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There are many types of essays…
… but they all have the common objective of presenting and defending a topic and a stance to the reader.
Essays are used to assess your understanding of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words.
Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
An academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence.
- An academic essay should answer a question or task.
- It should have a thesis statement (answer to the question) and an argument.
- It should try to present or discuss something: develop a thesis via a set of closely related points by reasoning and evidence.
- An academic essay should include relevant examples, supporting evidence and information from academic texts or credible sources.
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The last section of an academic essay is the conclusion. The conclusion should reaffirm your answer to the question, and briefly summarise key arguments. It does not include any new points or new information.
A good essay plan helps you arrange your ideas logically and stay on track during the writing process.
Your plan should state how you’re going to prove your argument, including the evidence you’re going to use. Structure your plan around the different parts of an essay. To do this:
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Gupta, Sanjay. “Balancing and Checking.” Essays on Modern Democracy, edited by Bob Towsky, Brook Stone Publishers, 1996, pp. 36-48. Essay Database, www.databaseforessays.org/modern/modern-democracy.
Last, First M. “Essay Title.” Collection Title, edited by First M. Last, Publisher, Year Published, page numbers. Website Title, URL.
Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?