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Academic essay – what is it?

Academic essay - what is it?

An essay is a genre of writing in which the author presents a thesis and well-developed arguments about a phenomenon or issue. The essay has a specific structure: an introduction, several paragraphs (at least 2), and a conclusion. To understand how to write an essay, you need to learn to write a paragraph that has a similar structure (introductory sentence, supporting sentences and concluding sentence), but smaller in volume. That is, an essay is an enlarged copy of a paragraph.

An academic essay is a special type of essay that meets the criteria of academic writing. In particular, it is characterized by the absence of personal statements or generalizations, limited use of personal pronouns, the use of special words-connections, clear structure and consistent formatting.

The structure of the academic essay

As already mentioned, the essay has its own special structure and important elements.

The essay consists of:

  1. Introduction, which must contain a thesis statement,
  2. The main body, which consists of several paragraphs, which will present and reveal the thesis presented in the introduction, using well-developed arguments, and
  3. Conclusion.

For a better visual understanding of the structure, pay attention to the diagram below.

Types of academic essays

There are many classifications of essays, but we will focus on the five most common types of essays that students encounter the most when taking international exams, entering international universities, and academia.

  • Narrative Essay

This type of essay describes a sequence or series of events invented or based on the author’s experience. This type is characterized by a certain plot, the use of adverbs of time, a large number of adjectives that will make reading the essay fascinating to the reader, the use of certain times (such as Past Continuous to set the tone of history, Past Simple to describe the events in history, Past Perfect to explain the background or circumstances that preceded and influenced the story) and so on.

  • Descriptive Essay

The name “descriptive essay” speaks for itself: it describes something – a place, people, buildings and so on. It is characterized by the use of various descriptive constructions, a large number of adjectives, and so on. The structure of such an essay is determined by the logic of “from general to intangible.” For example, if you want to describe a person, we first provide general information about the name, place, and time we met them; in the next section, we describe her physical appearance, then move on to her character traits, hobbies, and interests, and conclude with her attitudes and feelings toward that person.

  • Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is one in which the author agrees or disagrees with a particular phenomenon or problem, and by engaging arguments he / she tries to convince the reader of the correctness of the point of view expressed in the essay. This type of essay has a number of subspecies that differ somewhat from each other, such as “for and against” (“for and against”), persuasive (“good”, ie those where you need to convince the reader of a certain point of view), problem- solutions essays (ie “problems-solutions”, ie those that require a description of a problem and ways to solve it), etc.

  • Compare and Contrast Essay

Comparative-contrast essay is a type of essay where the author explains the similarities and differences between two phenomena or objects.

  • Cause and Effect Essay

In a causal essay, the author must explain the causes and consequences of a phenomenon or problem with strong arguments. In fact, an academic essay is not so terrible, if you understand the details, its various types, the basic rules of academic writing. And if you want to learn how to do it, I’ll be happy to help!

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