How to write an essay

An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.

There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depending on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at the university level are argumentative: they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.

The essay writing process consists of three main stages:

  1. Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
  2. WritingSet out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
  3. Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.

In this guide, we walk you through what to include in the introductionbody and conclusion of an academic essay, using paragraphs from our interactive essay example.