Essay Writing

The Basics of Essay Writing

What are the Requirements of a Good Essay?

Using evidence, an academic essay seeks to convince the reader about a given idea.

  • The academic essay should satisfactorily tackle the task or answer the question provided
  • The essay should have the answer (thesis statement) to the posed question as well as an argument
  • The essay should attempt to discuss an issue or present information: the thesis is developed through a set of points that are closely linked via evidence and reasoning
  • The academic essay should have examples that are relevant, as well as supporting information and evidence from credible sources and academic texts

Basic Essay Writing Steps

Even though there are certain basic guidelines for writing academic essays, the process of writing the essays is not linear, however. In the event of writing an essay, the student may have to go through the various stages a couple of times. For instance, the writer may have to return to the note taking and reading steps if they come across an important text, or even re-read material in order to locate particular information.

  • Conduct an analysis of the question and definition of important terms
  • Develop a point of view or possible thesis
  • Conduct research on the topic using credible academic sources, journals and books as evidence and support
  • Write notes from the reading
  • Develop a plan for the essay and organize the ideas for the essay
  • Develop an initial draft to include the introduction, conclusion and body of the essay
  • For one or two days, set aside the draft, then re-read it and make alterations where needful
  • Have a colleague/ parent/ friend/ professional to go through the essay
  • Re-draft and edit the essay
  • Finalize or complete the citations and references of the essay
  • Develop the final draft of the essay and then submit for assessment