How to Write an Academic Essay: All You Need to Know

How to Write an Academic Essay: Outline and Format

This article aims to assist students who start writing an essay. Here, the readers can learn how to write an academic essay, how to format an essay, and create a perfect outline from introduction to conclusion.

What Is an Academic Essay: Its Purpose and Importance

Before writing an essay, students have to figure out its essence. What is an academic essay in general? Many understand it as writing that develops ideas or arguments through evidence and analysis. Regardless of the type of essay, its purpose is to convey knowledge on a specific topic, describe a problem or offer a solution.

To say that academic essays are essential for higher education is an understatement. Writing an essay develops multiple skills, including the next:

  1. Writing Process Enhances Critical Thinking in Students

Even those who pay for essay know how much intellectual effort it requires. Through academic writing, students train to research background information and key terms, find quality sources and apply the newfound knowledge.

  1. Academic Writing Develops Professionalism

To write an essay correctly, a person must stick to guidelines. Because the academic essay format requires following many rules, the writing process improves discipline.

Characteristics of an Academic Essay

An academic format essay exists to walk the readers through the author's main points. Therefore, a writer must focus on making the paper understandable. The clue is to meet the following requirements:

Clear and Concise Thesis Statement 

A quality thesis statement is an integral part of writing an academic essay. In any type of essay or research paper, the thesis statement decides how the entire essay looks. So, the author should shrink their main idea into one sentence.

Supported Arguments

Undeniably, every thesis statement needs arguments with supporting evidence. The readers see this evidence and trust what the author said in the thesis statement and body paragraphs. That is why profound research helps to write an essay!

Logical Outline Structure

Any type of essay requires an introduction section, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, dividing the text into these parts isn't enough. The main idea is to make a solid outline that logically connects all parts.

Formal Tone

The point of an argumentative paper is to describe ideas using solely formal language. So, no slang, only scientific terms!

Types of Academic Essays

To start writing an academic essay, one has to know its type. Overall, an academic essay can fall into one of these categories:

Expository Essay

This kind of paper exists to describe and explain a specific topic in detail. An expository essay gives facts without emotions. Surprisingly, all students are familiar with expository writing since they visit lectures and see presentations.

Argumentative Essay

As their name implies, argumentative essays present arguments to convince the readers to take an author's side. All argumentative essay outline examples have several body paragraphs with supporting points for a thesis statement. In an argumentative essay outline, every topic sentence has strong evidence.

Descriptive Essay

Are there papers that describe objects, people, events, or anything else? Yes, descriptive essays do that! Every body paragraph, introduction, and conclusion create an immersive experience for the audience.

Persuasive Essay

The point of such essays is to convince people that the author's ideas are correct. But, a persuasive essay contains objective evidence and moral reasoning.

Narrative Essay 

If someone wants to describe a personal experience in their own words, a narrative essay helps out! An introduction paragraph hooks people, while the body paragraphs have a thrilling plot. Finally, the conclusion states the moral of the story.

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How to Write an Academic Essay: 6 Important Steps

All students need someone to advise them on how to write an academic essay. An analytical essay, blog post, literary analysis essay outline, or any other example essay needs preparation. So, memorize the following ideas!

How to Write an Academic Essay: 6 Important Steps

Understanding the Essay Prompt

Sometimes, academic essay titles aren't enough for students to understand the assignment. For this reason, writing an academic essay prompt is a necessary step for teachers. A prompt can be one sentence or several full sentences long, discussing the theme and needed key points in the paper. How to understand the prompt correctly?

First, a person should thoroughly read every sentence to find all confusing phrases or words. In such a case, asking a teacher is necessary! Secondly, it is essential to highlight important words, more specifically verbs. For example, some prompts ask writers to analyze, describe or elaborate.

Conducting Research and Gathering Evidence

Since the thesis statement in every academic essay requires supporting points, a preliminary examination is crucial. To begin with, a writer has to assess their time limits and existing knowledge. For instance, they may already know something about the topic. Plus, it's half the success if they know possible examples of evidence sources. Finally, it is necessary to check all literature for an academic format essay for reliability!

A bonus tip is to collect evidence from multiple media types. For example, information on global pandemic topics is online, not in libraries.

Creating an Academic Essay Outline

Undoubtedly, essay outlines are like skeletons for the text. The plan can be either in the form of an alphanumeric outline or a full-sentence outline. Overall, how to make an outline for an essay and succeed? Every academic essay outline has several components:


  1. Hook or attention-grabbing opening

Any academic essay example has to begin with a captivating point or idea. This keeps people interested!

  1. Background information 

The introduction paragraph also mentions existing theories. Students base their essays on these sources.

  1. Thesis statement

Next, what is a thesis statement generally? In academic essay format, a thesis statement ends the introduction. It briefly expresses an author's main point.

Body paragraphs 

  1. Topic sentences and supporting arguments

Every body paragraph starts with a topic sentence that expresses one idea. Then, supporting points elaborate further on these full sentences.

  1. Evidence, examples, and citations

Each paragraph should contain examples or facts that support the author's point.

  1. Analysis and critical thinking

While developing the essay outlines, students should be able to interpret the information and place it accordingly.


  1. Summarizing key points

Every essay example summarizes the main ideas and supporting points in the conclusion.

  1. Restating the thesis

A conclusion also repeats the thesis statement using different wording.

  1. Providing a concluding thought or recommendation

A final suggestion from the author helps to wrap up a conclusion.

Writing the Draft 

The next step after building outlines is writing an academic essay draft. Usually, this is a rough copy of the future work, which requires additional time. So, a student can write as many drafts as they want if the deadline allows it. 

Naturally, the first draft looks the least like the final paper. For instance, someone might plan three body paragraphs that turn into a five-paragraph essay. Ideas and supporting points can transform during the initial brainstorming, and full sentences can appear and disappear.

Although drafts constantly change, their point is to stick to the original outlines. And, as far as creativity goes, every paragraph must connect to the thesis. However, the whole academic essay format is optional in drafts since they become polished later.

Referencing and Citations

By all means, an example of an academic essay requires referencing and citations. The point here is to acknowledge every idea that a student borrows. If everything is correct, then the paper passes a plagiarism check. 

Which citation style to choose? There are several examples. For instance, MLA style fits a literary analysis essay or any other humanities paper. But, science works usually have APA citation style, and business essays use the Chicago style.

Revising and Editing

The concluding stage of writing an academic essay is making the final minor adjustments. Surprisingly, rereading is necessary even if people order essay online to save time. Contrarily, skipping this part lowers the grade since a teacher can point out the obvious mistakes. Also, remember that lengthy work requires more time for checking than a five-paragraph essay.

Tips on Writing an Academic Essay

What else should a person know before submitting an academic essay? There are a few tips:

tips on academic essay
  • Start early

Although the urge to procrastinate is strong, overcoming it is crucial. So, start early instead of rushing the night before the deadline.

  • Carefully read the prompt

Sometimes, people hurry when reading academic essay titles and prompts. As a result, they misinterpret the task. Hence, it is essential to take time and analyze the prompt.

  • Thoughtfully choose the point of view 

Indeed, everyone has an opinion on particular topics. However, finding evidence is tricky if the student's point of view is unpopular.

  • Filter other people's ideas

Usually, professional essay writers recommend studying as many sources as possible. Because they are different, the goal is to choose only the best notions.

  • Ask a friend for help

Some writers sample academic essay online or search for 'write essay for me' services. Meanwhile, the others get assistance from the people around them. Get a friend to reread the draft!

Final Thoughts

Overall, we discussed everything related to academic papers, including their meaning, importance, and outlines. Our essay writing service has much more to offer. For instance, we have an academic essay example, advice on a full-sentence outline, and other info!

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Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford, a passionate and talented artist, utilizes his innovative spirit to support academic pursuits. In partnering with EssayHub, he leverages his artistic insights to assist students as a professional essay writer, helping them navigate and complete their academic assignments at every level of difficulty.

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