Incorporate primary sources, if applicable. A primary source is any type of first-hand or direct evidence about your topic. Depending on the subject matter, a primary source might be something like a video recording of an event, data from a laboratory experiment, an interview with an eyewitness, or a historical document, such as a monument, work of art, or memoir.
Looking at primary data allows you to interpret the evidence for yourself. Your instructor should specify whether you need to incorporate primary sources into your research, and if so, how to find and utilize them. Evaluate online sources carefully.
While the internet offers a vast quantity of useful information for researchers, it can be hard to separate good-quality resources from bad ones. In general, look for sources that are published on scholarly websites such as university, library, or museum websites , by reputable news organizations such as the BBC, NPR, or the Associated Press , or by government organizations like the EPA or FDA.
When using online articles or other online sources, also consider these questions: Is the author qualified to write on the subject? Does the author state where they got their information? Are you able to verify the sources? Is the article written in an objective, unbiased manner? Is the article written for an academic audience? Is the content intended to be educational? How does the URL end? Generally, sites that end in. Create a clear thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the most important part of your essay.
This is where you get to explain, in clear, concise terms, the main argument that you are planning to make in your essay. State your thesis in sentences, then work on building an outline and essay that supports your thesis. Once you have narrowed down your topic and done your research, start organizing your thoughts. Write a list of the most important points that you would like to touch on, in the order in which you plan to address them.
Introduction Body Point 1, with supporting evidence Point 2, with supporting evidence Point 3, with supporting evidence Counter-argument s Your refutation of the counter-argument s Conclusion.
Present your argument in detail. This is the main part of the essay, consisting of several paragraphs in which you present the major arguments and evidence in support of your thesis. Support each statement with examples, evidence, and an analysis.
In order to make your argument convincing, you must provide concrete evidence and an analysis of the evidence. In each body paragraph, include a topic sentence which is the main idea , evidence that supports the topic sentence, and an analysis of the evidence that links back to the thesis of the essay and the topic sentence of the paragraph. Before you present the main body of your essay, you will need to provide a little background on the topic.
It is often easiest to write the introduction after you have already drafted the rest of your essay. Your introduction should also include a clear summary of the main point of your essay, and a breakdown of how you plan to approach the topic. The poem was eventually republished in a compilation edited by D. Your essay should not feel choppy and disjointed.
Look for ways to segue from one paragraph to another in a smooth, logical way. You might accomplish this by starting each paragraph with a brief sentence that connects it with the topic of the previous one or ending each paragraph with a sentence that links it to the next. Cite your sources clearly and correctly.
Follow the rules of the citation style that you are using to determine how to format each citation e. Instead, every line of the quote should be indented from the left-hand side.
If you come across any convincing counterarguments to your thesis, acknowledge them in your essay. If you can, provide evidence to refute these counterarguments. Addressing alternative interpretations of the evidence will show that you have researched your topic thoroughly and allow you to present your case in a fair and balanced manner. Convincingly rebutting the major counterarguments will make your own argument more compelling to your readers.
Write a concluding paragraph. Once you have presented your arguments and evidence, tie everything together with a concise summary. State, in a clear and confident way, why you think that your argument successfully supports your thesis, and summarize a few of the key points or discoveries that you made.
If you have any final thoughts, such as ideas for further research on the topic or questions that still need to be answered, this is the place to state them. Use a few sentences to reflect on the significance of your argument, and how it might affect future studies of this topic. Your bibliography should contain a list of every source that you made reference to in the paper, however briefly. While the format of the bibliography will vary depending on the citation style you are using, each citation should include at minimum: The name of the author.
The title of the work. The name of the publisher, and usually the place of publication. The date of the publication. If you can, sleep on it and come back to it the next day, so that you can look at it with a fresh perspective.
Read over your draft. As you read, look for any obvious issues with style, flow, and organization. If it helps, read the essay out loud to yourself. Make note of anything that jumps out at you as needing improvement.
As you read, keep the following questions in mind: Are there any words or sentences that you could cut out? Is your writing clear? Does everything make sense? Is the essay well-organized? Is there anything that would flow better if it was arranged in a different order? Do you need to make the transitions between sections flow more smoothly? Check the language and tone of your essay. As you read over your essay, consider whether the language you use is appropriate for academic writing.
Keep your language and tone formal and objective. Proofreading is the nitty-gritty task of catching and correcting issues like formatting problems, typos, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes. Read your essay slowly, line by line, and correct any problems that you see. Have someone else check your work. When it comes to revising your writing, two sets of eyes are definitely better than one.
If you can, have a friend or classmate read over your essay before you finalize it and hand it in. They may catch errors that you missed, or point out passages that need to be clarified or reworded. Sample Essays Essay Template.
Can my thesis statement be in the form of: This might be part of your thesis statement. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Can I use first person pronouns when I write an academic essay assignment? Never use the first person in an academic essay when you are trying to get a point across. Use terms like "it can be argued" or "in contrast to this point" instead. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Typically, in-line citations are used like this: Last Name, Year , so that the reader can go to your reference list and easily find the work you're referencing.
Not Helpful 8 Helpful Yes, after your 1st paragraph and thesis statement, you may use a new subtopic in each new paragraph. Make sure your information is tied together well. Not Helpful 5 Helpful Writing a good introduction is like an art.
However, the best way to write a proper introduction is beginning with general information about the topic 1 or 2 sentences , defining some of the important terms or subject matter 1 or two sentences , narrowing down to your topic 1 or 2 sentences and finally writing the purpose statement or the thesis statement.
Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Can I use my experience as an example when writing an academic essay? It depends on the type of essay. In many essays, you can. You can always ask your teacher if you're not sure.
Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. Why is it necessary to write an academic essay to persuade the readers about a person's ideas using evidence? Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me.
I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded.
I learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo.
Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose.
You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.
It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why! I had never broken into a car before. In just eight words, we get: Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene.
Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability.
Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: The humor also feels relaxed.
This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill! This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays.
Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation.
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We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. I have always loved riding in cars. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home.
As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it.
In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time.
The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in.
It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings.
I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students.
To be honest, I was really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program.
I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities.
Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper.
I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile.
My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay.
The essay is arranged chronologically. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:. I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her.
The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Bridget emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.
The last key moment that gets the small-sentence treatment is the emotional crux of the essay. As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed-up sentence length and slang: The best essays convey emotions just as clearly as this image. Explain the car connection better. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special-needs students.
It would be great to either connect this into the essay more, or to take it out altogether and create more space for something else.
It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display. It would take the focus off of her and possibly read as offensive or condescending. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more. What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves? What is she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients? How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay?
Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.
In this article, I’ll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of + actual sample college essays from 13 different schools. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work.
Writing in College: A Short Guide to College Writing by Joseph M. Williams and Lawrence McEnerney (Univ. of Chicago): This valuable and concise guide for students making the transition from high school to college writing discusses crafting an argument, making a .
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Essay Structure Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader.
College writing, also called academic writing, is assigned to teach you the critical thinking and writing skills needed to communicate in courses and in the workplace. To acquire and practice these skills, you are asked to write many different types of assignments under different circumstances. Types of Academic Essays Most essays written in an academic setting fall into one of four categories, or modes: exposition, narration, description, and persuasion.