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Academic Essay

A clear sense of argument is essential to all forms of academic writing, for writing is thought made visible. Insights and ideas that occur to us when we encounter the raw material of the world, natural phenomena like the behavior of genes, or cultural phenomena, like texts, photographs and artifacts, must be ordered in some way so others can receive them and respond in turn. This give and take is at the heart of the scholarly enterprise, and makes possible that vast conversation known as civilization. Like all human ventures, the conventions of the academic essay are both logical and playful. They may vary in expression from discipline to discipline, but any good essay should show us a mind developing a thesis, supporting that thesis with evidence, deftly anticipating objections or counterarguments, and maintaining the momentum of discovery.

Purpose of an Academic Essay

The purpose of an academic essay is to present a line of thinking which reaches a conclusion, with reasons presented to persuade others to agree with that conclusion. Basic Structure of an academic essay 4 main parts: 1. Introduction 2. Main body 3. Conclusion 4. References Introduction The introduction will explain the academic problem/argument as you see it, and say how you intend to handle it. It tells the reader what to expect, and what to look for (say what you are going to say). The purpose of the introduction is to arouse the interest of the reader. It should be a clear statement around which the rest of the essay can be built. It needs to be between 5-10% of the total word count. Your introduction should answer the following questions for the reader: What is the essay about? (previews the arguments)

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