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Sample essay

Sometimes a good example of what you are trying to achieve is worth a 1000 words of advice! When you are asked to write an essay, try to find some samples (models) of similar writing and learn to observe the craft of the writer. You can use the samples as a basis for working out how to write in the correct style.

This workshop:

Key words: academic essay, essay question, paragraph, introduction, body, conclusion, reference list

About sample essays

Most books on essay writing will supply you with a number of model essays—collect some of these as they are great teachers! No matter what the topic is, you will see similarities between your writing tasks and these model essays. This is because many features of writing are common across subject areas. In some subjects (e.g. Law, Economics, Psychology and others), it is very useful to find subject-specific essay models as you can use these to work out the 'peculiarities' of writing for that subject area.

Read an academic essay

The following five paragraph essay has paragraph labels to show the parts of an academic essay.
(Note: This essay does not contain authentic references and has been written specifically to use for this teaching task.)

Open essay

Close essay


Analyse an academic essay

Most students really appreciate seeing a finished product. If you are to really benefit from model essays, you need to learn how to read the 'techniques of the writer'. The following exercise helps you to get started with developing your 'read the writer' skills.

Exercise 1: What did you notice?

The following questions relate to the essay above.

1. The introduction paragraph
There is information in quotation marks.
There is an indented long quote in this paragraph.
The last sentence gives the answer to the essay question.
Information from the same person is used twice.
The second sentence is the thesis statement (i.e. position the writer will take).

2. Body paragraph 1
There is information in quotation marks.
There is an indented long quote in this paragraph
The last sentence gives the answer to the essay question.
Information from the same person is used twice.
The second sentence is the thesis statement (i.e. position the writer will take).

3.Body paragraph 2
There is information in quotation marks.
There is an indented long quote in this paragraph.
The last sentence gives the answer to the essay question.
Information from the same person is used twice.
The second sentence is the thesis statement (i.e. position the writer will take).

4. Body paragraph 3
There is information in quotation marks.
There is an indented long quote in this paragraph.
The last sentence gives the answer to the essay question.
Information from the same person is used twice.
The second sentence is the thesis statement (i.e. position the writer will take).

5. The conclusion paragraph
There is information in quotation marks.
There is an indented long quote in this paragraph.
The last sentence gives the answer to the essay question.
Information from the same person is used twice.
The second sentence is the thesis statement (i.e. position the writer will take).

6. The reference list
All of the references are in random order.
All of the reference items start with the title of the information source.
If the author is a person, then their first name is used first.
There are no dates of publication in all of the references.
The references are in alphabetical order beginning with an author's surname.

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