How to write an essay

Steps to take when writing an essay Step 1: follow the writing process Step 2: use the correct referencing method to avoid plagiarism Step 3: use...
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What is an essay

The first time someone hears the word ‘essay’ it’s inevitable to think it's just a long or short text section in a particular order that is pretty much set in stone yes! that is exactly what an essay is.

An essay in academic writing is a piece of text drafted mainly to describe, clarify, analyse or justify a particular subject. It is usually sectioned to start with an introduction, main body and a conclusion. Etymologically the word essay is a French word “essayer” that means to attempt or to try putting your thoughts in written form and convince the audience.

The format of an essay

Introduction– (also known as the Frame of Reference); it gives a context for your subject, and then it provides a thesis statement or a road map describing how the essay will flow usually at the end.

Note: To learn more on thesis statement and how to come up with an outline click here

Main body– it compromises paragraphs that have a topic idea that affirms what the core idea of a specific paragraph is. A supporting idea that offers evidence or explanations to support your topic idea. And a minor idea that offers particular examples or additional explanations that intensify the supporting idea.

Note: to learn more about paragraphs click here

Conclusion– it offers a summary, restatement of the content and finds of an essay.

Reference or work cited –this is a list of the source you have used or the source that has influenced your writing in an essay (Bibliography)

Note: to learn more on referencing click here

# Bare in mind that this is merely a basic structure. The number of paragraphs in the main body depends on how many topic ideas you wish to discuss.


The Four Main Types of Essays

It's a form of essay that tells a tale or a sequence of events in chronological order.

It's a form of essay in which the author provides a comprehensive description of a scenario or an object.

It's a type of essay that logically presents facts, explanations, or instructions.

It's a form of essay in which the writer strives to persuade or persuade others to embrace their point of view.

Other Types of Essay

A history essay (thesis)

 Dialectic essays in Philosophy

 Compare and contrast essays

 familiar essay (single reader essay)

 Exemplification essays (characterised by credible examples)


Importance of an essay

     They assist in establishing the assessment of your understanding of specific ideas (a measure of intelligence)

      They examine your ability to explain in your own words

      they are used in many cases as literary criticism, learned arguments, political manifestos, observations of daily life, reflections and recollections of the author

      they are used in formal education to select eligible applicants to be enrolled

      they are used in the humanities and social sciences to access the performance of students during final examinations

      they can improve an individual’s paper writing skills, research skills, persuading skills, critical-thinking skills

Steps to take when writing an essay

Step 1: follow the writing process

Click here to learn more about the writing process


Step 2: use the correct referencing method to avoid plagiarism

Click here to learn more about the Referencing


Step 3: use the appropriate modern writing tools to make sure your essay is all set

Click here to access these tools



Essay (2022, Feb. 06 ) Wikipedia. Retrieved here

11 reasons why essay writing is important in one’s professional life (2020) Suffolk Gazette. Retrieved here

Law Student, The University of Zambia

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