Search for an essay or resource:

Dissertation referencing

You need to reference all of your sources for your dissertation properly. Before we talk about referencing, let’s talk plagiarism. To “plagiarise”, according to the dictionary, means 1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own 2. to use (another’s production) without crediting the source 3. to commit literary theft … Read more

How to write a review essay

A review essay examines a piece of writing, a film or some other form of art, but it differs from a literary essay in a couple of key ways. A review essay is evaluative. That means that its purpose is to tell the reader whether the work is good or not and whether the work … Read more

How to write a response essay

Purpose Response essays are typically assigned as a precursor to a evaluative essay or to a critique. These papers are typically written in response to a short literary passage, an editorial, a speech, or an artistic work. The response essay is useful because it gives students the opportunity to express their opinions in a professional manner but … Read more

How to write a research proposal

A guide to writing effective research proposals This article explains how to write a research proposal, including the purpose of the proposal, what to include, the structure and common problems that are encountered by students as they research or write their proposal. Purpose of the research proposal A research proposal may have several purposes, including to receive … Read more

How to write a literary essay

In a literary essay, a writer analyzes some aspect of a piece of literature. Topic Literature is made up of elements such as character, symbolism, theme, language and structure. The best way to approach a literary analysis is to choose an element of the story, poem or novel to focus on and think about what … Read more

How to write a deductive essay

Purpose The purpose of the deductive essay is to guide students in the process of using deductive reasoning. In Western countries, deductive reasoning is the most commonly used method to arrive at a valid conclusion. Deductive reasoning uses facts to draw a conclusion. For example, a simple deductive argument might be “Only depressive students exhibit the following … Read more

How to write an extended essay

What is the extended essay? The extended essay is an independent research project on a topic chosen by the student working in collaboration with their supervisor. The extended essay puts forward a well-reasoned argument in relation to a research question. This essay is a formally presented scholarly paper that should not exceed 4000 words (approximately … Read more

How to write an exploratory essay

Purpose The exploratory essay is designed to research a topic, and to present that research. This paper does not draw conclusions or make recommendations. Because the exploratory essay asks students to gather information about a topic without synthesizing the sources in a sophisticated manner, such as the traditional argumentative paper, instructors often assign this paper as … Read more

How to write a thesis

A thesis is the final research project conducted as the capstone to a postgraduate degree. In the United States, a thesis refers to the final project for a master’s degree; only the final project for a doctoral degree is called a dissertation. In the United Kingdom, however, the term “thesis” is not widely used. The term “dissertation” is … Read more

How to write a simple essay

A routine or formula can make writing a simple essay relatively painless. There are many types of essay formats, such as narrative, analysis, argumentative, or comparison and contrast. Familiarizing yourself with these different conceptual frameworks can improve and enrich your writing. But for a simple essay, all you really need to know is the basic Five Paragraph Essay format. Pick a Topic It may sound … Read more

How to write a scholarship essay

The Purpose of The Scholarship Essay Many scholarships awarded by private schools, universities, and private organizations require that applicants write a scholarship essay as part of the application process. The purpose of this essay is to get a better sense of who the applicant is as a person. The theme of the essay is often designed to … Read more

How to write a research essay

A research essay combines many of the skills learned from writing other types of essays. In a research essay, the writer must incorporate the ideas of others, analyzing and integrating information. A research essay may overlap with other essay types such as the literary analysis, the persuasive essay or the cause and effect essay, or it may … Read more

How to write a report

What is a report? In writing, a report is a document that is both systematic and defines or analyzes the subject matter. Systematic is relative to the content, which should be written in such a way that the data is presented in the correct order, making the document very readable. A report can be an … Read more

How to write a process essay

A process essay explains how something is done. It gives the reader specific instructions. Topic One key to a successful process essay is to choose a task that has the appropriate level of difficulty for the length of the essay. A writer may struggle to fill three pages with directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but … Read more

How to write a personal statement

Purpose The personal statement is usually used as part of the criteria for admission into a graduate program. There are often dozens of applications for one spot in a graduate program, and the personal statement helps the graduate school admissions counselors determine which students are most suitable for the program. Criteria Universities rarely offer concrete prompts or … Read more

How to write an informal essay

An informal essay, unlike most formal academic essays, puts the writer and maybe even the audience front and center. An informal essay can cover a variety of topics, and it may overlap with other essay types such as the persuasive. How the informal essay is approached will depend on the topic. Informal Essay Topics Informal … Read more

How to write an illustration essay

Purpose An illustration essay is the simplest form of argumentative essay. The point of an illustration essay is to prove that something exists. For example, a topic of an illustration essay might be sexism in the workplace. The main argument would be that sexism exists in the workplace, and illustrative examples are offered as evidence. Topics Choosing a … Read more

How to write a persuasive essay

In persuasive writing, the author is trying to convince the audience to agree with a point of view. Persuasive essay writing differs from an academic argument in that an academic argument uses reason and logic to persuade its readers while a persuasive paper may rely on other techniques such as emotion. Persuasive writing examples can be found … Read more

How to write evaluative essays

Purpose The purpose of an evaluative essay is to teach students how to think critically and how to use examples to support their points. This essay is relatively simple and often enjoyable to write because everyone likes to give their opinions. As a result, professors and instructors often make the evaluative essay the first essay they assign … Read more

How to write an exemplification essay

The exemplification essay is a type of argumentative essay. The purpose of an exemplification essay is to prove a point through the use of examples. Instead of using scholarly sources to support the main point, the writer makes use of examples. These examples may be hypothetical, or they could be real examples pulled from the news or from … Read more

How to write a familiar essay

The familiar essay is a type of essay that has fallen by the wayside in most primary and secondary school curricula because it is difficult to write. The familiar essay is a personal reflection on an elevated topic, such as “people worth knowing,” or “How religion informs morality.” It is similar to a personal essay because the observations are unique … Read more

How to write a descriptive essay

In a descriptive essay, the writer uses the five senses to describe something as vividly as possible for the reader. A descriptive essay may describe an object or it may overlap with another type of essay. For example, a descriptive essay may also be a narrative essay in which description is used in telling a story. Vivid … Read more

How to write an expository essay

An expository essay provides information for the reader. It is objectively written and usually research-based. Examples include an essay for a history class on the Vietnam War or a biographical study of an author for a literature class. An expository essay may also overlap with other essay types such as cause and effect or the process essay. Thesis and Main … Read more

How to write an analytical essay

An analytical essay requires that the writer go beyond simply describing or reporting on something. For example, an analytical essay on the Great Depression might look at the main underlying reasons for the economic collapse, might examine its social ramifications or might discuss how it influenced the entry of the United States into World War II. Unlike … Read more

Breaking down the essay question

As well as understanding what type of essay you are being asked to write, sometimes, looking at the wording of the question helps you to understand more about the content of the essay that is expected.  These are terms commonly used in essay questions:

Account for

Your tutor is asking you to explain or  clarify an issue, or give reasons for something.

Analyse

Your tutor will expect you to resolve the essay question into component parts, examining the issues critically and minutely.  It is likely you are being asked to write an analytical essay.

Assess

For this type of essay, you are being asked to determine the value of or weigh up a particular piece of evidence, statement or fact.

Compare

When asked to compare, you are required to look for similarities and differences between issues, perhaps reaching some conclusions about which is preferable.  See compare and contrast essays.

Contrast

Your tutor here wants you to set different perspectives in opposition in order to bring out the differences.  See compare and contrast essays.

Criticise

In a critical essay, you are being asked to make judgments (backed by the discussion of the evidence or reasoning involved).  See critical essays.

Define

As you might expect, here you are expected to state the exact meaning of a word or phrase. In some cases it may be necessary or desirable to examine different possible meanings or often used definitions.  See definition essay.

Describe

When asked to describe, you are expected to give a detailed or graphic account of a particular issue.  See descriptive essay.

Discuss

If your tutor asks you to discuss an issue, you are expected to explain the issue, then give two or more sides of the issue and any implications

Evaluate

If asked to evaluate, you are expected to make an appraisal of the worth or validity or effectiveness of perhaps an issue, statement or piece of evidence in the light of its truth or usefulness (similar to assess).

Explain

When required to explain something, you need to make the meaning of it plain, interpret what is set out for you and account for it, i.e. give reasons why something is the case.

How far..?

Some essay questions begin ‘How far…?’.  These require that you determine to what extent something is true.  Usually this requires looking at evidence or arguments for or against, and weighing them up.

Illustrate

If your tutor asks you to illustrate something, you need to make the particular issue or point clear and explicit. It is a good idea to use carefully chosen examples.

Interpret

When required to interpret a particular statement, fact or issue, you need to explain the meaning of it, make everything clear and explicit, and usually giving a judgment or opinion on the issue in question.

Justify

When asked to justify something, you need to show adequate grounds for decisions or conclusions, and to answer the main objection likely to be made about them.

Outline

Students are often required to outline a particular issue.  This type of essay requires you to give the main features or general principles of the subject, omitting minor details and emphasising structure and argument (similar to summarise).

State…

This type of essay simply requires you to present a particular issue or fact in a brief, clear form.

Summarise…

An essay requiring you to summarise something needs to give a concise, clear explanation or account of the issue in hand, presenting the main factors and omitting any minor details and examples (similar to outline).