Writing an academic essay/article is a skill that students can learn with some effort. An academic essay is different from the essays or articles we generally find on the internet. Because it aims to be not only informative but also engaging critically through the topic. Therefore, writing an academic essay requires knowledge of what constitutes a good academic essay/article.
Generally, a good essay content presents a clear understanding of the topic. It contains a specific structure of descriptions and arguments. Though different areas of study have additional requirements, there are some common features that every essay shares. Knowing these common features may help one to write a better essay.
Step 1: Deciding the topic of an academic essay/article
The first step is always hard to take because one doubts whether he or she can manage it or move forward with it or not. Similarly, deciding the topic is difficult because the writer must be certain about whether she or he could complete the essay or do justice to the topic or the subject matter.
An essay is a constitution of three things: reading, thinking, and writing. All three are interrelated. Read the materials carefully. If the topic is already given to you, first read about it widely then go to a deeper analysis of the topic.
You have to know when you need to stop looking for materials and start understanding and engaging with whatever you have read. Try to make a rough structure of your essay. For instance, decide what the main question is, what your basic claim is, what main arguments you would provide, etc.
Step 2: Write a rough draft
It is also called vomit draft. Vomit anything you have in your mind. Now, you must try to identify the structure and organize it. Sometimes, you may feel the necessity to completely discard it. Do it if you need to discard it (as most of us do) and try to write another one.
Step 3: Polish the draft
Once you have the proper structure and arguments, start polishing the draft. You may need to rewrite it again and again. Polishing requires to re-read, to re-write, and to revise.
Basic Structure of an Essay
An essay has fundamentally three parts. a) Introduction, b) Body, and c) Conclusion.
a) Introduction: In this part of the essay, the author introduces the topic and explains its aims and significance. It also states the basic claims and underlying assumptions related to the issue. It also explains the structure of the essay’s content. In addition, it summarizes the main arguments and indicates the possible conclusion.
b) Body: It contains the main arguments and explanation of the issue. The arguments justify whatever claim the essay is making or whatever answer it is providing. It is the main part of the essay. The author must present the arguments clearly.
c) Conclusion: In this part, the author must conclude with a short summary of the arguments. It could be further problematized here. It is noteworthy that one should avoid giving new information in this part.
Writing a good academic essay/article requires knowledge of its structure and components. Once you understand the structure, you will be able to write it. But always remember the key to writing a good essay is to revise or polish it again and again.