how to make your essay more academic

  • November 30, 2022
  • Academic Advice

How To Write an Academic Essay: A Beginner’s Guide 

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During college, you must participate in many writing assessments, one of the most important being academic essays. Unfortunately, only a few are well-informed about the process of academic writing. 

If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn how to write an academic essay. Follow our guide! Here we’ll introduce the concept of the academic essay, the five components of an academic essay, the format of an academic essay, and more.

Ready to master your academic essay writing? Let’s go!

What Is an Academic Essay?

An academic essay is writing created to initiate debate, defend an idea, or present a new point of view by supporting it with evidence. 

One of the most important components that differentiate it from typical essays you have written in high school is supporting ideas with evidence. If you claim that, for example, “divorces have a negative impact on young children,” you need to find sources that support your argument to make it more convincing.

Interpreting facts is another essential element of a successful academic piece of writing. Academic essays should be written in a formal tone, with a set structure, and have a critical, based, and objective viewpoint. You should be able to understand and transmit different points of view to your readers in a simple but formal manner. 

Are you still trying to figure out what steps you should take to start writing? Keep scrolling!  

How To Write an Academic Essay

how to make your essay more academic

Writing an academic essay can initially seem intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the rules and requirements. 

The time and effort spent on the writing task might differ depending on the topic, word limit, deadline, and other factors. However, the key steps, including preparing for the writing, creating a thesis statement, introduction, conclusion, and editing process, must be included in every academic writing style. 

By following the detailed list of actions below, you can start and finish your essay in no time.

Prepare to write your essay

Before going into the technical part of the writing process, one piece of advice you should keep in mind is planning. Planning is as important as the writing process. If you plan correctly, you will have sufficient time to perform every step successfully. Failure to plan will lead to a messy essay and, worst-case scenario, an unfinished writing piece. 

Understand your assignment

First and foremost, before you take any action regarding writing your essay, you must ensure you have clearly understood every tiny detail that your instructor has provided you—this step will determine your academic essay’s effectiveness. But why is that? Understanding the assignment in detail will leave no space for any irrelevant information that would lead to wasted time and, ultimately, a lower grade. 

Develop your essay topic

If your instructor doesn’t give you a specific topic, you should spend some time finding a topic that fits the requirements. Finding a topic sounds easy, but finding the right one requires more than just a simple google search.

So, ensure you develop an original topic, as it adds more value to your academic writing. However, ensure that there is enough evidence from other sources to help you back up your arguments. You can do this by researching similar topics from trusted sources.

Do your research and take notes

Once you determine the topic, go on and do some research. This part takes a lot of effort since there are countless sources online, and obviously, you have to choose some of the best. 

Depending on your topic, there might be cases where online sources are not available, and you’ll also have to visit local libraries. Whatever the case, you need to take notes and highlight the components you want to include in your essay. 

A quick tip: Go back to your topic often to avoid getting swayed or influenced by other less relevant ideas. 

Come up with a clear thesis statement

An excellent academic essay contains a strong thesis statement. A strong thesis statement successfully narrows your topic into a specific area of investigation. It should also intrigue your readers and initiate debate. 

A good thesis statement is:

Create a structure

After gathering all the necessary information, you can begin outlining your main ideas. The primary academic essay structure is classified into the following 

Failure to maintain these three components in your academic essay will result in a poorly written assignment. Luckily, you can easily avoid that by following our guide.

Writing the introduction

what-is-the-format-of-academic-essay

Your essay will be divided into paragraphs of equal importance, but the introductory part should always stand out. You must make your introduction as presentable as possible and get the reader’s attention. Work on it as if you were to get graded only by the evaluation of that first paragraph. 

The purpose of the introduction is to demonstrate that your thoughts and ideas are logical and coherent. Also, depending on the word limit, you can use more than one paragraph.  

Hook the reader

All forms of writing benefit from an attractive hook. If you have no idea of how to hook the reader, you can go the safe way and choose a recent fact or statistic. Statistics will give your essay credibility, surprise the readers, and make them want to keep reading.  

Give background on the topic

Now that you have the reader’s attention, you should strive to expand the essay’s key points but to a limit since the introduction is only one part of the whole essay. You should generally explain what gaps from previous sources you will cover and what others have covered so far. 

Present your thesis statement

When introducing your thesis statement, you can present it as a statement of fact or controversial. If you decide to give a statement fact, it will be challenging to keep your audience engaged since facts can be easily proven. But presenting it more controversially will keep your audience awake and can even result in a better grade overall.

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Writing the body of your essay

how-do-you-write-an-effective-academic-essay

The body part of your essay is where you’ll expand all of your ideas presented in the introduction. It’s essential to stay consistent and not include irrelevant information. Since it is the longest part of your essay, you can easily get lost, and to prevent that, it would be best to map an internal outline specific to each paragraph. This way, you know what to include and where. 

Paragraph structure

Each paragraph should follow a specific structure. It should begin with an introductory sentence that tells the reader the main ideas you will discuss in the paragraph. It’s advisable to point back to your thesis statement to identify the relationship between it and the existing idea. Also, ensure that each paragraph demonstrates new ideas.  

Length of the body paragraphs

Depending on the topic and the arguments you’ve gathered, it’s advisable not to exceed 200 words per paragraph in academic writing. If your paragraphs are too long and contain unnecessary wording, it will become difficult for the reader to follow your point. So keep them clear and concise.

Writing the conclusion

Congratulation, now you’ve made it to the last paragraph of your essay. The conclusion’s primary purpose is to summarize the ideas presented throughout your essay. Writing a good conclusion should take little time since you know what the essay contains. However, be aware of what points you should or shouldn’t include.

What to include in your conclusion 

A strong conclusion needs to have an introductory sentence. In some cases, if your instructor approves, it can include other areas that need to be investigated in the future. But at its core, it should only remind the reader about the main arguments discussed.

What not to include in your conclusion 

You should at all times refrain from including new ideas. Since the essay ends with the conclusion, don’t go into details or support new points. Doing that will confuse the reader and result in a poor grade. 

Editing your essay

how-to-write-an-academic-essay

Without a doubt, editing is just as important as writing. No matter how careful you are during writing, there’s a high possibility that there will be some slip-ups. These can range from spelling mistakes to grammar, punctuation, and so on. We suggest you spend time doing other things and return to the essay again. This will help you notice errors that you otherwise wouldn’t. 

Tips for Writing a Great College Essay

Now that you have a clear idea of the process of writing an academic essay, we have a few more tips: 

The Bottom Line

Writing an academic essay is a complex task. But with the right tools, guidance, and willingness to learn from your mistakes, you will master academic writing in no time. Make sure to follow each of the abovementioned steps and practice as much as possible. And don’t forget to edit!

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Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Style in Academic Writing

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how to make your essay more academic

1. Use ACTIVE VOICE

Don't say:  "The stepmother's house was cleaned by Cinderella."  (Passive.)

Say instead:  "Cinderella cleaned the stepmother's house."  (Active voice.)

Passive voice construction ("was cleaned") is reserved for those occasions where the "do-er" of the action is unknown.

Example:  "Prince Charming saw the glass slipper that was left behind."

2. Mix it up in terms of PUNCTUATION

Here are a few commonly misused punctuation marks that a lot of people aren't sure about:

The  semi-colon (;)  separates two complete sentences that are complementary.

Example:  "She was always covered in cinders from cleaning the fireplace; they called her Cinderella."

The  colon (:)  is used...

a. preceding a list.

Example:  "Before her stepmother awoke, Cinderella had three chores to complete: feeding the chickens, cooking breakfast, and doing the wash." 


b. as a sort of "drum roll," preceding some big revelation.

Example:  "One thing fueled the wicked stepmother's hatred for Cinderella: jealousy."  


The  dash (--)  is made by typing two hyphens (-). No spaces go in between the dash and the text. It is used...

a. to bracket off some explanatory information.

Example:  "Even Cinderella's stepsisters-who were not nearly as lovely or virtuous as Cinderella--were allowed to go to the ball." 


b. in the "drum roll" sense of the colon.

Example:  "Prince Charming would find this mystery lady--even if he had to put the slipper on every other girl in the kingdom."  


3. Vary your SENTENCE STRUCTURE

Don't say:  "Cinderella saw her fairy godmother appear. She was dressed in blue. She held a wand. The wand had a star on it. She was covered in sparkles. Cinderella was amazed. She asked who the woman was. The woman said, 'I am your fairy godmother.' She said she would get Cinderella a dress and a coach. She said she would help Cinderella go to the ball."

Instead say: (there are multiple correct ways to rewrite this, but here's one)  "Amazed, Cinderella watched as her fairy godmother appeared. The woman dressed in blue was covered in sparkles and carried a star-shaped wand. Cinderella asked the woman who she was, to which the woman replied, 'I am your fairy godmother." The fairy godmother would get Cinderella a dress and a coach; she would help Cinderella get to the ball."

4. Closely related to this, avoid CHOPPINESS

Don't say:  "She scrubbed the floors. They were dirty. She used a mop. She sighed sadly. It was as if she were a servant ."

Instead say : (again, there are multiple ways to do this)  "She scrubbed the dirty floors using a mop, as if she were a servant. She sighed sadly."

5. Avoid REPETITION.

Don't say:  "The stepsisters were jealous and envious ."

Instead say :  "The stepsisters were jealous ."  (...or envious. Pick one.)

6. Be CONCISE

Don't say:  "The mystery lady was one who every eligible man at the ball admired."

Instead say :  "Every eligible man at the ball admired the mystery lady."

7. Use the VOCABULARY that you know.

Don't always feel you have to use big words. It is always better to be clear and use simple language rather than showing off flashy words you aren't sure about and potentially misusing them. This is not to say, however, that you should settle for very weak vocabulary choices (like "bad" or "big" or "mad").

8. But also work on expanding your VOCABULARY.

When reading, look up words you don't know. See how they're used. Start a list. Incorporate them into your writing as you feel comfortable and as they are appropriate.

9. Keep language FORMAL and avoid language of everyday speech.

Don't say:  "Cinderella was mellow and good. She never let her stepmother get to her ."

Say instead:  "Cinderella was mild-mannered and kind. She never let her stepmother affect her high spirits ."

So, essentially, when it comes to working on style, there are three things to remember:

Empower yourself with knowledge..

Learn to punctuate correctly, enhance your vocabulary, etc. Give yourself all the tools there are so that you are free to...

...Mix it up!

Avoid repetition of words and sentence structure. Variance promotes good "flow" and is more interesting for your reader.

"Write to EXPRESS, not to IMPRESS."

Above all, write actively, clearly, and concisely.

Amber Carini

Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley

©2002 UC Regents

  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

20 Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing

Would you write an email to your boss using the same word choices and style that you’d use to send an email or text to your friend? Would you start your email to your boss with “ Hey dude, wassup?”

Probably not.

Why? Because writing to your boss demands a higher level of professionalism and formality than does writing to your friend.

The same is true for academic writing.

You wouldn’t use “I’m gonna write this paper about how much I love playing video games” as your thesis.  And you wouldn’t write one giant paragraph about how playing video games is the best pastime ever (even if that’s how you feel).

Why? Because academic writing requires a specific format and style. It needs to be organized, clear, and professional.

But how do you improve your academic writing? What specifically should you do to make your writing more professional?

Start by reviewing these 20 ways to improve your academic writing.

word cloud featuring terms related to academic writing and discourse communities

Good writing takes practice, and you simply can’t write the perfect paper on the first (or even the second or third) attempt.

You can, however, review these tips to begin to improve your academic writing one step at a time.

#1: Follow assignment guidelines

Before you start any writing assignment, take the time to review the assignment guidelines again. Really. It’s important.

Here’s why. Let’s say you thought that you knew exactly what you were supposed to be writing: a literary analysis of the themes in The Handmaid’s Tale . You write a brilliant essay about the theme of complacency in the novel and its relevance to today’s political climate.

When you finish your masterpiece, you decide to review the assignment details, only to find out that the actual assignment is to compare one of the themes of The Handmaid’s Tale to another dystopian novel .

With only four short hours left before the assignment is due, you have to rush to create an entirely new paper. Not exactly what you wanted to do on Sunday evening (especially after working so hard on your original paper).

The takeaway: Professors provide assignment guidelines for a reason. Follow them. (Your grade will thank you.)

Need more help with a certain essay type than your assignment guide offers? Use this survival guide on 6 popular types of essays .

#2: Master the academic essay structure

It may sound simple, but if you’re writing an academic essay, remember to use the proper essay structure.

All formal essays require an original title (that gives readers an idea of what your paper is about), one or more introductory paragraphs, a strong thesis, at least several body paragraphs to explain the key arguments of the essay, and one or more concluding paragraphs to wrap things up.

Need help with the basic components of an academic essay? Check out these resources:

#3: Use the correct format for an academic essay

hand holding marker underlining the word 'structure' written in blue ink

Before people even read your paper, they’ll look at the format. Incorrect formatting looks sloppy. A sloppy paper is like showing up to a job interview with a dirty T-shirt and ripped jeans. It creates a horrible first impression.

Make your paper look professional by following the basics:

Check out this Essay Formatting Survival Guide (Infographic) for more tips.

#4: Narrow your topic appropriately

Writing about a broad topic can mean you have lots of information to throw into an essay to meet length requirements. But it can also mean that you’re writing a simplistic paper about a complex topic.

To write a compelling essay, narrow the topic to focus on a smaller, more specific issue. This approach will allow you to write a more detailed and effective essay.

Take, for example, the standard elementary school report. Let’s say you wrote about earthquakes. Your report likely explained what earthquakes are, where they have occurred, and the damage they can create. You may have even earned an “A” on your report.

It was an awesome report for an elementary school student, but it was also probably pretty basic and generalized (like a standard encyclopedia article). This type of broad overview is definitely not what you want to write about at the high school or college level .

Can you imagine telling your geology prof that the focus of your term paper will be “earthquakes”? I’m sure you can guess that she wouldn’t be impressed.

Now imagine telling her that you want to focus on the impact earthquakes have on coastal cities and how new technology can help predict earthquakes and save lives.

Much better, right?

If you’re pondering a broad topic like “earthquakes” and struggling to find a narrow focus, read How to Narrow a Topic and Write a Focused Paper .

#5: Prewrite

A lot of students (and you might be one of them) hate prewriting because they think it takes up too much time.

While prewriting does require time and effort, it will help you organize your thoughts and help you plan your ideas before you actually begin drafting. All of this organizing means that you’ll actually save time in the long run because you’ll be that much more prepared when it comes time to write your paper.

Looking for more information about how to get the most out of prewriting? Take a look at these posts:

#6: Choose your words carefully to create the right tone

young woman dancing listening to music with happy tone through headphones

Using the right words can make all the difference in how you present yourself to an audience.

Sure, if you use “too” instead of “to” or “there” instead of “their,” you’ve used the wrong word (and sloppy editing can make your paper seem rushed and unprofessional). But the word choices I’m referring to in this case are words that help boost your credibility and create a professional tone.

You want readers to find you credible. But you want readers to respect you too. You won’t be considered credible or respectable, however, if you’re rude, condescending, or sarcastic.

Thus, your tone should be appropriate for academic writing. Choosing the right words to convey your tone can improve the audience’s impression of you as a writer.

Take a look at this example:

Don’t write:  “If you’re smart, you’ll realize my solution is the best.” Do write:  “Evidence demonstrates that this is the most effective solution.”

The first example is condescending and rude. You’re basically telling the readers that they’re not smart if they don’t agree with you. This is definitely not the impression you want to make.

The second example, however, is objective. It uses reason and logic to explain the statement and creates an academic and professional tone.

#7: Eliminate wordiness

Adding a bunch of words can help you make word count in no time flat, but more words don’t always equate to better writing.

Here’s an example:

Don’t write:  “Due to extremely unfortunate circumstances, which were a result of a terrible computer error, students were unable to go online and register for their courses for the upcoming fall semester.” Do write:  “Due to a computer error, students were unable to register online for fall courses.”

The first sentence adds a lot of words but not a lot of content. The second sentence, on the other hand, eliminates 15 unnecessary words and is clear and concise.

To learn more about how to eliminate wordiness in your own writing, read these posts:

And when you do need to extend your word count, make sure you’re doing it the right way .

#8: Write in third person

Many types of writing—such as narrative essays , op-eds , and blogs—allow (and often prefer) the use of first-person and even second-person point of view.

Most academic essays, such as research papers and literary analysis essays , however, require more formality and thus require you to write in third person .

Here’s an example to illustrate.

Don’t write:  “If you read Romeo and Juliet , you’ll learn about the star-crossed lovers.” Do write:  “ Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of a pair of star-crossed lovers.”

Notice that the first sentence directly addresses the reader by using second person (“you” and “you’ll”). The second sentence, though, is a stronger example of academic writing as it’s written in third-person point of view.

#9: Use formal language

dapper young man facing camera wearing bow tie and jacket

Formal, academic writing requires formal language . In other words, don’t write like you speak . If you always use slang, you’ll need to edit it out of your academic writing. (Save the slang for texting your friends.)

Here are examples of informal and formal language to illustrate:

Don’t write:  “She freaked out when she saw her final grade.” Do write:  “She was shocked and angry when she saw her final grade.”     

“Freaked out” is clearly too informal for academic writing, and the first sentence sounds like speech, rather than a statement from an academic essay.

#10: Write in active voice

While writing in active voice or writing in passive voice is a matter of style (rather than correct or incorrect grammar), in most cases, you should write in active voice.

Active voice creates a stronger statement and can help reduce confusion in your writing.

To learn more about the differences in active voice and passive voice (and when you should use each) read these posts:

#11: Explain concepts your audience may not know

Your audience consists of intelligent, educated readers. There’s no need to define basic words or explain simple concepts that your readers already understand.

In other words, don’t start your essay with something like this: “According to Merriam-Webster.com, a tree is ‘a woody perennial plant having a single usually elongate main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part.’” Readers already know what a tree is, so don’t waste their time by explaining what doesn’t need to be explained.

At the same time, do spend time explaining any concepts that your audience isn’t already familiar with.

For instance, if you’re writing for a general audience and you have specialized knowledge about trees, you might need to explain the term “petiole.” (It’s the stalk that connects a leaf to a branch, in case you’re wondering.)

#12: Appeal to your specific audience

audience in front of a stage at concert

Take the time to consider what your audience believes and understands about the subject.

If your audience is a group of environmentalists and you’re writing about a recycling program, for example, appeal to your audience by explaining how your proposed program will benefit the environment by preventing further climate change .

If you’re trying to pitch the same recycling program to a group of skeptical parents at a school board meeting, you might try another angle and appeal to their love of their children. You might explain how the recycling program will teach their children responsibility and help protect the environment for future generations.

#13: Be sincere

While you should appeal to your audience, don’t go so far as excessively complimenting or flattering your audience. This will likely turn readers off, and they won’t feel you are sincere.

You know, it’s kinda like trying to butter up your parents when you’re a kid. You tell them what great parents they are in hopes of convincing them to buy you a new phone.

Both your audience and your parents can see right through these poor attempts at flattery, and it damages your credibility.

Here’s what sincerity might look like in academic writing:

Don’t write:  “If you’re reading this, you’re obviously smart, so you understand my point.” Do write:  “Based on the evidence presented, the thesis is valid.”

Notice that the first example tries to flatter the reader, while the second example is a more appropriate form of academic writing because it remains objective .

#14: Support arguments with evidence

Because academic writing isn’t just your own opinion, you’ll need to use sources to support your arguments. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed expert on the benefits of sleeping until noon, chances are you don’t have any research to support your claim.

That’s where the experts come in.

Remember, you want readers to know that you’ve done your research, and you want them to see you as credible. Citing authorities and experts to support your arguments is crucial to achieving this credibility.

If you need more help with supporting your arguments and writing a research paper, take a look at How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide .

#15: Choose credible sources

edge of credible book printed with 'from the real experts'

And speaking of credibility, you absolutely need to choose credible sources . You’ll lose all of your hard-earned cred if you choose unreliable resources.

After all, who would readers believe is more credible, an anonymous person who created his own website about why teens require more sleep or a psychologist who has spent hours researching and studying sleep patterns and the science behind the importance of sleep in teens?

(FYI: If you do happen to be an expert in sleeping in but still need to find a way to make it to class on time, read How to Wake Up Early and Never Oversleep Your 8AM Class Again .)

#16: Incorporate your own analysis

Keep in mind that, while you need sources to support your arguments, sources are there as support . They shouldn’t take the place of your own arguments.

Here’s a quick way to tell if your sources have taken the place of your own arguments: Take a look at a research paper you’ve written. Highlight all information that you’ve used from your sources. In most cases, if you highlight more than a few lines in each paragraph, you have used too much information from sources.

Looking for another way to see if you’ve used the appropriate amount of evidence to support your claims? Try a reverse outline .

#17: Cite all sources according to assignment guidelines

Most academic writing requires the use of sources, and these sources must be cited. (Without citation, you’re plagiarizing , so don’t forget this step!)

Before you begin researching, and certainly before you begin writing, know what citation style is required. Two of the most common types of citation used in academic writing are MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) . (You may, however, also be asked to use other styles, including CSE or Chicago .)

#18: Start your assignment early

alarm clock and school notebook surrounded by numbers

Good academic writing is polished. It’s clear, concise , and professional. Good writing doesn’t magically appear after writing a draft 25 minutes before the assignment is due. Good writing takes time , so start your assignment early enough to leave time to revise.

If you’ve mastered the art of procrastination but need a little help with that whole “starting assignments early” bit, read How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing .

On the off chance that you’ve procrastinated longer than you’d like, here are a few tips that can help you write a strong essay in a short timeframe.

Need help with time management? Stay on track with the advice in How to Manage Time Better When Writing (and Living Your Life) .

#19: Revise, and revise again

In most cases, one revision isn’t enough, so make sure to save time to revise at least twice. Set the paper aside for a day or two, and review your paper again to make sure you have a clear thesis, topic sentences, and supporting evidence.

Here’s a tip to help you through the revision process: Try reading your paper out loud. If you stumble over sentences while reading aloud, your readers will stumble too. Revise your sentences until they’re easy to read aloud.

Need more help with revision? Read these posts:

#20: Edit your paper

Finally, edit your paper. Look for grammar errors and any spelling or word choice errors (such as incorrect use of their/they’re/there or too/to/two). Also check for punctuation, format, and citation errors.

BTW: Don’t forget that Kibin editors are always here to review your paper and help you improve your academic writing through both corrections and feedback.

Final Thoughts on Improving Your Academic Writing

black t-shirt that says 'thinking...please wait'

If you’re thinking that all of this is a lot to remember and it takes a lot of work to write a good academic paper, you’re right .

Though writing is a lot of work, it really isn’t so bad, and English class isn’t so bad either. But it does take practice—and lots of it.

Remember, if you follow the tips outlined in this post and you practice these tips each time you write a paper, before you know it, you’ll have improved your academic writing.

Not sure what good academic writing actually looks like? Take a look at these hand-picked Kibin staff recommendations that illustrate strong academic writing:

Happy writing!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on March 16, 2015, but has been updated for freshness and to add even more expert advice. 

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .

how to make your essay more academic

About the Author

Susan M. Inez is a professor of English and writing goddess based out of the Northeast. In addition to a BA in English Education, an MA in Composition, and an MS in Education, Susan has 20 years of experience teaching courses on composition, writing in the professions, literature, and more. She also served as co-director of a campus writing center for 2 years.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 6, 2021.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

What can proofreading do for your paper?

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how to make your essay more academic

See editing example

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

Cite this Scribbr article

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Caulfield, J. (2021, December 06). How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/argumentative-essay/

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Jack Caulfield

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17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

(Last updated: 20 October 2022)

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For the vast majority of students, essay writing doesn't always come easily. Writing at academic level is an acquired skill that can literally take years to master – indeed, many students find they only start to feel really confident writing essays just as their undergraduate course comes to an end!

If this is you, and you've come here looking for words and phrases to use in your essay, you're in the right place. We’ve pulled together a list of essential academic words you can use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essays .

Whilst your ideas and arguments should always be your own, borrowing some of the words and phrases listed below is a great way to articulate your ideas more effectively, and ensure that you keep your reader’s attention from start to finish.

It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that there's a certain formality that comes with academic writing. Casual and conversational phrases have no place. Obviously, there are no LOLs, LMFAOs, and OMGs. But formal academic writing can be much more subtle than this, and as we've mentioned above, requires great skill.

So, to get you started on polishing your own essay writing ability, try using the words in this list as an inspirational starting point.

Words to use in your introduction

The trickiest part of academic writing often comes right at the start, with your introduction. Of course, once you’ve done your plan and have your arguments laid out, you need to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and begin your essay.

You need to consider that your reader doesn’t have a clue about your topic or arguments, so your first sentence must summarise these. Explain what your essay is going to talk about as though you were explaining it to a five year old – without losing the formality of your academic writing, of course! To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track.

1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly

Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas. This is an extremely effective method of presenting the facts clearly. Don’t be too rigid and feel you have to number each point, but using this system can be a good way to get an argument off the ground, and link arguments together.

2. In view of; in light of; considering

These essay phrases are useful to begin your essay. They help you pose your argument based on what other authors have said or a general concern about your research. They can also both be used when a piece of evidence sheds new light on an argument. Here’s an example: The result of the American invasion has severely impaired American interests in the Middle East, exponentially increasing popular hostility to the United States throughout the region, a factor which has proved to be a powerful recruitment tool for extremist terrorist groups (Isakhan, 2015). Considering [or In light of / In view of] the perceived resulting threat to American interests, it could be argued that the Bush administration failed to fully consider the impact of their actions before pushing forward with the war.

3. According to X; X stated that; referring to the views of X

Introducing the views of an author who has a comprehensive knowledge of your particular area of study is a crucial part of essay writing. Including a quote that fits naturally into your work can be a bit of a struggle, but these academic phrases provide a great way in.

Even though it’s fine to reference a quote in your introduction, we don’t recommend you start your essay with a direct quote. Use your own words to sum up the views you’re mentioning, for example:

As Einstein often reiterated, experiments can prove theories, but experiments don’t give birth to theories.

Rather than:

“A theory can be proved by experiment, but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.” {Albert Einstein, 1954, Einstein: A Biography}.

See the difference?

And be sure to reference correctly too, when using quotes or paraphrasing someone else's words.

how to make your essay more academic

Adding information and flow

The flow of your essay is extremely important. You don’t want your reader to be confused by the rhythm of your writing and get distracted away from your argument, do you? No! So, we recommend using some of the following ‘flow’ words, which are guaranteed to help you articulate your ideas and arguments in a chronological and structured order.

4. Moreover; furthermore; in addition; what’s more

These types of academic phrases are perfect for expanding or adding to a point you’ve already made without interrupting the flow altogether. “Moreover”, “furthermore” and “in addition” are also great linking phrases to begin a new paragraph.

Here are some examples: The dissociation of tau protein from microtubules destabilises the latter resulting in changes to cell structure, and neuronal transport. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction leads to further oxidative stress causing increased levels of nitrous oxide, hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidases.

On the data of this trial, no treatment recommendations should be made. The patients are suspected, but not confirmed, to suffer from pneumonia. Furthermore, five days is too short a follow up time to confirm clinical cure.

5. In order to; to that end; to this end

These are helpful academic phrases to introduce an explanation or state your aim. Oftentimes your essay will have to prove how you intend to achieve your goals. By using these sentences you can easily expand on points that will add clarity to the reader.

For example: My research entailed hours of listening and recording the sound of whales in order to understand how they communicate.

Dutch tech companies offer support in the fight against the virus. To this end, an online meeting took place on Wednesday...

Even though we recommend the use of these phrases, DO NOT use them too often. You may think you sound like a real academic but it can be a sign of overwriting!

6. In other words; to put it another way; that is; to put it more simply

Complement complex ideas with simple descriptions by using these sentences. These are excellent academic phrases to improve the continuity of your essay writing. They should be used to explain a point you’ve already made in a slightly different way. Don’t use them to repeat yourself, but rather to elaborate on a certain point that needs further explanation. Or, to succinctly round up what just came before.

For example: A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between phenomena. In other words, there is no treatment effect.

Nothing could come to be in this pre-world time, “because no part of such a time possesses, as compared with any other, a distinguishing condition of existence rather than non-existence.” That is, nothing exists in this pre-world time, and so there can be nothing that causes the world to come into existence.

7. Similarly; likewise; another key fact to remember; as well as; an equally significant aspect of

These essay words are a good choice to add a piece of information that agrees with an argument or fact you just mentioned. In academic writing, it is very relevant to include points of view that concur with your opinion. This will help you to situate your research within a research context.

Also , academic words and phrases like the above are also especially useful so as not to repeat the word ‘also’ too many times. (We did that on purpose to prove our point!) Your reader will be put off by the repetitive use of simple conjunctions. The quality of your essay will drastically improve just by using academic phrases and words such as ‘similarly’, ‘as well as’, etc. Here, let us show you what we mean:

In 1996, then-transport minister Steve Norris enthused about quadrupling cycling trips by 2012. Similarly, former prime minister David Cameron promised a “cycling revolution” in 2013…

Or Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to bridge the gap of access to electricity across the continent (...). Another key fact to remember is that it must expand cost-efficient access to electricity to nearly 1 billion people.

The wording “not only… but also” is a useful way to elaborate on a similarity in your arguments but in a more striking way.

how to make your essay more academic

Comparing and contrasting information

Academic essays often include opposite opinions or information in order to prove a point. It is important to show all the aspects that are relevant to your research. Include facts and researchers’ views that disagree with a point of your essay to show your knowledge of your particular field of study. Below are a few words and ways of introducing alternative arguments.

8. Conversely; however; alternatively; on the contrary; on the other hand; whereas

Finding a seamless method to present an alternative perspective or theory can be hard work, but these terms and phrases can help you introduce the other side of the argument. Let's look at some examples:

89% of respondents living in joint families reported feeling financially secure. Conversely, only 64% of those who lived in nuclear families said they felt financially secure.

The first protagonist has a social role to fill in being a father to those around him, whereas the second protagonist relies on the security and knowledge offered to him by Chaplin.

“On the other hand” can also be used to make comparisons when worded together with “on the one hand.”

9. By contrast; in comparison; then again; that said; yet

These essay phrases show contrast, compare facts, and present uncertainty regarding a point in your research. “That said” and “yet” in particular will demonstrate your expertise on a topic by showing the conditions or limitations of your research area. For example:

All the tests were positive. That said, we must also consider the fact that some of them had inconclusive results.

10. Despite this; provided that; nonetheless

Use these phrases and essay words to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject-matter regardless of lack of evidence, logic, coherence, or criticism. Again, this kind of information adds clarity and expertise to your academic writing.

A good example is:

Despite the criticism received by X, the popularity of X remains undiminished.

11. Importantly; significantly; notably; another key point

Another way to add contrast is by highlighting the relevance of a fact or opinion in the context of your research. These academic words help to introduce a sentence or paragraph that contains a very meaningful point in your essay.

Giving examples

A good piece of academic writing will always include examples. Illustrating your essay with examples will make your arguments stronger. Most of the time, examples are a way to clarify an explanation; they usually offer an image that the reader can recognise. The most common way to introduce an illustration is “for example.” However, in order not to repeat yourself here are a few other options.

12. For instance; to give an illustration of; to exemplify; to demonstrate; as evidence; to elucidate

The academic essays that are receiving top marks are the ones that back up every single point made. These academic phrases are a useful way to introduce an example. If you have a lot of examples, avoid repeating the same phrase to facilitate the readability of your essay.

Here’s an example:

‘High involvement shopping’, an experiential process described by Wu et al. (2015, p. 299) relies upon the development of an identity-based alliance between the customer and the brand. Celebrity status at Prada, for example, has created an alliance between the brand and a new generation of millennial customers.

how to make your essay more academic

Concluding your essay

Concluding words for essays are necessary to wrap up your argument. Your conclusion must include a brief summary of the ideas that you just exposed without being redundant. The way these ideas are expressed should lead to the final statement and core point you have arrived at in your present research.

13. In conclusion; to conclude; to summarise; in sum; in the final analysis; on close analysis

These are phrases for essays that will introduce your concluding paragraph. You can use them at the beginning of a sentence. They will show the reader that your essay is coming to an end:

On close analysis and appraisal, we see that the study by Cortis lacks essential features of the highest quality quantitative research.

14. Persuasive; compelling

Essay words like these ones can help you emphasize the most relevant arguments of your paper. Both are used in the same way: “the most persuasive/compelling argument is…”.

15. Therefore; this suggests that; it can be seen that; the consequence is

When you’re explaining the significance of the results of a piece of research, these phrases provide the perfect lead up to your explanation.

16. Above all; chiefly; especially; most significantly; it should be noted

Your summary should include the most relevant information or research factor that guided you to your conclusion. Contrary to words such as “persuasive” or “compelling”, these essay words are helpful to draw attention to an important point. For example:

The feasibility and effectiveness of my research has been proven chiefly in the last round of laboratory tests.

Film noir is, and will continue to be, highly debatable, controversial, and unmarketable – but above all, for audience members past, present and to come, extremely enjoyable as a form of screen media entertainment.

17. All things considered

This essay phrase is meant to articulate how you give reasons to your conclusions. It means that after you considered all the aspects related to your study, you have arrived to the conclusion you are demonstrating.

After mastering the use of these academic words and phrases, we guarantee you will see an immediate change in the quality of your essays. The structure will be easier to follow, and the reader’s experience will improve. You’ll also feel more confident articulating your ideas and using facts and examples. So jot them all down, and watch your essays go from ‘good’ to ‘great’!

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How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

how to make your essay more academic

A large portion of university and high school education is based on writing academic essays. They are most effective at demonstrating students’ knowledge of a subject and showcasing their abilities to gather and present information and data. In this guide from our essay writing service , we are going to explain to you how to write an excellent academic essay and show you the different types you can choose from.

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 custom writing service will describe the main types of them for you.

Academic Essay Example

Here is a perfect academic essay example from our research paper writer .

Money Laundering (pdf)

Types of Academic Essays

Academic writing can be categorized into four main types of essays that serve unique purposes—though some share similar structures. With that being said, the four types of academic papers are narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.

Expository and persuasive types are most commonly seen in university curriculums as they are more scientific and objective. Narrative and descriptive essays are more subjective and engage your creativity. Now, let’s break down each type and look at each academic essay definition.

Narrative Essay

This type of writing requires the author to create a compelling story of practically anything imaginable. In other words, it is a super-condensed version of a novel. This type of essay requires students to demonstrate their creative abilities. Therefore, it implies the constant use of strong adjectives. Their use will help the author of an essay to create a strong, graphic picture for their story and enhance the audience's perception of the topic. Although telling a compelling story is basically the main purpose of this type of essay, there is much more to it than there seems. A well-written narration should also have a point that is “written between the lines”. Simply put, there should be a clear message delivered through the text. By putting a hidden message between the lines, you motivate the reader to read the paper in its entirety as it sparks their curiosity.

Descriptive Essay

In short, in this type of essay, the author chooses a specific thing, experience, emotion, or idea and describes it for the reader. Just like with narrative writing, this style requires the author to be subjective and creative. And, just like a narrative essay, the author is meant to draw a picture in the audience’s eyes. Another key to success in writing a descriptive essay is carefully selecting words. Such a paper should evoke certain emotions in the reader and connect them to the object of discussion. Finally, the paper should describe the subject in simple terms. When the reader understands the subject well after reading an essay - that’s when you know you have written a stellar descriptive paper.

Expository Essay

Another type of academic writing — an expository essay is used to help readers understand subject matter by providing grounded information and facts. This type of writing requires its author to support all of the information included in the paper with valid evidence. An expository paper is no place for opinions or personal views on a subject. A quality paper should use analysis that consists of factual information on its subject. The author's key goal is to inform and educate the audience through clear logic and facts. Just to give you an example, this “How to Write an Academic Essay” article can be considered as expository writing.

Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive paper requires one to embrace the role of a salesman (or saleswoman). You can state an opinion, project, or idea which you then have to sell to your reader(s). The logic behind how you supply the reader(s) with information should be impenetrable, leaving them with no doubt that what you are expressing is the only truth they need to know. Cater your points carefully to avoid being pushy, and hide your sales tactic behind well-thought-out sentences. When it comes to defending an argument, you can use logical tactics, emotional tactics, or a mix of both; this depends on what you are attempting to argue.

Good Academic Essay Topics

Logically, topics will vary based on the style of writing you are creating. Sometimes you can find the same topic within separate academic essay categories, but the main content will always vary depending on the category of paper you write about. That being said, here are some good academic essay topics for high school and college students:

Narrative Essay Topics

Describe how you and your family survived the quarantine. Explain how it affected you.

Talk about your experience of being engaged in remote learning. How did it affect your grades and overall performance? Do you think that remote education is better or worse than the traditional alternative?

Write a story that explains the importance of technology in the modern person’s life.

Write a story that explains the value of every person’s contribution to the process of solving the global problem of climate change.

Descriptive Essay Topics

Describe a person who has had the biggest impact on your life.

What is the most significant recent event in global history?

Describe the experience of falling in love. How does it affect one’s personality?

Describe the most impactful piece of art or music you have ever seen. What traits do you think define powerful art?

Expository Essay Topics

Why does the rate of teen suicides keep increasing? What forces youth to commit suicide?

What can each individual do to contribute to the prevention of climate change and reduce the threats it brings with it?

What strategies can our society adopt to recover after the global pandemic as quickly and painlessly as possible?

George Floyd’s death and the police’s abuse of authority: What can we do to prevent future cases?

Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Topics

Should the government make relevant amendments to the constitution to restrict the actions permitted by police officers during arrests?

Should we keep on following self-distancing rules even now since the danger has diminished?

Gun control: Provide arguments for stricter gun control in the US.

Should technology (apart from those devices used for educational purposes) be banned in colleges?

Proper Format for Your Academic Writing

Usually, an academic essay follows the standard 5-paragraph structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Moreover, each section will have its own unique internal structure. The introduction’s main goal is to introduce the topic and to reveal the essay’s main message (a.k.a. the thesis statement). The body paragraphs’ primary tasks are to defend the thesis with 3 sub arguments — 1 per paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion is there to wrap up the entire argument and to leave a lasting impression in the form of an overall concluding statement. Down below we have presented a graphic organizer that illustrates the breakdown.

r/students_essay_help - How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

Start Off the Writing Process by Creating an Outline

Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary.

r/students_essay_help - How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

Thesis Statement: This is the focal point of your writing and one of your introductory paragraphs' key elements.  It is the main message the author is trying to deliver. ‍

Body Points (Subpoints): These are the key points or statements that you will use to support your thesis. ‍

Connection: When writing an academic essay, it is important to tie it directly or indirectly to the real world. Provide a reason why it is important to you or why it is relevant to society. This will fill your paper with new meaning and showcase your unique way of thinking. ‍

Summary: This is a short and strong statement that briefly explains your given points.

To help you get a better idea of how to shape a perfect outline for your essay, here is a sample outline for a paper written about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on the Society”:

Introduction

Hook: Statistics show that in 2019 alone, almost two thousand people were killed due to police brutality.

Background information and explanation of key terms: The term "police brutality" refers to the excessive, unwarranted, and often illegal use of force by the policemen. Throughout the US, and throughout global history, there have been plenty of cases of fatal force that range from assault to torture, and even murder. Moreover, statistical data indicates that the levels of violent crime in the United State do not determine the rates of police violence. That is why, recently, police brutality has become a real and prevalent issue that is being widely discussed and spotlighted in the media.

Thesis statement: The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant impact on how people view their society, and it has to be addressed appropriately to prevent further growth of discontent and violence.

Point 1 + example/evidence

Point 2 + example/evidence

Point 3 + example/evidence

Summary of the key points discussed in the main body.

Restatement of the thesis statement.

A final sentence that leaves readers with more to consider.

Once you have created a proper outline, listed your main points, and collected evidence to support your ideas, it is time to start writing your paper. A lot of people choose to come up with a title before the writing process as it helps them set the mood for their work. Others prefer writing first and then creating a title based on their written information. The second option is more suitable for writing a narrative or descriptive essays, as the title’s meaning could be abstract. However, when it comes to expository and persuasive papers, it is important to set a specific essay title and to follow its general theme.

Introduction: How to Start an Academic Essay

The academic essay format we are talking about in this article is pretty basic. It has been widely used to create high-quality essay examples for university for years. The main reason students still use it is that it is considered to be the most effective in terms of delivering information to the reader.

Where to start: When writing any academic writing assignment, a student should begin by shaping a solid introduction.

Quick tip: If you are not too experienced in writing academic papers, don’t hesitate to find a good academic paper example to give you an idea about how to make a good introduction. Looking at good samples can help to get you going.

A reader’s attention span is at its peak at the very beginning of a paper, when they just start reading, so your introductory paragraph will basically set the tone for the entire academic paper. Luckily, EssayPro can share a few handy and highly effective techniques to help you build a compelling introduction!

First of all, you should begin with a powerful hook. The term “hook” is used to refer to the first sentence of the introduction paragraph—the main purpose of which is to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read on. To help you get on the right track, here are some of the best tactics for creating a hook that works:

Quote: Starting an introduction with a creative and meaningful quote is one of the most popular techniques for introducing a paper. When the quote is chosen right, it can make a powerful impact on a reader and set the right tone for the entire essay. Therefore, quotes often serve as good openers. However, it is vital to pick the right quote that will directly relate to your topic and does not distract your reader from your topic’s main point.

Fact: Another common opening technique is to begin an essay with a factual statement or statistic. This is most helpful when writing an expository or persuasive essay, as, in this case, such an opener will add credibility to your paper. Also, starting with a fact will demonstrate that you have researched your topic well.

Rhetorical Question: Finally, another way to begin your essay is to start with a rhetorical question. This technique will help you to connect more with your reader(s). A good rhetorical question will stick in your reader's mind as they go through the rest of the paper. However, it is important that you answer the rhetorical question from the introduction in your essay’s body or, at least, guide your audience towards a relevant observation.

Bad Hook Example: “Police brutality must stop.” – This is not intriguing and does not grab the reader’s attention, though it gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about. Good Hook Example: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – This hook will have a stronger impact on a reader because it is a famous quote from a police-brutality victim. Consequently, it hints on the topic of the essay, but keeps the intrigue.

When you have a powerful hook, it is time to give your readers an insight into the essay's main topic. Since the main theme of the paper may not yet be evidently clear at this point, you need to narrow down your paper’s focus by introducing some valuable contextual background information. Outlining the background data will help readers understand how the topic will unfold throughout the paper. Finally, after you provide the background, it is time to shape your golden sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).

In a nutshell, the thesis statement is the key theme, idea, or argument of your essay. In other words, it summarizes the entire message you are going to deliver in a single sentence.

Bonus tip: When shaping your thesis statement, do not overload it with unnecessary information. Keep it straight to the point and concise. Remember that the main purposes of this sentence are to lay out the focus of the paper and to introduce the readers to the main ideas you will cover within the body paragraphs.

Bad Thesis Statement Example: “Police violence is bad for society.” – This is too short and does not indicate a solid opinion from the author. Good Thesis Statement Example: “The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant influence on society and has to be addressed appropriately to prevent the growth of discontent and violence further.” – This is concise, but detailed enough to let the readers understand the purpose of the writing. It is logical and states the clear position the author supports.

The Main Body

The body paragraphs of your essay will be the source of information for your audience. The main body is always the biggest part of a 5 paragraph assignment and requires the most attention. When writing your body paragraphs, your main points should be stated according to the order of your outline and should support your thesis statement with valid arguments and facts. If you deviate from that, it’s going to confuse the audience, especially those who are very attentive to your essay’s flow.

Here are the main requirements for writing a strong body section:

Accuracy : Be cautious with information and do not contradict yourself. Include the relevant subpoints (based on the body paragraphs) you presented in your thesis.

**Bad Example:**Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) However, according to some sources, Antarctica is now gaining back ice, which indicates that the problem is being resolved. 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dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) Also, according to scientists and the reports from statistics taken from satellites, Antarctica keeps losing its land ice rapidly, which also indicates continued global warming. (Point 2)

Evidence: Every topic or idea you present should be defended with sufficient evidence to accredit your words. Provide details such as facts, statistics, and references.

**Bad Example:**Global warming is a real threat because of the increase in the carbon footprint left by people. **Good Example:**According to the official Nasa report, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have now almost reached the point of 420 parts per million. This indicator is considerably larger compared to the level of the atmospheric carbon dioxide reported in 1950, which barely reached 320 parts per million. These facts let us conclude that the issue of climate change is now indisputable.

Word Choice: Mind your vocabulary, especially when it comes to persuasive or descriptive papers. The words you use should accurately represent your information. Use vivid adjectives and strong adverbs. Some things you want to avoid in terms of word choice are misused words, jargon or technical terms that confuse readers, slang or inappropriate language, cliches, wordiness, etc.

**Bad Example:**Last but not least, police brutality cases cause society discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence. **Good Example:**Lastly, police brutality causes discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence. 

Keep It Consistent: A body paragraph should be between 5-7 sentences. Logically, they should all follow a similar structure, with the main difference revolving around the presentation of the subpoint. We always recommend students check out a quality academic writing sample to get a good idea of how the whole piece should look like.

The main body's goal is to answer any questions that have appeared in the reader’s mind after the introduction. Every new point should get the audience closer to understanding the complete concept you deliver throughout your essay. Ideally, your goal is to bring them to the same level of knowledge on the subject as you have in your capacity. After doing so successfully, it is time to transition to the conclusion.

Academic Essay Conclusion

In any assignment you write, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of your paper, your reader might not even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, you have to remind them. Overall, a good essay conclusion is going to include:

Summary: A condensed paraphrasing of the information stated in the thesis and the subpoints. (Only if you are writing an expository, descriptive, or persuasive paper)

Personal or Social Connection: In other words, why this information is relevant to society. Stating such a connection showcases the general importance of the subject and its modern-day relevance.

Overall Concluding Statement: This will normally be the last sentence that serves the purpose of tying a knot around your work. If you have initially started with a rhetorical question, a nice touch would be to give the audience an answer to it here. If you have written a quote, rephrase it in your own words. It is important to leave the audience with a strong statement that will stay in their minds.

Writing Process

The drafting process takes you from a compilation of information to the structured delivery of your idea within your essay. No excellent-quality paper has ever been written in a single draft. The process begins with a rough draft – a stage where you use all of the information you have acquired from your relative outline. From there, you narrow down this information to the most relevant parts that add actual value to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also rid itself of content problems, structural flaws, or simple typos. The final draft of an essay might end up being drastically smaller than its original draft.

r/students_essay_help - How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

Word Choice ‍

Word choice is one of the factors that define the quality of an academic essay. It is also often overseeded or neglected. It is no secret that some words are better at communicating ideas than others. It is also no secret that vocabulary plays a big role in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is especially significant in descriptive essay writing when your goal is to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. If you are writing a paper on a specific area of study, it is crucial to use words related to that field and avoid simple neutral words that offer no contribution to the text.

Finalizing the Submission ‍

At this stage of writing, your content should be well polished. After taking your essay through a peer review and/or red pen edits, make sure to:

Fix all grammatical mistakes and punctuational errors

Finalize your title

Add a bibliography if needed (basically, a “references” or “works cited” page that also includes the sources you have used, but weren’t referenced within the text)

Make sure your paper meets its specified academic paper formatting requirements.

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If you need dissertation writing help , leave us a message ' rewrite my essay ' or ' buy essay cheap ', and we'll help asap.

We hope we’ve given you a good head start at becoming an expert academic essay writer. Remember, the purpose of an academic essay is to develop your ideas to deliver a message. As a result of getting better at academic essay writing, you will be able to articulate yourselves clearly and be able to write and speak more confidently. Good luck with your assignment!

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Holy moly what a long read to read! OMG. I mostly forgot that such guides still exist after I started working with these academic writers !

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How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

how to make your essay more academic

A large portion of university and high school education is based on writing academic essays. They are most effective at demonstrating students’ knowledge of a subject and showcasing their abilities to gather and present information and data. In this guide from our essay writing service , we are going to explain to you how to write an excellent academic essay and show you the different types you can choose from.

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.

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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:

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 custom writing service will describe the main types of them for you.

Academic Essay Example

Here is a perfect academic essay example from our research paper writer .

Types of Academic Essays

Academic writing can be categorized into four main types of essays that serve unique purposes—though some share similar structures. With that being said, the four types of academic papers are narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.

Expository and persuasive types are most commonly seen in university curriculums as they are more scientific and objective. Narrative and descriptive essays are more subjective and engage your creativity. Now, let’s break down each type and look at each academic essay definition.

Narrative Essay

This type of writing requires the author to create a compelling story of practically anything imaginable. In other words, it is a super-condensed version of a novel. This type of essay requires students to demonstrate their creative abilities. Therefore, it implies the constant use of strong adjectives. Their use will help the author of an essay to create a strong, graphic picture for their story and enhance the audience's perception of the topic. Although telling a compelling story is basically the main purpose of this type of essay, there is much more to it than there seems. A well-written narration should also have a point that is “written between the lines”. Simply put, there should be a clear message delivered through the text. By putting a hidden message between the lines, you motivate the reader to read the paper in its entirety as it sparks their curiosity.

Read more about how to write a narrative essay .

Descriptive Essay

In short, in this type of essay, the author chooses a specific thing, experience, emotion, or idea and describes it for the reader. Just like with narrative writing, this style requires the author to be subjective and creative. And, just like a narrative essay, the author is meant to draw a picture in the audience’s eyes. Another key to success in writing a descriptive essay is carefully selecting words. Such a paper should evoke certain emotions in the reader and connect them to the object of discussion. Finally, the paper should describe the subject in simple terms. When the reader understands the subject well after reading an essay - that’s when you know you have written a stellar descriptive paper.

Expository Essay

Another type of academic writing — an expository essay is used to help readers understand subject matter by providing grounded information and facts. This type of writing requires its author to support all of the information included in the paper with valid evidence. An expository paper is no place for opinions or personal views on a subject. A quality paper should use analysis that consists of factual information on its subject. The author's key goal is to inform and educate the audience through clear logic and facts. Just to give you an example, this “How to Write an Academic Essay” article can be considered as expository writing.

Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive paper requires one to embrace the role of a salesman (or saleswoman). You can state an opinion, project, or idea which you then have to sell to your reader(s). The logic behind how you supply the reader(s) with information should be impenetrable, leaving them with no doubt that what you are expressing is the only truth they need to know. Cater your points carefully to avoid being pushy, and hide your sales tactic behind well-thought-out sentences. When it comes to defending an argument, you can use logical tactics, emotional tactics, or a mix of both; this depends on what you are attempting to argue.

Good Academic Essay Topics

Logically, topics will vary based on the style of writing you are creating. Sometimes you can find the same topic within separate academic essay categories, but the main content will always vary depending on the category of paper you write about. That being said, here are some good academic essay topics for high school and college students:

Narrative Essay Topics

Descriptive Essay Topics

Expository Essay Topics

Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Topics

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Proper Format for Your Academic Writing

Usually, an academic essay follows the standard 5-paragraph structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Moreover, each section will have its own unique internal structure. The introduction’s main goal is to introduce the topic and to reveal the essay’s main message (a.k.a. the thesis statement). The body paragraphs’ primary tasks are to defend the thesis with 3 sub arguments—1 per paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion is there to wrap up the entire argument and to leave a lasting impression in the form of an overall concluding statement. Down below we have presented a graphic organizer that illustrates the breakdown.

academic essay

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Start Off the Writing Process by Creating an Outline

Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary.

academic essay

You might also be interested in getting more info about HOW TO WRITE AN OUTLINE in MLA and APA styles.

To help you get a better idea of how to shape a perfect outline for your essay, here is a sample outline for a paper written about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on the Society”:

Once you have created a proper outline, listed your main points, and collected evidence to support your ideas, it is time to start writing your paper. A lot of people choose to come up with a title before the writing process as it helps them set the mood for their work. Others prefer writing first and then creating a title based on their written information. The second option is more suitable for writing a narrative or descriptive essays, as the title’s meaning could be abstract. However, when it comes to expository and persuasive papers, it is important to set a specific essay title and to follow its general theme.

Introduction: How to Start an Academic Essay

The academic essay format we are talking about in this article is pretty basic. It has been widely used to create high-quality essay examples for university for years. The main reason students still use it is that it is considered to be the most effective in terms of delivering information to the reader.

Where to start: When writing any academic writing assignment, a student should begin by shaping a solid introduction.

Quick tip: If you are not too experienced in writing academic papers, don’t hesitate to find a good academic paper example to give you an idea about how to make a good introduction. Looking at good samples can help to get you going.

A reader’s attention span is at its peak at the very beginning of a paper, when they just start reading, so your introductory paragraph will basically set the tone for the entire academic paper. Luckily, EssayPro can share a few handy and highly effective techniques to help you build a compelling introduction!

First of all, you should begin with a powerful hook. The term “hook” is used to refer to the first sentence of the introduction paragraph—the main purpose of which is to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read on. To help you get on the right track, here are some of the best tactics for creating a hook that works:

Bad Hook Example: “Police brutality must stop.” – This is not intriguing and does not grab the reader’s attention, though it gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about.
Good Hook Example: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – This hook will have a stronger impact on a reader because it is a famous quote from a police-brutality victim. Consequently, it hints on the topic of the essay, but keeps the intrigue.

When you have a powerful hook, it is time to give your readers an insight into the essay's main topic. Since the main theme of the paper may not yet be evidently clear at this point, you need to narrow down your paper’s focus by introducing some valuable contextual background information. Outlining the background data will help readers understand how the topic will unfold throughout the paper. Finally, after you provide the background, it is time to shape your golden sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).

In a nutshell, the thesis statement is the key theme, idea, or argument of your essay. In other words, it summarizes the entire message you are going to deliver in a single sentence.

Bonus tip: When shaping your thesis statement, do not overload it with unnecessary information. Keep it straight to the point and concise. Remember that the main purposes of this sentence are to lay out the focus of the paper and to introduce the readers to the main ideas you will cover within the body paragraphs.

Bad Thesis Statement Example: “Police violence is bad for society.” – This is too short and does not indicate a solid opinion from the author.
Good Thesis Statement Example: “The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant influence on society and has to be addressed appropriately to prevent the growth of discontent and violence further.” – This is concise, but detailed enough to let the readers understand the purpose of the writing. It is logical and states the clear position the author supports.

The Main Body

The body paragraphs of your essay will be the source of information for your audience. The main body is always the biggest part of a 5 paragraph assignment and requires the most attention. When writing your body paragraphs, your main points should be stated according to the order of your outline and should support your thesis statement with valid arguments and facts. If you deviate from that, it’s going to confuse the audience, especially those who are very attentive to your essay’s flow.

Here are the main requirements for writing a strong body section:

Bad Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) However, according to some sources, Antarctica is now gaining back ice, which indicates that the problem is being resolved. (Point 2)
Good Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) Also, according to scientists and the reports from statistics taken from satellites, Antarctica keeps losing its land ice rapidly, which also indicates continued global warming. (Point 2)
Bad Example: Global warming is a real threat because of the increase in the carbon footprint left by people.
Good Example: According to the official Nasa report, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have now almost reached the point of 420 parts per million. This indicator is considerably larger compared to the level of the atmospheric carbon dioxide reported in 1950, which barely reached 320 parts per million. These facts let us conclude that the issue of climate change is now indisputable.
Bad Example: Last but not least, police brutality cases cause society discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
Good Example: Lastly, police brutality causes discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence. 

The main body's goal is to answer any questions that have appeared in the reader’s mind after the introduction. Every new point should get the audience closer to understanding the complete concept you deliver throughout your essay. Ideally, your goal is to bring them to the same level of knowledge on the subject as you have in your capacity. After doing so successfully, it is time to transition to the conclusion.

Academic Essay Conclusion

In any assignment you write, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of your paper, your reader might not even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, you have to remind them. Overall, a good essay conclusion is going to include:

Writing Process

The drafting process takes you from a compilation of information to the structured delivery of your idea within your essay. No excellent-quality paper has ever been written in a single draft. The process begins with a rough draft – a stage where you use all of the information you have acquired from your relative outline. From there, you narrow down this information to the most relevant parts that add actual value to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also rid itself of content problems, structural flaws, or simple typos. The final draft of an essay might end up being drastically smaller than its original draft.

how to make your essay more academic

Word Choice ‍

Word choice is one of the factors that define the quality of an academic essay. It is also often overseeded or neglected. It is no secret that some words are better at communicating ideas than others. It is also no secret that vocabulary plays a big role in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is especially significant in descriptive essay writing when your goal is to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. If you are writing a paper on a specific area of study, it is crucial to use words related to that field and avoid simple neutral words that offer no contribution to the text.

Finalizing the Submission ‍

At this stage of writing, your content should be well polished. After taking your essay through a peer review and/or red pen edits, make sure to:

how to make your essay more academic

If you need dissertation writing help , leave us a message ' rewrite my essay ' or ' buy essay cheap ', and we'll help asap.

We hope we’ve given you a good head start at becoming an expert academic essay writer. Remember, the purpose of an academic essay is to develop your ideas to deliver a message. As a result of getting better at academic essay writing, you will be able to articulate yourselves clearly and be able to write and speak more confidently. Good luck with your assignment!

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7 Words to Make Your Essays Sound More Academic

It’s not easy trying to write an essay in a language that is not your native tongue. If you’re planning on studying abroad in an English-speaking country , you’re going to have to get used to completing assignments in English. When writing an essay, you’ll use different terminology than you would if you were speaking with your friends or your classmates. We’ve put together a list of some of the most impressive words you can include in your essay writing in English. Take a look and see how many you can use.

academic essay words

A term used by academics. Put this word at the beginning of a sentence and no one will ever question whether your point is correct or not. It is a way to let people know you are 100% sure of what you are saying.

Example: Indeed , Shakespeare was one of the most famous writers of his time.

2. Nonetheless

For every argument you make in an essay, the opposite arguments must also be made so you can prove that your side of the argument is more correct. This is where the word nonetheless comes in. It says that in spite of the opposite argument, the point of your essay is still valid.

Example:  Their donation was quite small. Nonetheless , it was for a worthy cause.

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Short, but elegant. This means “as a result of,” or “due to this.” Thus is a great word that can be used to begin your concluding sentence.

Example: I crossed the finish line first, thus becoming the winner.

essay writing English

4. Furthermore

This word is perfect for combining ideas; furthermore lets people know that you are adding more information to a sentence without sounding too boring about it.  

Example: Paris is a great place to visit because of its scenery. Furthermore , it has beautiful summers.”

An anomaly is something that stands out from the rest of your argument. If you have a series of results, or a list of objects, and a particular result does not fit in with the rest, then this is an anomaly .

Example: All of the results fit my theory, except for one a nomaly , which appears to disagree.

6. Methodology

The “must-have” word of any academic essay. If your essay has an argument, how did you get to it? Whether you read a few books, or conducted an extensive set of interviews and studies, the way you form your argument sounds instantly smarter by calling it your methodology .

Example: The methodology I used for this essay was complicated yet revealing.

To agree with, or to be of the same opinion. This can be very useful in an essay when going through the opinions of other researchers and/or academics.

Example: A selection of academics concur that the results show and increase in city pollution.

Have any other words that didn’t make our list? Share them in the comment section below!

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There are numerous characteristics of a good essay: original thinking, a tight structure, balanced arguments, and many more .

You should also read…

But one aspect often overlooked is that a good essay should be interesting . It should spark the curiosity of the reader, keep them absorbed, make them want to keep reading and learn more. A boring essay risks losing the reader’s attention; even if the points you make are excellent, a dull writing style or poor handling of a dry subject matter can undermine the positive aspects of the essay. The problem is that many students think that essays should be like this: they think that a dull, dry style is suited to the purposes of academic writing, and don’t consider that the teacher reading their essay wants to find the essay interesting. Academic writing doesn’t have to be – and shouldn’t be – boring. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make your writing more interesting, even though you can only do so much while remaining within the formal confines of academic writing. Let’s look at what they are.

1. Be interested in what you’re writing about

Image shows a woman looking very enthusiastic on a carousel.

If there’s one thing guaranteed to inject interest into your writing, it’s actually being interested in what you’re writing about. Passion for a subject comes across naturally in your writing, typically making it more lively and engaging, and infusing an infectious enthusiasm into your words – in the same way that it’s easy to chat knowledgeably to someone about something you find interesting. This makes it relatively easy to write interestingly about a subject you have a real passion for. However, problems arise when you’re forced to write an essay about subjects for which you lack enthusiasm. It’s difficult to conjure up passion for your least favourite subjects, and that will come across in your writing. There are steps you can take, though: here are some tips on writing about a subject you don’t enjoy.

2. Include fascinating details

Image shows a rose blooming.

Another factor that can make an essay boring is a dry subject matter. Some subjects or topic areas are naturally dry, and it falls to you to make the essay more interesting through your written style (more on this later) and by trying to find fascinating snippets of information to include that will liven it up a bit and make the information easier to relate to. One way of doing this with a dry subject is to try to make what you’re talking about seem relevant to the real world, as this is easier for the reader to relate to. In a discussion of a seemingly boring piece of legislation, for instance, you could make a comment along the lines of “if it were not for this legislation, none of us would enjoy the freedom to do such and such today”, or “Legislation A ultimately paved the way for Legislation B, which transformed criminal law as we know it.” Make it seem exciting!

3. Emulate the style of writers you find interesting

When you read a lot, you subconsciously start emulating the style of the writers you read. It’s therefore beneficial to read widely, as this exposes you to a range of styles and you can start to take on the characteristics of those you find interesting to read. If you feel engaged with a piece of writing, the writer must be doing something right! As you read, think consciously about what the writer is doing to hold your interest, perhaps underlining or copying out certain phrases, techniques, sentence structures and so on. Then apply their techniques to your own writing.

4. Write in the active voice

Image shows scientists at work in the desert.

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but using the active rather than the passive voice will automatically make your writing more interesting to read. It results in more direct, energetic writing that makes the reader feel more ‘in the moment’. Unfortunately, many students employ the passive voice in the belief that it makes their writing sound more academic or intellectual; in fact, it makes their writing sound boring. Remember, the active voice is when the subject of the sentence “acts”, while the passive voice is when the subject is acted upon. Passive : It was concluded by the scientists that the methods used were… Active : The scientists concluded that the methods used were… The subject in this example is “the scientists” and the “act” they are carrying out is “concluding”. As you can see in this example, the active voice almost always results in neater and more elegant phrasing, which is more concise and enjoyable to read.

5. Borrow some creative writing techniques

There’s clearly a limit to the amount of actual ‘story-telling’ you can do when you’re writing an essay; after all, essays should be objective, factual and balanced, which doesn’t, at first glance, feel very much like story-telling. However, you can apply some of the principles of story-telling to make your writing more interesting. For example, just as the opening sentence or paragraph of a novel is incredibly important in capturing the attention of the reader early on, so the first paragraph of your essay is essential in making your reader want to continue reading it. Start with an attention-grabbing ‘hook’ to draw them in, such as a controversial statement, a tantalising snippet of information or a rhetorical question (more on these below). Here are some more techniques you can adopt from creative writing to improve your essays .

6. Think about your own opinion

Image shows a baby thinking.

Your essay is bound to be boring if all you do is paraphrase what everyone else says about something. A good essay – in humanities subjects, at least – incorporates the writer’s intelligent responses to what others say, and this critical consideration not only shows that you’re thinking at a high academic level, but it automatically adds more interest and originality to your writing. So, think independently and don’t be afraid to demonstrate that you’re doing as much.

7. Cut the waffle

Rambling on and on is boring, and almost guaranteed to lose the interest of your reader. You’re at risk of waffling if you’re not completely clear about what you want to say, or if you haven’t thought carefully about how you’re going to structure your argument. Doing your research properly and writing an essay plan before you start will help prevent this problem. Editing is an important part of the essay-writing process, so once you’ve done a first draft, edit out the waffle. Read through your essay objectively and take out the bits that aren’t relevant to the argument or that labour the point. As well as editing out chunks of text, it’s important to be economical with words – not using ten where five will suffice, and avoiding clunky phrases such as those outlined in this article . During the editing process, tighten up your phrasing by eliminating unnecessary words and reordering any sentences that read badly.

8. Using a thesaurus isn’t always a good thing

Image shows a thesaurus against a yellow background.

You may think that using a thesaurus to find more complicated words will make your writing more interesting, or sound more academic, but using overly high-brow language can have the wrong effect. It alienates the reader and makes you sound pompous, with the result that the essay is more laborious to read and the reader may quickly lose interest. Despite this, many undergraduates admit to deliberately over-complicating their language to make it sound more high-brow. If you want to keep your reader interested, keep your language clear and simple.

9. Avoid repetitive phrasing

Avoid using the same sentence structure again and again: it’s a recipe for dullness! Instead, use a range of syntax that demonstrates your writing capabilities as well as making your writing more interesting. Mix simple, compound and complex sentences to avoid your writing becoming predictable.

10. Use some figurative language

Image shows a hawk screeching.

As we’ve already seen, it’s easy to end up rambling when you’re explaining difficult concepts, – particularly when you don’t clearly understand it yourself. A way of forcing yourself to think clearly about a concept, as well as explaining it more simply and engagingly, is to make use of figurative language. This means explaining something by comparing it with something else, as in an analogy. For example, you might use the analogy of water escaping from a hole in a bucket to explain the exponential decay of a radioactive substance, as the rate of depletion of both depends on how much remains, making it exponential. This gives the reader something familiar to visualise, making it easier for them to understand a new concept (obviously this will not be a new concept for the teacher who set your essay, but they will want to see that you can explain concepts clearly and that you have a thorough grasp of it yourself).

11. Avoid clichés

Clichés are overused words or phrases that make your writing predictable, and therefore less interesting. An example would be “at the end of the day”, but there are many such favourites of student essay-writers. Don’t forget that your teacher will have a stack of essays to read in one sitting; if you use the same tired expressions everyone else uses, your essay will blend in with all the others. Make it stand out by shunning the clichés you know your classmates will be using.

12. Employ rhetorical questions

One of the ways in which ancient orators held the attention of their audiences and increased the dramatic effect of their speeches was by making use of the rhetorical question. What is a rhetorical question? It’s essentially one you ask without expecting your audience to answer – one that you will answer yourself, like the one we asked in the previous sentence. This can be an effective way of introducing a new line of enquiry, or of raising questions that you’re going to address in more detail. A good place to use a rhetorical question is at the end of a paragraph, to lead into the next one, or at the beginning of a new paragraph to introduce a new area for exploration. The rhetorical question, “But is there any evidence to support X’s claim?” could, for instance, begin a paragraph that discusses evidence for an opinion introduced in the previous paragraph. What’s more, as we’ve already seen, you could use a rhetorical question as your ‘hook’ to lure readers in right at the beginning of your essay.

13. Proofread

Finally, you could write the most interesting essay a teacher has ever read, but you’ll undermine your good work if it’s littered with errors, which distract the reader from the actual content and will probably annoy them. Before you submit your essay, proofread it thoroughly to ensure that the grammar is elegant, the punctuation is perfect and the spelling is flawless. Don’t just use a spelling and grammar checker, as these don’t always pick up on all the errors.

Do you want to take your writing to the next level? Our Creative Writing summer school will teach you how to experiment with a number of different writing techniques, plan, edit and proofread your own work and introduce you to new concepts and ideas. 

Image credits: banner ; carousel ; rose ; scientists ; baby ; thesaurus ; hawk ; questions . 

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12 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills

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Written by  Scribendi

Anyone can learn to produce an academic essay if they begin with a few basic essay-writing rules. 

An academic essay must be based upon a solid but debatable thesis, supported by relevant and credible evidence, and closed with a succinct and thorough conclusion.

By adhering to the best way to write an essay, you can create valuable, persuasive papers even when you're under a time crunch!

What Makes a Good Essay?

As previously noted, the foundation of any good academic essay is its thesis statement. 

Do not confuse your thesis with your opening sentence. There are many good ways to start an essay , but few essays immediately present their main ideas.

After you draft your thesis, you can begin to develop your essay around it. This development will include the main supporting points of your essay, which will scaffold its main body. 

Essays also typically include a relevant and compelling introduction and conclusion.

Learn How to Write a Great Thesis Statement .

Good Ways to Start an Essay

Understanding How to Write a Good Essay

When writing an academic essay, you must take a number of qualities and characteristics into careful consideration. Focus, development, unity, coherence, and correctness all play critical roles when it comes to distinguishing an exceptional essay from one that is less than perfect.

The following essay-writing tips can help writers organize, format, and support their essays in ways that fit their intended purpose and optimize their overall persuasiveness. Here are 12 essay tips for developing and writing your next academic paper.

1. Know What You Are Going to Write About Before You Start Writing

While untrained writers might just sit down and start typing, educated and experienced writers know that there are many steps to writing an essay.

In short, you should know what you want to say before you type a single word. The easiest way to narrow down a thesis and create a proper argument is to make a basic outline before you begin composing your essay.

Your outline should consist of rough notes that sketch out your introduction (including your thesis), the body of your essay (which should include separate paragraphs that present your main supporting points with plenty of evidence and examples), and your conclusion (which ties everything together and connects the argument back to your thesis).

2. Acquire a Solid Understanding of Basic Grammar, Punctuation, and Style

Before getting into more refined essay-writing techniques, you must have a solid grasp of grammar, punctuation, and style. Without these writing fundamentals, it will be difficult to communicate your ideas effectively and ensure that they are taken seriously.

Grammar basics include subject and verb agreement, correct article and pronoun use, and well-formed sentence structures. Make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation. Be mindful of your comma usage and know when a period is needed.

Finally, voice is tremendously important in academic essay writing. Employ language that is as concise as possible. Avoid transition words that don't add anything to the sentence and unnecessary wordiness that detracts from your argument.

Furthermore, use the active voice instead of the passive whenever possible (e.g., "this study found" instead of "it was found by this study"). This will make your essay's tone clear and direct.

3. Use the Right Vocabulary and Know What the Words You Are Using Actually Mean

How you use language is important, especially in academic essay writing. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are persuading others that you are an expert who argues intelligently about your topic.

Using big words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writing.

If you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk using it incorrectly. There's no shame in checking, and it might save you from an embarrassing word misuse later!

Using obscure language can also detract from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before pulling out a thesaurus to change a perfectly appropriate word to something completely different.

Want to learn more? Read 10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need .

4. Understand the Argument and Critically Analyze the Evidence

While writing a good essay, your main argument should always be at the front of your mind. While it's tempting to go off on a tangent about an interesting side note, doing so makes your writing less concise.

Always question the evidence you include in your essay; ask yourself, "Does this directly support my thesis?" If the answer is "no," then that evidence should probably be excluded. 

When you are evaluating evidence, be critical and thorough. You want to use the strongest research to back up your thesis. It is not enough to simply present evidence in support of an argument. A good writer must also explain why the evidence is relevant and supportive.

Everything you include should clearly connect to your topic and argument.   

Research Databases

5. Know How to Write a Conclusion That Supports Your Research

One of the most overlooked steps to writing an essay is the conclusion. Your conclusion ties all your research together and proves your thesis. It should not be a restatement of your introduction or a copy-and-paste of your thesis.

A strong conclusion briefly outlines the key evidence discussed in the body of an essay and directly ties it to the thesis to show how the evidence proves or disproves the main argument of your research.

Countless great essays have been written only to be derailed by vague, weakly worded conclusions. Don't let your next essay become one of those.     

6. Build a Solid Thesis to Support Your Arguments

A thesis is the main pillar of an essay. By selecting a specific thesis, you'll be able to develop arguments to support your central opinion. Consider writing about a unique experience or your own particular view of a topic .

Your thesis should be clear and logical, but it should also be debatable. Otherwise, it might be difficult to support it with compelling arguments.

7. Develop an Interesting Opening Paragraph to Hook In Readers from the Get-Go

No matter how you begin your essay, you must strive to capture the reader's interest immediately. If your opening paragraph doesn't catch the eye and engage the brain, any attempt at persuasion may end before the essay even starts. 

The beginning of your essay is crucial for setting the stage for your thesis.

8. Always Remember to Edit and Proofread Your Essay

Any decent writer will tell you that writing is really rewriting. A good academic essay will inevitably go through multiple drafts as it slowly takes shape. When you arrive at a final draft, you must make sure that it is as close to perfect as possible.

This means subjecting your essay to close and comprehensive editing and proofreading processes. In other words, you must read your paper as many times as necessary to eliminate all grammar/punctuation mistakes and typos.

Here are some common mistakes you should learn to avoid in academic writing. 

It is helpful to have a third party review your work. Consider consulting a peer or professional editing service. Keep in mind that professional editors are able to help you identify underdeveloped arguments and unnecessarily wordy language, and provide other feedback.

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9. When Developing Your Essay's Main Body, Build Strong and Relevant Arguments

Every sentence in the main body of your paper should explain and support your thesis. When deciding how much evidence to include in an academic essay, a good guideline is to include at least three main supporting arguments.

Those main supporting arguments, in turn, require support in the form of relevant facts, figures, examples, analogies, and observations. 

You will need to engage in appropriate research to accomplish this. To organize your research efforts, you may want to develop a list of good research questions . 

Learn how to write a research question that will help frame your research.

10. Choose the Format of Your Essay before Writing It

The final shape that your essay takes depends a great deal on what kind of format you use. Popular college essay format types include the Modern Language Association of America ( MLA ), American Psychological Association ( APA ), and Chicago Manual of Style ( Chicago style).

These formats govern everything from capitalization rules to source citation. Often, professors dictate a specific format for your essay. If they do not, you should choose the format that best suits your field.

11. Create Clear Transitions between Your Ideas

Although unnecessary transition words are the enemy of clarity and concision, they can be invaluable tools when it comes to separating and connecting the different sections of your essay. 

Not only do they help you express your ideas but they also bring a cohesive structure to your sentences and a pleasant flow to your writing. Just be sure that you are using the right transition words for the right purpose and to the proper effect.

12. Always Include an Organized Reference Page at the End of Your Essay

As a key component of MLA, APA, and Chicago Style formatting, the reference or Works Cited page is an essential part of any academic essay.

Regardless of the format used, the reference page must be well organized and easy to read so that your audience can see exactly where your outside information came from. 

To produce a properly formatted reference page, you may have to familiarize yourself with specialized phrases and abbreviations, such as " et al ." 

FAQs

How to Write a Good Hook for an Essay

The key to a good hook is to introduce an unexplored or absorbing line of inquiry in your introduction that addresses the main point of your thesis. 

By carefully choosing your language and slowly revealing details, you can build reader anticipation for what follows. 

Much like an actual worm-baited fishing hook, a successful hook will lure and capture readers, allowing the writer to "reel them in."

How to Get Better at Writing Essays

You can get better at writing essays the same way that you improve at anything else: practice, practice, practice! However, there are a few ways that you can improve your writing quickly so you can turn in a quality academic essay on time.

In addition to following the 12 essay tips and guidelines above, you can familiarize yourself with a few common practices and structures for essay development. 

Great writing techniques for essays include brainstorming and tree diagrams, especially when coming up with a topic for your thesis statement. Becoming familiar with different structures for organizing your essay (order of importance, chronological, etc.) is also extremely helpful.

How to Write a Good Introduction for an Essay

To learn how to write a good essay, you must also learn how to write a good introduction. 

Most effective essay introductions begin with relatively broad and general subject matter and then gradually narrow in focus and scope until they arrive at something extremely specific: the thesis. This is why writers tend to place their thesis statements at the very end of their introductory paragraph(s).

Because they are generally broad and often relate only tangentially to an essay's main point, there is virtually no limit on what the beginning of a good introduction can look like. However, writers still tend to rely on somewhat cliché opening sentences, such as quotations and rhetorical questions.

How to Write a Good Conclusion for an Essay

Briefly put, a good conclusion does two things. It wraps up any loose ends and drives home the main point of your essay. 

To learn how to write a good conclusion, you will want to ensure that no unanswered questions remain in the reader's mind. A good conclusion will restate the thesis and reinforce the essay's main supporting points.

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How to Write an Academic Essay

Last Updated: March 2, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 764,447 times.

Being able to write a strong academic essay is a critical skill for college and university students. It is also a skill that will continue to serve you if you plan to go into an academic career, or any field that involves persuasive or analytical writing. In order to write a successful essay, start by following any assigned instructions carefully. Before you start writing, research your topic using good, reputable sources. Organize your essay clearly, and support your arguments with strong examples and evidence. Once your essay is drafted, make sure you’re handing in your best possible work by checking it over thoroughly and making any necessary edits.

Following the Instructions for Your Assignment

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Researching Your Topic

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Constructing Your Essay

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Polishing Your Essay

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To write an academic essay, start by coming up with a 1-2 sentence thesis statement that will be the main topic or argument in your essay. Then, find a variety of scholarly sources that support your thesis and disprove any counterarguments. Once you've found sources, include quotes, facts, and statistics from them in your essay. Make sure you cite any sources you use and create a bibliography at the end of your paper. For tips on researching your essay topic, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to make your essay more academic

How to perfect your prompt writing for ChatGPT, Midjourney and other AI generators

how to make your essay more academic

Lecturer in Business Analytics, University of Sydney

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Generative AI is having a moment. ChatGPT and art generators such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney have proven their potential, and now millions are wracking their brains over how to get their outputs to look something like the vision in their head.

This is the goal of prompt engineering: the skill of crafting an input to deliver a desired result from generative AI.

how to make your essay more academic

Despite being trained on more data and computational resources than ever before, generative AI models have limitations . For instance, they’re not trained to produce content aligned with goals such as truth, insight, reliability and originality.

They also lack common sense and a fundamental understanding of the world, which means they can generate flawed (and even nonsensical) content.

As such, prompt engineering is essential for unlocking generative AI’s capabilities. And luckily it isn’t a technical skill. It’s mostly about trial and error, and keeping a few things in mind.

Read more: AI art is everywhere right now. Even experts don't know what it will mean

First, let’s use ChatGPT to illustrate how prompt engineering can be used for text outputs. If it’s used effectively, ChatGPT can generate essays , computer code , business plans , cover letters , poetry , jokes , and more.

Since it’s a chatbot, you may be inclined to engage with it conversationally. But this isn’t the best approach if you want tailored results. Instead, adopt the mindset that you’re programming the machine to perform a writing task for you.

Create a content brief similar to what you might give a hired professional writer. The key is to provide as much context as possible and use specific and detailed language. You can include information about:

If you want a longer piece, you can generate it in steps. Start with the first few paragraphs and ask ChatGPT to continue in the next prompt. If you’re unsatisfied with a specific portion, you can ask for it to be rewritten according to new instructions.

But remember: no matter how much you tinker with your prompts, ChatGPT is subject to inaccuracies and making things up . So don’t take anything at face value. In the example below, the output mentions a “report” that doesn’t exist. It probably included this because my prompt asked it to use only reliable sources .

how to make your essay more academic

Art generators

Midjourney is one of the most popular tools for art generation, and one of the easiest for beginners . So let’s use it for our next example.

Unlike for text generation, elaborate prompts aren’t necessarily better for image generation. The following example shows how a basic prompt combined with a style keyword is enough to create a variety of interesting images. Your style keyword may refer to a genre, art movement, technique, artist or specific work.

The following images were based on the prompt leopard on tree followed by different style keywords. These were (from the top left clockwise) synthwave , hyperrealist , expressionist and in the style of Zena Holloway . Holloway is a British photographer known for capturing her subjects in ethereal and somewhat surreal scenes, most often underwater.

Midjourney generations for _leopard on tree_.

You can also add keywords relating to:

With Midjourney, you can even use certain specific commands for different features, including ––ar or ––aspect to set the aspect ratio , ––no to omit certain objects, and ––c to produce more “unusual” results. This command accepts values between 0-100 after it, where the default is 0 and 100 leads to the most unusual result.

You can also use ––s or ––stylize to generate more artistic images (at the expense of following the prompt less closely).

The following example applies some of these ideas to create a fantasy image with a dreamlike and futuristic look. The prompt used here was dreamy futuristic cityscape, beautiful, clouds, interesting colors, cinematic lighting, 8k, 4k ––ar 7:4 ––c 25 ––no windows.

how to make your essay more academic

Midjourney accepts multiple prompts for one image if you use a double colon. This can lead to results such as the image below, where I provided separate prompts for the owl and plants. The full prompt was oil painting of an ethereal owl :: flowers, colors :: abstract :: wisdom ––ar 7:4 .

how to make your essay more academic

A more advanced type of prompting is to include an image as part of the prompt. Midjourney will then take the style of that image into account when generating a new one.

A good way to find inspiration and ideas is to explore the Midjourney gallery and style libraries .

how to make your essay more academic

A career of the future?

As generative AI models enter everyday life, prompting skills are likely to become more in-demand , especially from employers looking to get results using AI generators.

Some commentators are asking if becoming a “prompt engineer” may be a way for professionals such as designers, software engineers and content writers to save their jobs from automation, by integrating generative AI into their work. Others have suggested prompt engineering will itself be a career.

It’s hard to predict what role prompt engineering will play as AI models advance.

But it’s almost a given that more sophisticated generators will be able to handle more complex requests, inviting users to stretch their creativity. They will likely also have a better grasp of our preferences, reducing the need for tinkering.

Read more: No, the Lensa AI app technically isn’t stealing artists' work – but it will majorly shake up the art world

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The Only Guide to Essay Writing You’ll Ever Need

Matt Ellis

Feel passionately about something and want to share it? Write an essay! Disagree with a popular opinion and wish to convince others to join you? Write an essay! Need to write something because the college you dream of attending is making you? Write an essay! 

“Essay” is a loose term for writing that asserts the author’s opinion on a topic, whether academic, editorial, or even humorous. There are a thousand different approaches to essay writing and a million different topics to choose from, but what we’ve found is that good essay writing tends to follow the same framework. 

Give your essays extra polish Grammarly helps you write with confidence Write with Grammarly

Below we discuss that framework and how you can apply it to your essays, whatever types they may be. But first, let’s start with the nucleus of any good essay: the topic.

Your essay needs a thesis statement 

There are three things to consider before writing your essay: thesis, type, and audience. Of these, the most important by far is your thesis, or the crux of what your essay is about.

Your thesis, encapsulated in your thesis statement , is the central point you’re trying to make. The thesis of Bertrand Russell’s essay “ In Praise of Idleness ,” for example, is that people focus too much on work and don’t value time spent idly. Essays can occasionally stray and go into related tangents, but they always come back to that one core idea in the thesis. 

You should always pinpoint your thesis before writing. If you’re having trouble nailing it down, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I want my reader to remember when they’re done reading my essay?”

The best practice is to include your thesis as soon as possible, even in your topic sentence if it’s appropriate. You’ll want to reiterate it throughout the essay as well, especially when wrapping up everything in the conclusion. 

The rest of your essay, then, supports your thesis. You can include empirical evidence, testimonials, logical deductions, or even persuasive rhetoric —whatever gets the job done. The point is that you’re building upon your initial thesis, not switching to completely different topics. 

Types of essays

Like any form of writing, essays come in many different types. Sometimes the assignment dictates the type, as with admissions essays, and other times the thesis will determine it. Regardless, it helps to know what your options are, so here are some of the most common essay types: 

Argumentative essay

Argumentative essays assert or defend a position. This is the most common type of school paper, so keep that in mind when writing your first college essay . 

Admissions essay

Most colleges request an admissions essay in applications, which typically revolve around why you’re interested in their school. 

Persuasive essay

A persuasive essay is just as it sounds: an essay to persuade or convince the reader of a certain point. It’s similar to an argumentative essay— they both strongly favor a particular point of view, but the difference is the end goal: Argumentative essays just have to present their case, while persuasive essays have to present their case and win over the reader. 

Compare-and-contrast essay

When you want to devote equal attention to two opposing things, a compare-and-contrast essay works better than argumentative or persuasive essays, which lean to one side over the other.

Personal essay

Personal essays are often anecdotal or real-life stories of the authors, like the works of David Sedaris . Because they tend to follow narrative structures, the thesis can be flexible or interpretive. 

Expository essay

An expository essay thoroughly explains a certain topic to expand the reader’s knowledge. It is similar to an argumentative and persuasive essay in format, but with one key difference: expository essays don’t have a bias. 

Know your essay’s audience

Your final consideration is who will read your essay—a teacher, an admissions counselor, your peers, the internet at large, etc. 

No matter what you’re writing, your audience should influence your language. For one thing, your readers determine whether the essay is formal or casual , which has an enormous impact on language, word choice, and style . Take emojis for example: In a casual essay they might be welcome, but for formal writing they’re not the most appropriate choice. 😓

Your audience also affects the essay’s tone, or how you sound on an emotional level (enthusiastic, cautious, confident, etc.). If you’d like to know more, you can read about the 10 common types of tone here . 

The essay writing process

If you’re writing an essay, research paper , term paper, novel, short story, poem , screenplay, blog article about essay writing—when writing just about anything , really—it’s crucial to follow an efficient writing process. Even if you prefer the stream of consciousness style for writing your rough draft, you still need to have an orderly system that allows you to revise and hone. 

For essay writing, we recommend this  six-step writing process :

1 Brainstorming

It always helps to collect your thoughts before you begin writing by brainstorming . Based on your prompt or thesis, try to generate as many ideas as possible to include in your essay. Think of as many as time allows, knowing that you’ll be able to set aside the ideas that don’t work later. 

2 Preparing

The preparation phase consists of both outlining your essay and collecting resources for evidence. Take a look at the results of your brainstorming session. First, isolate the ideas that are essential to support your thesis and then organize them in a logical and progressive order. In this stage you’ll incorporate your essay structure, which we explain below.

If you want empirical evidence or complementary citations, track them down now.  The way you write citations depends on the style guide you’re using. The three most common style guides for academics are MLA , APA , and Chicago , and each has its own particular rules and requirements for citing just about  any  kind of source, including newspaper articles ,  websites ,  speeches , and  YouTube videos .

This is the main stage of essay writing where you roll up your sleeves and actually write your first draft . Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect; this is your first draft, not your final draft, so give yourself the freedom to make errors. If you’re focusing on getting every single word right, you’ll miss the big picture. 

The revisions stage involves your second draft, your third draft, or even your twelfth draft if necessary. Address all the nuances and subtleties you glossed over in the first draft. 

Pay attention to both word choice and clarity , as well as sophisticated writing techniques like avoiding the passive voice . If you’re not confident in your writing skills yet, the Grammarly Editor ensures your writing is readable, clear, and concise by offering sentence structure and word choice suggestions, plus clarity revisions as you write. Grammarly helps catch common mistakes with sentence structure—like run-on sentences, sentence fragments, passive voice, and more.  

5 Proofreading

When all the heavy-duty revisions are finished, it’s time for the final polish. Go through your essay and correct misspellings , formatting issues, or grammatical errors. This is also where you can turn to Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant, which helps catch these common mistakes for you. Or  copy and paste your writing to check your grammar and get instant feedback on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mistakes you might have missed.

Essay structure

Essay structure almost always follows a simple beginning-middle-end format, or in this case, an introduction-body-conclusion format. However, it’s what’s contained within those sections that makes all the difference. 

Introduction

Essays follow the same guidelines for introductions as any other piece of writing, with an extra emphasis on presenting the thesis prominently, ideally in the topic sentence. By the end of your introduction paragraph, your reader should know without a doubt what your essay is about. From there, follow the conventional best practices on how to write an introduction . 

Body paragraphs

The majority of your essay is body paragraphs , all of which support your thesis and present evidence. 

Pay close attention to how you organize your body paragraphs. Some arguments benefit from a logical progression, where one point leads to a second, and that second point leads to a third. Remember that the reader doesn’t understand the topic like you do (that’s why you’re writing the essay), so structure your paragraphs in the way that’s best for their comprehension. 

What if you’re writing an argumentative essay where you compare and contrast two or more points of view? Do you present your argument first and then share opposing points of view, or do you open with your opposition’s argument and then refute it? 

Serious writers can get pretty technical about how to organize an argumentative essay. There are three approaches in particular used often: Aristotlian (classical), Rogerian , and Toulmin . However, these can get exceedingly complicated, so for a simple essay, a basic structure will do just fine:

Essay conclusions wrap up or summarize your thesis in a way that’s easy for the reader to digest. If you get the chance, you can add a new perspective or context for understanding your thesis, but in general the conclusion should not present any new evidence or supporting data. Rather, it’s more of a recap. For more specific tips, read about how to write a conclusion for an essay here . 

Five-paragraph essay

For quick and simple essays, you don’t need to get too technical with your essay structure. The five-paragraph essay structure works well in a pinch. This contains:

While this essay structure might not be flexible enough for more advanced topics, it comes in handy when speed is a factor, like during timed tests. 

Essay writing tips

Master the five fundamentals.

Especially for school essays, your reader will scrutinize how well you handle the fundamentals. Knowing about essay structure and the writing process is one thing, but can you demonstrate an understanding of language style? Can you develop your thesis logically and coherently? Are your references and citations trustworthy?

When you’re ready for the next step of essay writing, take a look at the five concepts you must master to write better essays . The tips there pick up where this guide leaves off. 

Seek out another pair of eyes

This tip is not just for essays; it’s always advisable to have someone else read over your writing before finalizing it. All too often we miss the forest for the trees, and thinking long and hard on the same topic can give you tunnel vision. The solution is to get a fresh take from someone who’s seeing it for the first time. 

Typically you can swap with a friend and edit each others’ works. If that’s not an option, however, you can also use a writing center or join a writing group online. At the very least, you should sleep on it and take another look when you’re refreshed. 

Remember: Grammar and form are essential 

It’s not always about what you say, but how you say it. You could have the most obvious, objectively agreeable thesis in the world, but if your writing is incoherent, confusing, and full of mistakes, it’s tough to engage with your reader. 

For when your writing needs to make the right impact, Grammarly Premium offers full-sentence rewrites for confusing sentences—from splitting long sentences, cutting extra words, or rearranging key phrases—in addition to catching common grammar mistakes. It also gives you readability-focused formatting suggestions, so you know your writing is clear. It also helps those who are looking to improve their writing skill level in English, with suggestions for commonly misused words and phrases. 

Honing your writing with these elements in mind is key to relaying your point to your reader—and asserting your thesis as effectively as possible.

how to make your essay more academic

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So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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Are You Making These Mistakes in Your Essay?

Most typical mistakes in a college essay

Starting a new chapter of your life by entering college is always frustrating. Especially, when you almost physically feel the load of responsibility. To earn a place in a college of your dream you need to work hard - and make a good self-representation for an admission committee. How? By sending them a flawless college essay. This is one of the most essential part of the file.

Do you want to be sure your essay is unique and appealing? Check the most typical mistakes you might make in an essay!

how to make your essay more academic

Long writing. Of course, you want to highlight all the best qualities and part you have. But let's be honest, admission committee is usually flooded with the applications. They simply have no time for a long read!

Not using help. The thought "I write my essay myself" seems quite proud... And at the same time, it's a bit stupid. If you have not done it before or read a couple of examples on the Internet, that won't help you to reach the ideal result.

Not following the proper format. A professional essay writer can make the job done fast and easy, because he knows the template, follow the plan and had already made hundreds of unique and remarkable pieces or writing.

Mentioning wrong things. Essay is not a composition where you can express whatever you want. It requires time, ideas and an interesting story.

If you're not sure that you will be able to make an ideal job yourself, think about essay writing service. That's how everything would be ready for you, whenever you need it.

Getting professional essay help

We can name dozens of reasons why getting assistance in writing an essay for college admission is better than spending countless hours in front of your PC doing research and reading different tips and recommendations.

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Fourth, it's a professional attitude. Essay rewriter might check your work and correct it.

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What should you do to make your piece of writing outstanding and remarkable? We can give several recommendations. First, don't rely on your own skills only. Second, remember about strong parts. And third, be confident in a positive result when ordering a writing help!

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IMAGES

  1. How to write an academic essay

    how to make your essay more academic

  2. Essay Writing School Life , School Life

    how to make your essay more academic

  3. Free Sample Dissertation Paper

    how to make your essay more academic

  4. Free College Essay Sample

    how to make your essay more academic

  5. Opening Quotes For Essays. QuotesGram

    how to make your essay more academic

  6. Ways to Make Your Essay More Interesting

    how to make your essay more academic

VIDEO

  1. Google Translate Make Your Essay Sound Smart

  2. Quotation on pollution use it & make your essay more interesting

  3. IELTS Writing evaluate your essay #9

  4. IELTS Writing evaluate your essay-01

  5. College Essay Pro Tips

  6. IELTS Writing evaluate your essay #14

COMMENTS

  1. Essay Structure

    Structuring your essay according to a reader's logic means examining your thesis and anticipating what a reader needs to know, and in what sequence, in order to grasp and be convinced by your argument as it unfolds. The easiest way to do this is to map the essay's ideas via a written narrative.

  2. How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out

    Keep the comparison simple. Use a few other literary devices such as imagery or anecdotes to enrich your extended metaphor. Avoid making cliché comparisons. Don't exaggerate or make an unrealistic comparison. In the example below, a student uses the extended metaphor of a museum to explore the theme of identity.

  3. How To Write An Academic Essay? 9 Genius Tips

    How To Write an Academic Essay? 9 Amazing Tips Back Table of Contents 1 1. Avoid Contractions 2 2. Avoid Clichés 3 3. Avoid Colloquialisms and Informal Vocab 4 4. Use Academic Vocabulary 5 5. Make Your Thesis or Argument Obvious 6 7 7. Use Topic Sentences and Transitions 8 9

  4. How To Write an Academic Essay: A Beginner's Guide

    Now that you have a clear idea of the process of writing an academic essay, we have a few more tips: Always cite your sources Gather enough sources to support your thesis statement Keep your sentences short and comprehensive Start the research as early as possible Do not skip revising The Bottom Line Writing an academic essay is a complex task.

  5. Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Style in Academic Writing

    Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Style in Academic Writing 1. Use ACTIVE VOICE Don't say: "The stepmother's house was cleaned by Cinderella." (Passive.) Say instead: "Cinderella cleaned the stepmother's house." (Active voice.) Passive voice construction ("was cleaned") is reserved for those occasions where the "do-er" of the action is unknown.

  6. 20 Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing

    6 Prewriting Strategies to Get Your Essay Rolling How to Use Graphic Organizers for Writing Better Essays 7 Essay Outline Templates to Get Your Essay Going #6: Choose your words carefully to create the right tone Using the right words can make all the difference in how you present yourself to an audience.

  7. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don't have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

  8. 17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

    Academic essays often include opposite opinions or information in order to prove a point. It is important to show all the aspects that are relevant to your research. Include facts and researchers' views that disagree with a point of your essay to show your knowledge of your particular field of study.

  9. 8 Ways To Make Your IELTS Writing More Academic Or Formal

    In order to make your language more academic or formal, you must avoid using a lot of informal words and expressions. Contractions Avoid contracted auxiliary verbs and negatives. These are very common in informal speech and writing, but are considered inappropriate in academic writing. Non-academic: I don't think that I'm working hard.

  10. How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

    Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary. Thesis Statement: This is the focal point of your writing and one of your introductory paragraphs' key elements.

  11. How to Write an Academic Essay: Format, Examples

    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.

  12. 7 Words to Make Your Essays Sound More Academic

    3. Thus. Short, but elegant. This means "as a result of," or "due to this.". Thus is a great word that can be used to begin your concluding sentence. Example: I crossed the finish line first, thus becoming the winner. Think about your topic and decide which words work best with your argument. 4. Furthermore.

  13. 13 Ways to Make Your Writing More Interesting to Read

    Here are some more techniques you can adopt from creative writing to improve your essays. 6. Think about your own opinion Take the time to work out what it is that you think, rather than regurgitating the opinions of others. Your essay is bound to be boring if all you do is paraphrase what everyone else says about something.

  14. 12 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills

    Here are 12 essay tips for developing and writing your next academic paper. 1. Know What You Are Going to Write About Before You Start Writing While untrained writers might just sit down and start typing, educated and experienced writers know that there are many steps to writing an essay.

  15. How to Write an Academic Essay (with Pictures)

    Before you start writing, research your topic using good, reputable sources. Organize your essay clearly, and support your arguments with strong examples and evidence. Once your essay is drafted, make sure you're handing in your best possible work by checking it over thoroughly and making any necessary edits. Part 1.

  16. How to perfect your prompt writing for ChatGPT, Midjourney and other AI

    Image created using Midjourney. Prompt: oil painting of a child with their grandparent enjoying a moment together and looking at each other. The child's face is full of wonder and the ...

  17. Essay Writing: How to Write an Outstanding Essay

    The best practice is to include your thesis as soon as possible, even in your topic sentence if it's appropriate. You'll want to reiterate it throughout the essay as well, especially when wrapping up everything in the conclusion. The rest of your essay, then, supports your thesis.

  18. Ending the Essay: Conclusions

    Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like 60 Minutes. Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict ...

  19. Essay Writing Service

    First, it saves your time. Essay help allows you not to worry about the deadline and devote your time to whatever desired. Second, you are getting a perfect result. Without any breakdowns, sleepless nights, thousands of drafts! Sounds like a good idea! Third, best essay writing service isn't that expensive.

  20. Help Online How to Write My Essay

    The original arguments will make any essay more concrete as the professors will realize your efforts, assert the experts of how to write essay services. • Planning the essay After you have noted down all the necessary information, the next step is planning the essay.