How to Write an Academic Essay: 5 Essential Tips
No matter your area of study, you’ll be required to write many academic essays over your scholastic career. Don’t be daunted by the thought of writing thousands of well-researched, well-chosen words. With a few simple techniques, you can easily write impressive essays that earn good grades with a minimum of stress. Here are five essential tips to mastering the academic essay.
Write a strong thesis statement
A powerful thesis statement is the skeletal system of any good academic system: Without one, your words will just flop around the page with no structure. Take the time to craft a meaningful thesis statement and use it to guide your entire essay.
Don’t be coy with your thesis; state it directly using language like “Historical research proves that the primary cause of the Civil War was…” or “As the scientific research demonstrates, the best ways to improve public health are…” Avoid vague thesis statements like “Perhaps Shakespeare intended to address gender” or “Some have argued that companies should avoid print-based advertising.”
Gather Sources Before Writing
The point of academic essays is to teach you to synthesize information from a variety of sources. Before you start outlining or writing your paper, check the existing literature and take notes on the current arguments around your topic. Taking the time to thoroughly research will make writing your paper much easier.
For example, if you uncover different viewpoints from reputable authors, you can spend several pages summarizing, comparing and contrasting these arguments.
Your professor will be impressed by the depth of your research, and you’ll be impressed by how quickly your essay comes together. If you purchase an online academic paper, review any citations before turning it in to make sure the writer used reputable sources. Depending on your topic, any of these options can be appropriate sources:
- Academic books
- Newspaper articles
- Peer-reviewed papers
- Government publications
- Reputable .gov or .edu websites (not Wikipedia)
Write an Outline
Whether you love outlining or hate it, you need to use this technique if you want to earn an A on your next paper. An outline lets you structure your argument, decide ahead of time where to place your references and keeps you on track. Without pre-outlining, you might ramble on for several pages that you ultimately delete.
An outline requires a slight time investment before you start writing but can save you hours of frustration. Try to write a detailed outline, including citations or even direct quotes from your sources. Here are a few elements that you can cover in your outline; be sure to add sub-points to each section.
- Introductory section to introduce your thesis
- A section to introduce the main research supporting your thesis
- A section to address the scholarly augments against your thesis
- Depending on the required length of your paper, multiple segments to explore different elements of existing research, to introduce sub-points related to your thesis or to incorporate material from your class
- Concluding section to revisit your thesis and leave the reader with new insight
Revise, Revise, Revise
Even professional writers revise their work. You may find that a sub-point you thought would be fascinating is merely distracting, or you may realize that you failed to use the required number of sources in your essay.
Before you submit a paper, read through the assignment’s requirements and ensure you’ve completed all of them. Fix any grammatical errors, and triple-check your citations.
Whether you buy a cheap essay online or copy directly from Wikipedia, your professors can detect your academic dishonesty. Software like Turnitin and iAuthenticate make it easy to find text that you copied directly from another source. If you purchase an academic essay, mix up the paragraphs and rewrite a few sentences to throw off any plagiarism detectors.
Better yet, put in the work and learn how to cite references without falling into plagiarism. Always provide a citation when you paraphrase someone else’s work, and use quotation marks and page numbers if you copy a source word-for-word.