An essay is a piece of writing where the student aims to discuss the given topic from different perspectives, presenting a critical view and using versatile scientific argumentation, leaning also on the required and relevant reference material. S/he is able to convince the reader of what and how s/he has learnt of the topic. Most course assignments are essays.
An essay is less restricted than a scientific article both in style and structure. However, the text should proceed in a systematic manner, placing emphasis on different entities. An essay is outlined in sections that are headed. The following division is the most common way to structure an essay:
- Introduction, which introduces the subject or the problem, briefly puts the subject in context, demonstrates the viewpoint, and defines the boundaries of the discussion
- Discussion, the structure of which depends on the chosen viewpoint (e.g. comparative structure, thesis statement and argumentation, moving from broad scale phenomena to narrow, or from theory to practice)
- Conlusion, in which the writer(s) can draw together the central concepts of the text, further develop their thoughts, deliberate on the (practical) implications of the results, etc. A conclusion also gives the writer(s) the opportunity to reflect on what they learned during the writing process.
Be aware that essays should have a clear and coherent structure. They should be written in proper academic language, the references should be marked in the text and on the last page there should be a list of references. See the thesis guidelines for citing in the text and making the list of references.
When preparing an essay you are expected
- to clearly define and limit the theme
- to search for relevant literature yourself or use the literature given to the assignment
If the course is only independent work and the assignment is an essay you must always discuss and agree on the topic and relevant literature with the lecturer in charge.
- familiarize yourself with the literature and send your proposal of the topic/topics to the lecturer in charge
- in addition to the topic also present the contents you are planning to discuss in your essay
- after the lecturer in charge has approved your plan for the essay you can proceed with the writing process
When writing an essay one should consider the three general categories, namely ideas, argumentation, structure and style:
- Does the student answer the assignment given?
- Does the student understand the reading materials?
- Do the student’s explanations of concepts, ideas and examples demonstrate an ability to gather the main points, paraphrase them and apply them?
- Does the student have original interpretations?
- Does the writing demonstrate an understanding of the subject, or does it wander from one subject to the next offering only superficial remarks?
- Can the reader easily see what the writer’s main point is?
- Does the essay provide a series of points that add up to an argumentation supporting the main point?
- Does the essay continue logically from point to point?
- Does the writer give examples and explanations to support his/her generalizations?
- Does the essay contain contradictions?
Structure and style
- Is the paragraph structure logical?
- Is the writer’s point of view clear?
- Do the citations and the bibliography follow the scientific standards?
Layout of an essay
- On the top of the cover page of you essay you should mark:
- name of the author
- title of the essay
- name and code of the course
- The second page includes Table of content
- Your essay should begin on the 3rd page
- Use font size 12 and spacing 1,5.
- On the last page there should be a List of References including all the references you have used (books, articles, statistics, on-line material etc., also unpublished material should be listed).
Teachers may have different instructions especially with shorter assignments. Please follow the instructions given by the teacher.
You can find further instructions for academic writing e.g. at the University Language Centre material bank at:
Но я хочу иметь копию. Я хочу открыть этот проклятый файл и ознакомиться с созданной Танкадо программой. Сьюзан была столь же любопытна, как и ее шеф, но чутье подсказывало ей, что расшифровка алгоритма «Цифровой крепости» неразумна, какой бы интерес это ни представляло.