By definition, an essay is a precise and short, linguistically demanding text that addresses a well-defined subject from science, politics, economics, philosophy or the literary or similar. The English translation for “essay” is “experiment”. Writing an essay means critically addressing a topic, critically assessing the topic, and promoting the consideration of scientific positions.
Scientific style of an essay
Such a written statement always consists of a question, which is discussed. The essay requires a clear argumentation structure (so-called red thread) and it is characterized by an arguing, scientific style.
Compared to other scientific papers, personal arguments in the essay may be more in the foreground. It should be noted, however, that the arguments must be based on a rational, scientific level. For this you have to be sufficiently informed and familiarize yourself with the topic. However, it is important not to hide behind the secondary literature. Rather, the reading serves to form its own critical opinion. Counterpositions are not ignored, but taken up and refuted in a scientific way. Essentially, an essay can be described as weighing the pros and cons of a problem.
The outline: introduction, main part, conclusion
The structure of such a paper must be comprehensible. It can be dispensed with subheadings. The logical and optical subdivision is done by paragraphs.
Like several other scientific texts, the article consists of an introduction that leads to the topic and briefly explains the question and a main part, which analyzes the problem posed argumentatively. The main section compares various research opinions. The last part of the article is the conclusion. This summarizes the key messages and offers a conclusion.
Further explanations to the structure
In the introduction you clarify the topic of the essay to the reader. The question is explained and you have to justify why the question is relevant. In addition, the procedure and the structure of the essay are described.
In the main part, you develop the topic using examples and factual representations. Develop a so-called red thread, i. try to follow a reasonable and clearly structured argumentation. References to texts and sources that support your arguments. Literal citations should be carefully chosen and used sparingly, if at all. If you include a quote in the text, proof must be provided by footnotes. But always try to formulate your own thoughts and views. Instead of literal quotations, indirect quotations should be included in the text as far as possible.
As already mentioned, in the final part you summarize your results and insights. Draw a conclusion from these and, if necessary, give the reader an outlook or explain which questions remain open. Even a final evaluation of the topic makes sense.
The title page
A table of contents can be omitted in an essay. However, your essay requires a title page including the author’s name, subject combination and semester number. In addition, the title page will contain your matriculation number, your address and your email address (and, if applicable, telephone number). Also the indication of the seminar with the semester, the department and the name of the lecturer are obligatory. Of course, the name of the essay should not be missing.
An essay does not cover more than 5 pages
An essay covers 4, maximum 5 sides. It is written with a line spacing of 1.5 and with a font in 12 pt. The margins left, bottom and top are 2 cm. Right, the edge is 4 inches tall. At the end of the article, the literature used is listed in the bibliography. The directory is extra counted, i. it does not belong to the 5 pages document. The requirements can vary from university to university, from department to department and from professor to professor.
On it lecturers value
In order to be able to evaluate your thoughts or your essay, the examiner will examine the article to see whether it consists of a clear outline including the introduction, the main part and the conclusion and that it checks whether the whole thing is based on a clear question. In addition, the reasoning must be comprehensible and the language (scientific) plays an important role in the evaluation. Of course, also orthographic and grammatical aspects are important. The bibliography, as well as the title page, must be complete. Furthermore, the examiner will check the correctness of the presented facts and he will evaluate the selection of the literature (have you used scientific books?).
In a nutshell: tips for writing an essay
In this section, the most important points for composing an essay are summarized again briefly and concisely.
- Be sure to follow the instructions of the lecturer (length of essay, formalities, …)
- Avoid verbatim quotes (instead: indirect quotes)
- Express yourself understandable and (not too!) Scientifically
- Make your arguments logical
- Include good reasons for your arguments
- Avoid filler sentences or phrases
- Instead, you should keep the text concise and informative
It can be very helpful to create a schedule so that you can finish the essay on time. So you can take a short break before you re-check the article before submitting. This also leaves enough time to ask other people for their opinion. Get help on our website for the proofreading.