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How to Write an Academic Essay - Full Guidance

The ability to write an academic essay is an essential skill for any educational-related career. Such texts provide valid proof and support already existing knowledge. These papers allow people to explore already existing ideas or develop new theories. However, penning down such academic writing can be a difficult task for many. Therefore, we have prepared a short, comprehensive guide that will allow you to produce a high-quality paper.

What is An Academic Essay Writing?

An academic essay presents a piece of educational writing that explains your statement/opinion about a topic. Such types of college essays are generally written in an argumentative style, which means that a writer has to explain their point and back up their view.

Writing an excellent academic essay is a process related to well-established steps like:

  • First, select a topic of interest - it must be something you like;
  • Do careful research about your case; academic writing like this requires factual information from credible sources but written in your own words;
  • Prepare an essay outline on a separate sheet/file;
  • Write your final draft;
  • Proceed with penning down the actual text.

And that's it, and you've got the basic steps of writing an academic essay. Note that you should revise your essay once you're done with this writing. Doing so will allow for avoiding typos, misunderstandings, or grammatical errors, so proofreading is necessary.

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Types of Academic Essays

When discussing academic writings, we can point out that many types are related to various subjects. That's because each has its purpose and educational goal to achieve. Most students face four standard types with an academic writing assignment.

These include narrative, expository, persuasive, and argumentative academic essays. Each of these types has its definition and goal, which means they have different requirements, and you must approach them in a different manner.

A Narrative Essay

These types of papers can be described with one word - story. Essentially, a writer must disclose a story most often related to humanities studies like literature. When writing a narrative paper, you must do it in the first person. These longer essays' goal is to entertain a reader through a story.

Expository Essays

They are meant to explain a concept about a case or provide a piece of evidence to support a claim/opinion. These papers require a writer to use someone else knowledge or thoughts about a specific matter. This type of academic writing is unique because it almost always includes a thesis statement or an evidence point.

A Persuasive Essay

These texts are a type of paper written to argue over a writer's point of view. This text requires an author to write in first-person and include a strong statement where you must provide evidence and present information to back up your thesis.

Argumentative Essays

They are written to provide an argument over an opinion. They are often seen in humanities studies and social sciences. Argumentative academic papers require writers to express their thoughts from a third-person perspective. They also include a thesis statement backed by factual data from primary and secondary sources that serve as evidence.

While there are other types of essays like process, definition, persuasive, and even descriptive essay texts, these four are what you'll see in most educational institutions. Remember that each has its style of writing. Even though these basics are identical, you always have to define what text you are writing and conduct research!

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How to Write an Academic Essay

These essays assess students' ability to think, research, and write critical pieces on a particular topic. They are typically given as final assignments in college-level courses as a significant part of your final grade.

Many students wonder things like "How to write my essay" because writing one is tricky. However, that doesn't mean they can't. You must first understand the given assignment to produce such academic writing and ensure it is perfect. That means you have to dwell over its title/topic, comprehend its meaning, and, like that, you'll be able to get factual background information.

Once you do that, you can organize all your thoughts in order. Note that if you structure your ideas well, you can progress easily, follow a set order and create a flow in your paper. Lastly, you will have to revise the text, ensure it's clear and concise, follow the topic, ensure there are no errors and have a good transition between all paragraphs.

Understand Your Assignment and Plan Ahead

The first step is understanding a topic's meaning. For an academic essay, that's even more important because that will determine what type of text you are to write. That will dictate all requirements and set an approach to influence your assignment's outcome.

Because of that, you have to read everything carefully - title, case question, etc. If you do not understand them, ask your professor. They will often provide clarification and give insights into the topic. Never hesitate to ask because this can save you lots of rewriting.

After you have understood the topic, you'll have to start gathering facts about it. The information can be from many reputable sources, and it is advisable not to dwell only on one! You can use books or studies, ask teachers or people with experience. Access various lectures and online articles, or even partake in discussions.

Once you finish your research, follow the planning of your text. The best way to plan an academic essay writing process is to create the thesis statement first. That happens when you start writing it on the side; write all supporting points you have in mind and read carefully to see if it makes sense and is factual.

A thesis statement must be one sentence summarizing your opinion and showcasing a text's purpose. It should not be too long, and its supporting points must serve as evidence backing the main one. Upon completing it, you will be ready to start writing the main essay body.

Academic Essay Introduction

An introductory paragraph is one of the most important parts of every academic text. That is because these are the first words every reader will see after your title and get impressions of your whole paper. Therefore, if you know how to write a title in an essay, you'll probably be able to pen down an introduction. Both should be brief, engaging, and well-structured without complicated words or thoughts.

A first sentence should be able to hook in the audience and make them read on. It can be a funny joke, statistic, quote, or fact, but all must relate to your topic sentence and statement.

Your introduction's second sentence should give the readers some background info that can further guide them into the case you are writing about. The third will be where you introduce your statement, and this should be followed by a brief overview of what the people will see in your whole text.

The Text Main Body

After your introduction, follow the sections with the paragraphs that form most of your essay. Note that everything should be structured and follow an order. You cannot write about one point and jump to another without explaining it.

Every first sentence of each section should be like a small introduction explaining what you are writing about in a specific paragraph, just like in descriptive essays. After it, you should present evident background information backing it up. If you use any reputable sources, cite them.

Additionally, use transition words when switching between paragraphs and sections. While overcoming them is bad for the flow, your essay will look rigid if you do not have them. Finally, remember that an essay is completed once you can read it from start to finale without breaking its flow.


Writing an academic essay conclusion is as important as the introduction, as it will form the final overview of your text. No matter the type of educational writing, you must restate your thesis statement. It should also summarize your opinion, its main points, and briefly the whole paper. Your conclusion must provide your audience with an answer and a final sentence that concludes the whole text and leaves them with a thought to ponder about.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

When writing academic essays, you must pay attention to the thesis statement, as it's one of the key features in such papers.

A thesis must be concise, have a precise meaning, and declare the main argument point you will explore further. It should not stray from your main point; it must be debatable and serve as a roadmap to guide all readers.

Writing a solid thesis statement is easy if you can focus on your topic sentence and gain one or two ideas before starting the process. Trying to understand the essence of your assignment and conducting research based on these will allow you to write a strong thesis. Good research will allow you to identify the primary argument and form your statement. An adequate study beforehand will provide enough evidence to support your thoughts throughout the paper.

Another thing you must do is to write it engagingly. This way, the reader will not get bored by it, will see your argument points, and will be willing to explore them. Write your points based on relevance and public opinion; also, use appropriate terms that will be easy to understand.

Something you must always do is write meaningful information in your statement. Avoid cliches, general points, and everything that can ruin the essay flow or imply wrong ideas. Eventually, you can craft a good statement if you conduct proper research and aim toward the most relevant argument points.

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An Academic Essay Outline

When you hear the word essay, you should automatically connect it to the primary standard. That is because most essays have the same structure with little to no changes based on your type. Following these well-established outlines will result in clear and concise text.

A basic essay writing structure consists of an introduction, three or more body paragraphs, and conclusions:

  • Introduction: Its purpose is to introduce your topic, show people your original argument and draw the roadmap for the whole paper;
  • Text main body: This can consist of multiple sections and body paragraphs; you develop your thesis and your main idea in them. You'll provide arguments and supporting evidence and further develop the main topic question. You can provide examples like quotes, statistics, or any other type of proof that support your theory;
  • A conclusion: a final part of every essay aims to leave the audience with a final thought. You summarize your whole paper, bringing the reader again through your topic, evidence, and a conclusion based on them. Note that the purpose of a conclusion in academic papers is to leave the readers with a final thought to ponder.

Remember to provide clear arguments and concise paragraphs when writing academic papers. Each of them should only contain one main point that must be followed by sense from the next. That will eventually build up and lead to conclusions by the end of the text. Additionally, by keeping such a paragraph structure, you will keep a proper text order, making papers easy to read.

Note that a good introduction should state your overall argument. It should be the start of the paper flow that will develop to the conclusion, where you will expose your final thoughts. Doing so will help you ensure that the entire essay is well-written and will score well.

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An Academic Essay Formatting

Whenever you are working on academic writing, you must always follow the proper formatting guidelines of your institution. That will ensure your text is written in formal, academic English and is well-structured. To brief you on the basics, we've brought forth the most important about formatting academic institutions' texts correctly.

Let's start by first overviewing the paper writing process by focusing on structure.

The first step in formatting any educational text is to start writing but always make the correct word choice. That's critical for your introduction and title. Doing so lets you quickly introduce your topic and arguments to the audience in a descriptive but brief manner.

Next, consider the body paragraph organization when writing your paper's main text body. They should follow a chronological or logical order, have a good transition between them, and each must focus on one point.

Ultimately, completing these two will lead you to conclusions. All final essay words serve as an overview and concise summary of your whole work. It will showcase your final thoughts and will give answers to the reader while leaving them enough space to develop their conclusions.

The Structure is Followed by Proper Formatting

  • When formatting itself, you must begin by setting the page numbers, which happens by writing them in the upper right-hand corner of your text. Set the page number one inch from the top corner.
  • After that, you will have to set the margins. They should be again one inch on all sides of your paper. Following them, you will need to format the text of the assignment.
  • You can do it by double-spacing and making all the text in 12-point Times New Roman font. The essay text in the whole paper must be one side aligned - usually left.
  • Next, you should format your headers and footers. Then, again in the upper left-hand corner of your text, you must also write down your name, the instruction, course names, and the set date.
  • When it comes to your title, it must be larger than every other text. You can use a standard H1 formatting unless specified otherwise. A font should always be identical across your text - Times New Roman.
  • Ensure the capitalization is proper by adhering to standards (it can be APA, AMA, AP, MLA, etc.). Note that in some cases, it should be surrounded by quotation marks.
  • Next will be citations; they must be visible in the texts. You should place them in parentheses and include the author's name, year if possible, and the page number if we are to give you an example (Shakespeare, 1600, 13).
  • The final step in any academic essay formatting is ensuring your essay is formatted correctly. That means you must revise the whole paper before submitting it to your academic institution. That includes structure, proper in-text citation, English spelling, grammar, and so on.

Note: These format requirements can change based on your educational institution. Always make sure to check them with your professor or college before writing!

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An Example of An Academic Paper

Here is a great example that you can check to get an overall idea of what your final paper should look like.

Best Tips About How to Write An Academic Essay

As you've already seen, writing an academic essay is not easy, especially for those who haven't faced it before. However, with our information and guidance, you will have an easier time doing it. If you can't, you will probably be looking for custom essays for sale; we advise you to try by yourself first. Because of that, we have prepared some helpful tips for writing such texts.

  • Starting key points: A good starting point can be game-changing when writing a good essay. An example is to have peer-reviewed articles, an individual with a good academic career, a book, academic journals, or any primary source that can give you ideas
  • Understand the key idea behind the title: Summarize your thoughts, form questions, and try to search for answers before starting the writing
  • Reference list: Including a reference list is crucial and must always be part of your academic texts
  • Proofread: This will save you lots of time rewriting due to common mistakes; always revise your essay and seek feedback. Like that, you will avoid accidental plagiarism
  • Keep everything structured: By doing so, you will be able to follow your outline and write in a concise matter
  • Your essay must flow: Every paper you write must start with the introduction paragraph and keep a flow till its conclusion
  • Start strong: a good thesis statement can be crucial for your whole assignment, as it must grab the reader's attention
  • Pick your own words: you cannot use slang or jargon whenever you want; keeping to formal English is a must in academic texts
  • Key terms: This is something you must pick during the topic research. Using keywords will show you have knowledge about the topic and will strengthen your arguments.

The last and best tip you can receive is to stay focused. That is a problem many students have, and eventually, that's seen in their writing.

If you keep focused, you will be able to avoid the use of irrelevant information in your essay. You will be concise with your sentences and follow your ideas and structure correctly while using your primary sources of information.

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Final Thoughts

In this article, you were able to see everything about academic papers. We've shown you the main types, their specifics, and how to write them, and even given you some valuable tips.

Considering all that, you can easily pen down the best essay. If you still have doubts, contact us, and we will assist you with your assignment. Otherwise, keep your focus, follow our tips, and you will write the best academic essay that will impress your professors.


How do you start an academic essay?

An excellent way to start an academic essay is by writing a great introduction with a hooking starting sentence and a strong thesis.

How do you structure an academic essay?

To structure such an essay, you must adhere to all basics, meaning you have to write an introduction, a main text body, and a conclusion.

What is in an academic essay?

Such essays are these who answer a specific case or question. This answer is the author's statement backed by an argument or pieces of evidence.

What are the four types of essays?

The basic four types are argumentative, descriptive, narrative, and expository essays.

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