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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
What is an expository essay?
The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.
Please note : This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.
The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.
- A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.
It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.
- Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.
- Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.
- Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.
- A bit of creativity!
Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.
- A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.
A complete argument
Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. Therefore, the expository essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
The five-paragraph Essay
A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of:
- an introductory paragraph
- three evidentiary body paragraphs
- a conclusion
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Definition and Examples of Evaluation Essays
- An Introduction to Punctuation
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
An evaluation essay is a composition that offers value judgments about a particular subject according to a set of criteria. Also called evaluative writing , evaluative essay or report , and critical evaluation essay .
An evaluation essay or report is a type of argument that provides evidence to justify a writer's opinions about a subject.
"Any kind of review is essentially a piece of evaluative writing," says Allen S. Goose. "This type of writing calls for the critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation" ( 8 Kinds of Writing , 2001).
- "Without good reasons for liking or disliking certain things, students can never get beyond being passive receivers of marketing, fickle consumers without a basis for their opinions. Writing evaluation papers asks them to question why they feel the way they do." (Allison D. Smith, et al., Teaching in the Pop Culture Zone: Using Popular Culture in the Composition Classroom . Wadsworth, 2009)
How to Evaluate
- "If you are evaluating a piece of writing, then you are going to need to thoroughly read the work. While you read the work, keep in mind the criteria you are using to evaluate. The evaluative aspects may be: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, content, usage of sources, style, or many other things. Other things to consider when evaluating a piece of writing is whether the writing appealed to its target audience . Was there an emotional appeal? Did the author engage the audience, or was the piece lacking something? ..."If you are evaluating anything else, use your head. You need to try, use, or test whatever thing you are evaluating. That means you should not evaluate a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette unless you have the $45,000 (or more) to buy one, or the money to rent one. You also need the know-how of driving a car of that power and a base of knowledge of other cars that you have tested to compare it to." (Joe Torres, Rhetoric and Composition Study Guide . Global Media, 2007)
Identifying Criteria for an Evaluation
- " Make a list of prominent, widely recognized standards for judging your subject. If you do not know the standards usually used to evaluate your subject, you could do some research . For example, if you are reviewing a film, you could read a few recent film reviews online or in the library, noting the standards that reviewers typically use and the reasons that they assert for liking or disliking a film. If you are evaluating a soccer team or one winning (or losing) game, you could read a book on coaching soccer or talk to an experienced soccer coach to learn about what makes an excellent soccer team or winning game." (Rise B. Axelrod and Charles R. Cooper, Axelrod & Cooper's Concise Guide to Writing , 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006)
Ways of Organizing an Evaluation Essay
- "One way to organize an evaluation essay is point-by-point: describe one element of the subject and then evaluate it; present the next element and evaluate it; and so on. Comparison/contrast could be an organizing structure as well, in which you evaluate something by comparing (or contrasting) it to a known item. Culinary and music reviews often use this strategy. Chronological organization can be used for evaluating an event (either current or historical). Sequential organization can be used when describing how something works and evaluating the effectiveness of the process, procedure, or mechanism. Spatial organization can be used for evaluating art or architecture in which you describe and evaluate one element of the artifact and then move spatially to the next major element to be described and evaluated." (David S. Hogsette, Writing That Makes Sense: Critical Thinking in College Composition . Wipf and Stock, 2009)
- Holistic Grading (Composition)
- Topical Organization Essay
- What Is Composition? Definition, Types, and Examples
- Sample Essay Rubric for Elementary Teachers
- Moving Past the Five Paragraph Essay
- Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
- Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
- The Definition of a Review in Composition
- How to Write a Critical Essay
- How to Teach the Compare and Contrast Essay
- What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
- Audience Analysis in Speech and Composition
- How to Make a Rubric for Differentiation
- What Is Expository Writing?
- revision (composition)
- Critical Thinking Definition, Skills, and Examples
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Which of the following is not usually part of a problem-and-solution essay? statement of the problem list of possible solutions a final recommendation a list of questions
📚 Related Questions
- Junko will be late. she must drive ______ kobe to tokyo.
Why does Aeolus refuse to help Odysseus a second time? He has other things to do. He thinks Odysseus is cursed. He thinks Odysseus is greedy. He thinks Odysseus is ungrateful.
It's the second one, He thinks that Odysseus is cursed because he believed that the gods are angry with him [due to the failure of the first voyage].
Which word best describes an important event that changed events after it? pivotal worldly movement righteous
pivotal is the correct answer because i got it right on this question for my test
which were the two major activities of the Knights of the Round Table? fighting in battles against one another performing good deeds for anyone in need showing they were capable of feeling mercy traveling the land seeking adventure defeating a monarch and ruling the land
Performing good deeds for anyone in need and travelling the land seeking adventure were the two major activities of the Knights of the Round Table . Hence, option B and D are correct.
What are activities of the Knights ?
In battles, conflicts , and crusades, knights were regarded as elite fighters; but, when not engaged in such activities , they typically served as court marshals for the local lord or the queen.
The chivalrous code that they (typically) followed served as an example of how the knights of medieval Europe were expected to be the best fighting men of their day as well as being pure in thought and conduct.
A knight 's duty was to raise an army for a king in order to defend his realm. For instance, a lord's duty was to serve the king or queen, whichever was in charge of their country . Protecting the castle where the king or queen resided was an unique duty assigned to some knights .
Thus, option B and D are correct.
For more information about activities of the Knights, click here:
Details : which were the two major activities of the Knights of the Round Table?fighting
Which term means "to explain or translate the meaning of something"? A. Analyze B. Interpret C. Evaluate D. Critique
The term that means to explain or translate the meaning of something is interpret .
What is the meaning of the term interpret?
- It is a verb.
- To interpret anything is to translate or clarify its meaning.
- It means to conceive in the context of one's own opinion, assessment , or situation.
What is the meaning of the term analyze?
It is to break anything or a concept down into its constituent pieces in order to understand the nature and relationships between each one, or to carefully think about and assess a situation.
What is the meaning of the term evaluate?
To evaluate is to determine someone's or something's value or worth.
What is the meaning of the term critique?
- A critique is a review of anything, according to the definition.
- A thorough judgment in which someone expresses an opinion about something.
To learn more about interpret, assessment and critique here,
Which of the following is an interrogative sentence? A.We have plenty of flour, right? B.I am wondering if you remembered to give the paper boy his check. C.Call an ambulance!
which evidence does the selection provide that Arthur made a good king? he restored order and ruled with fairness he took a solemn oath at his coronation he repealed all the laws of the kingdom he was taken into the noble fellowship of chivalry
can anyone help me with something? if you help me I will give u like and voter
Details : can anyone help me with something? if you help me I will give u like
What strategy does Orson Welles use to make the radio play of The War of the Worlds more frightening for its audience than the book does for its reader? A. Real life characters B. Dialogue C. A news broadcast format D. A first person narrator
Which of the following would be considered a neutral tone? (4 points) Students who don't have home computers are at a severe disadvantage compared to students who do have computers. Making laptops available for students who don't have home computers should be a priority for the school board. I believe the school board should supply laptops to students who don't own home computers so they are not at a disadvantage. The school board clearly doesn't care enough about achievement to provide laptops for those without home computers.
PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION: THANK YOU Do you have to make a joke when you are making a campaign speech to be a president?
What is one benefit of internal storytelling
" It helps to guide our behavior. " Just did the question on apex and it was correct. :-)
Internal storytelling helps in the understanding of the roles of the respective individuals and aids in the interpretation of the events of the past. Thus, option A is correct.
What is internal storytelling?
The constructed narrative that provides the account of the story's incidents and the roles of the persons involved is known as internal storytelling. They go into great detail about the background information .
It helps to convey a person's point of view on a subject as well as the characters' various perspectives . The events that already occurred are also portrayed through internal storytelling.
Therefore, option A. the past events are explained in the internal storytelling .
Learn more about internal storytelling here:
Details : What is one benefit of internal storytelling
His Majesty desired I would take some other opportunity of bringing all the rest of his enemy’s ships into his ports. And so unmeasurable is the ambition of princes, that he seemed to think of nothing less than reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu into a province and governing it by a viceroy; of destroying the Big-Endian exiles and compelling that people to break the smaller end of their eggs, by which he would remain sole monarch of the whole world. . . . What is the main idea of this paragraph from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift? Gulliver believes the Emperor wants all the Big-Endian exiles to return to Lilliput. Gulliver believes he should become the sole ruler of the entire world. Gulliver believes the Lilliputian Emperor should take over the nation of Blefuscu. Gulliver believes the Emperor is only concerned with ruling the world.
Gulliver believes the Emperor wants all the Big-Endian exiles to return to Lilliput.
The main idea of this paragraph from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Switf is:
Gulliver believes the Emperor is only concerned with ruling the world.
This idea is conveyed by the author when he expresses that the Emperor wants to reduce the whole empire and governing it by a viceroy , and that he wants to remain sole monarch of the whole world .
What is the literary form?
President George W. Bush’s speech to the troops on the USS Abraham Lincoln Some of you will see new family members for the first time — 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Which answer best describes Bush’s point of view as presented in this excerpt? A The long deployment has been very difficult on those who serve their country. B It is surprising that so many people coincidentally had children. C The number of births raises questions about the validity of the information. D It is promising for the future of the military that so many babies have been born. IM PRETTY SURE ITS A
The answer that best's describe Bush 's point of view as presented in the excerpt is the long deployment has been very difficult on those who serve their country .
What was the speech of George W. Bush?
The speech was given by George W. bush, which was written by his speechwriter Gerson . The speech was given to the troops on the USS Abraham Lincoln .
Thus, the correct option is A.
Learn more about speech of George W. Bush
Hi, I'm writing a paper, and I wanted to know why people say God is made up?
Details : Hi, I'm writing a paper, and I wanted to know why people say God
Working crossword puzzles, the airlines passenger passed the time while waiting for his flight. Identify the phrase in bold. A. appositive phrase B. prepositional phrase C. participial phrase D. gerund phrase
it worked for me
which of the following sentences contains an indefinant pronoun
help with an english question please? thanks
I think the answer is B) but it could be C)
dogs and cats feel the animal shelter in the noise they made was incredibly loud what is the pronoun in this sentence
Details : dogs and cats feel the animal shelter in the noise they made was
Directions for a written response is a ___.
(1) My favorite time of the day is right before bed. (2) I climb under the covers and feel good. (3) I open an interesting book and read a few pages until my eyes become too heavy for me to hold them open. (4) Then, I shut off the light and lazily drift to sleep. Which of these BEST revises sentence 2 to provide more descriptive detail? A) I climb under the covers, and I feel great. B) I climb under the covers and feel just fine. C) I snuggle into my covers, feeling safe and warm. Eliminate D) I climb into my bed, and I feel good.
The main point that a cause and effect essay will be about is stated in the: a. thesis. b. conclusion. c. anywhere. d. none of the above.
Which word BEST describes the overall mood of the story? A. unnatural B. ghostly C. psychic D. supernatural
The Tell Tale Heart.....
Which word BEST describes the overall mood of the story? A. unnatural B. ghostly C,.psychic D.supernatural
A. unnatural is the answer.
The word that best describes the overall mood of the story is unnatural . The correct option is a.
What do you understand about the word mood in psychology?
The word mood in psychology is an affective state. In contrast to emotions or feelings, moods are less specific, less intense and less likely to be provoked or instantiated by a particular stimulus or event. Moods are typically described as having either a positive or negative valence.
In other words, people usually talk about being in a good mood or a bad mood. There are many different factors that influence mood, and these can lead to positive or negative effects on mood. Mood also differs from temperament or personality traits which are even longer-lasting. Nevertheless, personality traits such as optimism and neuroticism predispose certain types of moods.
The mood is an internal , subjective state but it often can be inferred from posture and other behaviours.
Learn more about mood, here:
Details : Which word BEST describes the overall mood of the story? A.unnatural
Use "makeup" in a sentacne
1. Which of the following words best describes the author's view of humanity in "A Contribution to Statistics"? altruistic optimistic pessimistic realistic 2. Which of the following lines from “A Contribution to Statistics” best supports the theme of lost virtues? “those who always know better - fifty two” “able to admire without envy - eighteen” “taking only things from life - thirty “mortal - a hundred out of a hundred. Thus far this figure remains unchanged.”
Do you think that the duke and the king will play a continuing role in the novel Why What narrative problem does their appearance solve?
In “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” Mark Twain uses Duke and The King as a bizarre version of Huck and Jim and also as a break point for Huck, with them Huck learns that it is better to be in the right side of the law, that the no rules world is not that great and grows personally.
Which verb mood is used in the following sentence from the selection? So if you have any sense at all, avoid Storm Fever. (storm fever is a movie) Is it subjunctive or conditional? Mrs. sue said it's subjunctive and "writing teacher" said it's conditional. Please help me! Thanks!
Details : Which verb mood is used in the following sentence from the selection?So
ce sentimente te.au incercat in timp ce ai citi textul Coretti,camaradul meu ?
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." -Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863 The quote above includes an example of: A. personfication B. alliteration C. simile D. metaphor
- -7d-14>42 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
- If a person's blood is saturated with carbon monoxide, this gas can be replaced by breathing 100% o2. true false
- Name one important way in which the harding and coolidge administrations were alike in terms of political appointments.
- Myra can fill 18 glasses with 2 containers of iced tea. how many glasses can she fill with 3 containers of tea?
- How old was gandhi and his bride when they were married? they were both thirteen. he was thirteen and she was fifteen. he was fifteen and she was thirteen. they were both fifteen.
- Most white men in the antebellum south could best be described a
- Heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer are examples of ________, which often result from health-damaging personal habits. answer a. factious disorders b. traumatic stress diseases c. dissociative disorders d. lifestyle diseases
- Matteo ricci was impressed witha.art.c.poetry.b.architecture.d.none of the above.
- A ball has a weight of 49N. What is the mass of the ball
- For months a baby grows in a special place inside its mother called the
- Foodbourne pathogens are harmful to the human body in any amount. true false
- Fenway park, home of the boston red sox, is situated on land that was once a fen, a kind of wetland. the replacement of the fen is an example of a. competition. b. pollution. c. habitat destruction. d. overexploitation.
- Electrical metallic tubing would be used in an electrical installation because it
- Learning about civics gives you a foundation for forming educated opinions about __________.a.how to keep your schoolwork organizedb.your country and how to improve itc.which sports teams will likely be successfuld.the usefulness of new inventions
- Follow the rule to find the next three numbers in the pattern. Describe the pattern using the terms even and odd Add 5: 1,6,11 ___,____,___,
- Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedative/hypnotics, are dangerous to use when driving because
- Dreamtime, a story about creation, is the basis for these people's beliefs. aborigines maori lapita inuit
- Distinct threadlike structures containing genetic information are called
- Dietary fats supply the majority of the body's energy needs during rest. true or false.
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- Working with sources
- Evaluating Sources | Methods & Examples
Evaluating Sources | Methods & Examples
Published on June 2, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on May 31, 2023.
The sources you use are an important component of your research. It’s important to evaluate the sources you’re considering using, in order to:
- Ensure that they’re credible
- Determine whether they’re relevant to your topic
- Assess the quality of their arguments
Table of contents
Evaluating a source’s credibility, evaluating a source’s relevance, evaluating a source’s arguments, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about evaluating sources.
Evaluating the credibility of a source is an important way of sifting out misinformation and determining whether you should use it in your research. Useful approaches include the CRAAP test and lateral reading .
One of the best ways to evaluate source credibility is the CRAAP test . This stands for:
- Currency: Does the source reflect recent research?
- Relevance: Is the source related to your research topic?
- Authority: Is it a respected publication? Is the author an expert in their field?
- Accuracy: Does the source support its arguments and conclusions with evidence?
- Purpose: What is the author’s intention?
How you evaluate a source using these criteria will depend on your subject and focus. It’s important to understand the types of sources and how you should use them in your field of research.
Lateral reading is the act of evaluating the credibility of a source by comparing it to other sources. This allows you to:
- Verify evidence
- Contextualize information
- Find potential weaknesses
If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.
Rather than taking these figures at face value, you decide to determine the accuracy of the source’s claims by cross-checking them with official statistics such as census reports and figures compiled by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
How you evaluate the relevance of a source will depend on your topic, and on where you are in the research process . Preliminary evaluation helps you to pick out relevant sources in your search, while in-depth evaluation allows you to understand how they’re related.
As you cannot possibly read every source related to your topic, you can use preliminary evaluation to determine which sources might be relevant. This is especially important when you’re surveying a large number of sources (e.g., in a literature review or systematic review ).
One way to do this is to look at paratextual material, or the parts of a work other than the text itself.
- Look at the table of contents to determine the scope of the work.
- Consult the index for key terms or the names of important scholars.
You can also read abstracts , prefaces , introductions , and conclusions . These will give you a clear idea of the author’s intentions, the parameters of the research, and even the conclusions they draw.
Preliminary evaluation is useful as it allows you to:
- Determine whether a source is worth examining in more depth
- Quickly move on to more relevant sources
- Increase the quality of the information you consume
While this preliminary evaluation is an important step in the research process, you should engage with sources more deeply in order to adequately understand them.
Begin your in-depth evaluation with any landmark studies in your field of research, or with sources that you’re sure are related to your research topic.
As you read, try to understand the connections between the sources. Look for:
- Key debates: What topics or questions are currently influencing research? How does the source respond to these key debates?
- Major publications or critics: Are there any specific texts or scholars that have greatly influenced the field? How does the source engage with them?
- Trends: Is the field currently dominated by particular theories or research methods ? How does the source respond to these?
- Gaps: Are there any oversights or weaknesses in the research?
Even sources whose conclusions you disagree with can be relevant, as they can strengthen your argument by offering alternative perspectives.
Every source should contribute to the debate about its topic by taking a clear position. This position and the conclusions the author comes to should be supported by evidence from direct observation or from other sources.
Most sources will use a mix of primary and secondary sources to form an argument . It is important to consider how the author uses these sources. A good argument should be based on analysis and critique, and there should be a logical relationship between evidence and conclusions.
To assess an argument’s strengths and weaknesses, ask:
- Does the evidence support the claim?
- How does the author use evidence? What theories, methods, or models do they use?
- Could the evidence be used to draw other conclusions? Can it be interpreted differently?
- How does the author situate their argument in the field? Do they agree or disagree with other scholars? Do they confirm or challenge established knowledge?
Situating a source in relation to other sources ( lateral reading ) can help you determine whether the author’s arguments and conclusions are reliable and how you will respond to them in your own writing.
If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- ChatGPT vs human editor
- ChatGPT citations
- Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
- Using ChatGPT for your studies
- What is ChatGPT?
- Chicago style
- Types of plagiarism
- Avoiding plagiarism
- Academic integrity
- Consequences of plagiarism
- Common knowledge
As you cannot possibly read every source related to your topic, it’s important to evaluate sources to assess their relevance. Use preliminary evaluation to determine whether a source is worth examining in more depth.
- Reading abstracts , prefaces, introductions , and conclusions
- Looking at the table of contents to determine the scope of the work
- Consulting the index for key terms or the names of important scholars
Lateral reading is the act of evaluating the credibility of a source by comparing it with other sources. This allows you to:
A credible source should pass the CRAAP test and follow these guidelines:
- The information should be up to date and current.
- The author and publication should be a trusted authority on the subject you are researching.
- The sources the author cited should be easy to find, clear, and unbiased.
- For a web source, the URL and layout should signify that it is trustworthy.
The CRAAP test is an acronym to help you evaluate the credibility of a source you are considering using. It is an important component of information literacy .
The CRAAP test has five main components:
- Currency: Is the source up to date?
- Relevance: Is the source relevant to your research?
- Authority: Where is the source published? Who is the author? Are they considered reputable and trustworthy in their field?
- Accuracy: Is the source supported by evidence? Are the claims cited correctly?
- Purpose: What was the motive behind publishing this source?
Scholarly sources are written by experts in their field and are typically subjected to peer review . They are intended for a scholarly audience, include a full bibliography, and use scholarly or technical language. For these reasons, they are typically considered credible sources .
Popular sources like magazines and news articles are typically written by journalists. These types of sources usually don’t include a bibliography and are written for a popular, rather than academic, audience. They are not always reliable and may be written from a biased or uninformed perspective, but they can still be cited in some contexts.
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Academic Essay: A How-To Guide
Did you know that in a single academic semester, an average college student can write enough words to fill a 500-page novel? To put it in perspective, that's roughly 125,000 to 150,000 words of essays, research papers, and other written assignments. It's an astounding amount of content, and it underscores the significance of mastering the art of scholarly essay writing. Whether you're a seasoned scholar or just starting your academic journey, understanding the intricacies of composing a well-structured, well-researched essay is essential.
Delve into the intricate world of writing an academic essay with our all-encompassing guide. We'll take you on a journey through the various types of scholarly composition, demystify the essay writing process, and provide valuable insights into proper formatting. You'll also find practical examples to inspire your own work and step-by-step how-to guides to ensure your essays stand out. Whether you're a seasoned student or just starting your academic adventure, this resource will be your compass for success in the realm of scholarly endeavors.
What Is an Academic Essay
In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas. This type of assignment allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity and encourages them to develop their ideas to communicate a message.
Compared to other types of academic writing, essays are usually shorter in length and present the authors’ opinions to support their arguments. Here are some key features of an academic essay for you to keep in mind:
- Conciseness — as a rule, essays are short; the length of such papers range from 200 to 500 words.
- Topic — due to their short lengths, a perfect topic for an essay should be narrowed-down and not too broad.
- Well-structured text — although essays can be considered as one of the least formal types of writing, they still need to have a solid structure and follow the proper academic paper format.
- Clear central idea — every academic essay should deliver a specific point that should be clear and powerful (i.e. thesis statement).
- Personal motivation — unlike other types of writing, essays often imply that their authors are personally interested in the subjects they are discussing.
- Supporting facts, evidence, and examples — although essays may present an author’s personal beliefs and ideas, they should also provide arguments that support those ideas.
It helps to develop your academic writing skills early—as they are skills you will carry forward throughout your studies and lifetime. People who are good at writing academic essays also tend to be able to articulate themselves more clearly, and tend to have more confidence when speaking.
To fully understand how and when to use an academic essay, our will describe the main types of them for you.
Academic Essay Example
Here are the perfect academic essay examples from our research paper writer .
Academic Essay Topics
In our quest to engage and challenge the academic community, we've curated a list of unique essay topics. These topics are meticulously chosen to incite critical thinking, and reflect on the intertwining of traditional theories with modern realities. From exploring the ethical dimensions of AI in healthcare to delving into the socioeconomic aspects of upcycling trends, these topics are a gateway to insightful discussions and a profound understanding of the evolving world around us.
- The Dynamics of Human-AI Relationships: A Look into the Future.
- The Revival of Ancient Herbal Remedies in Modern Medicine.
- Bridging Historical Rifts: An Analysis of Modern Diplomacy Efforts.
- The Role of Urban Green Spaces in Promoting Mental Health.
- The Impact of Classical Literature on Modern Pop Culture.
- The Future of Cybersecurity: Preparing for Quantum Computing Threats.
- The Cultural Significance of Culinary Traditions in Nation Building.
- The Influence of Music on Cognitive Performance.
- The Changing Landscape of Privacy in the Digital Age.
- The Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Vaccine Hesitancy.
- The Intersection of Modern Technology and Ancient Philosophies.
- Evolving Linguistic Norms: The Impact of Social Media on Language.
- The Psychological Effects of Color in Consumer Behavior.
- Ethical Implications of AI in Modern Healthcare.
- Urban Planning in Post-Pandemic World: Lessons and Preparations.
- The Role of Art Therapy in Managing Chronic Stress.
- The Influence of Space Exploration on Earth's Technological Advancements.
- The Future of Biodegradable Plastics: A Sustainable Alternative?
- A Socioeconomic Analysis of Upcycling Trends.
- The Ethical Dilemmas of Genetic Engineering in Agriculture.
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Types of Academic Writing
The process of writing an essay comes in various forms, each with its unique style and purpose. Understanding these types can be essential for tailoring your writing to suit the specific requirements of your assignments. Here, our essay writer service will explore some of the most common types of academic writing:
- Expository Writing : This type of writing is all about explaining and providing information. In expository essays, your goal is to inform your reader about a specific topic or concept. For example, if you were writing an expository essay about climate change, you would present facts and data to inform your reader about the issue's causes and effects.
- Persuasive Writing : Persuasive writing aims to convince the reader of a particular point of view or argument. In a persuasive essay, you would use logical reasoning, evidence, and well-structured arguments to persuade your audience. For instance, an essay advocating for stricter environmental regulations would be a persuasive piece.
- Descriptive Writing : In descriptive writing, your task is to create a vivid picture with words. You want the reader to feel like they are experiencing the subject firsthand. Imagine writing a descriptive essay about a picturesque countryside scene; you would use colorful language and sensory details to transport your reader there.
- Narrative Writing : Narrative essays are like storytelling. They often recount personal experiences, anecdotes, or narratives. For example, you might write a narrative essay about a life-changing event or your journey to a foreign country.
- Analytical Writing : Analytical writing involves breaking down complex ideas or issues into smaller components and then examining them critically. When analyzing a piece of literature in an essay, you would deconstruct the text, explore its themes, characters, and literary devices, and provide insights into the author's intentions.
- Research Papers : Research papers are a hallmark of academic writing. They require you to investigate a topic thoroughly, gather data, and present your findings. Whether it's a scientific research paper, a history paper, or a social science study, research papers demand rigorous research and precise citation of sources.
- Literature Reviews : These are common in humanities and social sciences. A literature review involves summarizing and critically evaluating existing research on a specific topic. It's an essential component of academic research, allowing you to place your work within the broader context of scholarly conversation.
Understanding the Essay Writing Process
The journey of understanding how to write an academic essay is characterized by distinct stages: preparation, writing, and revisions. The nature of this journey, however, is like a versatile chameleon, ever-adapting to the unique demands of each essay type.
Let's consider the scenario of a high school student tasked with writing a five-paragraph expository essay. In this case, the emphasis predominantly falls on the writing stage. Given the straightforward prompt, the student's primary focus lies in structuring and articulating their thoughts effectively within the constraints of these paragraphs. The goal is to convey information clearly, maintaining a well-organized and engaging narrative.
Now, imagine a college-level argumentative essay. Here, the bulk of your efforts shift to the preparation stage. Before a single word is written, a rigorous exploration of the essay topics is imperative. This involves extensive research, diving deep into scholarly articles, dissecting data, and developing a compelling argument. A strong thesis, underpinned by a wealth of evidence and nuanced insights, becomes the keystone of your essay.
The revising stage, a constant companion in this journey, maintains its significance across all essay types. It's during revision that you refine and perfect your work, harmonizing your arguments and ensuring the essay's overall cohesion. At this stage, you become the editor, refining grammar, enhancing clarity, and optimizing the essay's structure.
Setting the Stage for Essay Writing Success
The process of writing an academic essay typically unfolds in the following manner:
- Receiving the Assignment : Your essay journey commences when your instructor or professor hands out the assignment prompt. This prompt serves as your roadmap, detailing the essay's topic, length, and any specific requirements. It's crucial to read this prompt attentively, ensuring you comprehend the expectations.
- Understanding the Task : Once you have the assignment prompt in hand, take the time to understand it fully. Analyze the purpose of the essay. Is it meant to inform, persuade, analyze, or narrate? Determine the target audience, whether it's your instructor, peers, or a broader readership. This understanding will guide your approach to the essay.
- Research and Gathering Information : After grasping the assignment's main idea, it's time to research and collect information. Depending on the topic and type of essay, this might involve library research, online searches, or fieldwork. The quality and quantity of your research will influence the depth and credibility of your essay.
- Developing a Thesis : With the knowledge you've acquired, create a clear and concise thesis statement. This statement encapsulates the main argument or perspective you will present in your essay. It serves as the foundation upon which your essay will be built.
- Planning and Outlining : Before diving into the actual writing, it's essential to create your essay outline. This step helps you organize your thoughts and ideas, ensuring a logical and coherent structure. Consider the essay's introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, and decide on the points you will address in each section.
Academic Essay Format
The essay format is your framework for presenting ideas, but it doesn't have to stifle your creativity or individuality. Here's a practical look at the academic essay format example from a unique perspective:
- Introduction - Piquing Interest : Use your introduction as a tool to pique your reader's interest. Rather than simply stating your thesis, start with a surprising fact, a relevant question, or a brief story. Engaging your reader from the outset can make your essay more captivating.
- Body Paragraphs - Building a Logical Flow : Consider your body paragraphs as stepping stones in a logical progression. Each paragraph should naturally lead to the next, creating a seamless flow of ideas. Ensure that your points connect coherently, making your essay easy to follow.
- Evidence and Analysis - Supporting Your Claims : When including evidence, don't just drop quotes or data into your essay. Instead, think of them as puzzle pieces that need critical thinking skills for explanation and integration. Analyze how the evidence supports your argument, providing context and clarity for your reader.
- Transitions - Smooth Connections : Utilize transitional words and phrases to guide your reader through your essay. These simple elements, like 'Furthermore,' 'In contrast,' or 'Conversely,' can significantly enhance the readability and comprehension of your essay.
- Conclusion - Recap and Implication : Your conclusion should summarize your main points, restating your thesis. However, take it a step further by highlighting the broader implications of your argument. What do your findings suggest or inspire the reader to consider? This adds depth to your conclusion.
- Formatting - Clear and Consistent : Follow formatting guidelines diligently. Consistency in font, margins, and citation style reflects your attention to detail and respect for academic standards.
How to Write an Academic Essay: Steps and Techniques
Crafting a Captivating Essay Introduction
The introduction of your academic essay serves as the portal through which your reader enters the realm of your ideas. Let's understand how to write an essay introduction by considering these four dynamic elements:
Engage Your Reader
Start with a thought-provoking question that sparks curiosity. For instance, in an essay about climate change, you might begin with, 'What if I told you that a single-degree change in global temperature could alter the course of humanity's future?' When learning how to write a hook for an essay , questions can be powerful entry points because they create an immediate sense of intrigue. Readers are drawn into your essay in search of answers, setting the stage for exploration.
Offer Context for Your Topic
Rather than a mere factual backdrop, transport your reader to a historical moment or an evocative setting related to your topic. For example, when discussing the history of the Eiffel Tower in an architecture essay, you could begin with, 'Imagine strolling the cobblestone streets of 19th-century Paris, where a colossal iron structure was emerging from the ground, destined to become a global icon.' Whether you write an essay yourself or use the option to buy a dissertation , remember that introducing background information immerses your reader in the context, making them feel like they've stepped back in time or been transported to a specific place.
Introduce Your Thesis Statement
Present your thesis statement with an air of revelation, as if unveiling a well-kept secret. In an essay about the impact of technology on privacy, you might say, 'Hidden in the digital shadows, a critical truth emerges: our privacy is slipping away, pixel by pixel, keystroke by keystroke.' Make it sound like a literary discovery, something that's been hidden and is now about to be revealed. This imbues it with a sense of anticipation.
Outline Your Essay's Structure
Instead of merely outlining your essay's structure, craft it like a guidebook for an adventure. Imagine your essay as a journey through uncharted territory. Present your essay's sections or main points as thrilling destinations your reader is about to explore. For instance, if your essay is about the cultural impact of a famous novel, you could say, 'Our literary expedition will begin in the author's biographical world, then traverse the novel's plot twists, and finally, unravel the web of its influence on modern culture.'
Developing the Main Body
The main body is where your ideas take shape while understanding how to write an academic essay, and it's crucial to approach this section thoughtfully. Here's how to tackle two key elements:
Exploring the Body Text's Length
The length of your body text should align with the complexity of your topic and the depth of exploration required. For instance, consider a historical analysis essay on the causes of World War I. This topic is multifaceted, requiring in-depth coverage. In such a case, it's appropriate to dedicate several pages to thoroughly examine the various factors contributing to the war. On the other hand, in a concise argumentative essay about a specific policy issue, like healthcare reform, brevity can be the key to keeping your reader engaged. In this instance, you might aim for a clear, persuasive argument within a few pages. The key is to tailor the length to your topic, ensuring you provide sufficient evidence and analysis without unnecessary elaboration.
Crafting Effective Paragraphs
Each paragraph in the main body should be a self-contained unit that contributes to your overall argument. Consider, for example, an essay on climate change.
In a paragraph discussing the consequences of rising global temperatures, you could begin with a topic sentence like, 'Rising temperatures have far-reaching effects on ecosystems.' Next, present evidence in the form of data and examples, such as statistics on melting polar ice caps and the impact on polar bear populations. Follow this with analysis, explaining the significance of these consequences for the environment.
Ensure that your ideas flow logically from one paragraph to the next, creating a seamless and coherent narrative. Vary the length and structure of your paragraphs to add dynamic variation to your essay. For instance, in a literary analysis, a short, impactful paragraph may be used to emphasize a critical point, while longer paragraphs could delve into complex themes or explore multiple aspects of your argument. By thoughtfully exploring the body text's length and crafting effective paragraphs, you create a main body that is both engaging and informative, tailored to the unique requirements of your academic essay writing.
Concluding Your Essay
The conclusion of your essay serves as the grand finale, leaving a lasting impression on your reader. However, it's not just a place to restate your thesis; it's an opportunity to add depth and resonance to your essay. Here's how to approach it effectively:
- Summarize Your Main Points with a Twist : Summarize the key points you've made throughout your essay, but do it with a twist. Instead of merely restating what you've already said, provide a fresh perspective or a thought-provoking insight.
- Revisit Your Thesis Statement : Bring your essay full circle by revisiting your thesis statement. Remind your reader of the central argument, but do it in a way that emphasizes its significance.
- Provide a Sense of Closure : The conclusion should provide a sense of closure to your essay. Like the final chapter of a captivating story, it should leave your reader with a sense of completion. Avoid introducing new ideas or even new persuasive essay topics in this section; instead, focus on the culmination of your existing points.
- Inspire Thought or Action : Go beyond summarization and inspire thought or action. Invite your reader to reflect on the implications of your essay or consider its relevance in a broader context. This can make your essay more impactful and thought-provoking.
Refining Your Academic Essay Through Editing
Once you've penned your final words, the journey is far from over. Editing is a crucial step in the essay writing process, much like it is while learning how to write a descriptive essay . It's where you refine your work to its polished best. Here's how to approach it:
- Start by proofreading your essay for clarity and errors. Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.
- Examine the overall structure of your essay. Is it organized logically? Are the paragraphs well-structured? Does the essay have a clear flow from the introduction to the conclusion?
- Ensure that you've cited your sources correctly and compiled your references or bibliography according to the required citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.
- Trim unnecessary words and phrases to make your writing more concise. Check for wordiness and make sure your vocabulary is precise and appropriate for an academic audience.
In this comprehensive guide, we've covered the essential elements of crafting an academic essay, from honing your writing skills to capturing the reader's attention, from the essay's inception to achieving an A+ finish. Remember that mastering the art of essay writing is a valuable skill. It's a process that involves structure, style, and substance, and it serves as your gateway to sharing your ideas effectively. Regardless of your level of experience, this guide is designed to equip you with the tools you need to excel in your essay-writing endeavors!
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How to Evaluate Essay Writing
Last Updated: April 25, 2020 References
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been viewed 34,620 times.
Essays are common assignments in high school and college. If you are a new teacher trying to evaluate student essays, then familiarizing yourself with the basic parts of an essay can also be helpful. Essays are usually broken into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In some cases, an essay may also need to include a works cited or reference page. If you also need to assign a grade to an essay, develop a rubric and deduct a set number of points for items that are missing, incomplete, or incorrect.
Evaluating the Thesis Statement and Introduction
- For example, in an essay about the first day of classes at a new school, the author might engage readers by providing a vivid description of what it was like for them to walk down the hallway for the first time.
- For example, if the essay is supposed to be about gun control, then the introduction should provide context for readers about this subject. This may be in the form of facts and statistics, an anecdote, or some background information on the controversy.
- On the other hand, a narrative essay on the first day of class at a new school would need to provide a scene from that experience or some kind of background information, such as why they had to start at a new school.
- For example, if the topic is declining bee populations, then the author might include something about how this will affect the food supply to get readers to care about the subject.
- If the essay is about a memorable family vacation, then the introduction might explain how this vacation changed the author’s perspective.
- For example, a paper about the benefits of recycling might include a thesis that reads, “Everyone should recycle because we have limited resources and recycling helps to conserve energy.”
- A narrative essay does not need to have an argument, but there should be a sentence that describes the main point of the essay, such as, “My family’s trip to Turkey taught me about different cultures, cuisines, and religions, and I learned so much about myself along the way.”
Reading the Body Paragraphs
- There would only need to be 3 body paragraphs if the essay is meant to be a 5 paragraph essay. If the essay is meant to be longer, then it should have about 2 body paragraphs per page.
- Multiply the total pages of the essay by 2 and then subtract 2 (for the intro and conclusion) to find the approximate number of body paragraphs a paper should have. For example, a 4 page essay should have about 6 body paragraphs.
- For example, if the topic sentence reads, “Polar bears require a large amount of food to sustain their body weight,” then the rest of the paragraph should expound upon what and how much polar bears eat.
- For a topic sentence that reads, “The meal consisted of a hearty goat stew for the main course, and several traditional side dishes in a variety of colors, flavors, and textures,” the paragraph should provide additional details about the meal.
- For example, if a sentence reads, “Male polar bears weight between 775 to 1,200 pounds (352 to 544 kg),” then there should be a source for this information because this is not information that most people know.  X Research source
- On the other hand, it would not be necessary to include a source for a sentence that reads, “Polar bears are large, white bears.”
- If a paragraph is describing a person, then the author might include details about the color of their hair, the sound of their voice, and the type of clothing they wore.
- For example, an effective descriptive paragraph might read, “Judy stood a whole head above me, but she also had an impressive afro that added about 6 inches (15 cm) to her height. She wore black Converse, ripped white jeans, a cherry red, v-neck t-shirt, and a silver locket that contained a picture of her father. Her voice was deep and raspy, as if she had smoked for 20 years, but she had never even had a puff.”
- Sequence: then, next, finally, first, second, third, last
- Cause and effect: for this reason, as a result, consequently, thus, therefore, hence
- Contrast or comparison: but, however, conversely, similarly, likewise, in the same way, also
- Example: for example, for instance, in fact, to illustrate
- Purpose: for this reason, to this end, for this purpose
- Time or place: before, after, immediately, in the meantime, below, above, to the south, nearby  X Research source
Reviewing the End of the Essay
- For example, if the essay was about the benefits of recycling and why it is important to recycle, then the conclusion might include a sentence that reads, “Despite all of the benefits of recycling and how easy it is to recycle, many people still don’t do it.”
- For a narrative essay that begins with a description of how nervous the author was to walk down the hall on the first day at a new school, the author could make a similar return to the introduction. The conclusion might include something like, “That first day was terrifying and walking down the hall felt like walking to my doom, but I learned that I was not the only one who felt that way.”
- For example, at the end of a narrative essay you might be left thinking about the vivid description of a favorite family meal.
- An argumentative essay may leave you thinking about the moral dilemma raised by the author regarding gun control.
- An expository essay about polar bears might leave you with a new appreciation for their size and strength.
- If the conclusion does introduce new information, note this in your evaluation.
Evaluating Cited Sources
- Make sure the citations are formatted according to the style guide listed on the assignment sheet, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.
- You may not have time to do this for every single piece of evidence, especially if you have a lot of students. If this is the case, you could randomly check 1-2 pieces of evidence for each essay you grade.
- If you're in doubt about a source, use the information on the works cited page to find the original source and review it.
- Remember that the format should match the assigned style guide, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.
Grading an Essay
- Some teachers and professors require students to rewrite essays that do not satisfy the basic requirements of an assignment. If you come across an essay like this, then you might want to meet with the student to discuss their options.
- Before you assign points to the criteria, rank them in order of importance for this assignment. This will help you create a points system that relates to the goal for this assignment.
- It's best to give your students a copy of the rubric when you make the assignment. This allows the students to understand your grading process and expectations.
- Thesis statement
- Development of ideas
- For example, if you require students to include a thesis statement in the first paragraph to outline the paper’s argument, then you might deduct 15 points if it is missing, or 10 points if it is incomplete or incorrect.
- It's essential to clearly communicate your expectations to your students. Include all of the information they need to earn full credit in the assignment sheet, including your rubric. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- If you are evaluating your own essay, use the teacher’s assignment guidelines to ensure that you have included all of the required elements of an essay. Ask your teacher if you are unsure. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://writerscentre.yale-nus.edu.sg/resources/elements-of-a-good-essay/elements-of-a-good-essay/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/expository_essays.html
- ↑ https://www.livescience.com/27436-polar-bear-facts.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/descriptive_essays.html
- ↑ http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/tran-cwp.htm
- ↑ http://core.ecu.edu/hist/zipfk/guidelines_for_grading_an_essay.htm
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