Writing an Academic Essay


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Writing an Academic Essay

  1. 1. Writing an Academic Essay The Purpose and Process of Academic Writing http://essayacademia.com/
  2. 2. Some Parameters <ul><li>We will not exhaust every aspect of academic writing </li></ul><ul><li>We will focus on the overall process of writing an academic paper </li></ul><ul><li>We will not focus on rules </li></ul><ul><li>We will instead focus on strategies </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  3. 3. What Is The Purpose of the Academic Essay? <ul><li>The word “essay” is derived from the Latin verb “exigere”, which means to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drive out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What could the purpose of an essay be given this definition? </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  4. 4. Where Do I Get Ideas To Write About? <ul><li>Read texts related to your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Use brainstorming techniques like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listing ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clustering or mind mapping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free writing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discuss the issue with others </li></ul><ul><li>Research the topic </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  5. 5. Clustering <ul><li>Write your main point in the center of the page and circle it </li></ul><ul><li>As ideas come to you, branch off from the main point </li></ul><ul><li>Think of the cluster as a tree, each idea branching off a previous idea </li></ul><ul><li>Do not censor or edit yourself </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  6. 6. Develop a Working Thesis <ul><li>A thesis comes at the end of the introduction section of your paper </li></ul><ul><li>It lets the reader know exactly what overall point you are trying to make </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  7. 7. Developing an Outline <ul><li>Once you establish a thesis, use it to help you develop an outline of the paper </li></ul><ul><li>An outline will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help you organize your ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep you focused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind there are several ways to approach writing an outline </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  8. 8. Introductions <ul><li>The purpose of the introduction paragraph is to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bait the reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextualize your argument or topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide necessary background information about the topic </li></ul></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  9. 9. Strategies to Bait the Reader <ul><li>Ask a question </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>Use a quote </li></ul><ul><li>Provide interesting statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Share an anecdote </li></ul><ul><li>Make a provocative statement </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  10. 10. Give Context in the Introduction <ul><li>What does the reader need to know to understand this paper? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues relating to the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important authors and texts you will be referring to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why this topic is important or relevant </li></ul></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  11. 11. Start Your Body Paragraphs with Clear Topic Sentences <ul><li>A topic sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>Comes at the beginning of a paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Presents the most important point you want to make in that paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Is specific (or not so broad it would require a full essay to explore) </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  12. 12. Use Compelling Supporting Points to Support Your Topic Sentence <ul><li>Supporting points are examples or pieces of evidence that support the claim you have made in your topic sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>They can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anecdotes (Stories) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert Testimony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  13. 13. Make Sure to Elaborate with Concrete Details <ul><li>Once you have listed your supporting points, you can now elaborate on them by adding details or explaining what you mean further. </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  14. 14. An Alternative: Using the PIE Formula <ul><li>Another useful strategy to organize information is to use the PIE formula </li></ul><ul><li>PIE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>P = Point = The main point you want to make </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I = Illustration = A quote or paraphrase from the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E = Explanation = Your explanation about what the quote or paraphrase means </li></ul></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  15. 15. Use Transitions to Create Coherence <ul><li>Use transition words or sentences to bridge ideas so the reader does not get confused </li></ul><ul><li>First </li></ul><ul><li>Second </li></ul><ul><li>In addition </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  16. 16. Strategies for a Conclusion <ul><li>Re-state your thesis statement in a different way </li></ul><ul><li>Make a strong closing comment </li></ul><ul><li>Use any of the strategies for the introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap up the paper with a neat bow tie </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  17. 17. Academic Conventions: Things to Avoid <ul><li>Avoid use personal pronouns like “I”, “We”, and “You”. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid not use contractions like “isn’t”, “they’re”, “wasn’t”, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid slang </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid a personal tone </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid vague ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid plagiarism </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  18. 18. Academic Conventions: Things to Do <ul><li>Do address both sides of an argument </li></ul><ul><li>Do cite your sources </li></ul><ul><li>Do use a formal tone </li></ul><ul><li>Do take a stand </li></ul><ul><li>Do use concrete details </li></ul><ul><li>Do give yourself time to develop your paper </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/
  19. 19. Remember, Writing is a Process <ul><li>Every writing assignment is practice for the next one </li></ul><ul><li>Writing takes time </li></ul><ul><li>Go through every step of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your ideas first </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on grammar and spelling last </li></ul><ul><li>Get feedback from a peer, instructor, or tutor </li></ul>http://essayacademia.com/