An academic essay is a mirror of your thinking, subjective impressions, reasoning with elements of a journalistic genre. This is a vivid way to demonstrate to the admissions committee the vastness of knowledge, skills of deep analysis, rhetoric, argumentation - this is its difference from a motivation letter containing the reasons for choosing a faculty and science. Do not mistake!
Essay topic: how to choose?
A student can be offered a finished topic or a scientific field, a specific subject of reasoning, or he can choose a title on his own. Give preference to a topic that is well-versed. A good question: a) it is clear and concisely formulated, b) relevant, c) it is larger than it seemed at first glance, d) does not contain a point of view - it is disclosed only in the process of reasoning.
- Axiom. Speaking about battered truths and hypotheses, such as roundness of the earth or the origin of a person from a monkey, you go beyond the scope of the genre.
- Dangerous topics: religion, tastes, political and personal preferences, in which you risk radically disagreeing with the members of the commission. Even if the area is one of the student’s primary interests, he will have the opportunity to discuss later in the classroom.
Structural Features of an Academic Essay
Three components must be present in the work: introduction, reasoned argument and conclusion. There are no strict requirements for the location of components: the thesis may go into conclusion, but the main task of the author is to ensure the consistency and integrity of the text. When using references to other people's works, be sure to indicate this with appropriate links and do not overload the paragraphs - each should have one complete thought or argument.
This is a business card, a chance to interest the reader: to catch a word and phrase, bold quote and arouse curiosity, without deviating from the main thesis. Use the draft, because finding an interesting “hook” for entry is easier in the course of work on the essay, and then place it in the introductory part. Remember the proverb that worthwhile thought always comes later!
Do not “pour water”; try to use words that are directly related to the topic of the composition.
- Soother. Applicants sin with quotes from popular people, primitive jokes or loud headlines and facts from the media, which managed to annoy the checking commission in order. Such an introduction will not cause positive emotions.
- Dry facts. The purpose of the introduction is to arouse interest: do not be shy to be emotional, because a restrained statement of facts will leave the reader indifferent.
- Lack of text integrity. The introduction should not be knocked out from the rest of the text, should be logically justified and connected with the rest of the compositional parts.
Choosing a thesis, it is necessary to 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 of the thesis, imagine: the examiner put your written work aside and, without reading, asked the question, what is the main idea. Two or three sentences that will be needed to 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 know your personal point of view from you, test your ability to think logically and intellectual knowledge. It is permissible to proceed from a quote from the writings of any researcher or philosopher, explaining your understanding of their hypotheses and how they reflect the thesis of this work. The priority is undoubted authority: Aristotle, Einstein, Socrates, academics of the 20th century - do not use modern scientists, especially press darlings.
- To be or not to be? An overly philosophical approach to the problem will lead to the loss of a firm position and turn the essay into meaningless abstract reasoning. Designate a specific, not too radical opinion.
- Invalid volume. Some mistakenly accept arguments as part of the conclusion, which turns the thesis into an excessively long statement. Remember: an academic essay is not a school essay, accuracy and conciseness are important here.
- A polemic with oneself. Do not indicate uncertainty in the conclusion - this will raise additional questions and create a feeling of incompleteness.
There should be several reasons that determine your position on this question: describe each of them in detail in a separate paragraph, trying to comply with 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, mark the inconsistency of the philistine idea of the subject of science, put an obstacle that is not easy to overcome. Priority is given to students who not only know how to solve a problem, but also make out it.
- Doubtful argument. Remember that the very concept of "argument" implies its truth - do not cite someone’s speculation as evidence.
- Do not repeat twice. One and the same thought, expressed in other words in another paragraph, will give the impression that there is nothing to say.
- Having an interesting arsenal in the intellectual arsenal, which, as you think, must definitely “shoot”, make sure that it is directly related to the main topic of the essay. Perhaps you should not use it as an argument, but in the introduction this will be the highlight that will attract the reader.
- Violation of the chronology. Do not run ahead and make sure that you are sending the reader to the information that you have already stated.
In conclusion, you should not repeat what has already been written - briefly end your thought, write a thesis, if you decide to leave it in the end. The conclusion should be polished and gracefully summarize the previous reasoning. A good way is to share the experience of writing this particular essay: to tell what turned out to be the most difficult, which ideas had to be discarded during the discussion, and which became a revelation for you.
- New arguments. The conclusion is a summary 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 redundant at the end to describe the structure and content of their work - they speak for themselves. The conclusion is intended to create the reader a feeling of fullness and completeness.
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