Rules for formal essay writing

Its structure normally builds around introduction with a topic's relevance and a thesis statement , body paragraphs with arguments linking back to the main thesis, and conclusion. In addition, an argumentative essay may include a refutation section where conflicting ideas are acknowledged, described, and criticized. Each argument of argumentative essay should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point. A process essay is used for an explanation of making or breaking something. Often, it is written in chronological order or numerical order to show step-by-step processes. It has all the qualities of a technical document with the only difference is that it is often written in descriptive mood , while a technical document is mostly in imperative mood.

An economic essay can start with a thesis, or it can start with a theme. It can take a narrative course and a descriptive course. It can even become an argumentative essay if the author feels the need. If the essay takes more of a narrative form then the author has to expose each aspect of the economic puzzle in a way that makes it clear and understandable for the reader. A reflective essay is an analytical piece of writing in which the writer describes a real or imaginary scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or form — adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the topic in the author's life.

Thus, the focus is not merely descriptive. The writer doesn't just describe the situation, but revisits the scene with more detail and emotion to examine what went well, or reveal a need for additional learning — and may relate what transpired to the rest of the author's life. The logical progression and organizational structure of an essay can take many forms. Understanding how the movement of thought is managed through an essay has a profound impact on its overall cogency and ability to impress. A number of alternative logical structures for essays have been visualized as diagrams, making them easy to implement or adapt in the construction of an argument.

In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom , essays have become a major part of a formal education in the form of free response questions. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants see admissions essay.

In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of the material. Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay. In some courses, university students must complete one or more essays over several weeks or months. In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, [ citation needed ] mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours.

In these countries, so-called academic essays also called papers , are usually more formal than literary ones. Longer academic essays often with a word limit of between 2, and 5, words [ citation needed ] are often more discursive.

Essay: Introduction, Types of Essays, Tips for Essay Writing, Questions

They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review. Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other supporting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text.

This scholarly convention helps others whether teachers or fellow scholars to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities. One of the challenges facing universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays purchased from an essay mill or "paper mill" as their own work.

An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud , universities and colleges may investigate papers they suspect are from an essay mill by using plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.

Formal Essay Structure Basic Features

Essays often appear in magazines, especially magazines with an intellectual bent, such as The Atlantic and Harpers. Magazine and newspaper essays use many of the essay types described in the section on forms and styles e. Some newspapers also print essays in the op-ed section. Employment essays detailing experience in a certain occupational field are required when applying for some jobs, especially government jobs in the United States. Essays known as Knowledge Skills and Executive Core Qualifications are required when applying to certain US federal government positions. A KSA, or "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities," is a series of narrative statements that are required when applying to Federal government job openings in the United States.

KSAs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job. The knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the successful performance of a position are contained on each job vacancy announcement.

KSAs are brief and focused essays about one's career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position being applied for. Like the KSAs, ECQs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job.

The Office of Personnel Management has established five executive core qualifications that all applicants seeking to enter the Senior Executive Service must demonstrate. A film essay or "cinematic essay" consists of the evolution of a theme or an idea rather than a plot per se, or the film literally being a cinematic accompaniment to a narrator reading an essay.

The cinematic essay often blends documentary , fiction , and experimental film making using tones and editing styles. Jean-Luc Godard describes his recent work as "film-essays". Brecht was a playwright who experimented with film and incorporated film projections into some of his plays.

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Essay Structure

These are often published online on video hosting services. David Winks Gray's article "The essay film in action" states that the "essay film became an identifiable form of filmmaking in the s and '60s". He states that since that time, essay films have tended to be "on the margins" of the filmmaking the world.

Essay films have a "peculiar searching, questioning tone Gray notes that just like written essays, essay films "tend to marry the personal voice of a guiding narrator often the director with a wide swath of other voices". In the realm of music, composer Samuel Barber wrote a set of "Essays for Orchestra," relying on the form and content of the music to guide the listener's ear, rather than any extra-musical plot or story.

A photographic essay strives to cover a topic with a linked series of photographs. Photo essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small notes to full-text essays with a few or many accompanying photographs. Photo essays can be sequential in nature, intended to be viewed in a particular order — or they may consist of non-ordered photographs viewed all at once or in an order that the viewer chooses.

All photo essays are collections of photographs, but not all collections of photographs are photo essays. Sentence variety is important when writing an essay, so mix longer and shorter sentences together to create reader interest. Back in the day, when you were learning how to construct paragraphs by using topic sentences and supporting details , your teachers told you that paragraphs needed to be three to five sentences long, so you could a write topic sentence and include supporting evidence.

Academic writing usually involves longer and more complex arguments , meaning you need more space to develop your ideas. You can pretty much break this middle school rule any time you write an essay. But in general, move beyond consistently short paragraphs. Need a refresher on creating effective paragraphs?


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Makes sense, right? What if you need more than one introduction paragraph to fully introduce your topic? As long as you use your opening paragraphs to introduce material and readers get a sense of your focus fairly early in the paper, you can include your thesis a little later in the essay.

How to write a good essay

Unless, of course, your prof is a stickler for a thesis statement at the end of the introduction paragraph—then it must appear after paragraph one. Want a quick refresher on thesis statements? Expand your writing to include additional body paragraphs and maybe even a one-sentence paragraph to create stronger arguments. Need another reason to break this rule?

Adding more paragraphs means more content and a longer paper that will actually meet word count requirements. Just be sure to actually include relevant content, not useless fluff just to make your paper longer. Want to read a few example essays to see how to successfully move from the basic 5-paragraph essay to a longer paper? Take a look at these staff picks from our essay database. Enjoy a sweet treat.

Let the experts at Kibin offer some advice. Get inspiration from over , example essays.

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