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University of Newcastle Library guides

How to write an essay: Introduction

The basics on how to write an academic essay for university

Introduction

The academic essay is a type of writing frequently used as an assessment task in university courses.

  • An assignment essay is written over a number of weeks, as you research and read about the topic given. It is expected that you will develop your response to the essay question over an extended period of time, and include evidence from your research to support your ideas.
  • You should be prepared to draft and rewrite several times before submitting your final essay for marking. Your work must be correctly referenced and written in formal English.

Here are the steps to writing an academic essay:

steps to writing an essay

Usually, the purpose of an essay is to answer a specific question within a given word limit.

An essay may be as short as 500 words or as long as 2000-3000 words.

It has three main parts:

  • the introduction
  • the body
  • and the conclusion, and is written in paragraphs with each paragraph dealing with one idea or part of the main topic.

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