How to do academic essay? Step by step and example

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A work modality widely used in higher education, especially in Humanities courses, is the academic essay. In this type of project, the student needs to produce a text on a particular topic and expose points of view, but without going into depth.The essay is a type of persuasive text, after all, the reader expects the author to defend his ideas with good arguments and convincing evidence.

What is academic essay?

The academic essay is a textual genre, in which the student writes about a certain subject and exposes the author’s ideas. This exposition of points of view requires a theoretical basis, so it is necessary to seek good bibliographic references to write the content.

The name “essay” does not exist in vain. It exists because the author uses his text to “rehearse” a speech to manifest a position. This point of view is based on criticism, experimentation, consideration and questioning about a given subject.

In the essay, there is a thesis – the main idea –, which can be defended by a single author or several authors. This theme needs to be very clear to the reader.The structure of an essay follows the molds of a scientific text. It includes title, bibliographic reference, abstract, introduction, development and conclusion.

The thesis, the main element of this type of production, must appear objectively in both the title and the abstract. The details, in turn, are explored in the introductory part of the text. The introduction also serves to show the reader the line of argument and the way in which the text is organized.

  • Academic essay characteristics
  • Critical character;
  • Presents a positioning;
  • Discursive;
  • Direct language;

Tips for writing an academic essay

set a theme

The theme should not be chosen at random. It is important that it presents relevance, opposes common sense and is unusual. Do not forget that the search for originality is a strong feature of the essay.

look for references

Conduct an exploratory research, so that you acquire familiarity with the topic and find sources capable of supporting your argument.After doing a lot of reading, write your own notes so you don’t forget important information. If you want to quote from other authors in your essay, remember to respect the rules of NBR 10520, defined by ABNT, which deal with citations.

The university library is not the only option for finding reliable sources. It is also worth visiting databases on the internet, such as Scielo and the Capes journals portal.

Make a list of ideas

Before writing the essay, provide a draft and write down the ideas that will be developed. Remember to organize the list logically, as this makes it easier for the reader to understand.

write the introduction

Gamboa (1997) states that the introduction of the essay should only be written after defining how the ideas will be organized in the text. These ideas must be generated from a concrete question and a certain perspective.

The introduction should be brief and to the point. To write it, focus on answering three questions:

  • What will be the subject?
  • What will you argue?
  • How will you present the ideas?
  • create the development

The development is nothing more than the body of the text, in which you must put the argumentation strategies into practice. Therefore, express your ideas freely, but without forgetting to mention the bibliographic references consulted. Essay is a genre that offers freedom in writing, but you must maintain a commitment to cohesion.

Each paragraph must address a question, respecting the stages of reasoning. In addition, when writing, it is essential to use cohesive resources to be able to relate ideas and establish a link between them.Among the most used expressions to link one paragraph to another, it is worth mentioning: “although”, “in addition”, “however”, “even so” and “in contraposition”.

Among the main argumentation strategies to use in the body of the text, it is worth mentioning:

  • Analysis;
  • Definition;
  • Comparation;
  • Classification;
  • Cause/Effect.