How to write an academic essay structure, sample

When applying to many higher education institutions, applicants are asked to write an academic essay.

In the article we will tell you how to write an academic essay, what is its structure and what topic to choose for this type of work. At the end, ready-made academic essay samples are waiting for you.

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Why write an academic essay

An academic essay is a small study of a future student.

An academic essay, like an essay , is included in the applicant’s portfolio. It has a fairly large weight on admission. This type of work has its own goals and objectives:

  • with the help of an essay, the student’s ability to structure information and think logically is assessed;
  • a high-quality essay shows how well an applicant can work with sources of information, choose the main thing and filter out the secondary;
  • an academic essay shows the admission committee the peculiarities of thinking of a future student.

How to choose a topic for an academic essay

Some universities provide a ready-made list of topics for an academic essay, others leave this moment to the choice of a potential student.

It is better that the topic of the essay is understandable to the applicant and resonates with him. Indeed, when writing such an essay, it will not be possible to get rid of template phrases. It is important to show your reasoning and give the work its emotional coloring.

By the way, it is better not to take a too easy topic for an essay from the list. Most likely, many applicants took this topic. It will be difficult to write something unusual and catchy in this case.

How to understand in what style you need to write an academic essay

According to the style of presentation, an essay can be of different directions: description, reasoning, comparison. To understand the style of a particular academic essay, you need to look at the wording of the topic. There will be hints for determining the style:

  • If the topic of the essay begins with the word “describe” , then the author is simply required to describe certain facts, events and highlight the main thing from this.
  • If the wording of the topic asks to explain something, then the author must analyze the topic, show the causes and consequences within the given topic.
  • An essay that begins with the word “prove” should contain the author’s arguments and direct evidence.
  • When the topic of an academic essay contains the words “compare” or “draw an analogy” , then in such an essay it is necessary to compare or contrast ideas, works, theories, etc.

Academic Essay Requirements

Each university has its own requirements for an academic essay. You can find them on the website of the educational institution.

An academic essay is very different from other types of work, such as motivational writing . The main difference is the strict structure of the text and a special style of presentation.


Usually, an essay includes such structural elements as:

  • introduction;
  • theses;
  • arguments;
  • findings and conclusion.

Scope and style of writing

The volume of an academic essay depends on the requirements of a particular educational institution. Usually, it is from 4 to 20 thousand characters. No need to pour water, in an academic essay, the main thing is the content.

The style of presentation of the academic essay is business. It is better not to use too many scientific terms, you can dilute them with lyrical expressions. The admission committee must see that the applicant is well versed in the requirements for an academic essay and adheres to them.

Questions for an academic essay

Before writing an academic essay, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to tell the committee members? How can I formulate this concisely and clearly?
  • Why does what I write about matter to me?
  • How can I prove my opinion?
  • What would I say about this essay if another applicant wrote it?

As a rule, the answers to these questions will tell the author in which direction to move and what to write.

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