Why Your Academic Essay is Below Average

by Victor Daniel

 Two months ago, I lost a gig because of my poor academic writing skills. 

I had all the requirements to get this gig, the diligence in doing research, the coordination, and the passion for writing.

But my portfolio lacked any substantial academic essay that would have gotten me this job.

This prompted me to research and learn more about writing a quality academic essay. 

The results of my research and the knowledge acquired are what I’ll share with you in this article.

Academic essay writing is like a building; the door leading to this building is likened to the introduction of your essay, while the compartments or rooms are the different paragraphs that give your essay the excellent structure academic writing requires.

Academic essays are easy to craft if you follow the correct procedures. 

Before we move on, let’s define what an Academic essay is.

What is an Academic essay?

An academic essay is a kind of essay that is formal and well-structured and requires an author to make an argument and present their findings or analysis in an organized manner.

Three basic things characterize an academic essay; what they are, their purpose, and the audience.

An essay must possess these before it can be considered an academic essay. 

These three characteristics not only define academic essay writing but also divides it into two major types, which are;

  • Students Academic writing
  • Expert Academic writing

Students write academic essays with an assessment purpose, and their audience is tutors, supervisors, and fellow students.

On the other hand, Expert academic essays are written by experts from various fields for publication to create new knowledge, and their audience is limitless.

Academic essay writing is limitless in verification. This means different scholars have methods that suit them in writing their Academic essays.

But despite that, there are still basic requirements that every Academic essay must possess to be identified as one.

Read also: How to write a Business report: definition, format and samples.

Guidelines For Writing an Academic Essay

Below is a guideline on how to write an excellent academic essay; 

  1. Structure

Every Academic essay carries a concrete structure in it.

It is an integral part of an Academic essay, and it sums up the parts or bodies for effortless flow and articulation.

Structure in academic essays includes the introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction carries the topic or the main idea of the writing and gives an insight into what the writing is all about.

This part of the structure is sensitive because it is responsible for arousing the reader’s interest and hooks them into whatever is about to be reported in the essay.

The body has a crucial function which helps arrange ideas into paragraphs and stages.

This is where the main ideas, evidence, and facts of every report are written. Thus, it must be arranged sequentially for clear understanding.

The conclusion involves the summary of everything in the report, it shouldn’t be longer than the body, and it should be precise for better understanding. 

Conclusions are usually located at the bottom of every academic essay.

  1. Formality

Academic essay writing carries a report from an author to an unknown audience or revered colleague or supervisor, hence its need for formality.

References, citations, and new ideas are being brought into knowledge through academic essays, and this kind of analysis needs official reporting to make sensible meaning and impact.

Read also: How to write a Reference letter (for Supervisors to use as template)

  1. Organization

Academic essays make arguments and transfer knowledge from students to tutors or experts to an audience, hence the need for them to be organized.

The use of colloquial words and personal pronouns is prohibited in Academic essays.

The arrangement of paragraphs, grammatical expressions, and logical flows constitutes the basic qualities required in organizing academic essays.

Syntax phrases and vocabulary should also be used correctly to have organised academic essays.

  1. Evidence

Since Academic writing deals with research and making arguments, there must be evidence to back your argument and transfer knowledge and ideas to your audience.

This evidence brings the facts in your argument or reports and helps your audience to see the credibility of the idea which you’re trying to make.

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  1. Objectivity

Every Academic essay has an objective which is to make reports and impact knowledge.

The audience who read these essays also has one goal in common, to gain knowledge.

This sums up the objective of every academic writing, which is the transfer of knowledge.

Students write to tutors in schools to be assessed and to know if new ideas have been learnt.

Experts write reports or analyses to transfer ideas discovered to their audience. 

Academic essays are free of assumption and concise because accurate facts are transferred to the audience and not biased or personal opinions.

These five qualities are fundamental features of Academic essays which must be implemented to boost your writing.

Any academic essay which lacks any of these may fall below average and may not achieve its objective of impacting rightful ideas to its audience.

Read also: How to write a Business plan in Nigeria (Template for Nigerian Businesses).

Examples of Academic Essays

Lastly, academic essays vary in kind. There have been many misconceptions regarding examples of what Academic writing is.

And so, for clarity’s sake, I’ve mentioned some examples of Academic essays here.

  •  Research paper
  • Lab report
  • Literature review
  • Thesis and dissertation
  • Annotated bibliography


When implemented correctly, these tips will not only boost your academic essay writing skills but also give you a place among successful writers in the industry.

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About Author

Avatar of Victor Daniel
Victor Daniel
An SEO Content writer with dedicated 4 years experience. I have expertise in typically researching for topics, creating style guides for a company's content, and writing content that helps drive conversions based on the organization's goals.

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