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Structural Features of an Academic Essay

There should be three components in the work: an introduction, a reasonably proven thesis, and a conclusion. There are no strict requirements for the arrangement of components: the thesis may go away in conclusion, but the main task of the author is to ensure the consistency and integrity of the text. Do not forget, when using references to other people’s work, to indicate this with appropriate links and do not overload paragraphs – each should contain one complete thought or argument.

1. Academic Essay Introduction

The introduction should be your business card, a chance to interest the reader: with a word or phrase, or bold quotes to hook and arouse curiosity, without deviating from the main thesis. Use a draft, because it is easier to find an interesting “hook” for an introduction while working on an essay, and then place it in the introductory part. Remember the popular saying that a worthwhile thought always comes later!

Do not “pour water”, try to use words that are directly related to the topic of the essay.


Beginner students flock their introduction with quotes from popular people, primitive jokes or loud headlines and facts from the media, which have managed to get tired of the order of the checking commission. Such an introduction will not generate positive emotions.

Dry facts. The purpose of the introduction is to arouse interest: feel free to be emotional, because the restrained presentation of the facts will leave the reader indifferent.

Lack of text integrity. The introduction should not stand out from the rest of the text, it should be logical and connected with the rest of the compositional parts.

2. Thesis Statement of your Academic Essay

Choosing a thesis, you must firmly understand that this is not a scientifically proven fact and not the result of experiments and observations, but the main idea of ​​the essay, which can be expressed in a few words. To be sure that you have a thesis, imagine: the examiner put your written work aside and, without reading, asked the question what the main idea was. Two or three sentences that will be needed for an answer – this is the thesis, a summary of the entire essay.

The topic offered in educational institutions often has different interpretations and approaches. You are not faced with the task of finding an unambiguous solution to the question posed – remember that they want to learn from you a personal point of view, test your ability to think logically and intellectual intelligence. It is permissible to start from a quotation from the works of any researcher or philosopher, clarifying your understanding of their hypotheses and how they reflect the thesis of this work. Undoubted authorities are in priority: Aristotle, Einstein, Socrates, academics of the 20th century – you should not use scientists of modern times, especially the favorites of the press.


To be or not to be? An overly philosophical approach to the problem will lead to a loss of firm ground and turn the essay into meaningless abstract reasoning. Make a specific, not too radical opinion.

Invalid volume. Some people mistake arguments for part of the conclusion, which turns the thesis into an unreasonably long statement. Remember: an academic essay is not a school essay, accuracy and conciseness are important here.

Controversy with yourself. Do not indicate uncertainty in the conclusion – this will raise additional questions and create a feeling of incompleteness.

3. Argumentation

There should be several reasons that determine your position on the question posed: describe in detail each of them in a separate paragraph, trying to follow the semantic sequence. Do not deviate from the topic and do not forget that if the logic of the work requires it, the thesis can be placed in the last paragraph. Play on contrasts and contradictions, indicate the discrepancy between the philistine idea of ​​the subject and the scientific one, put up an obstacle that is not easy to overcome. Priority is given to students who are not only able to solve the problem, but also to see it.


Doubtful argument. Remember that the very concept of “argument” implies its truth – it is not necessary to bring someone’s speculation as evidence.

Don’t repeat it twice. The same thought, in other words, expressed in another paragraph, will give the impression that there is nothing to say.

Having an interesting fact in your intellectual arsenal, which, as it seems to you, must definitely “shoot”, make sure that it is directly related to the main topic of the essay. Perhaps you shouldn’t use it as an argument, but in the introduction, it will be the highlight that will attract the reader.

Violation of chronology. Don’t get ahead of yourself and make sure to refer the reader to the information you have already provided.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, you should not repeat what has already been written – briefly finish your thought, write a thesis, if you decide to leave it for last. The conclusion should be polished and elegantly summarize the previous reasoning. A good way is to share your experience of writing this particular essay: tell what turned out to be the most difficult, which ideas had to be discarded during the discussion, and which ones became a discovery for you.


New arguments. The conclusion is a summing up of all of the above, this part does not imply the appearance of additional arguments: if you have any thoughts, add an additional paragraph.

It will be superfluous to describe at the end the structure and content of your work – they speak for themselves. The conclusion is intended to create a sense of completeness and completeness in the reader.

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