How to write an academic essay on any topic

Paper Clips

Since most essays follow a basic format you can remember essential elements and know what each part needs. For your introduction you need a strong hook or opening sentence. The introduction will also include your main idea (thesis) and background details related to your topic. The body paragraphs will have supporting evidence that proves why your thesis is valid. Your conclusion closes the topic with meaningful information and a recap of supporting ideas. Here are a few points to consider in writing your next academic essay on whichever topic you use.

Select a Topic: Avoid Ideas Too Broad in General

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Your topic idea can be anything you have an interest in (if you are able to select a topic of your own). Take time to really come up with something innovative and creative. You will spend a good amount of time writing this paper. This means you need something you feel you can complete well without struggles. Your idea should be something you are comfortable writing about. You can provide insight based on personal knowledge.

You should have ideas on what your topic will need. This means you should know your thesis statement and information necessary to defend it. You can brainstorm ideas or review essays previously written for more inspiration. Avoid ideas to broad or general as they will be more difficult to research and write. For some, they may not provide enough information for you to write about (especially if it has been written many times in the past).

Collect Data and Research Your Idea

Research your topic. You should have ideas on what your topic will need based on guidelines for your assignment. If your essay is expected to be lengthy then make sure you have content rich material interesting for readers. Think about your main idea and why you want to write about this topic. Take notes as you read about your topic. You can use a notebook or index cards. Some like to use both and assignment certain pieces of information to each option.

As you collect data use reputable sources. If your essay on literature or a review, you should have the material in question close by for reference. Read over the material to make sure you have your thoughts in line.

Keep in mind interesting information that will easily prove your thesis. At this point you should know what information is important and how it will fit into your essay.

Organize Discussion Points with Use of an Outline

You can use an outline to help you during research. Others may create one after their research is completed, but it is a personal preference depending on your time and needs. The outline takes the essay and breaks it into smaller sections. They can vary but it will help you organize your findings easier. The outline may have sections including the introduction, body and conclusion. For the body you may have three or more paragraphs or sections. For each section you will mention discussion points and data collected based on where you want them to appear when you write the essay.

Formatting Guides

Use the outline to write your rough draft. In a way your essay is already half written thanks to the outline. You are taking ideas and thoughts and making them into complete sentences and paragraphs. See more about formatting and structuring your paper below.

If your paper is far from being perfect, revisions will make it the way you want. Make changes to clarify content and make it presentable. Edit, proofread and submit!

Editing Tips

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