Mojza Blog

Academic Essays

a simple guide

by Mankashay Sultan Tareen | 19 nov 2023

Being apt at writing academic essays is one of the crucial skills every seeker of knowledge must develop if they wish to excel in their respective field. This is because academic essays are often the medium through which students communicate their efforts, skills, wisdom, and knowledge to their examiners, and thus gain recognition. Additionally, people at higher graduate and doctoral levels present years’ worth of academic research, hypotheses, and conclusions to their relevant societies through publishing academic essays in private journals. For example, the most famous collection of essays includes James Baldwin’s ‘Notes of a Native Son’ which targets racism, John Locke’s “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” which dwells upon the human mind and thoughts, and many more famous essays that all touch different kinds of socio-economic problems. Considering it at a smaller level, students need a good grasp on writing academic essays in order to excel at their institutes as well. 

I will lay out some basic steps and provide some fundamental guidelines for you to consider when writing your essays, no matter what your target audience. 

selecting a topic

Often, the most difficult part of doing anything new is taking the first step. For writing academic essays, that would be selecting your topic. Not only is it difficult, but it is also one of the most crucial steps in writing your essay. Most examiners would already provide you with a range of different topics that you may select from. In that case, it would be more beneficial to choose a topic which is closely connected with your class or that which has been discussed or taught in class previously. However, if you are given the freedom to choose a topic from whatever domain you wish, then your choice may fall entirely upon personal preference. But for students, a vital piece of advice would be to pick that topic or issue which there is a lot of data about, rather than that one which piques your interest. The more factual data that is in your essay, the stronger and more convincing it is. It also provides you with many more avenues and contexts to explore and address in your topic, thus making a more comprehensive and well-rounded essay.

analyze your topic

When you have decided what your essay will be based upon, make sure you thoroughly analyze your topic and try to completely grasp the core of what your essay demands. Often, after working extensively for hours and days on their essays, people discover that their essay, though being wonderfully built and written, does not actually fulfill the original demand of the topic or question at hand. Similarly, students end up submitting very well-curated essays that do not fulfill the actual requirements of what their educators have asked for, and therefore gain little to no award for their efforts. Consequently, it is crucial for anyone writing an academic essay to be aware of the core aspects of their topic, to plan and brainstorm beforehand, and to continuously refer to those core questions/aspects of their topic throughout writing their essay, so that there is proper syntax, continuity, and relevance in their essays.


Almost all academic essays require profound research or some reference to any professional opinion in the relative area of research. Students must ensure that the research they allude to is credible, authentic, and derived from easily accessible sites. The authenticity of the research can be concluded by analyzing the source of the data, the author, the relevant partners in research, corresponding research from other sources, and whether the site is widely known to be a trustworthy source. 

After credible data is collected, sorted, and applied according to the needs of the essay, the writer must make appropriate inferences from the data and tie it back to the original argument at hand in order to make the most impact in the minds of the readers.

To gain more insights into the methodologies and techniques of conducting thorough research, don’t forget to check out this comprehensive article on “How To Do Research For an Excellent Essay” by Oxford University. 


The composition of any academic essay must be coherent and easily followable, so that readers do not get lost or mixed up trying to understand the writer’s main argument. The main headings for smaller essays could be summed up as follows:


The introductory paragraph usually starts with a ‘hook line’ or a ‘grabber’ that is supposed to wake up or focus the reader’s attention on the essay at hand. It is usually followed by some brief history or information that serves as the basis for creating a setting in which a hypothesis or argument will be presented. The introductory paragraph may end with the author stating the main topic or argument that will be discussed in this essay.

1st Main Paragraph

The main body paragraphs consist of multiple pieces of evidence acquired from primary and secondary sources. These pieces of data are then analyzed and grouped together in a certain context in the essay. Lastly, logical inferences are drawn through which the original opinion of the author is supported. The amount of evidence provided depends on the size of the essay or the availability of the data, but generally for high-school students, 3-5 pieces of factual data per paragraph are suitable unless otherwise instructed or told. 

Other Main Paragraphs

Similar to the first main paragraph, the other main body paragraphs consist of other pieces of evidence that are grouped together in a different context but still support that main argument or opinion of the writer. More paragraphs can be added depending upon the amount of data available under different points to the author.

Brief Rebuttal

Students may also address points or pieces of data that support an opposing viewpoint and state the truth regarding the existence of other possible opinions or conclusions. However, they must also reiterate why they still support the predominant viewpoint stated throughout the essay with supporting pieces of relevant information.


Students should end their essays with a closing paragraph that covers the essential points of the whole essay in a few brief lines. This should be in clear and concise words, outlining the extent of the power in the author’s argument, opinion, or research because these last few lines are the ones that readers will leave the essays with, thus staying in their memory much longer.

Different Kinds Of Academic Essays

Different kinds of academic essays can be required by institutes such as argumentative, descriptive, narrative, persuasive, analytical, critical and expository essays, and all are written in different and unique ways. The formatting of any kind of academic essay can be changed according to the needs of the writer or according to the type of essay at hand. To gain a comprehensive understanding of these essay types, you can also refer to the guidelines provided by reputable institutions like the University Of Sydney. Thus, there is no hard-and-fast rule for writing essays, but one should make sure that there is proper flow and consistency in their essay, and their structure should match the type of essay the writer is working on. For example, persuasive essays need to be presented like a debate and must build up their argument steadily. Descriptive or narrative essays can be more free-style, while having a smooth and consistent flow according to the topic at hand. Critical or analytical essays require drawing conclusions and hypotheses from different factual statistics and data, without being opinionated or biased, and thus follow a more professional and extensive essay format that is similar to reading a science journal.

final tips

For writing a good essay, there must be a continuous professional tone that is displayed throughout the essay. The syntax, grammar, continuity, relevance, vocabulary, and structure of the essay should be consistently worked upon and should be of a high linguistic standard. Seeking additional resources, such as the blog “How to improve your vocabulary”, can be beneficial for enhancing language skills and expanding your knowledge base. For different types of essays, such as satirical essays, or passionate essays, the tone of the essay can be adjusted according to the needs of the essay. However, the most important part of reviewing any essay will always be making sure that the original demands of the topic have been fulfilled in the writing, and that there is no inconsistency in any one aspect, and thus making sure that there is sound relevance in the entirety of the essay.


Author: Mankashay Sultan Tareen
Proofreader: Hasan Nawaz


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Published: 19 Nov 2023
Last Updated: 19 Nov 2023
Written by Mankashay Sultan Tareen