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Types of Academic Essays and the Art of Writing Them

Types of Academic Essays and the Art of Writing Them

We can define Essay as a short literary composition on a single subject, presenting the personal view of the author. An essay is, usually, a piece of writing that provides the author's own argument - but the definition is indistinct, overlapping with those of an article, a pamphlet, and a short story.

The intention of essay is determined by your goal as a writer, as well as your subject matter. There are several types of essays, but essays generally fall under one of the following purposes for writing: to inform, persuade, explain or entertain.

People write essays for a range of reasons. Many people write them because they are required in a reading or English class, but others write them because they have strong views on diverse issues that they want to share with others. The enthusiasm behind why a person is writing an essay often gives clues to the author's purpose in an essay. As per the Purdue University, the mainly common essay types are expository, descriptive, argumentative or narrative. Depending on the author's purpose, essays can also be defined in persuasive, entertaining or informative, or some mixture of each. Essays help students to expand critical thinking, analysis and writing skills.

A broad definition of academic writing is that the effective writing is to fulfil the requirement of a college or university. Now a day's Academic writing is also used for publications that are read by teacher and researchers or presented at conferences. A very broad definition of academic writing could comprise any writing assignment given in an academic setting.

Here is a list given below of documents where academic writing is used. Some of them are self-explanatory and some have a brief explanation.

  • Books and book reports
  • Translations
  • Essays
  • Research paperor research article
  • Conference paper
  • Academic journal
  • Dissertation and Thesis - These are written to obtaining an advanced degree at a college or university.
  • Abstract - Abstract can be defined as short summary of a long document.
  • Explication - Explication is a work which explains part of a particular work.

There are some Characteristics of academic writing are:-

  • Planning - There is a convinced amount of planning before you start writing the paper; so, it will be analytical and organized.
  • Outline - This is a must part of the academic writing. An outline will not only help you invent your thoughts, but will sometimes make you awake of certain relationships between topics. It will help you decide the pertinent information to be included in your paper.
  • Tone - A formal tone need to be used. You can not use slang words, jargon, abbreviations, or many clichés.
  • Language - The language in your paper should be clear and words need to be chosen for their precision. A thesaurus is a good implement to help you pick just the right words to explain the issues.
  • Point-of-view - The point of view in the third person, as the heart of academic writing is to educate on the facts, not support an opinion.
  • Approach - Deductive reasoning is a big part of academic writing as your readers have to pursue the path that brought you to your conclusion.

An academic paper contains three distinct sections - the introduction, body and conclusion: 

  • INTRODUCTION: In the introduction, you must have to grab the reader's attention and recognize the thesis of the paper. You can do this by starting with:

1.       Quite a lot of questions

2.       A quote from a well-known work or person

3.       Some interesting evidence or information

4.       A definition of an significant term related to the work

BODY: This is the major part of the work and the paragraphs should clearly written and be arranged in a logical order, like chronologically or in order of significance. Each initial sentence links the previous paragraph and the whole section flows smoothly. Within each paragraph, the sentences need to pour and demote back to the topic. Cohesion is achieved by repeating significant words, using synonyms for the main subject, and using middle words like: however, such as, therefore, and for example.

  • CONCLUSION: In the conclusion, you need to re-emphasize the thesis and summarize all the main points. The conclusion consists of one paragraph which shows the last conclusion to the reader. Whether you are preparing a research paper, a thesis, or a paper for a conference, these tips definitely help your paper be authoritative and coherent. Your thesis should be substantiated and explanations clear. Readers of your paper will follow your reasoning and appreciate your conclusion.

Types of Academic Essays 

Most essays written in an academic setting fall into one of four categories, or modes:  exposition, narration, description, and persuasion which are briefly described below:

1. Exposition: an essay that attempts to notify the reader about something important or explain something to him/her (a process, a set of rules, the reimbursement of an activity, etc.).   Common expository writings:  business or technical writing, process writing, compare and/or contrast essays, reaction essays, response essays, and often research-based essays.

2. Narration:  Narration is the writing which tells the reader about a particular event(s) that took place.  Common narration writings:  personal essays, short stories, novels, poetry.

3. Description: writing that uses vivid language to explain a person, place, or event so that the reader can picture the topic clearly in his/her mind.  Fiction and poetry often use huge amounts of descriptive writing, and sometimes only effort to serve this descriptive purpose.

4. Persuasion: this is a writing which takes a stand on a principle and attempts to persuade the reader to adopt a similar mindset.  At the collegiate level, persuasive writing assignments are quite ordinary.  The most ordinary persuasive essay is the argument paper.  By the Writing an argument essay involves incorporating critical thinking and often the use of outside sources. So many papers written in disciplines other than English are a difference of the argument paper and should be treated in a related fashion.

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