How to write an academic essay?

Art of writing an Essay

Like journal articles, essays are one most common academic writing styles/formats. Unlike the structured format of a dissertation, a report, or a research proposal, academic essays is seen as without heading, but paragraphed, continuous body of texts, without an explicit structure; in actuality, essays should be written in a rigorously developed structure and with a clearly defined purpose. In this document, different types and structure of writing an essay will be elaborated in-detail.

Different types of an Essay:

Narrative Essay:

The main purpose of a narrative essay is to tell a story. Generally you are expected to write about your own experience and thus ideally should write in a first person point of view.

Descriptive Essay:

This type of essay is meant to paint a picture in readers’ mind. It generally contains description about a place, object, or even memory of special significance. The description should preferably communicate something deeper about the issue.

Expository Essay:

This is one of the basic types of an academic essay. Through this type of essay, generally a concept or an idea is illustrated or discussed. This type of essay demonstrates how far the student has understood a particular concept and can explain it comprehensively.

Persuasive Essay:

This type of essay can be considered as the most important type of an academic essay, not only for students, but also for larger academia. Generally through this type of essay an argument is made or rather established. This argument(s) can be consider as the pivot for this type of an essay, around which the essay is completely structured. Often rigorous logical structure and flow are maintained throughout the essay to build the argument successfully. For this reason, writing this type of an essay becomes a challenging task where the structure of it needs to be decided well before writing it, otherwise it is next to impossible to write a good persuasive essay.

Essay structure 550*808

Structure of an Essay:

As already indicated, the structure of an essay needs to be understood before beginning to write one. It should be kept in mind that the indispensable part of the essay is Thesis Statement. Generally, a thesis statement needs to be developed from the assignment question. An answer to the question can be taken as a thesis statement. Like for example, a successful thesis statement could be Climate change is going to impact developing countries more than the developed one. In the following few points in the structure of an essay are discussed.


As rightly depicted in the above diagram, generally a funnel like structure is followed while writing an introduction to an essay. The idea is that the introduction should begin with the broader context and then should narrow down to the thesis statement. Setting up this broader context is particularly significant as this puts the essay in the context of a larger academic discourse and thus make it relevant for the academia, in general. One more important point about the introduction is that it should give an overall sense about the entire argument of the essay. As already mentioned, the introduction should end with the thesis statement and thus setting the context for the rest of the essay. In exceptional cases, introductions can be started with the thesis statement or a rhetorical question pointing to the thesis statement.


The body of an essay is generally consists of several connected paragraphs establishing the thesis statement of the essay. Usually, each of these paragraphs should be structured around one supporting statement to the thesis statement. It is imperative that this supporting statement is explicitly mentioned in the beginning of each paragraph. The rest of the paragraph needs to be structured around it, explaining various details about that supporting statement. Mostly, appropriate and relevant examples need to invoke as and when required. Along with it, to prove the supporting statement adequate amount of academic references should be cited.


Just opposite to the introduction, conclusion of an essay follows the reverse funnel structure. At first, the conclusion should have a narrow statement relating the conclusion with the rest of the essay. Then the thesis statement should be restated and the supporting statement should again be mentioned to reiterate the main argument. Finally, a broad statement should be written depicting the relevance of the argument in the wider discourse and then some general points should be highlighted for the reader to think about.


All academic essay should contain a proper bibliography at the end of the paper in one of the established styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). This should include all the materials that have been cited in the essay.

Final Words

We hope that this document will definitely help to structure and write a comprehensive academic essay. One important thing about writing essays is that the above mentioned structure should not be taken as sacrosanct. Thus, one definitely has a scope for improvisation, as long as the purpose of the essay is crystal clear and the overall skeleton of the essay writing is religiously followed.


Being a devout academician Audrey has published research papers in many academic journals. Audrey has completed over 2000+ assignments dabbling in subjects like Teaching , Academics , Sociology and Psychology.