
Research Proposal Structure
The research proposal must always contain the following:
- A cover letter addressed to whom you’re proposing. It must show a summary of your proposal and why they should approve it.
- An introduction or abstract in a short paragraph.
- The rationale, significance, and limitations of your research.
- Your methods for conducting the study, including your budget.
Research Proposal Example
Here’s a great example of an excerpt from a research proposal in the field of criminology:
The empirical focus of the research will be strategies of restorative justice, as articulated by Thames Valley Police. Recent developments in restorative justice constitute a radical realignment in police practices, resulting in a more holistic and multi-level approach (involving all forms of police’ consumer’, including victims, offenders, families, local authorities and members of the business community). In this regard, Thames Valley offers a unique case of a self-styled ‘model’ of modern policing and is considered to be one of the most innovative forces in the country (see, for example, their Restorative Justice programme, 2001).
Academic Writing Example 2: Dissertations
Dissertations are another type of academic paper with definite writing rules. This document aims to give evidence of a candidate’s knowledge and skills in a scholarly method. But the content itself may serve educational purposes that contribute to the field of study.
This academic paper typically has ten to twenty thousand words that answer a specific research question. The answer to the research question may be based on an experiment, empirical study, or literature review.
To advisers and professors, the method of producing a dissertation matters more than the result. You can still create a dissertation without actual findings or if your tested hypothesis was wrong.
You might have to conduct a study even before writing the dissertation. A needs analysis, survey, or experiment will help you determine the significant “problem” or “question” you want to address.
Let your supervisor or adviser direct how you will conduct your studies. They will instruct the scope, limitations, and method for your research.
Dissertations and thesis papers always pay attention to structure. Below is the academic paper format of a dissertation:
- Introduction (including the background of the study and its significance).
- Review of related literature.
- Findings or data analysis.
- Conclusion and recommendations.
Here’s one example of an excerpt from a sample dissertation :
This chapter will discuss secondary research findings using the National Health Service as a case study. The secondary sources discussed will use all relevant material such as books, journal articles, publications from the National Health Service website and newspaper articles that have been reviewed by an individual or a group of individuals who are involved with a study or have performed extensive research within an area which is directly or indirectly related to the main question of this dissertation.
Academic Writing Example 3: Abstracts
The abstract summarizes your dissertation or research paper found at the start of the document. It’s composed of evidence-based arguments and research outcomes in concise sentences.
This type of academic writing is the shortest and, therefore, the easiest. It usually has around 150-300 words only. The word limit depends on the style guide you’re following or the advice of your research adviser.
There are several acceptable approaches to writing an abstract. The easiest way is to imitate the structure of your large paper. It should contain the introduction, method, findings, and conclusions.
Although the abstract is the first part of your thesis or research paper, it’s usually the last you write. Remember that it’s not an excerpt from your report or a reflection of your work. It’s simply a summary of everything in one paragraph.
Your abstract must contain the following in only a few sentences:
Here’s an example of an abstract whose research focuses on medicine:
The Southwest shrub Juniperus communis (Juniper Berry) has many significant medicinal value in the Native American culture that has not been proven scientifically. One of the popular uses of Juniper berries aside from its detoxifying action is its potential to repel insects. This study focuses on the development of insect repellant from its essential oil obtained through steam distillation. 50 g of fresh berries was collected and dried for 5 days and is placed in a still tank with 100 mL of water for steam distillation using the Flinn Scientific Borosilicate Lab Kit. Gather the extracted oil and dilute 70% in three separate containers to be transferred into spray bottles. Testing involved the spraying of the dilute sample into a class jar with Anopheles juidthae (common NM mosquito) and compared this to the effect of a commercial insect repellant. After testing and comparing the result, the commercial insect repellant significantly showed that it is a better insect repellant compared to the J. communis diluted essential oil. However, the essential oil has also an insect repellant potential.
Practice Your Academic Writing Skills
There are different types of academic writing styles you’ll encounter as you enter university or college. Whether it’s a dissertation, research paper, or persuasive essay, remember to use a formal and impersonal tone. Doing so will help you become more logical and objective.
Keep practicing your academic writing skills to succeed in your field of study!
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Examples of paragraphs in academic writing
Each of the following paragraphs have notes that explain how they work and what you can learn from them. The examples are from published academic work from a wide variety of disciplines and you can read each item online using the reference provided.
Select a paragraph type to learn more.
Giving context or explanation, using sources as evidence, introductory paragraphs.
- Demonstrating your position
Discussing results, using a quotation to illustrate a point, paragraphs that link together, proposing a new idea or theory.
You can download all the information included within each section of this exercise by downloading the Microsoft Word document below.
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Now that you have gone through all parts of the exercise, you can return to the main Library website by selecting the 'Back to Library' button below.
This section will provide an outline of the features of synthesising, that is, using multiple sources in broad agreement with one another .
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Supporting your points with multiple sources which broadly agree with one another, can give extra credibility and strength to your writing.
The first sentence uses two sources to support the opening statement. Using more than one source is a good way to show that the point you are making may have a solid basis in research, therefore adding strength to your point.
This technique is also used later in the paragraph, grouping together two or more sources which are broadly in agreement with one another and backing up the points being made.
Even though early treatments for ADHD are efficacious, few children typically receive specialty mental health care ( Danielson et al., 2018 ; Hoza et al., 2006 ). In the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, more than six million children and teens had been diagnosed with ADHD, and of these, 5.4 million had current ADHD. About 23% of children with current ADHD diagnoses had not received any treatment ( Danielson et al., 2018 ). Yet, there are often delays in identification which lead to high societal costs ( Biederman & Faraone, 2006 ; Mahone & Denckla, 2017 ). The reason for these high costs is that children and adolescents with ADHD are at high risk of other issues such as accidents, injuries, and substance abuse ( Hurtig et al., 2016 ; Leibson et al., 2001 ; Molina & Pelham, 2014 ). Moreover, it is difficult to ascertain the reasons why children diagnosed with behavioral issues are unable to access timely treatment.
This section will provide an outline of giving context or explanation.
Whilst good academic writing needs to show critical analysis, using a variety of sources and demonstrating clear arguments, it is also important to add context and explanations where necessary.
This paragraph outlines the topic, setting the scene for a more thorough and detailed examination in the rest of the chapter.
The writer gives the subject matter context by summarising the current situation.
References to the work of other authors are used to bring in real examples which also help to build a general picture of the area.
The mobile nature of digital games ensures that the lines between in-school and out-of-school gameplay is blurred. Thus, it is important to explore the possibilities of these games to create new spaces for learning and engaging with mathematics. From a social learning perspective, research has been concerned with the ways in which the games industry has been influencing ‘interactive’ learning via computers (Scanlon et al. 2005); creating spaces for students to create their own digital games in order to teach concepts to peers (Li 2010); or the ways in which the games are arranged to motivate learners to engage with the games (Habgood and Ainsworth 2011) and engage with higher-order problem solving abilities (Sun et al. 2011). These and many other studies seem to support the possibilities of digital games to promote learning.
This section will provide an outline of using sources as evidence.
Reading academic texts not only gives you a deeper understanding of your subject area, but also exposes you to different viewpoints and evidence. When you write at university, you use your reading to support the claims or arguments that you make in your work. You could also present sources giving counter arguments to demonstrate alternative perspectives
The frequent use of citations for other sources in this example, shows that there is evidence for all of the claims being made. This gives credibility to the writing.
Citations can be used in the middle or at the end of your sentences and in some science, engineering or medical subjects they may be used at the end of a paragraph, which is not always the case in Arts and Humanities academic writing. Check with your department if you are unsure what is expected.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) reports that one in four Australians feel lonely and over half of the population feel that they lack valuable social connection 1 . Whether objective or perceived (i.e. loneliness), the consequences of prolonged social isolation are significant. Social isolation is linked to severe negative health implications including increased risk of heart disease 2 , cancer 3 and obesity 4 , culminating in reduced life expectancy 5,6 . Social isolation also comes with significant risk of mental health and neuropsychiatric disorders, including chronic anxiety and depression 7,8 . Alongside this complex aetiology, social isolation has been linked to the increased prevalence of substance use disorders across a range of drug types 7 , where social isolation both predicts drug abuse, and drug abuse occurs as a consequence of social isolation 9,10,11 . Unfortunately, when socially isolated individuals wish to moderate or quit drug-intake, quitting is more difficult and less successful 12,13 , limiting the likelihood of a long lasting recovery.
This section will provide an outline of introductory paragraphs.
Introductory paragraphs give the reader an understanding of what is coming up in the article.
This paragraph uses linguistic ‘signposts’ to help the reader to understand major developments in the history of Stonehenge.
The writer gives some background about Stonehenge and the way in which it changed and developed over time. If you knew nothing about the topic, this introduction gives key facts, information and context. If, however you are familiar with the subject, this paragraph is a neat overview, creating a gateway to the rest of the article.
The second paragraph begins with an introduction to the aims and objectives of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.
This provides useful signpost, in the last sentence, what is coming up next.
Stonehenge, a Late Neolithic–Early Bronze Age monument in Wiltshire, southern England, was constructed in five stages between around 3000 BC and 1500 BC (Darvill et al. 2012). The first stage consisted of a circular ditch enclosing pits thought to have held posts or standing stones, of which the best known are the 56 Aubrey Holes. These are now believed to have held a circle of small standing stones, specifically ‘bluestones’ from Wales (Parker Pearson et al. 2009: 31–33). In its second stage , Stonehenge took on the form in which it is recognisable today, with its ‘sarsen’ circle and horseshoe array of five sarsen ‘trilithons’ surrounding the rearranged bluestones.
Starting in 2003, the Stonehenge Riverside Project explored the theory that Stonehenge was built in stone for the ancestors, whereas timber circles and other wooden structures were made for the living (Parker Pearson & Ramilisonina 1998). Stonehenge has long been known to contain prehistoric burials (Hawley 1921). Most were undated, so a priority for the project was to establish whether, when and in what ways these dead were associated with the monument. Until excavation in 2008, most of the recovered human remains remained inaccessible for scientific research, having been reburied at Stonehenge in 1935 (Young 1935: 20–21).
Demonstrating your position (your voice)
This section will provide an outline of demonstrating your position, that's to say, your voice.
The way in which you express your thoughts in academic writing can vary depending on your subject area.
This writer makes statements that clearly demonstrate their opinion. They say for example that “Science fiction is a useful tool...”, “Gender, in turn, offers an interesting glimpse...”, “The process is a particularly rewarding version...”. The language chosen shows what the writer thinks about this topic.
In this second paragraph (from a different source) the writer makes clear their position about decreased nerve conduction velocity and why this matters: ‘appreciably decreased NCV can be an important indicator of nerve injury or disease’.
Science fiction is a useful tool for investigating habits of thought, including conceptions of gender. Gender, in turn, offers an interesting glimpse into some of the unacknowledged messages that permeate science fiction. Each reads the other in very interesting ways. Examining stories with a view to both their science-fictional qualities and their uses of gender generates new questions about both gender and genre. Then those questions can be addressed to those and other stories to yield further insights. The process is a particularly rewarding version of the hermeneutic circle-a decoding ring.
Impulses travel along nerves at a speed called the nerve conduction velocity (NCV). This velocity has been extensively measured in human peripheral nerves because of its utility in clinical medicine (Liveson & Ma, 1992; Oh, 1993). Appreciably decreased NCV can be an important indicator of nerve injury or disease (Liveson & Ma, 1992; Oh, 1993).
This section will provide an outline of concluding paragraphs.
Depending on the written work that you do, you may need one or several concluding paragraphs.
This is an example of a concise stand-alone conclusion paragraph.
This conclusion brings together the main arguments that were made in the main body of the work.
The final sentence is a recommendation for future action, which can be a good way to emphasise your viewpoint.
Given the fragile health systems in most sub-Saharan African countries, new and re-emerging disease outbreaks such as the current COVID-19 epidemic can potentially paralyse health systems at the expense of primary healthcare requirements. The impact of the Ebola epidemic on the economy and healthcare structures is still felt five years later in those countries which were affected. Effective outbreak responses and preparedness during emergencies of such magnitude are challenging across African and other lower-middle-income countries. Such situations can partly only be mitigated by supporting existing regional and sub-Saharan African health structures.
This section will provide an outline of discussing results.
This paragraph effectively discusses the results of a research project. Paragraphs like this one are very common in science, engineering or medical subjects.
The first sentence contains the major finding of the research, which is then explored in more detail.
In the second sentence, the writer clearly states the need for more research as a major factor in the results obtained.
These results further indicate that not only liquid-bearing clouds 16 but also clouds composed exclusively of ice significantly increase radiative fluxes into the surface and decrease GrIS SMB. This underscores the need for continued research into the factors that govern the formation and maintenance of these distinct cloud regimes, and their evolution in a future warmer and wetter Arctic 36 . Evidence of the large spread in cloud cover and liquid/ice partitioning over the GrIS in current state-of-the-art climate models, in combination with our limited understanding of the interaction between clouds, circulation and climate 37 , suggests that improved cloud representations in climate models could significantly increase the fidelity of future projections of GrIS SMB and subsequent global sea level rise.
This section will provide an outline of using a quotation to illustrate a point.
Quotations are particularly useful where the phrasing of the original author’s point enhances your argument in a way that your own words could not. However, in science, engineering or medicine disciplines, quotations are very rarely used.
This paragraph incorporates a quotation from a book to illustrate and strengthen the main point (set out in the first sentence).
The quotation is introduced mid-paragraph and deepens our understanding of the argument by giving us insights into the feelings of the characters.
Rowling creates this intense tension between Harry’s substitute maternal and paternal figures to highlight just how connected Mrs. Weasley is to Harry Potter, and to illustrate how Harry’s situation has changed dramatically, though his journey is not nearly over. Harry is now part of several families: Hogwarts, the Weasley’s and soon the Order of Phoenix. He is cared for in a way he has never experienced before now, as is evident by Mrs. Weasley’s maternal wrath: “‘He’s not your son,” said Sirius quietly. “He’s as good as!” said Mrs. Weasley fiercely” (Rowling, 2004, p. 90) . Mrs. Weasley continues to clash with Sirius throughout OotP, believing he makes poor choices and doesn’t recognize that Harry would risk his own life for him. She can accept the peril Harry faces from Lord Voldemort, but she cannot tolerate that Sirius might carelessly expose Harry to danger.
This section will provide an outline of paragraphs that link together.
Paragraphs often (but not always) link together thematically, which means that one may continue an idea or argument from a previous paragraph.
The first sentence of the first paragraph sets out the topic under examination.
The first paragraph goes on to explore the topic in more depth, giving relevant examples and evidence as part of the discussion.
The second paragraph is intrinsically linked to the first. It acts as an extension, allowing the author to develop the point further by bringing in a new aspect of communication and analysing this in detail.
The men and women who saw or met the royal family in the war regularly confronted a perceptual gap between their own close-up sighting of them and official projections. A private with the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Regiment on the Western Front, who saw George V coming down from the line in 1916, remembered how surprised he was to find that the king was just a ‘little fellah with a beard’ – an observation that registered the difference between seeing the king nearby and how he was imagined in his public and ceremonial roles. 18 The early twentieth century witnessed a significant shift towards the democratization of public reputations in Britain and across the Anglophone world, involving the partial displacement of older notions of charisma by more commodified public personalities driven by the media. Soldiers and nurses who encountered the king and his family frequently registered a tension between traditional, prestigious images of royalty and those that were redolent with what journalists now defined as ‘human interest’ and even entertainment. 19 The article argues that one consequence of the intimate exposure of royalty during the war was that some who saw or met the king and his family perceived them more horizontally and less vertically, in ways that paralleled other forms of popular modernism. Adrian Gregory and Paul Fussell have emphasized that the war was fundamental in breaking social and cultural hierarchies, creating the conditions in which modernism would flourish. 20 One long-term effect of the loosening of traditional authority in the minds of some observers involved a partial desacralization of sovereignty, whereby royalty was brought closer to the lives of ordinary people in ways that intersected with developments in the popular media.
Publicity was one significant factor shaping the views of men and women who encountered royalty; the practice of letter-writing and diary keeping was another. Letters and postcards sent by troops at the front to family and friends at home were forms of social and cultural communication shaped by the long history of epistolary writing and its specific uses as a resource in wartime. Wartime censorship, which was enforced by officers for British and dominion rank-and-file troops, influenced what could be written in letters about a sensitive issue like the monarchy, though standards of inspection were uneven and critical comments did get through. 21 Diaries and memoirs encouraged greater reflection, and this was where more expansive and often trenchant remarks about the royal family emerged. The oral histories drawn on here pivot between remembering early twentieth-century royalty through the prism of nostalgia, or remembering them as central figures in a hierarchical society where witnesses saw themselves as either resistant or subaltern subjects. These personal testimonies provide historians not simply with an archive of opinion about the monarchy, but with a window onto competing structures of belief and feeling, as they were shaped by what Penny Summerfield has called distinctive ‘conduits of expression’. 22 They constructed meanings about sovereignty, while simultaneously involving audiences in their own projections of selfhood, in the context of both the structures of their own lives and the impact of European warfare.
This section will provide an outline of proposing a new idea or theory.
Sometimes your writing will need to be persuasive, for example, when you propose a new idea, theory or way of looking at an issue, or you may be trying to show that another writer’s point or argument is strong or weak.
The opening sentence signals that three new strategies are going to be set out.
In the second sentence, the first of these strategies is introduced.
The final two sentences begin to unpack the first strategy. Further emphasis is given to persuade the reader by the tone and use of language such as “important”.
Three strategies for reinserting class into planning theory and practice can be proposed. The first strategy is the acknowledgement that capitalism is based on economic antagonisms. When identifying “needs” in planning theory or practice, it is important to ask, whose needs? In contrast to contemporary assumptions where “communities” are the subjects and where “consensus” is an ideal (as in the King’s Cross Development), we would argue that one should recognize and consider antagonisms like class.
When creating an academic essay, it is very important for you to relay a sensible and clear argument to your target readers. Since academic essays are widely used in the field of education and research, you need to ensure that you do both logical, interesting and informative writing . The items that are commonly seen in an academic essay contain insights, actual occurrences, ideas, and facts.
What is Academic Essay? An academic essay is a structured form of writing that serves the purpose of presenting and supporting a thesis or argument on a specific topic. It is commonly used in educational settings to assess students’ understanding, analytical skills, and ability to research and convey their findings. An academic essay typically follows a clear format, including an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs that provide evidence and analysis to support the thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points and reinforces the essay’s central argument. This type of essay requires critical thinking and a formal tone, with evidence cited from reputable sources to back up claims made within the text.
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A lot of students tend to think that an academic essay, just like any other college essay examples, is something that is too technical or defined. However, you can always write one depending on how you perceive a specific topic of discussion or how you interpret an instance or any other subjects. The samples that we have for you can be a great help if you would like to start writing your academic essay already.
Academic Essay Writing Format/ Outline
1. title page (if required).
Includes the essay’s title, the author’s name, and institutional affiliation.
Hook : Opens with a statement to grab the reader’s interest. Background Information : Provides context for the topic being discussed. Thesis Statement : Presents the main argument or claim of the essay.
3. Body Paragraphs
Each paragraph should focus on a single idea that supports the thesis, structured as follows:
Topic Sentence : Introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Evidence and Analysis : Includes data, quotes, or examples to support the topic sentence, followed by an explanation of how this evidence supports the thesis. Transition : Connects to the next paragraph or idea.
Summary of Main Points : Restates the key arguments or findings presented in the body paragraphs. Restatement of Thesis : Reinforces the essay’s main argument in light of the evidence presented. Closing Thought : Offers a final insight, a call to action, or a suggestion for further research.
Example of Academic Essay Writing
The Impact of Social Media on Communication In the digital age, social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, transcending physical boundaries and transforming social interactions. This essay explores the profound impact of social media on communication, examining both its positive advancements and negative implications. While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have enhanced our ability to connect with others, they have also led to a decline in face-to-face interactions and a dilution of personal communication skills. Social media has made it easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family, regardless of geographical distance. A study by Smith and Duggan (2016) found that 75% of internet users utilize social media to maintain relationships with distant family and friends. This widespread use of social media for keeping in touch demonstrates its role as a vital communication tool, bridging the gap between people worldwide. However, the reliance on social media for communication has led to a decrease in the quality of interpersonal interactions. Research by Johnson (2018) indicates a 40% decline in face-to-face conversations among young adults, correlating with increased social media usage. The preference for digital communication over personal interaction suggests a shift in social dynamics, potentially harming relational depth and emotional connections. Moreover, social media has affected our communication skills, particularly among younger generations. A survey by Lee (2019) revealed that 60% of teachers believe social media use has adversely affected students’ writing and verbal communication skills. The informal language and abbreviations common in social media posts and messages are infiltrating academic and professional communications, underscoring the need for a balanced approach to digital interactions. Social media has undeniably transformed communication, offering unparalleled connectivity but also presenting significant challenges. While it fosters global connections, its overuse can undermine personal interactions and communication skills. Balancing social media use with face-to-face communication is crucial for maintaining meaningful relationships and effective communication in the 21st century.
What is an example of academic writing?
Title: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity
Introduction: Climate change, driven primarily by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, has emerged as a critical global concern. This essay aims to explore the multifaceted impacts of climate change on biodiversity. The effects of rising temperatures, altered weather patterns, and habitat destruction are increasingly evident, with far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and species worldwide.
Body Paragraph: One of the most noticeable consequences of climate change is the shifting geographical ranges of numerous species. Warmer temperatures prompt species to migrate to higher altitudes or latitudes, as they seek habitats that align with their thermal preferences. This phenomenon is evident in various ecosystems, including mountain regions, where alpine plants and animals have progressively moved uphill. These migrations, while adaptive, can disrupt established predator-prey relationships and competition for resources. Such shifts can also lead to reduced biodiversity in lower-altitude regions as some species fail to adapt or relocate successfully.
- Smith, J., & Johnson, A. (2019). Impacts of Climate Change on Alpine Plant Communities. Environmental Studies Journal , 42(3), 256-270.
- Wilson, P., & Davis, R. (2020). Climate-Induced Shifts in Animal Distributions: Evidence from a Decadal Study. Ecology and Evolution , 10(12), 5963-5972.
In conclusion, climate change exerts profound effects on biodiversity, manifesting through shifts in species distributions, altered ecological relationships, and habitat loss. As global temperatures continue to rise, addressing these impacts becomes increasingly urgent. Conservation efforts, sustainable practices, and international cooperation are essential in mitigating the repercussions of climate change on the world’s diverse ecosystems and species.
Academic Essay Topics with Samples to Edit & Download
- Pollution due to urbanization
- The environmental causes of smoking
- The outcomes of global warming
- Abortion as a controversy
- Causes of obesity in teenagers
- Childhood memories
- Fathers should get equal paternity leave
- Harmful dogs should be euthanized
- How does divorce affects children?
- How does technology affect productivity?
- Importance of preserving threatened species
- Parenting styles and motives
- Political issues in the U.S.
- Romantic relationships
- Should schools abolish homework?
- Violent video games should be banned
- Ways of protecting the environment
Academic Essay Writing Examples & Templates
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Are You Ready and Prepared to Create an Academic Essay?
Different types of academic writing require an individual to have a clear thought process within the entirety of idea development. You have to be focused on what you would like to achieve your final written output so you can incorporate successful guides and processes within the activity. Some of the things that you can talk about in an academic essay include the following:
- Human behavior, characteristics, and emotions
- Community relations
- Natural occurrences
- Language and its effective usages
- Culture and the arts
- Academic researchers
- Relevant cultural phenomenon
- Photography and other artistic undertakings
- Human interactions
- Other subjects that are related to education and academics
Knowing the subject of your article is only one of the initial things that can help you prepare during the writing process. Here are some ways on how you can be ready to write your academic essay:
- You need to have an order of writing that can easily showcase the flow of your thoughts. You must ensure that you can easily connect with your readers or audience so they can respond to the content of your article. Your academic essay should evoke an emotion that is necessary to spark other ideas, opinions and other kinds of responses.
- You need to be aware that academic essays differ depending on the educational or academic discipline where they will be used. There are certain ways that are necessary to be followed in various fields for an academic essay to be deemed effective. With this, always be mindful of the directions or instructions were given to you by the entity who requires you to write an academic essay.
- You do not need to pattern your writing to the works of others. You can be ready even by just knowing your subject and researching about it. The style of writing that you have can give the most difference to how you write and how you present your work. Always keep in mind that your academic essay should be playful – it must not bore your audience.
- You must think of your academic essay as an enterprise by using scholastic writing approaches. The conversation that you can create with your readers must be relevant to what is happening nowadays or for the study that specific student groups need. Being able to give focus on the relativity of your written work can make it easier for readers to understand why your academic essay is important within the academic field.
- You should ensure that your thesis statement is precise, concise, and strong. When you are in the process of developing your academic essay’s thesis, you need to make sure that you are not just basing your write-up on unreliable information. Always refer to evidence, facts, and real data as it can help you strengthen your claims. More so, do not forget to reference your essays when necessary.
Things to Remember When Identifying the Purpose of Your Academic Essay
An academic essay always has to be relevant. It needs to be beneficial to a specific group or to the majority of the academic community. The motive of your essay is very important to be considered as it can identify whether you can be of help to the people who need a particular educational reference. Here are a few things that you need to remember when identifying the purpose of your own academic essay:
- Do not create an academic essay just for the sake of passing it. Your academic essay is more than an assignment or a project. There are some last minute essay writing activities that are done in various fields especially if students think that an academic essay is just a part of their requirements. However, what these students do not know is that an academic essay is a representation of themselves. It showcases the thoughts of the students, what they have learned may it be in class or through self-discovery, and how they are impacted by certain issues and subjects of discussion.
- Be precise with the purpose of your writing. An academic letter is not just a document that can showcase your mastery when it comes to a particular academic subject. It can talk about a specific subject or it can also be a general paper that can provide a lot of information about your experiences and/or insights. if you will have a precise purpose when writing an academic essay, there is no doubt that your essay will not be pointless.
- Always think of the best case that can help you represent your thoughts. Your style of writing, as well as the entire document’s format and content, can help you realize your ideas. With this, your point of writing can easily be identified by readers. Being able to present your purpose the best way possible can add up to the success of your academic paper.
Developing an Academic Essay
For you to be able to persuade your readers with the content of your academic essay, there is a need for you to present a structure that can easily identify your claims, arguments, observations and/or factual presentations. Being clear about how you present your idea is essential for people to see the context of your academic essay.
If you have an organized manner of putting together the concepts of your academic essay, then validating your thesis statement can be more evident. To avoid common essay mistakes and other negative factors that can affect your desired output, here is a basic guide on how you can develop your own academic essay:
- Start by creating a strong thesis statement. Identify your stand and make sure to strictly present evidence that can help you claim its authenticity and validity. Reveal evidence after your thesis statement presentation. Your thesis statement serves as your introduction speech . It lets your readers know the topic of your academic essay and what they can expect from the entire article.
- Establish the context of your essay after your thesis statement. The way that you approach your topic can let readers know whether it is the specific approach that they also need for their undertakings. There are difference contexts that can be used within the same subject so you have to make sure that you will be clear when it comes to identifying the part of the topic that you are going to talk about. Limiting your topic discussion can help you give more focus to what is important for your discussion.
- Create the next paragraphs based on the data that can support your thesis statement. The body of your academic essay can be based on your observations, reviews, statements and research outputs. You can present these items separately through the usage of various paragraphs. However, there are instances where it will be better if you can combine or compare to evidence to make your statements more effective.
- Conclude. Your conclusion is as important as your introduction. If you believe that you have created a strong introduction, you have to maintain that until the end of your academic essay. Sum up all the information that you have presented so that people can identify whether your conclusion has lived up to the content of what you have written. Your conclusion can also be used to assess whether your thesis statement has been carried within the entirety of your discussion.
Importance of a Well-Defined Thesis Statement in an Academic Essay
A thesis statement is a paragraph or a set of paragraphs that identifies your stand about your subject. There is a need for this statement to be created as it can affect the entirety of your academic paper. Here are some of the reasons why it is important to develop an effective thesis statement before and while writing your academic paper:
- Your thesis statement is a reflection of your actual idea. This helps you present the point that you would like to make and the message that you actually want to disseminate to your readers. Through a thesis statement, you can organize the evidence that are relevant to your claims based on their relevance to the topic and how you view it as a writer.
- Your thesis statement can guide you within the entirety of your writing processes. Just because you have already done an initial thesis statement does not mean that you are going to fully stick with it until the end of your writing. There are instances where thesis statements are developed or even changes during the creation of an academic essay depending on how the research about the topic has evolved.
- Your thesis statement can allow you to establish originality. Since your academic essay can be based on your research findings and observations, your thesis statement can be your platform to specify what you have come up with. Through a well-defined thesis statement, you can set your output apart from other essay examples that have been written by professionals and other entities in the field of academics.
- Your thesis statement is one of the items that the audience will look at when referencing for credibility and validity. Academic essays need to have a strong initial impact on readers. This statement can help them be focused on a particular standpoint which can enlighten them about your views and opinions, and how these are essential to be considered.
- Your thesis statement can help your readers immerse in your academic essay. The material that you will be coming up with can be reviewed by different people. Depending on the field of education where you are currently in, you need to make sure that your readers can see patterns of evidence presented so they can clearly see how you were able to generate and come up with insights. You have to ensure that the thesis statement that you have created contains the most promising thought so you can get the trust or even the acceptance of your readers about your academic essay’s subject.
Guidelines in Writing an Academic Essay
The course materials that you need to talk about within an academic essay can reflect your level of understanding about the subject. Simply put, an academic essay can be an evidence of the depth of your research procedures and all the other activities that you have executed so that you can support the content of your written output. Listed below are some of the guidelines that can be useful to your academic essay writing processes.
- Always analyze your essay prompt or the question that you need to answer or explain. You have to know whether you are tasked to argue, analyze, or discuss the topic. There will be times where you also need to compare the items present in your subject or explain the underlying factors that can affect your topic.
- Make sure that you will research about what you will write about . Your academic essay can only be fully-maximized if you can present facts. Primary research may be a helpful bit a more precise review of your research topic can help you gather more information that can be helpful in the development of your content. Always assess your sources of information so you can ensure that they are credible.
- Create a draft so that you will have a guide when writing your academic essay. If you will be organized when writing your academic essay, you can create an output that is well-curated and comprehensive. With this, your academic essay can provide more impact to your readers. This can also help you gather your thoughts first and identify how you can put them all together in the most cohesive and efficient way possible.
If you still do not feel confident in writing your own academic essay from scratch, then you can refer to templates and samples which you can download online. Doing this will allow you to be more familiar with the common content and basic formats that are usually seen in an academic essay. When using a template as a guide, always make sure that it is applicable to the study that you are practicing or the academic field or discipline where you will use your academic essay.
As a student, there will always be an instance where we will be required to write an academic essay. If you want to create an academic essay that is both outstanding and relevant, always put the items that we have discussed above in mind.
Setting the Stage for Essay Writing Success
- Understand the Assignment: Carefully read and comprehend the essay prompt or assignment to grasp its requirements and objectives.
- Topic Selection: Choose a relevant and interesting topic that aligns with the assignment.
- Research: Gather credible sources and information related to your topic. Take thorough notes and document your sources.
- Thesis Statement: Develop a strong, clear, and concise thesis statement that presents the main argument of your essay.
- Outline: Create an outline that organizes your essay into sections, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should have a clear purpose.
- Writing Draft: Begin writing your essay, keeping the introduction engaging, and ensuring each body paragraph addresses a single point or idea supported by evidence.
- Citations: Properly cite sources as you write, following a recognized citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).
- Edit and Revise: Review and revise your draft, focusing on grammar, clarity, coherence, and organization.
- Proofread: Carefully proofread your essay for errors in spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.
- Final Review: Double-check that your essay fulfills the assignment requirements, including formatting, citations, and references.
How do you write an academic essay?
- Understand the Assignment: Read the essay prompt or assignment thoroughly to grasp its requirements and objectives.
- Research: Gather relevant sources and information from books, articles, and credible online sources.
- Plan and Outline: Create an outline with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section should have a clear purpose.
- Thesis Statement: Develop a strong thesis statement that presents the main argument of your essay.
- Introduction: Start with a compelling hook, provide background information, and present your thesis statement.
- Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph should focus on a single point or idea, supported by evidence or examples. Use topic sentences to introduce the main idea of each paragraph.
- Citations: Cite sources properly using a recognized citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
- Analysis and Critical Thinking: Analyze and evaluate the evidence or arguments presented, and make connections between them.
- Transition Sentences: Use transition words and phrases to connect ideas between paragraphs.
- Conclusion: Summarize the main points, restate the thesis, and provide a thoughtful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.
Academic Essay Characteristics
Academic essays are distinguished by several key characteristics that set them apart from other types of writing. These features ensure that essays meet the rigorous standards of academic discourse and contribute effectively to scholarly conversations. Here are the primary characteristics of academic essays:
- Clear Purpose : An academic essay is written with a clear purpose, often to argue a point, present an analysis, or discuss a research finding. The purpose guides the structure and content of the essay.
- Structured Format : It follows a structured format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This organization helps present arguments and evidence in a coherent and logical manner.
- Thesis Statement : A distinctive feature is the thesis statement, a concise summary of the main argument or claim, usually found at the end of the introduction. It sets the direction for the entire essay.
- Critical Analysis : Academic essays involve critical analysis of ideas, texts, or situations. Writers assess evidence, debate viewpoints, and use logic to develop their arguments.
- Evidence-Based Arguments : Claims made in academic essays are supported by evidence from credible sources. This includes data, statistics, research findings, and quotations from experts.
- Formal Tone and Style : The writing adopts a formal tone and style, avoiding colloquial language, personal anecdotes (unless relevant), and slang. It maintains an objective and professional voice.
Types of Academic Writing
Academic writing encompasses a variety of types, each serving a specific purpose and adhering to a particular format. Here are some of the main types of academic writing:
- Descriptive Writing : This type focuses on describing a character, event, or situation in detail. It’s often used in reports or descriptive essays, where the goal is to provide a clear picture of the subject to the reader.
- Analytical Writing : Analytical writing breaks down complex information into smaller components for better understanding. It involves comparing and contrasting, classifying, and analyzing causes and effects. This type is common in research papers and literature reviews.
- Persuasive Writing : Persuasive writing aims to convince the reader of the writer’s viewpoint or argument. It is characterized by a strong thesis statement, clear evidence, and logical reasoning to persuade the reader. Opinion pieces, argumentative essays, and proposals often employ persuasive writing.
- Expository Writing : Expository writing is used to explain or inform the reader about a specific topic in a clear, concise, and logical manner. It focuses on presenting facts, statistics, and examples without the writer’s personal opinions. This type includes most essays, many types of reports, and certain types of research papers.
- Reflective Writing : This type involves the writer reflecting on their personal experiences, thoughts, or feelings regarding a particular subject or experience. Reflective writing is subjective and is often used in journals, blogs, and reflection essays in educational settings.
- Critical Writing : Critical writing evaluates and critiques the work of others, such as books, articles, or artworks. It involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, evidence, and methodologies. Literature reviews, critique essays, and certain types of research papers often require critical writing.
- Narrative Writing : Although less common in strict academic settings, narrative writing is used in certain disciplines to tell stories or describe events chronologically. Personal statements and some types of qualitative research may employ narrative writing to convey experiences and observations.
- Report Writing : Reports convey information from a writer to a reader, focusing on facts and evidence. They are structured and include sections like an introduction, methodology, findings, and conclusions. Lab reports, business reports, and technical reports are examples of this type.
Academic Writing Principles
Academic writing is governed by a set of core principles designed to ensure clarity, precision, and rigor in scholarly communication. Understanding and adhering to these principles is essential for effective academic writing. Here are the key principles:
- Clarity : Writing should be clear and understandable, avoiding unnecessary jargon and complexity to ensure that the reader can easily follow the argument or narrative.
- Coherence : The text should be logically organized, with a clear structure that guides the reader through the argument or discussion. Each part of the writing should connect to the others in a meaningful way.
- Conciseness : Academic writing should be concise, conveying ideas in as few words as necessary. This does not mean oversimplifying, but rather avoiding redundancy and verbosity.
- Objectivity : Writers should strive for objectivity, presenting information and arguments based on evidence rather than personal opinions or biases. This includes acknowledging counterarguments and limitations.
- Precision : Precision involves using the exact words to convey your meaning and being specific about your claims, evidence, and references. This also means accurately citing sources and providing specific data when necessary.
- Evidence-Based Argumentation : Arguments should be supported with appropriate evidence, such as data, examples, and citations from authoritative sources. This principle underscores the importance of research and verification in academic writing.
- Formality : The tone of academic writing is formal, which means avoiding colloquial language, contractions, slang, and humor. Formality also involves using the passive voice where appropriate and avoiding personal pronouns when making general arguments.
- Citation and Referencing : Proper citation and referencing of sources are fundamental to academic writing. This practice not only gives credit to original authors but also allows readers to verify sources and understand the basis of the evidence presented.
- Originality and Plagiarism Avoidance : Academic writing must be original and free from plagiarism. This means that writers should produce their own work based on their research and ideas and appropriately cite any sources they use.
- Critical Thinking : Effective academic writing reflects critical thinking, challenging assumptions, evaluating evidence, and synthesizing ideas from various sources to offer new insights or perspectives on a topic.
How do you start an academic essay sample?
Begin an academic essay sample with a captivating hook, provide context on the topic, and conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument.
What is the opening line of an academic essay?
The opening line of an academic essay should engage the reader’s interest, introduce the topic, and provide a sense of the essay’s focus and importance.
What not to write in an academic essay?
In an academic essay, avoid personal opinions, emotional language, unsubstantiated claims, informal language, and plagiarism. Focus on evidence-based arguments and adhere to academic standards and conventions.
How do you write an academic essay quickly?
To write an academic essay quickly, start with a clear thesis, outline main points, research efficiently, focus on key evidence, and minimize editing while maintaining proper citations and structure.
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- Academic Paragraph Structure | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples
Academic Paragraph Structure | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples
Published on October 25, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on March 27, 2023.
Every piece of academic writing is structured by paragraphs and headings . The number, length and order of your paragraphs will depend on what you’re writing—but each paragraph must be:
- Unified : all the sentences relate to one central point or idea.
- Coherent : the sentences are logically organized and clearly connected.
- Relevant : the paragraph supports the overall theme and purpose of the paper.
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Table of contents
Step 1: identify the paragraph’s purpose, step 2: show why the paragraph is relevant, step 3: give evidence, step 4: explain or interpret the evidence, step 5: conclude the paragraph, step 6: read through the whole paragraph, when to start a new paragraph.
First, you need to know the central idea that will organize this paragraph. If you have already made a plan or outline of your paper’s overall structure , you should already have a good idea of what each paragraph will aim to do.
You can start by drafting a sentence that sums up your main point and introduces the paragraph’s focus. This is often called a topic sentence . It should be specific enough to cover in a single paragraph, but general enough that you can develop it over several more sentences.
Although the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France.
This topic sentence:
- Transitions from the previous paragraph (which discussed the invention of Braille).
- Clearly identifies this paragraph’s focus (the acceptance of Braille by sighted people).
- Relates to the paper’s overall thesis.
- Leaves space for evidence and analysis.
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The topic sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is about—but why does this point matter for your overall argument? If this isn’t already clear from your first sentence, you can explain and expand on its meaning.
This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources.
- This sentence expands on the topic and shows how it fits into the broader argument about the social acceptance of Braille.
Now you can support your point with evidence and examples. “Evidence” here doesn’t just mean empirical facts—the form it takes will depend on your discipline, topic and approach. Common types of evidence used in academic writing include:
- Quotations from literary texts , interviews , and other primary sources .
- Summaries , paraphrases , or quotations of secondary sources that provide information or interpretation in support of your point.
- Qualitative or quantitative data that you have gathered or found in existing research.
- Descriptive examples of artistic or musical works, events, or first-hand experiences.
Make sure to properly cite your sources .
Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009).
- This sentence cites specific evidence from a secondary source , demonstrating sighted people’s reluctance to accept Braille.
Now you have to show the reader how this evidence adds to your point. How you do so will depend on what type of evidence you have used.
- If you quoted a passage, give your interpretation of the quotation.
- If you cited a statistic, tell the reader what it implies for your argument.
- If you referred to information from a secondary source, show how it develops the idea of the paragraph.
This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods.
- This sentence adds detail and interpretation to the evidence, arguing that this specific fact reveals something more general about social attitudes at the time.
Steps 3 and 4 can be repeated several times until your point is fully developed. Use transition words and phrases to show the connections between different sentences in the paragraph.
Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009). Access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss.
- The evidence tells us about the changing attitude to Braille among the sighted.
- The interpretation argues for why this change occurred as part of broader social shifts.
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Finally, wrap up the paragraph by returning to your main point and showing the overall consequences of the evidence you have explored.
This particular paragraph takes the form of a historical story—giving evidence and analysis of each step towards Braille’s widespread acceptance.
It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).
- The final sentence ends the story with the consequences of these events.
When you think you’ve fully developed your point, read through the final result to make sure each sentence follows smoothly and logically from the last and adds up to a coherent whole.
Although the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009). Access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).
Not all paragraphs will look exactly like this. Depending on what your paper aims to do, you might:
- Bring together examples that seem very different from each other, but have one key point in common.
- Include just one key piece of evidence (such as a quotation or statistic) and analyze it in depth over several sentences.
- Break down a concept or category into various parts to help the reader understand it.
The introduction and conclusion paragraphs will also look different. The only universal rule is that your paragraphs must be unified , coherent and relevant . If you struggle with structuring your paragraphs, you could consider using a paper editing service for personal, in-depth feedback.
As soon as you address a new idea, argument or issue, you should start a new paragraph. To determine if your paragraph is complete, ask yourself:
- Do all your sentences relate to the topic sentence?
- Does each sentence make logical sense in relation to the one before it?
- Have you included enough evidence or examples to demonstrate your point?
- Is it clear what each piece of evidence means and why you have included it?
- Does all the evidence fit together and tell a coherent story?
Don’t think of paragraphs as isolated units—they are part of a larger argument that should flow organically from one point to the next. Before you start a new paragraph, consider how you will transition between ideas.
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