Essay Writing

How to Write the 4 Types of Academic Essays

Posted on 22, Jan 2021 how-to-write-the-4-types-of-academic-essays

 

The idea of writing an academic essay or paper may sound very tiresome and boring to most people, including you and me. Learning and mastering the art and skills needed to write one will be the first step towards appreciating them. After all, they are a substantial part of the higher education curriculum. They engage students' apprehension of different topics and tests their capacity to conduct research and expressing their findings.

A writer needs to understand what an academic essay entails and the various types of essays required from students.

What is an Academic Essay?

An academic essay is a focused piece of writing undertaken by students in their educational journey in an attempt to inform or persuade. Authors conduct research and applying the data and evidence obtained to present an opinion or argument. The writing engages their mastery of information, creativity, and ability to relay the information.

Characteristics of an Academic Essay

  • Structured: It is composed in a logical order that observes academic paper structures.
  • Factual: They demonstrate knowledge in a given area backed by accurately referenced evidence
  • Formal: It uses formal tone and style.
  • Focused: Essays involve answering a particular question or presenting an idea.
  • Personal Motivation:
  • Authors of academic essays have a personal interest in the subject as they chose the topic themselves.

Types of Academic Essays

Several academic essays you will ever see will fall under four categories: narrative, expository, argumentative, or descriptive essays.

Argumantive and expository essays, the most prevalent at the university level, relay information and ideas. Narrative and descriptive essays focus on a student's creativity. Below we look into detail each of the categories.

Argumentative Essays

 

An argumentative or persuasive essay requires you, the author, to prove your argument beyond doubt. You make a clear, precise thesis statement, and based on evidence, argue your stance. You convince the reader with referenced evidence such as quotations. The message you relay to your audience needs to prove to them the truthfulness of your stance.

The essays test your research capabilities of research and your skill of persuading people into your ideas. You become a sales agent for your ideas. Adopt precise and well thought out statements to circumvent being too pushy. Depending on whom you are trying to convince, use either sound or emotional strategies. It is the most prevalent at university and college levels.

Expository Essay

An expository essay requires you to provide a precise, focused analysis of a question. It does not ask for individual opinions and views but rather facts. It tests your understanding of a subject and your expertise to organize and relay that information to the reader. You are obliged to back the points made in the essay with facts. They inform and teach the reader by logic and truth. You are likely to come across an expository essay in a high school, college, or university exam.

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay recounts a story. It has to be convincing and could be about anything. It could be about some personal experience you may have encountered or based on your imagination on something you may have never experienced. You make your position clear to the reader.

They test your ability to author a well structured and engaging essay. The use of the first-person pronoun 'I' is common due to the personal touch. They assist the author is giving a vivid image of the narrative they are telling. The goal is to make the reader live through the story.

Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay calls for the author to describe something in detail. Like narrative essays, they let you be creative in printing an image of the topic in the audience's mind. It defers from narrative essays in that you describe something specific rather than narrating a whole story. It could be a place or an object.

Descriptive essays require you to be meticulous in your selection of words. It tests your creativity in using language to convey a memorable picture of the object or place. The terms used shouldn't be complex as they may confuse the reader. A good descriptive essay compels the reader to comprehend the subject well.

Structure of an Academic Essay

An academic essay normally takes a standard format of 5 paragraphs. They include an introduction, a body of 3 paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each of the sections has a structure unique to it. The introduction is concerned with the presentation of the thesis statement, which is the main idea. The body has three arguments defending the topic. Each argument takes a paragraph. The conclusion summarises the discussions and is the last attempt by the author to convince the reader. It aims at impressing and persuading the reader.

Preparing to Write an Academic Essay

Like in everything else, preparation and planning are necessary for writing an excellent essay. Start with an outline of what you are to write. They include:

  • Thesis Statement: You ought to formulate a topic and introduction that best describes the information you are attempting to put across. It is the central agenda in the introduction.
  • Arguments: Before commencing your writing, having a summary of how you are to defend your thesis is crucial. They will help you flow much easily.
  • Connnecting: Having facts at hand is not all it takes to write an essay. Carefully look for a way of linking your arguments to the actual world. Explain why the subject is not only significant to you but the community in general. It will show your creativity.
  • Summary: It is a final sentence that summarizes your arguments. It is the last attempt by the reader to convince or inform the reader.

Below is the most widely used and most effective structure for an academic essay in Universities.

Introduction

Grasp the reader's concentration and interest with the first line of the essay. An introduction to anything, including movies and books, is the most important. If the audience is not impressed, they may have a negative or boring attitude when reading the article or be discouraged from continuing. It would easily make them miss the important sections of the essay. Have a firm introduction, and feel free to look at a few academic essay examples for hints on how to compose one.

Opt to apply an interesting quote that encourages the reader to continue reading. For persuasive and expository essays starting with a fact or statistic will give trustworthiness to your writing. You could also use a rhetoric question to engage and connect with the reader. Answer the question in the introduction.

After formulating the hook(first line of introduction), try explaining to the reader what you will be discussing. Help them understand what you are discussing, why you are discussing it, and how you are to discuss it. Conclude your introduction with a thesis statement. It is a summary of what is in the essay.

Hint: Your thesis statement should be precise and accurate. Avoid irrelevant information and stick to introducing the focus of your writing.

The Body

This is the trunk of your essay where you argue your points. Each of the points backed by proof should support your thesis statement. Stick to points relating to the introduction to avoid confusing your readers. For a body to be efficient, it needs;

  • Evidence: Citing valid source is important. Reference statistics and facts.
    • Language Use: The kind of language you use affects how the message is received. Be careful with the word selection. Avoid slang and complex words that may confuse the reader.

      The body needs to settle the reader's mind on all questions they had from your introduction. Your arguments should enable them to comprehend the idea.

      Conclusion

      Your essay should end with a captivating climax. Summarize your essay to remind the reader of something they may have missed or forgotten. Remind your audience why the topic of discussion is relevant to them and society. Finish your essay with a strong declaration that relates to your first line.

      If asked, list all your references and cited sources after the conclusion. Use the citation style you are instructed to use.

      Writing an academic essay will be part of your curricula in university. By following the tips and guidelines above, your grades will sure to go up. Train on research and writing skills for better results. Bookmark this post if you will need to refer to it again. Have a great time tackling that academic paper!

      • Accuracy: Have all your point sand arguments in order to avoid confusing yourself.
        • Uniformity: Each of your discussions should be of almost similar lengths. Refer to samples to get a picture of how a body looks.

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