How to write a Successful Academic Essay

Many students often wonder where they can get essay writing help for their academic essays. Others are afraid as they have no idea where to begin. Although it seems a difficult task, academic essays are easy to write as long as you understand the topic. Next, you need to understand the correct format for an essay according to the instructions provided.  

Academic essays seek to answer a question, based on a given topic. The answer should be presented in an argument form from where your ideas should flow. You should discuss the topic via a thesis statement, followed by the reasoning behind it. Your paper should include relevant examples and evidence from credible scholarly journals and other academic texts.

Worry not, got you covered and here are some guidelines on how to essay write your academic paper:

  1. Brainstorm Some Writing Ideas

Your instructor may or may not provide you with the research topic. Whatever the case, you need to do your research about the selected topic so as to decide on which approach to use. Deciding on a topic is fundamental, as it will shape your ideas during the writing process. You get to establish your possible point of view. If the topic is provided, try to gather as much information about it, to avoid getting stuck along the way.

Use books, websites and other credible academic journals for ideas on the topic. You may also write down some notes from the readings which you could use as main points. They do not have to follow any logical order as you are just trying to brainstorm possible point of view. They will give you enough information to start you off in the writing process.

  • Create an Outline

An outline is a tool that writers use to organize their ideas before the actual writing process. it is arranged in a logical order according to how ideas will follow each other. They organize the major topics, subtopics and other supporting information in the order they should follow, making it easy for the writer to know which information to include in each part.

Outlines follow the introduction, body and conclusion format. Although it contains the main ideas, you do not have to go deep into the topic, as you will cover that information during the writing process. However, you may use full sentences, to make your ideas clearer and straightforward. An outline is largely a shell of what you will cover in your paper.

  • Write Your Introduction

An introduction is like a “welcome” sign that signals the beginning into the writing journey. it creates the first impression in the mind of the reader and therefore, it should be catchy. It should give the reader a reason to continue reading your essay until the end. For example, you can start with an interesting fact, a mind-teasing question or a quote that gives the reader a general idea of what they should expect.

Briefly explain your argument and set the aim of what you will write about. You may also mention the main points briefly to give the reader a general overview of your argument. Does your argument show that you clearly understood the question?

Thesis Statement: Conclude your introduction with a concrete thesis statement which indicates your paper’s main argument. It directly answers your research question in a specific and concise manner. a good thesis statement is arguable and persuades your readers to agree with your point of view. This means that there might be another side of the argument but you chose to defend the side you find more agreeable.

A good thesis statement gives reasons for defending a specific side. For example, a good thesis might be:

‘Although some people might argue that nationalism is a self-centered approach for any nation, it is however a good thing as it upholds patriotism and promotes economic prosperity.’

A weak thesis statement might be:

‘I support that nationalism is a good thing for any nation’.

The second example lacks depth and is hardly debatable, which your instructor might dismiss as poor. A strong thesis creates a sense of direction for your essay and thus, give it a deep thought when writing it down.

 Although academic essays are very formal, don’t make your introduction too serious as it will become boring. Your instructor is looking into reading a well-articulated formal paper with a sense of humor and creativity!  

  • Body Paragraphs

Every body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence. This is a sentence that highlights the main idea that the paragraph will discuss. Mostly, it is a breakdown of the points that you stated at the thesis statement. For example, you may write:

‘Nationalism allows citizens to exercise their patriotism towards their country’.  

You raised the point when writing your thesis statement and here, you get a chance to explain it more deeply. It makes a claim and the next few sentences should defend your claim. Use your research materials such as the scholarly journals and other credible sources to support your argument.

Your body paragraphs should show that you are well-informed on the topic. Develop your authority through a balanced analysis that incorporates the scholarly materials you gathered.

Each sentence should be connected to the next to give your paper a logical flow. You may use supporting evidence such as data, case studies, and quotes from relevant sources to make your argument stronger.

The body paragraphs are the main part of your essay and consists of 60 to 80% of the overall writing. Ensure you maintain a balance in your writing, by creating paragraphs of almost equal length. You may consult the best essay writing services as they offer a step by step guide on how to write professionally.

  • Writing Structure

The way you present your argument is important as it shows your understanding of the topic. Your instructor will be intrigued by an essay that transitions from one sentence to the next. Also, your essay should stay focused so that you do not stray from the original instructions. As you write, read every sentence to evaluate if it makes sense and whether it adds value to the overall research.

Some students bring together research information without considering how well they fit. Academic essays require proper research and understanding and should not contain mixed up information that is hard to read. Finally, each paragraph should have a concluding sentence that signals the reader that you have come to the end of an idea. The reader will be prepared that the next paragraph will be discussing a new idea.  

  • Conclusion

All academic essays must have a conclusion that summarizes the ideas you have discussed in your research. A conclusion takes the reader back to the thesis and affirms the importance of your argument. Other times, a conclusion may connect the essay to future areas of study. You however must examine the broader issues concisely, without going into much details.

More importantly, you should never include new ideas or evidence. Also, ensure that you do not include information that undermines your side of defense. Do not use cliché phrases such as “in conclusion…”, “in summary…”. An effective conclusion contains a well-articulated wrap up of ideas that is both memorable and insightful.

  • Referencing and In-text Citations

Unlike other articles, academic essays must adhere to the accepted formatting structures. You may use APA format for your essay, MLA or Harvard, which are the most common. Formatting is a way of giving credit to the authors of the sources you used in your academic essay. Failure to do so is considered as plagiarism, which is a serious academic misconduct.

The instructor is likely to provide guidelines on which format to use. However, if you have not been provided with the details, you may use the APA format for an essay on social sciences, anthropology, education, business, as well as psychology among others. When attributing information to the source, you use in-text citations which equally follows the overall format for your paper. For example, the intext citations for APA contains the author’s surname and year of publication, which is put in brackets at the end of the specific evidence such as, (BBC, 2020). Make sure you attribute your sources correctly.

You may use the MLA format for an essay that covers humanities, languages and cultural studies. Currently, MLA formatted essays use the 8th edition for in-text citations and the Works Cited page. For MLA intext citations, you should indicate the author’s surname and the page number, such as, (Fleming 204). Note that there is no comma between the surname and the page number. In case you are citing a website or a newspaper article that does not have a page number, you may cite the paragraph or just cite the author’s surname only.

You should use Harvard format for an essay on education, business and when given specific instructions. Its intext citation requires you to put the author’s surname and year of publication, just like in the APA format.

In-text citations are used within the text while reference list is created on a separate page at the end of your essay. In case you are not conversant with the citations and referencing, you may visit the Purdue Owl website, as it offers a step-by-step guide on all formatting styles. Google Scholar may also give you few insights on citing scholarly journals.

  • Plagiarism, Paraphrasing and Direct Quotes

Academic writing requires a high level of critical thinking and creativity, to incorporate other people’s ideas in your own argument. You require to come up with your original ideas first, and then support them using other scholars’ works for it to be considered as your original piece. Your instructor wants to test how well you can defend your argument and give it a sense of authority. Therefore, avoid plagiarism by creating your original work.

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work as your own. The Merriam-Webster dictionary recognizes plagiarism as an act of theft where you pass another person’s ideas as your own. You may avoid plagiarism by source attribution using in-text citations. It is inevitable to cite other people’s ideas to give your own argument authority but you need to understand the extent to which you can go.

Some students may fall into the plagiarism trap by failing to research their own ideas. The consequences however are very severe and therefore, students must avoid it at all costs.

Paraphrasing is a common technique in academic writing. There is some information that may need to be paraphrased for you to put your point across more clearly. Also, quotes may be used but sparingly and when necessary. As the writer, you need to use them only when you feel they would be fit and will not change the original meaning of the idea.

  • Proofread, Revise and Editing

Before you submit your work, it is important you proofread and revise any structural and grammatical errors that may have occurred during the writing process. to err is human and some minor errors may occur without noticing. However, proofreading your work will help you to identify them, edit or revise accordingly.

Grammatical and structural errors may override a good idea that would have earned you better grades. If you have some extra time before delivery, you may give your essay to someone else to read it, to help identify weak sentence structures and other errors that undermines your argument. A second opinion helps you to identify areas that you may have missed when proofreading.

Proofreading allows you to identify points you may have missed, or to add important information you feel will boost your argument. Since you have not submitted your work yet, you still have room for revisions to make your essay more satisfactory.

  1. Professionalism

Academic essays use professionalism to present ideas. You must avoid writing in a first-person perspective, as it makes the paper lose objectivity. Avoid non-academic language such as slang and abbreviations. For example, you should write “do not” and not “don’t”, “cannot” instead of “can’t”, among other words.

Your paper should not be opinionated as well as it is unacceptable. Academic essays are written in present tense using clear and concise language. You should write full sentences to make your paper coherent. After your writing your paper, assume you are the audience and read through your work to see if it makes sense.

Academic essays require skill to perfect the writing art. As a student, it is important to keep reading through websites that offer essay writing help so that you can learn how to write professionally. Since essays are part of the school curriculum, the best thing you could do is to read and research widely, to polish your skills.

You do not have to wait until your instructor gives you the next assignment for you to start researching on how to essay write. Navigate to offering guidance on academic essay writing and various samples. Visit us often to nourish your knowledge and get the best essays for your individual satisfaction!

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