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Writing a Research Essay

writing-a-research-essayBoth Research essays and research papers are common academic requirements especially in university study. In the course of completing a degree programme, students will complete dozens of research essays and research papers in different subjects at varying levels of study. These types of assignments contribute to the acquisition and development of students’ writing, research and argumentation skills. The writing produced from these assignments also serve as a gauge of the knowledge the student has acquired from the class lectures, if the student is actually absorbing the lectures and discussions being conducted. In terms of distinction between the two, a research essay is easier to write than a research paper because the latter typically requires more effort and time.

There are some important essay writing tips when planning to write an essay:

  • First of all, the writer must choose a topic that interests not only the essay’s intended readers but also the writer itself. A genuine interest in studying a chosen topic will make it easier for a student to conduct research and writing, at the same time making the experience productive and fascinating.
  • Secondly, whatever topic the writer chooses, it should have enough research materials where the writer can draw facts and information from, which will serve as the foundation for the arguments and discussion for the essay.
  • Third, avoid the common mistake that most students make that when assigned a topic, they simply restate the information that is already known or given as common knowledge. Instead, provide analysis on some aspects of the topic to show the reviewer of your essay that you understand the topic and have researched on it. Make sure that the flow of your discussion is smooth in that the progression of idea and arguments can be followed without difficulty by any reader.

A typical essay has three important components:

  • Introduction. This section has two functions: first, to acquaint the reader with a preliminary description of the topic; second, to state the thesis statement and what the essay aims to discuss.
  • Body. This is the central part of the entire essay. This section will expand the arguments and give the meat of the discussion on the topic. There are times when it will be necessary for the writer to include the assertions and contentions of your opposing point of view and compare these to yours to show the superiority of your position regarding the topic. This is the most difficult part of the essay to write because you will have to structure it carefully to accommodate the breadth of discussion you are intending to take.
  • Conclusion. This part provides a summary of the important points covered in the essay and leaves readers with something to ponder on about the topic.
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