Essay and dissertation writing skills
Planning your essay
Writing your introduction
Structuring your essay
- Writing essays in science subjects
- Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
- Writing extended essays and dissertations
- Planning your dissertation writing time
Structuring your dissertation
- Top tips for writing longer pieces of work
Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations
University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).
A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions.
You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:
Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.
However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:
Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’
Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:
The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.
- Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
- References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline.
Essay writing in science subjects
If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:
A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.
Short videos to support your essay writing skills
There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:
- Approaching different types of essay questions
- Structuring your essay
- Writing an introduction
- Making use of evidence in your essay writing
- Writing your conclusion
Extended essays and dissertations
Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.
Planning your time effectively
Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.
Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.
The structure of extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:
- The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
- Explanation of the focus of your work.
- Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
- List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.
The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.
The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources.
Tips on writing longer pieces of work
Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.
For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work .
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- How to Do Research for an Excellent Essay: The Complete Guide
One of the biggest secrets to writing a good essay is the Boy Scouts’ motto: ‘be prepared’. Preparing for an essay – by conducting effective research – lays the foundations for a brilliant piece of writing, and it’s every bit as important as the actual writing part. Many students skimp on this crucial stage, or sit in the library not really sure where to start; and it shows in the quality of their essays. This just makes it easier for you to get ahead of your peers, and we’re going to show you how. In this article, we take you through what you need to do in order to conduct effective research and use your research time to best effect.
Allow enough time
First and foremost, it’s vital to allow enough time for your research. For this reason, don’t leave your essay until the last minute . If you start writing without having done adequate research, it will almost certainly show in your essay’s lack of quality. The amount of research time needed will vary according to whether you’re at Sixth Form or university, and according to how well you know the topic and what teaching you’ve had on it, but make sure you factor in more time than you think you’ll need. You may come across a concept that takes you longer to understand than you’d expected, so it’s better to allow too much time than too little.
Read the essay question and thoroughly understand it
If you don’t have a thorough understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do, you put yourself at risk of going in the wrong direction with your research. So take the question, read it several times and pull out the key things it’s asking you to do. The instructions in the question are likely to have some bearing on the nature of your research. If the question says “Compare”, for example, this will set you up for a particular kind of research, during which you’ll be looking specifically for points of comparison; if the question asks you to “Discuss”, your research focus may be more on finding different points of view and formulating your own.
Begin with a brainstorm
Start your research time by brainstorming what you already know. Doing this means that you can be clear about exactly what you’re already aware of, and you can identify the gaps in your knowledge so that you don’t end up wasting time by reading books that will tell you what you already know. This gives your research more of a direction and allows you to be more specific in your efforts to find out certain things. It’s also a gentle way of introducing yourself to the task and putting yourself in the right frame of mind for learning about the topic at hand.
Achieve a basic understanding before delving deeper
If the topic is new to you and your brainstorm has yielded few ideas, you’ll need to acquire a basic understanding of the topic before you begin delving deeper into your research. If you don’t, and you start by your research by jumping straight in at the deep end, as it were, you’ll struggle to grasp the topic. This also means that you may end up being too swayed by a certain source, as you haven’t the knowledge to question it properly. You need sufficient background knowledge to be able to take a critical approach to each of the sources you read. So, start from the very beginning. It’s ok to use Wikipedia or other online resources to give you an introduction to a topic, though bear in mind that these can’t be wholly relied upon. If you’ve covered the topic in class already, re-read the notes you made so that you can refresh your mind before you start further investigation.
Working through your reading list
If you’ve been given a reading list to work from, be organised in how you work through each of the items on it. Try to get hold of as many of the books on it as you can before you start, so that you have them all easily to hand, and can refer back to things you’ve read and compare them with other perspectives. Plan the order in which you’re going to work through them and try to allocate a specific amount of time to each of them; this ensures that you allow enough time to do each of them justice and that focus yourself on making the most of your time with each one. It’s a good idea to go for the more general resources before honing in on the finer points mentioned in more specialised literature. Think of an upside-down pyramid and how it starts off wide at the top and becomes gradually narrower; this is the sort of framework you should apply to your research.
Ask a librarian
Library computer databases can be confusing things, and can add an extra layer of stress and complexity to your research if you’re not used to using them. The librarian is there for a reason, so don’t be afraid to go and ask if you’re not sure where to find a particular book on your reading list. If you’re in need of somewhere to start, they should be able to point you in the direction of the relevant section of the library so that you can also browse for books that may yield useful information.
Use the index
If you haven’t been given specific pages to read in the books on your reading list, make use of the index (and/or table of contents) of each book to help you find relevant material. It sounds obvious, but some students don’t think to do this and battle their way through heaps of irrelevant chapters before finding something that will be useful for their essay.
As you work through your reading, take notes as you go along rather than hoping you’ll remember everything you’ve read. Don’t indiscriminately write down everything – only the bits that will be useful in answering the essay question you’ve been set. If you write down too much, you risk writing an essay that’s full of irrelevant material and getting lower grades as a result. Be concise, and summarise arguments in your own words when you make notes (this helps you learn it better, too, because you actually have to think about how best to summarise it). You may want to make use of small index cards to force you to be brief with what you write about each point or topic. We’ve covered effective note-taking extensively in another article, which you can read here . Note-taking is a major part of the research process, so don’t neglect it. Your notes don’t just come in useful in the short-term, for completing your essay, but they should also be helpful when it comes to revision time, so try to keep them organised.
Research every side of the argument
Never rely too heavily on one resource without referring to other possible opinions; it’s bad academic practice. You need to be able to give a balanced argument in an essay, and that means researching a range of perspectives on whatever problem you’re tackling. Keep a note of the different arguments, along with the evidence in support of or against each one, ready to be deployed into an essay structure that works logically through each one. If you see a scholar’s name cropping up again and again in what you read, it’s worth investigating more about them even if you haven’t specifically been told to do so. Context is vital in academia at any level, so influential figures are always worth knowing about.
Keep a dictionary by your side
You could completely misunderstand a point you read if you don’t know what one important word in the sentence means. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep a dictionary by your side at all times as you conduct your research. Not only does this help you fully understand what you’re reading, but you also learn new words that you might be able to use in your forthcoming essay or a future one . Growing your vocabulary is never a waste of time!
Start formulating your own opinion
As you work through reading these different points of view, think carefully about what you’ve read and note your own response to different opinions. Get into the habit of questioning sources and make sure you’re not just repeating someone else’s opinion without challenging it. Does an opinion make sense? Does it have plenty of evidence to back it up? What are the counter-arguments, and on balance, which sways you more? Demonstrating your own intelligent thinking will set your essay apart from those of your peers, so think about these things as you conduct your research.
Be careful with web-based research
Although, as we’ve said already, it’s fine to use Wikipedia and other online resources to give you a bit of an introduction to a topic you haven’t covered before, be very careful when using the internet for researching an essay. Don’t take Wikipedia as gospel; don’t forget, anybody can edit it! We wouldn’t advise using the internet as the basis of your essay research – it’s simply not academically rigorous enough, and you don’t know how out of date a particular resource might be. Even if your Sixth Form teachers may not question where you picked up an idea you’ve discussed in your essays, it’s still not a good habit to get into and you’re unlikely to get away with it at a good university. That said, there are still reliable academic resources available via the internet; these can be found in dedicated sites that are essentially online libraries, such as JSTOR. These are likely to be a little too advanced if you’re still in Sixth Form, but you’ll almost certainly come across them once you get to university.
Look out for footnotes
In an academic publication, whether that’s a book or a journal article, footnotes are a great place to look for further ideas for publications that might yield useful information. Plenty can be hidden away in footnotes, and if a writer is disparaging or supporting the ideas of another academic, you could look up the text in question so that you can include their opinion too, and whether or not you agree with them, for extra brownie points.
Don’t save doing all your own references until last
If you’re still in Sixth Form, you might not yet be required to include academic references in your essays, but for the sake of a thorough guide to essay research that will be useful to you in the future, we’re going to include this point anyway (it will definitely come in useful when you get to university, so you may as well start thinking about it now!). As you read through various books and find points you think you’re going to want to make in your essays, make sure you note down where you found these points as you go along (author’s first and last name, the publication title, publisher, publication date and page number). When you get to university you will be expected to identify your sources very precisely, so it’s a good habit to get into. Unfortunately, many students forget to do this and then have a difficult time of going back through their essay adding footnotes and trying to remember where they found a particular point. You’ll save yourself a great deal of time and effort if you simply note down your academic references as you go along. If you are including footnotes, don’t forget to add each publication to a main bibliography, to be included at the end of your essay, at the same time.
Putting in the background work required to write a good essay can seem an arduous task at times, but it’s a fundamental step that can’t simply be skipped. The more effort you put in at this stage, the better your essay will be and the easier it will be to write. Use the tips in this article and you’ll be well on your way to an essay that impresses!
To get even more prepared for essay writing you might also want to consider attending an Oxford Summer School .
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- Subject Guides
Academic writing: a practical guide
- Academic writing
- The writing process
- Academic writing style
- Structure & cohesion
- Criticality in academic writing
- Working with evidence
- Assessment & feedback
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Showing your understanding of and critical arguments relating to a topic.
What are essays?
Most degree programmes include essays. They are the most common form of written assignment and so for most students, being good at essays is essential to gaining good marks, which lead to good grades, which lead to the degree classification desired. Essays are both a particular method of writing and a collection of sub-skills that students need to master during degree studies.
Find out more:
Essays: a Conceptual and Practical Guide [interactive tutorial] | Essays: a Conceptual and Practical Guide [Google Doc]
General essay writing
You have an essay to write... what next .
- Read the assessment brief carefully to find out what the essay is about, what you are required to do specifically. What instructions are you given (discuss, explain, explore)? What choices do you need to make?
- Work through the practical guide to essays above. This will help you to think about what an essay is and what is required of you.
- Look at the assignment writing process . How will you produce your essay?
- Make a plan for when, where, and how you will research, think, draft, and write your essay.
- Execute your plan .
- Finish early. Leave a couple of spare days at the end to edit and proofread .
- Hand it in and move on to the next challenge!
Features of essay writing
Essays vary lots between disciplines and specific tasks, but they share several features that are important to bear in mind.
- They are an argument towards a conclusion. The conclusion can be for or against a position, or just a narrative conclusion. All your writing and argumentation should lead to this conclusion.
- They have a reader. It is essential that you show the logic of your argument and the information it is based on to your reader.
- They are based on evidence . You must show this using both your referencing and also through interacting with the ideas and thinking found within the sources you use.
- They have a structure. You need to ensure your structure is logical and that it matches the expectations of your department. You should also ensure that the structure enables the reader to follow your argument easily.
- They have a word limit. 1000 words means 'be concise and make decisions about exactly what is important to include' whereas 3500 words means 'write in more depth, and show the reader a more complex and broad range of critical understanding'.
- They are part of a discipline/subject area, each of which has conventions . For example, Chemistry requires third person impersonal writing, whereas Women's Studies requires the voice (meaning experiential viewpoint) of the author in the writing.
Types of essay
Each essay task is different and consequently the information below is not designed to be a substitute for checking the information for your specific essay task. It is essential that you check the assessment brief, module handbook and programme handbook, as well as attend any lectures, seminars and webinars devoted to the essay you are working on.
Essays in each subject area belong to a faculty (science, social sciences, arts and Humanities). Essays within the same faculty tend to share some features of style, structure, language choice, and scholarly practices. Please click through to the section relevant to your faculty area and if you want to be curious, the other ones too!
Arts & Humanities essays
Arts and Humanities is a faculty that includes a huge range of subject areas, from Music to Philosophy. Study in the arts and humanities typically focuses on products of the human mind, like music, artistic endeavour, philosophical ideas, and literary productions. This means that essays in the arts and humanities are typically exploring ideas, or interpreting the products of thinking (such as music, art, literature).
There are a range of essay writing styles in arts and humanities, and each subject area has its own conventions and expectations, which are explained and built into modules within each degree programme. Typically, each essay explores an idea, using critical engagement with source material, to produce an argument.
There is typically more reliance on the interpretation of ideas and evidence by the student than in the sciences and social sciences. For the student, the challenge is to understand and control the ideas in each essay, producing a coherent and logical argument that fulfils the essay brief. As with all essays, careful structure, word choices, and language use are essential to succeeding.
Department-specific advice for essays in Arts and Humanities
Some departments provide web-based advice:
- English and Related Literature essay writing advice pages
- Philosophy essay writing advice pages
- Music Department 'House Style' guidance for essay writing
- Language and Linguistic Science style guide
If your department does not appear above, do ask your supervisor or other academic staff what specific guidance is available.
Key Features of Arts and Humanities essays
- They are based on evidence . It is important that ideas used in essays are derived from credible and usable sources to root your essay in the scholarly materials of the subject that you are writing about.
- There is usually a thesis statement. This appears towards the end of your introductory paragraph, concisely outlining the purpose and the main argument of the essay. It is short (once sentence), concise, and precise. Though the essay may have multiple sub-arguments, all must tie into the thesis statement. This means it is important to know, state and stick to the primary focus set out in your thesis statement.
- They require you to interpret evidence. It is unlikely that you will find a source that directly answers the essay question set. You will typically be required to interpret primary and secondary evidence. Primary evidence includes the manuscript of a novel, or a letter describing an historical event. Secondary evidence includes academic books and peer reviewed articles.
- They require you to apply ideas. Many essays will ask you to apply an abstract idea to a scenario, or interpretation of something. For example, you could be asked to apply a Marxist ideology upon Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights or Post-Colonialist theories upon Shakespeare's The Tempest.
- Essays vary greatly in terms of length, required depth of thinking and purpose. You must carefully read the assessment brief and any supporting materials provided to you. It is also important to complete formative tasks that prepare you for an essay, as these will help you to become use to the requirements of the summative essay.
- They must show criticality. When interpreting evidence, or applying ideas in your essay you must be aware that there is more than one possible understanding. Through exploring multiple sources and showing the limits and interconnectedness of ideas you show criticality. More information on criticality can be found on the Criticality page of this guide .
Example extract of an arts and humanities essay
Essay Title: Liturgical expression and national identity during the reign of Æthelred the Unready
This essay is from English studies and shows typical features of an arts and humanities essay. It is examining two ideas, namely 'national identity' and 'liturgical expression' and applying them both to a period of history. The essay does this by analysing linguistic choices, using interpretation from the literature base to create an argument that addresses the essay title.
It also has the feature of the student using sources of evidence to offer an interpretation that may disagree with some published sources. This use of evidence to create an argument that is novel to the student and requires interpretation of ideas is typical of arts and humanities writing. '"engla God", these liturgical verses themselves both signify and enact a ritualised unity with God.' is an example from the essay extract that shows the careful language choices used to create a concise and precise argument that clearly conveys complex thought to the reader from the author.
One way of thinking about a good arts and humanities essay is that it is like you are producing a garment from threads. The overall piece has a shape that people can recognise and understand, and each word, like each stitch, builds the whole piece slowly, whilst some key threads, like core ideas in your argument, run through the whole to hold it all together. It is the threading together of the strands of argument that determines the quality of the final essay, just as the threading of strands in a garment determine the quality of the final piece.
Good arts and humanities essay writing is...
- Based on evidence sources,
- built on the interpretation and application of ideas, evidence and theories,
- a clearly expressed, logical argument that addresses the essay question,
- carefully constructed to guide the reader in a logical path from the introduction to the conclusion,
- filled with carefully chosen language to precisely and accurately convey ideas and interpretations to the reader,
- built on rigorous, careful and close analysis of ideas,
- constructed using careful evaluation of the significance of each idea and concept used,
- readable, meaning it is clear and logical, using clearly understandable English,
- rewarded with high marks.
Common mistakes in arts and humanities essay writing
- Not answering the question posed. It is very easy to answer the question you wished had been asked, or drift away from the question during your writing. Keep checking back to the question to ensure you are still focussed and make a clear plan before writing.
- Moving beyond the evidence. You are required to interpret ideas and evidence that exist, this requires some application and novelty, but should not be making up new ideas/knowledge to make your argument work; your writing must be rooted in evidence.
- Using complex and long words where simpler word choices would convey meaning more clearly. Think of the reader.
- Leaving the reader to draw their own conclusion s, or requiring the reader to make assumptions. They must be able to see your thinking clearly on the page.
- Using lots of direct quotes . There are times when using quotes is important to detail lines from a novel for example, but you need to use them carefully and judiciously, so that most of your writing is based on your use of sources, for which you gain credit.
Social Science essays
Social Sciences, as the name suggests, can be thought of as an attempt to use a 'scientific method' to investigate social phenomena. There is a recognition that applying the strict rules of the level of proof required in science subjects is not appropriate when studying complex social phenomena. But, there is an expectation of as much rigour as is possible to achieve in each investigation.
Consequently, there is a huge variation in the types of essays that can be found within the social sciences. An essay based on the carbon dating of human remains within Archaeology is clearly very different from an essay based on the application of an ethical framework in Human Resources Management. The former is likely to be much more like a science essay, whilst the latter may edge towards a Philosophy essay, which is part of arts and humanities.
Key features of social science essays
- They are evidence-based. It is crucial to use the evidence in a way that shows you understand how significant the evidence used is.
- They require interpretation of evidence . By its nature, evidence in social sciences may be less definite than in sciences, and so interpretation is required. When you interpret evidence, this too must be based on evidence, rather than personal opinion or personal observation.
- They often require the application of abstract theories to real-world scenarios . The theories are 'clean and clear' and the real world is 'messy and unclear'; the skill of the student is to make plausible judgements. For example,
- The level of detail and breadth of knowledge that must be displayed varies greatly, depending on the length of the essay. 1000 word essays need concise wording and for the student to limit the breadth of knowledge displayed in order to achieve the depth needed for a high mark. Conversely, 5000 word essays require both breadth and depth of knowledge.
- They should show criticality. This means you need to show uncertainty in the theories and ideas used, and how ideas and theories interact with others. You should present counter-facts and counter-arguments and use the information in the literature base to reach supported conclusions and judgements.
Example extract of a social science essay
Essay Title: Who Gets What in Education and is that Fair?
Education in the western world has historically favoured men in the regard that women were essentially denied access to it for no other reason than their gender (Trueman,2016) and even though it would seem there is certainly “equality on paper” (Penny, 2010,p1.) when looking at statistics for achievement and gender, the reality is that the struggles facing anyone who does not identify as male require a little more effort to recognise. An excellent example of this can be found in the 2014 OECD report. In the UK women significantly outnumbered men in their application for university places- 376,860 women to 282,170 men (ICEF,2014)- but when observed closer men are applying for places at higher ranking universities and often studying in fields that will eventually allow them to earn better salaries. The same report praised women for the ability to combine their studies with family life and having higher aspirations than boys and therefore likely as being more determined to obtain degrees (ICEF, 2014), yet in reality women have very little choice about coping with the stressful burdens placed on them. The concepts of double burden and triple shift where women are expected to deal with housework and earning an income, or housework, raising children and earning an income (Einhorn, 1993) could in this case relate to the pressure for women to work hard at school to allow them to be able to provide for their families in future. Even women who do not necessarily have their own families or children to care for must face the double burden and triple shift phenomenon in the workplace, as women who work in the higher education sector almost always have the duty of a more pastoral and caring role of their students than male counterparts (Morley,1994).
Education is a social science subject. Some studies within it follow a scientific method of quantitative data collection, whilst others are more qualitative, and others still are more theoretical. In the case of this extract it is about gendered effects in university applications. This is an inevitably complex area to write about, intersecting as it does with social class, economic status, social norms, cultural history, political policy... To name but a few.
The essay is clearly based on evidence, which in places in numerical and in places is derived from previously written papers, such as 'triple shift where women are expected to deal with housework and earning an income, or housework, raising children and earning an income (Einhorn, 1993)', where the concept of triple shift is derived from the named paper. It is this interleaving of numerical and concrete facts with theoretical ideas that have been created and/or observed that is a typical feature in social sciences. In this case, the author has clearly shown the reader where the information is from and has 'controlled' the ideas to form a narrative that is plausible and evidence-based.
When compared to science writing, it can appear to be more wordy and this is largely due to the greater degree of interpretation that is required to use and synthesise complex ideas and concepts that have meanings that are more fluid and necessarily less precise than many scientific concepts.
Good social science essay writing is...
- filled with clearly articulated thinking from the mind of the author,
- well structured to guide the reader through the argument or narrative being created,
- focussed on answering the question or addressing the task presented,
- filled with carefully chosen evaluative language to tell the reader what is more and less significant,
- readable - sounds simple, but is difficult to achieve whilst remaining precise,
Common mistakes in social science essay writing
- Speculating beyond the limits of the evidence presented . It is important to limit your interpretation to that which is supported by existing evidence. This can be frustrating, but is essential.
- Using complex words where simpler ones will do. It is tempting to try to appear 'clever' by using 'big words', but in most cases, the simplest form of writing something is clearer. Your aim is to clearly communicate with the reader.
- Giving your personal opinion - this is rarely asked for or required.
- Not answering the question or fulfilling the task . This is possibly the most common error and largely comes from letting one's own ideas infect the essay writing process.
- Not being critical. You need to show the limits of the ideas used, how they interact, counter-arguments and include evaluation and analysis of the ideas involved. If you find yourself being descriptive, ask why.
- Using lots of direct quotes, particularly in first year writing . Quotes should be rare and used carefully because they are basically photocopying. Use your words to show you have understood the concepts involved.
Science essays are precise, logical and strictly evidence-based pieces of writing. They employ cautious language to accurately convey the level of certainty within the scientific understanding that is being discussed and are strictly objective. This means that the author has to make the effort to really understand the meaning and significance of the science being discussed.
In a science essay, your aim is to summarise and critically evaluate existing knowledge in the field. If you're doing your own research and data collection, that will be written up in a report instead.
The skill of the student is to thread together the ideas and facts they have read in a logical order that addresses the task set. When judgements are made they must be justified against the strength and significance of the theories, findings, and ideas being used. Generally, the student should not be undertaking their own interpretation of the results and facts, but instead be using those of others to create a justifiable narrative.
Example extract of a science essay
Essay title: To what extent has Ungerleider and Mishkin’s notion of separate ‘what’ and ‘where’ pathways been vindicated by neuropsychological research?
Van Polanen & Davare (2015) showed that the dorsal stream and ventral streams are not strictly independent, but do interact with each other. Interactions between dorsal and ventral streams are important for controlling complex object-oriented hand movements, especially skilled grasp. Anatomical studies have reported the existence of direct connections between dorsal and ventral stream areas. These physiological interconnections appear to gradually more active as the precision demands of the grasp become higher.
However, cognition is a dynamic process, and a flexible interactive system is required to coordinate and modulate activity across cortical networks to enable the adaptation of processing to meet variable task demands. The clear division of the dorsal and ventral processing streams is artificial, resulting from experimental situations, which do not reflect processing within the natural environment (Weiller et al., 2011). Most successful execution of visual behaviours require the complex collaboration and seamless integration of processing between the two systems.
Cloutman (2013) had stated that dorsal and ventral streams can be functionally connected in three regards: (1) the independent processing account – where they remain separate but terminate on the same brain area, (2) the feedback account – where feedback loops from locations downstream on one pathway is constantly providing input to the other and (3) the continuous cross-talk account – where information is transferred to and from the system constantly when processing.
Indeed, the authors found that there were numerous anatomical cross-connections between the two pathways, most notably between inferior parietal and inferior temporal areas. For example, ventral regions TE and TEO have been found to have extensive connectivity with dorsal stream areas, demonstrating direct projections with areas including V3A, MT, MST, FST and LIP (Baizer et al., 1991; Disler et al., 1993).
The first obvious comment is that it is not going to win a prize for literary entertainment! The writing is what one might call 'dry'. This is because it is good scientific writing. It is clearly evidence-based, and is explaining complex interrelationships in a way that is clear, leaves little for the reader to assume and that uses carefully graded language to show the significance of each fact.
The language choices are carefully aligned with the strength of the evidence that is used. For example, 'have been found to have extensive interconnectivity' is graded to convey that many connections have been detailed in the evidence presented. Similarly, 'Most successful execution of visual behaviours require the complex collaboration' is graded carefully to convey meaning to the reader, derived from the evidence used. The sample displays many examples of controlled word choices that leave the reader in no doubt regarding the meaning they are to take from reading the piece. This concise, controlled, evidence-based and carefully considered writing is typical of that found in the science essays.
Good science essay writing is...
- cohesive due to language choices,
- well-structured to help the reader follow the ideas,
- carefully planned,
- filled with carefully chosen evaluative and analytical language,
- rewarded with high grades.
Common mistakes in science essay writing
- The most common mistake is a lack of accuracy in the language used to convey meaning. This can be due to inadequate reading or a lack of understanding of the subject matter, or alternatively, due to not giving sufficient care to word choice. 'Increased greatly' is different to 'increased', which is different again to 'increased significantly'; it is very important that you understand what you are writing about in enough detail that you can accurately convey an understanding of it accurately to the reader.
- Trying to put 'you' into the essay. It is highly unlikely that you will be required to refer to your own viewpoints, opinions or lived experience within scientific essay writing. Science is impersonal, it deals in fact, and so you are a third person, impersonal author who is interpreting and curating facts and knowledge into an essay that makes sense to the reader.
- Going beyond the facts. It is rare that you will be asked to speculate in a science essay. When you are, you will be asked to extrapolate from known understanding in the relevant literature. Stick to the facts and to their meaning and significance.
- Not placing understanding in context . Each scientific idea sits within a bigger discipline and interacts with other ideas. When you write about ideas, you need to acknowledge this, unless you are specifically told to only focus on one idea. An example would be genomics of viral pathogens, which is currently a much discussed area of activity. This sits within public health, virology, and genomics disciplines, to name a few. Depending on how it is to be written about, you may need to acknowledge one or more of these larger areas.
Using evidence in essays
Sources of evidence are at the heart of essay writing. You need sources that are both usable and credible, in the specific context of your essay.
A good starting point is often the materials used in the module your essay is attached to. You can then work outwards into the wider field of study as you develop your thinking, and seek to show critical analysis, critical evaluation and critical thought in your essay.
Discover more about using evidence in your assignments:
Structuring an essay
Clear structure is a key element of an effective essay. This requires careful thought and you to make choices about the order the reader needs the information to be in.
These resources contain advice and guides to help you structure your work:
You can use these templates to help develop the structure of your essay.
Go to File > Make a copy... to create your own version of the template that you can edit.
Structuring essay introductions
Play this tutorial in full screen
- Explain the different functions that can be fulfilled by an introduction.
- Provide examples of introductions from the Faculties of Social Sciences, Sciences, and Arts and Humanities.
- Evaluating your own introductions.
- Matching elements of an introduction to a description of their purpose.
- Highlighting where evidence is used to support elements of the introduction.
- Highlighting how introductions can make clear links to the essay question.
In this section, you will learn about the functions and key components of an essay introduction.
An introduction can fulfill the functions below. These often move from a broad overview of the topic in context to a narrow focus on the scope of the discussion, key terms and organisational structure.
Click on each function to reveal more.
- It can establish the overall topic and explain the relevance and significance of the essay question to that topic
- What is the topic?
- Why is the essay question worth exploring? Why is the essay worth reading?
- How is it relevant to wider / important / current debates in the field?
- It can briefly explain the background and context and define the scope of the discussion
- Is it helpful to mention some background, historical or broader factors to give the reader some context?
- Is the discussion set in a particular context (geographical; political; economic; social; historical; legal)?
- Does the essay question set a particular scope or are you going to narrow the scope of the discussion?
- It can highlight key concepts or ideas
- Are the key concepts or ideas contentious or open to interpretation?
- Will the key concepts need to be defined and explained?
- It can signpost the broad organisational structure of the essay
- Indicate what you will cover and a brief overview of the structure of your essay
- points made should be supported by evidence
- clear links should be made to the question
Note: Introductions may not cover all of these elements, and they may not be covered in this order.
Useful Link: See the University of Manchester’s Academic Phrasebank for useful key phrases to introduce work.
In this activity, you will review and evaluate introductions you have written, identifying areas for improvement.
Find some examples of introductions you have written for essays.
- Which of the features do they use?
- Are any elements missing?
- How might you improve them?
For the following tasks, you will be using an example introduction from one of the following three faculties. Select a faculty to use an introduction from a corresponding subject.
In this activity, you will look at examples of introductions, identifying key features and their purpose.
Here is an example question:
Sociology: Examine some of the factors that influence procrastination in individuals, exploring and evaluating their impact. Identify an area(s) for future research, justifying your choice.
And here is a sample introduction written for this question:
Procrastination is a complex concept which manifests itself in different types of behaviour yet is experienced by individuals universally. A useful definition of procrastination is ‘the voluntary delay of important, necessary, and intended action despite knowing there will be negative consequences for this delay’ (Ferrari and Tice, 2000, Sirois and Pychyl, 2013 cited in Sirois and Giguère, 2018). The influences on procrastination are multi-faceted, which makes their study incredibly challenging. Researchers are now producing a body of work dedicated to procrastination; including meta-analyses such as those by Varvaricheva (2010) and Smith (2015). Influences on procrastination can be considered in two categories, factors with external, environmental, sources and factors with internal sources due to individual differences. However, these external and environmental categories are not completely independent of one another and this essay will seek to explore the complexities of this interdependence. This essay will discuss how different factors influence individual procrastination, by first examining how gender, age and personality affect the procrastination trait under internal factors, before discussing the external factors; how task aversiveness, deadlines and the internet affect procrastination behavioural outcomes. This will be followed by a brief exploration of how the two interact. Finally there a number of gaps in the literature, which suggest avenues for future research.
Click on the Next arrow to match each section of this introduction with a description of its purpose.
Procrastination is a complex concept which manifests itself in different types of behaviour yet is experienced by individuals universally.
Signposts the broad organisational structure of the essay
Narrows the topic and explains its relevance or significance to current debates
Defines the scope of the discussion
Establishes the topic and explains its broad significance
Defines key concepts
That's not the right answer
Have another go.
Yes, that's the right answer!
A useful definition of procrastination is ‘the voluntary delay of important, necessary, and intended action despite knowing there will be negative consequences for this delay’ (Ferrari and Tice, 2000, Sirois and Pychyl, 2013 cited in Sirois and Giguère, 2018).
The influences on procrastination are multi-faceted, which makes their study incredibly challenging. Researchers are now producing a body of work dedicated to procrastination; including meta-analyses such as those by Varvaricheva (2010) and Smith (2015).
Influences on procrastination can be considered in two categories, factors with external, environmental, sources and factors with internal sources due to individual differences. However, these external and environmental categories are not completely independent of one another and this essay will seek to explore the complexities of this interdependence.
This essay will discuss how different factors influence individual procrastination, by first examining how gender, age and personality affect the procrastination trait under internal factors, before discussing the external factors; how task aversiveness, deadlines and the internet affect procrastination behavioural outcomes. This will be followed by a brief exploration of how the two interact. Finally there a number of gaps in the literature, which suggest avenues for future research.
In this activity, you will identify how introductions make links to the question.
Here is the question again:
Click to highlight the places where the introduction below links closely to the question.
Have another go. You can remove the highlighting on sections by clicking on them again.
Those are the parts of the introduction that link closely to the question.
In this activity, you will consider how introductions make use of supporting evidence.
- Define key concepts
- Establish the topic and explain its relevance or significance
Click to highlight the places where the introduction below supports points with evidence .
Those are the parts of the introduction that use evidence to support points.
Congratulations! You've made it through the introduction!
Click on the icon at the bottom to restart the tutorial.
Nursing: Drawing on your own experiences and understanding gained from the module readings, discuss and evaluate the values, attributes and behaviours of a good nurse.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) (2015) Code states that a nurse must always put the care of patients first, be open and honest, and be empathic towards patients and their families. Student nurses are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the need for these key skills even at the interview stage and then gain the experiences to develop certain fundamental attributes, values and behaviours in order to advance through the stages of nursing. This assignment will highlight a variety of values, attributes and behaviours a good nurse should have, focusing on courage in particular. Views of courage from political, professional, and social perspectives will be considered, alongside a comparison between the attribute courage and a student nurse’s abilities. This will be demonstrated using observations from practice, appropriate theorists such as Sellman (2011), Lachman (2010) and philosophers including Aristotle and Ross (2011).
The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) (2015) Code states that a nurse must always put the care of patients first, be open and honest, and be empathic towards patients and their families.
Explains the context to the discussion, with reference to the workplace
Defines the scope of the discussion by narrowing it
Defines relevant key concepts or ideas
Student nurses are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the need for these key skills even at the interview stage and then gain the experiences to develop certain fundamental attributes, values and behaviours in order to advance through the stages of nursing.
This assignment will highlight a variety of values, attributes and behaviours a good nurse should have, focusing on courage in particular.
Views of courage from political, professional, and social perspectives will be considered, alongside a comparison between the attribute courage and a student nurse’s abilities. This will be demonstrated using observations from practice, appropriate theorists such as Sellman (2011), Lachman (2010) and philosophers including Aristotle and Ross (2011).
- Define relevant key concepts or ideas
- Signpost the broad organisational structure of the essay, making a clear link to the question
Archaeology: Explain some of the ways in which Star Carr has been re-interpreted since the initial discovery in the 1940s. Briefly evaluate how the results of recent excavations further dramatically affect our understanding of this site.
Star Carr has become the ‘best known’ Mesolithic site in Britain (Conneller, 2007, 3), in part because of its high levels of artefact preservation due to waterlogging, as the site was once on the Eastern edge of the ancient Lake Flixton, close to a small peninsula (Taylor, 2007). First excavated by Grahame Clark in 1949-51, there was a further invasive investigation in 1985 and 1989, again in 2006-8, and 2010. An impressive haul of artefacts have been excavated over the years, including bone and antler tools, barbed points, flint tools and microliths, and enigmatic red deer frontlets (Milner et al., 2016). Since Clark’s first published report in 1954 there have been numerous re-examinations of the subject, including by Clark himself in 1974. Resulting interpretations of the site have been much debated; it has been classified as ‘in situ settlement, a refuse dump, and the result of culturally prescribed acts of deposition’ (Taylor et al., 2017). This discussion will explore the ways in which the site has been variously re-interpreted during this time period, and consider how more recent study of the site has prompted new perspectives.
Star Carr has become the ‘best known’ Mesolithic site in Britain (Conneller, 2007, 3), in part because of its high levels of artefact preservation due to waterlogging, as the site was once on the Eastern edge of the ancient Lake Flixton, close to a small peninsula (Taylor, 2007).
Explains the background to the discussion and its significance
Establishes the topic
Explains the scope of the topic and highlights key interpretations
First excavated by Grahame Clark in 1949-51, there was a further invasive investigation in 1985 and 1989, again in 2006-8, and 2010. An impressive haul of artefacts have been excavated over the years, including bone and antler tools, barbed points, flint tools and microliths, and enigmatic red deer frontlets (Milner et al., 2016).
Since Clark’s first published report in 1954 there have been numerous re-examinations of the subject, including by Clark himself in 1974. Resulting interpretations of the site have been much debated; it has been classified as ‘in situ settlement, a refuse dump, and the result of culturally prescribed acts of deposition’ (Taylor et al., 2017).
This discussion will explore the ways in which the site has been variously re-interpreted during this time period, and consider how more recent study of the site has prompted new perspectives.
- Establish the topic, explains the background and significance
- Explains the significance of the topic
- Highlights key interpretations
Structuring essay conclusions
In this section you will consider the different functions a conclusion can fulfil, look at examples of conclusions, and identify key features and their purpose.
A conclusion can fulfil the functions below. These often move from a narrow focus on the outcomes of the discussion to a broad view of the topic's relevance to the wider context.
Summary of the main points in relation to the question
- This might involve restating the scope of the discussion and clarifying if there any limitations of your discussion or of the evidence provided
- This may include synthesising the key arguments and weighing up the evidence
Arrive at a judgement or conclusion
- Having weighed up the evidence, come to a judgement about the strength of the arguments
Restate the relevance or significance of the topic to the wider context
- Make it clear why your conclusions - which are based on your discussion through the essay - are important or significant in relation to wider/current debates in the field
Make recommendations or indicate the direction for further study, if applicable
- Recommendations may be for further research or for practice/policy
- What further research/investigation would be necessary to overcome the limitations above?
- What are the implications of your findings for policy/practice?
Note: Conclusions may not cover all of these elements, and they may not be covered in this order.
- Clear links should be made to the question
- Do not make new points in the conclusion
Useful Link: See the University of Manchester’s Academic Phrasebank for useful key phrases to conclude work.
In this activity, you will look at an example conclusion, identifying key features and their purpose.
In this task, you will be using an example conclusion from one of the following three faculties. Select a faculty to use a conclusion from a corresponding subject.
And here is a sample conclusion written for the question:
In conclusion procrastination is a complex psychological phenomenon that is influenced by a number of factors, both internal and external. However it has a hugely multifaceted nature and the factors that influence it are not truly independent of one another. Character traits and the environmental impact on behaviour are interrelated; for example similar procrastination outcomes may arise from a highly conscientious individual in a distracting environment and an individual low in conscientiousness in a non-distracting setting. This means that future studies need to be very considered in their approach to separating, or controlling for, these factors. These further studies are important and urgently needed as the impact of procrastination on society is far-reaching. For instance: individuals delay contributing to a pension, meaning that old age may bring poverty for many; couples put off entering into formal contracts with each other, potentially increasing disputes over child custody and inheritance; and indeed women delay starting a family and increasing age leads to decreased fertility, thus leading to higher societal costs of providing assisted fertilisation. Furthermore one could expand the scope to include the effects on children of being born to older parents (such as risks of inherited genetic defects). These are themselves wide fields of study and are mentioned merely to illustrate the importance of further research. Until the nature of influences on procrastination is fully understood, our development of approaches to reduce procrastination is likely to be hindered.
Click on the Next arrow to match each section of the conclusion with a description of its purpose.
In conclusion procrastination is a complex psychological phenomenon that is influenced by a number of factors, both internal and external.
Synthesises the key arguments and weighs up the evidence
Restates the scope of the discussion
Indicates the direction and significance for further study
Summary of the main point in relation to the question
However it has a hugely multifaceted nature and the factors that influence it are not truly independent of one another.
Character traits and the environmental impact on behaviour are interrelated; for example similar procrastination outcomes may arise from a highly conscientious individual in a distracting environment and an individual low in conscientiousness in a non-distracting setting.
This means that future studies need to be very considered in their approach to separating, or controlling for, these factors. These further studies are important and urgently needed as the impact of procrastination on society is far-reaching. For instance: individuals delay contributing to a pension, meaning that old age may bring poverty for many; couples put off entering into formal contracts with each other, potentially increasing disputes over child custody and inheritance; and indeed women delay starting a family and increasing age leads to decreased fertility, thus leading to higher societal costs of providing assisted fertilisation. Furthermore one could expand the scope to include the effects on children of being born to older parents (such as risks of inherited genetic defects). These are themselves wide fields of study and are mentioned merely to illustrate the importance of further research.
Until the nature of influences on procrastination is fully understood, our development of approaches to reduce procrastination is likely to be hindered.
Opportunities for nurses to display courage occur every day, although it is at the nurse’s discretion whether they act courageously or not. As discussed in this assignment, courage is likewise an important attribute for a good nurse to possess and could be the difference between good and bad practice. It is significantly important that nurses speak up about bad practice to minimize potential harm to patients. However nurses do not need to raise concerns in order to be courageous, as nurses must act courageously every day. Professional bodies such as the RCN and NMC recognise that courage is important by highlighting this attribute in the RCN principles. The guidelines for raising concerns unite the attribute courage with the RCN’s principles of nursing practice by improving nurses’ awareness of how to raise concerns. Lachman’s (2010) CODE is an accessible model that modern nurses could use as a strategy to help them when raising concerns. Although students find it difficult to challenge more senior nursing professionals, they could also benefit from learning the acronym to help them as they progress through their career. For nursing students, courage could be seen as a learning development of the ability to confront their fear of personal emotional consequences from participating in what they believe to be the right action. On the whole a range of values, attributes and behaviours are needed in order to be a good nurse, including being caring, honest, compassionate, reliable and professional. These qualities are all important, but courage is an attribute that is widely overlooked for nurses to possess but vitally fundamental.
Opportunities for nurses to display courage occur every day, although it is at the nurse’s discretion whether they act courageously or not. As discussed in this assignment, courage is likewise an important attribute for a good nurse to possess and could be the difference between good and bad practice. It is significantly important that nurses speak up about bad practice to minimize potential harm to patients. However nurses do not need to raise concerns in order to be courageous, as nurses must act courageously every day.
Arrives at an overall judgement or conclusion
Make recommendations for practice
Professional bodies such as the RCN and NMC recognise that courage is important by highlighting this attribute in the RCN principles. The guidelines for raising concerns unite the attribute courage with the RCN’s principles of nursing practice by improving nurses’ awareness of how to raise concerns. Lachman’s (2010) CODE is an accessible model that modern nurses could use as a strategy to help them when raising concerns.
Although students find it difficult to challenge more senior nursing professionals, they could also benefit from learning the acronym to help them as they progress through their career. For nursing students, courage could be seen as a learning development of the ability to confront their fear of personal emotional consequences from participating in what they believe to be the right action.
On the whole a range of values, attributes and behaviours are needed in order to be a good nurse, including being caring, honest, compassionate, reliable and professional. These qualities are all important, but courage is an attribute that is widely overlooked for nurses to possess but vitally fundamental.
Star Carr is one of the most fascinating and informative Mesolithic sites in the world. What was once considered to be the occasional winter settlement of a group of hunter-gatherer families, now appears to be a site of year-round settlement occupied over centuries. Since its initial discovery and excavation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a great deal of further data has been collected, altering interpretations made by the primary excavators who pioneered analysis of the site. What once was considered a typical textbook Mesolithic hunting encampment is now theorized to be a site of ritual importance. The site has produced unique findings such as a multitude of barbed points, twenty one antlered headdresses and the earliest known example of a permanent living structure in Britain. These factors will combine to immortalise the site, even when its potential for further research is thoroughly decayed, which tragically could be very soon (Taylor et al. 2010).
Star Carr is one of the most fascinating and informative Mesolithic sites in the world.
Synthesise the main points
Limitations and implications for future research
Restate the significance of the topic to the wider context
What was once considered to be the occasional winter settlement of a group of hunter-gatherer families, now appears to be a site of year-round settlement occupied over centuries. Since its initial discovery and excavation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a great deal of further data has been collected, altering interpretations made by the primary excavators who pioneered analysis of the site. What once was considered a typical textbook Mesolithic hunting encampment is now theorized to be a site of ritual importance. The site has produced unique findings such as a multitude of barbed points, twenty one antlered headdresses and the earliest known example of a permanent living structure in Britain.
These factors will combine to immortalise the site, even when its potential for further research is thoroughly decayed, which tragically could be very soon (Taylor et al. 2010).
Congratulations! You've made it through the conclusion!
Click on the icon below to restart the tutorial.
Other support for essay writing
The general writing pages of this site offer guidance that can be applied to all types of writing, including essays. Also check your department guidance and VLE sites for tailored resources.
Other useful resources for essay writing:
Appointments and workshops
There is lots of support and advice for essay writing. This is likely to be in your department, and particularly from your academic supervisor and module tutors, but there is also central support, which you can access using the links below.
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- Last Updated: Nov 17, 2023 2:52 PM
- URL: https://subjectguides.york.ac.uk/academic-writing
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The essay writing process
The following guide has been created for you by the Student Learning Advisory Service , for more detailed guidance and to speak to one of our advisers, please book an appointment or join one of our workshops .
The purpose of an essay is to demonstrate you can:
- extend your knowledge through reading/research
- use this knowledge to present clear, plausible arguments
- apply academic conventions (e.g. referencing)
Developing the skills needed to write good essays
Planning and writing an essay requires a wide range of skill, such as:
- effective reading
- critical thinking
- editing and proof-reading
- following academic conventions e.g. referencing
This guide aims to describe the overall process of essay writing, however, to develop the individual skills you need, seek advice from the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) . SLAS provide workshops, study guides and one-to-one advice for students wishing to develop the skills they need to write good essays.
The process involves
1. preparing a schedule.
Use a yearly or monthly time planner to draw up a schedule that allows time to consider the question, research, write and proof-read your answer. Inevitably, the research and writing stages will account for up to 80% of the schedule, but you must allocate enough time to proof-read your work, including checking your references, before submission.
2. Considering the question
You cannot proceed with answering an essay question without fully understanding it, see video guide or study guide on considering the question. Ask yourself: What are you being asked to do? What is the main subject of the question? What aspect of it are you being asked investigate? Does it set any limitations on the scope of your answer? Does the question ask you to demonstrate key module knowledge on specific theories or processes. Above all, is there an ‘instruction verb’ in the question asking you to ‘discuss’, or ‘justify’, or ‘compare’. Do as the instruction verb tells you; a list of their meanings is at the end of this guide.
3. Conducting your research
Where to begin: Based on a clear understanding of the question, create a list of all the ideas, theories, processes and examples that you already know something about (from past reading, lectures and seminars) that might relate to the question. Identify those which you know to be particularly relevant and begin your research there.
Reading: Identify key reading material by surveying book titles, contents pages, introductions, index pages and journal summaries to determine whether the material may contain the information you need. Skim read (fast reading intended purely to get the general gist of the content) marking any chapters, or pages that seem to contain information relevant to the question. Narrow the search further by ‘scanning’ those sections (reading more slowly but not in detail) to pinpoint key paragraphs or sentences that relate directly to the question. You can now read those sections in detail.
Note-taking: As you read, include in your notes: The bibliographic details of the source, the main points the author is making, key examples or evidence given, and any critical observations you may have (e.g. the author has not examined alternative viewpoints) which later you can use to demonstrate that you have critically evaluated your evidence. Finally, be sure to clearly distinguish between the author’s words and your own (using quotation marks as a minimum) so that you can never confuse the two.
4. Writing (drafting and editing)
Before you start writing, group your research material according to themes or different aspects of the question. Identify the key arguments or points that emerge relating to each one, and the evidence that supports them. Now you can jot down a plan which shows: the logical order in which you will address different aspects of the question, the key point that you wish to make about each one, and the evidence you will include to support it.
Essay structure: Essays comprise three main elements:
- Introduction (5%-10% of wordcount) should briefly set the overall scene or context for the question, before introducing the specific topic that will be discussed, or argument that will be made, and the key theories or processes that will be used in that process. Finally, it will set out (signpost) how you will go about answering the question and the order your discussion will take.
- Main body (80-90% of wordcount) comprises a series of paragraphs - blocks of text several sentences long, each of which: make a key point about a different aspect of the question; elaborates upon and supports that key point with the introduction and analysis of evidence from your research. As each point is made in each paragraph an overall argument in response to the question is built. This can be declared in your introduction, and reiterated in your conclusion, and it is why sometimes it is advisable to write your introduction once you can see how your argument is developing.
- Conclusion (5%-10% of wordcount) summarises the key points you have made in your essay and reminds the reader of the key evidence you used to support it. It is advisable to draw all these points together to make a final, overall conclusion that directly answers the question.
Where to begin: You may begin by writing the main body paragraphs. As you write ask yourself: Is it clear what aspect of the question each paragraph is addressing? Is my reasoning and evidence convincing? Am I answering the question? Have I included the necessary ingredients (evidence, examples and analysis) to support the points I am making? Are the paragraphs (points) in the right order to make clear the progression of discussion and are the sentences within the paragraphs in the right order?
Drafting (Editing and revising): Your first drafts may focus on improving the content and structure of your essay. Once all the important ingredients are there, including your introduction and conclusion, you can focus on improving the flow and clarity of your writing by, for example, improving the linking phrases between paragraphs, ensuring that the first sentence of each paragraph clearly indicates its content, and that the meaning of every sentence is clear.
Mistakes cost marks. Check your essay for spelling but be aware that spellcheck is not fool-proof, and may not spot errors involving ‘to’, ‘two’ and ‘too’, for example. Generally you should be using the 3rd person (‘this essay will show’, rather than, ‘I will show’) so check this and all other aspects of your grammar and punctuation. Above all, check that your referencing is complete and accurate, and that you have met all presentation requirements relating to, for example, fonts, type-size, line-spacing, and wordcount.
Final proofreading tips:
- Read your work aloud – you may detect mistakes (e.g. repetition or overlong sentences) that your eyes do not spot.
- You may find proof-reading a hard copy easier than online, but make sure you accurately transfer corrections onto digital copies.
- Use a ruler to go through your essay line by line to help you focus.
Proof-read more than once, each time focussing on a different element (e.g. referencing, or grammar and punctuation).
SkillBuilder videos on all aspects of essay writing
See the following essay writing videos on the step by step process of completing an academic essay, each video can be viewed on its own if you are interested in one topic point only.
Assignment Survival Kit
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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide
A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.
Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.
This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.
Table of contents
Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.
Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:
- Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
- Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
- Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.
Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.
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There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.
You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.
You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.
Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:
- A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
- A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.
Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.
Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.
- Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
- Are there any heated debates you can address?
- Do you have a unique take on your topic?
- Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.
The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.
You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.
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A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.
A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.
Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:
- Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
- Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
- Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.
You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.
Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.
George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.
It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.
You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.
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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.
What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.
Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?
How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.
The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.
One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:
- topic sentences against the thesis statement;
- topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
- and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.
Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.
You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.
You should not :
- Offer new arguments or essential information
- Take up any more space than necessary
- Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)
There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.
- Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
- Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
- Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
- If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.
The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.
- Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
- Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
- Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.
Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:
- each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
- no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
- all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.
Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .
Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading or create an APA title page .
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Checklist: Research paper
I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.
My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.
My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .
My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .
Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .
Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.
I have used appropriate transitions to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.
My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.
My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.
My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.
I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.
I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .
I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).
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The Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation (see the top menu ). Other phrases are listed under the more general communicative functions of academic writing (see the menu on the left). The resource should be particularly useful for writers who need to report their research work. The phrases, and the headings under which they are listed, can be used simply to assist you in thinking about the content and organisation of your own writing, or the phrases can be incorporated into your writing where this is appropriate. In most cases, a certain amount of creativity and adaptation will be necessary when a phrase is used. The items in the Academic Phrasebank are mostly content neutral and generic in nature; in using them, therefore, you are not stealing other people’s ideas and this does not constitute plagiarism. For some of the entries, specific content words have been included for illustrative purposes, and these should be substituted when the phrases are used. The resource was designed primarily for academic and scientific writers who are non-native speakers of English. However, native speaker writers may still find much of the material helpful. In fact, recent data suggest that the majority of users are native speakers of English. More about Academic Phrasebank .
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Research Essay Examples
The craft of writing a compelling research essay is both an art and science. Such essays are foundational to academia and the broader professional landscape. By examining solid research essay examples, writers can gain insights into structuring their own work more effectively.
Why Research Essays Matter
Research essays play a pivotal role in academic and professional circles. Their structure, backed by clarity and robust evidence, holds the power to influence, inform, and educate readers. With a well-written research essay example in hand, students and professionals alike can better understand their role and significance.
What Makes a Good Research Essay
1️⃣ Structure of a Research Essay
A standard research essay comprises three main segments:
- Introduction: Presents the topic and posits a thesis
- Body: Delves into arguments, evidence, and analysis
- Conclusion: Wraps up the discussion and revisits the thesis
Let’s proceed with the structure guidelines for a research essay, which should encompass the following sections:
This research essay structure is designed to guide your writing process and ensure that your arguments are presented logically and persuasively while maintaining objectivity and integrity in your research.
2️⃣ Importance of Citing Sources
Citing your sources isn’t merely a formality; it lends credibility to your arguments and respects the original authors’ contributions. Through accurate citations, a research essay example can also avoid plagiarism and uphold academic integrity.
10 Expert Tips to Craft the Perfect Research Essay Example
Research essays require finding, evaluating, and integrating source material to support an analytical thesis. This process demands care and effort. Use these tips to write top-quality research essays.
- Start with a Clear Thesis Statement. Your thesis acts as the guiding star of your essay. For instance, a compelling research essay example would kick off with a concise and debatable thesis, immediately grabbing the reader’s attention.
- Use Reliable Sources. Quality over quantity always holds. Ensure your sources are credible. Perusing research paper examples can offer insights into sourcing reputable references.
- Organize Ideas with an Outline. Outlining can serve as a roadmap, guiding you through your essay’s journey. Many sample research essay structures emphasize the importance of a coherent flow of ideas.
- Draft with Clarity and Precision. Your words should clearly convey your message. Keeping examples of research essays as benchmarks can ensure your content is both clear and impactful.
- Incorporate Multiple Points of View. A comprehensive essay considers various perspectives. This not only strengthens your argument but also makes for a more rounded research essay example.
- Use Transition Words for Flow. Transition words act as the glue between your ideas. For instance, a research paper example might employ words like ‘however,’ ‘moreover,’ and ‘consequently’ to ensure smooth navigation.
- Ensure Proper Formatting. Consistency in formatting – be it APA, MLA, or Chicago – is essential. A polished research essay example adheres strictly to formatting rules, enhancing readability.
- Edit and Revise Multiple Times. Perfection comes with revision. Always iterate and refine your draft.
- Seek Peer Reviews. Fresh eyes can spot overlooked errors or provide new perspectives. Feedback can also enhance the quality of your research paper example.
- Reference Research Paper Examples. By studying multiple research paper examples and examples of research essays, you can understand common structures, styles, and tones in the field.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid
Over-generalization, neglecting counterarguments, or providing superficial evidence are common pitfalls in research essays. Always consult diverse research paper examples to understand and sidestep these mistakes.
Checklist for Effectively Evaluating Research Essay
By following this checklist , you can better prepare yourself to critically evaluate research essay examples in a way that is aligned with your research goals and standards.
Be sure to review your grading rubric carefully, and consider studying at least one freely available research essay example. This will aid you in comparing the given guidelines with your specific task as you embark on the writing process.
Using these research and writing strategies will boost essay quality. Crafting a well-structured research essay is pivotal for academic and professional success. By harnessing the power of sample research essay resources and various research paper examples, anyone can elevate their writing and convey their arguments compellingly.
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How do you write a research essay?
Just like any research paper that a college student encounters, you must follow the classic pattern of “Introduction - Thesis - 3 Body Paragraphs - Conclusion”. Some cases may differ, depending on what you have been asked to do, yet a research paper is the one where you must synthesize available information and make a strong argument regarding the main topic or subject of your research. Check our research paper example to see how the sources and evidence are incorporated and mixed with the author’s opinion. Remember about formatting and style requirements in terms of indents and the spaces.
What is a research essay?
Unlike reflective or comparative writing, the research essay will always contain a strict academic structure. An example of a research paper usually represents writing with a thesis statement that makes a proposal, assumption, or uses a strong argument about some scientific idea. It is usually not written in the first person since an author must combine various resources, include quotations, and implement evidence to support certain ideas. The presence of focus on the ideas and the analysis of information is what makes it stand apart from the author-based essay writing.
What is an example of research?
In short, research always implements a certain methodology. While there is no universal formula that would explain what does the research mean in writing, it is sufficient to say that research must contain a topic, strong thesis statement (or an argument), a list of reliable sources, a counter-argument paragraph (if relevant) and the conclusion where information is summed up and stated in a clearer or simpler way. Check our college research paper example to examine the structure in practice and see the key differences when compared to the usual college essay papers.
What type of essay is a research paper?
The research paper always represents analytical work, strategic thinking, and argumentation, which is why the types of writing that belong here include argumentative, analytical, based-upon-subject, and cause-and-effect writing. The types that do not generally belong to research papers include persuasive writing, narration, literature reviews, or those papers where the focus is on the author. The research paper examines things that the others have written on the topic to let you synthesize what you have discovered or researched.
The most popular topics for Research Essay
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Are you having trouble starting your dissertation proposal and want some examples to follow? Then you have come to the right place. We have some original and well-written dissertation proposal samples for you to start writing.
A research proposal is an essential part of your dissertation. Many students find it challenging to write research proposals because their knowledge of the subject is not vast at the beginning. One way to improve this is to look at some professionally written dissertation proposal examples to get an idea of writing the perfect dissertation proposal.
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200 Research Essay Topics
To prove your writing and academic research skills throughout your education, you’ll be required to write a research essay.
This form of essay writing is highly technical, requiring students to research information on a particular topic and provide an in-depth analysis in the form of an essay.
For example, students might be assigned topics such as ‘ The Invention Of The Bicycle’ or ‘The Effects Of Technology On Children.’ Then, with a research essay, students would be expected to compile their viewpoint on this topic and support it with facts and references throughout the writing.
In addition to facts that provide credible information on the topic, students should also include references to other relevant sources such as books and academic journals. These sources must be cited each time used to make the writer’s viewpoint more credible to the reader.
Even harder than writing this detailed essay is finding a good topic for a research essay. Topics too broad may not allow for a focused argument, while topics too specific may be limiting in credible sources and information.
Fortunately, this guide will provide you with 200 research essay topics perfect for any level of study, as well as helpful tips to structure your research essay, so you get the grade you deserve!
The Rules for Writing a Research Essay
Writing a research essay doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow the rules of the essay. To qualify as a research essay, students should never forget to:
- Cite all quoted and fact-based information with the author’s name or alternative source location. Be sure quoted sources begin and end with quotation marks.
- Use your own words throughout 80% of the research essay and factual statistics, quotes, and other cited sources throughout 20% of the essay.
- Limit the topic to a manageable length according to the parameters of the assignment.
- Paraphrase and summarize researched information, leaving out unnecessary detail to avoid confusing the reader.
The final rule essential to a well-written research essay is that students should pick a topic that they are passionate about when possible. This will make choosing an essay topic easier and make the research and writing of the essay more enjoyable.
How to Write a Research Paper
With a research essay, it is always helpful to outline your ideas in an easy-to-read format as follows to avoid getting stuck during the writing process.
The introduction for a research essay serves many purposes. The first is that it set the tone of the entire paper. Therefore, students should focus on crafting an engaging introduction that includes:
- A topic sentence or ‘hook’ that entices the reader and makes them want to continue reading.
- Definitions to key concepts and terms throughout the essay
- Relevant background information necessary for the reader to know before transitioning into the body of the essay
- A thesis statement that provides a roadmap to the essay’s structure in chronological order.
With an introduction that includes all of these components, students are well on their way to writing an informative and engaging essay.
Once the introductory paragraph is complete, students should write body paragraphs that continue the discussion of the topic sentence in chronological order.
Students should use facts and statistics throughout each of these paragraphs while keeping in mind not to overuse or repeat the same information. A well-written body paragraph should follow a structure similar to this format:
- Topic sentence
- Explanation of examples
Be sure to close each paragraph with a transition phrase that wraps up the topic and moves the reader seamlessly into the next section. Examples of transition phrases and words include:
- in conclusion
- as a result
- to summarize
- another take
- on the other hand
- however, there was also
Any of these transition phrases will help move the essay forward without confusing the reader.
The final step in writing a strong research essay is to write a conclusion that provides an extended closing for your paper. This section should be no more than two paragraphs long, summarizing key points from each body paragraph and reiterating the thesis statement.
If the tone, style, and topic of the essay allow for it, students can choose to end their research essay with a thought-provoking question or insight, a general consequence of the information provided, or a rhetorical question for the reader to ponder.
Be sure not to include any new information in the conclusion paragraph, only a recap of what has already been stated or a final word or insight the reader can take with them.
With the basics of research essay writing out of the way, students can now choose any of the following 200 research essay topics from the list below.
Research Essay Topics About Science
- The impact of asteroids on the Earth’s formation
- How crystals form in caves
- The geologic history of the Grand Canyon
- How big is our galaxy?
- What happens to the Earth’s temperature when its tilted side faces away from the sun?
- Who is the father of astrophysics?
- What is the lifecycle of a locust?
- What is the average speed of a hurricane?
- How much damage can lightning cause?
- What is the difference between active and passive solar heating?
- How can we harness energy from ocean currents?
- Was there life on Mars?
- What happens to matter during nuclear fission and fusion reactions?
- Why do volcanoes exist?
- How can mosquitos spread the Zika virus?
- What is the composition of the air on Venus?
- How does a mass spectrometer work?
- What is climate change?
- What is ocean acidification, and why should we care about it?
- How was the microscope invented?
Research Essay Topics About History
- What battle sealed the victory for Union soldiers during the civil war?
- Who was the 32nd president of the United States of America?
- How did the Battle of Plassey change British control in India?
- Which books were banned during China’s cultural revolution?
- What is a V-Day, and why does it matter?
- What caused the collapse of the USSR?
- What was the Cold War?
- What spurred the French Revolution?
- Who was Abraham Lincoln?
- Who were the Luddites?
- What caused World War II?
- When did World War I start, and when did it end?
- Why was Germany involved in WWI?
- How did Genghis Khan shape Eurasia’s history?
- Who are the ancient Sumerians?
- What were the motivations behind the Salem witch trials?
- Was Emperor Constantine responsible for converting Christianity into a state religion, and what was his motivation for doing so?
Research Essay Topics About Math
- How does a calculator calculate?
- How do computers recognize letters and numbers?
- What is the Fibonacci sequence, and why is it significant?
- How does cryptography work?
- What are prime numbers, and how are they used in cryptography?
- What is the golden ratio?
- Is pi an irrational number or a rational one?
- Why are prime numbers important for encryption?
- Who invented calculus?
- What is the fundamental theorem of arithmetic?
- How do quarks affect the structure of atoms?
- How does an induction coil work?
- What is pi, and why is it important in mathematics?
- What are Euler’s equations in math, and why are they significant?
- What is quantum entanglement?
- How do variable stars affect life on Earth?
- How did Pythagoras contribute to math, and why is he important in the field of math?
- What are right triangles significant in geometry?
- How can chaos theory help study populations?
- What are tesseracts?
Research Essay Topics About Fine Art
- Why was art in the late 19th century so controversial?
- Who was David Bowie, and what made him notable?
- Why are Picasso’s paintings significant?
- Why was Greek sculpture unique?
- What is cubism, and how did it change the way people think about art?
- What is feminist art criticism, and what impact has it had?
- What makes a painting successful?
- How did photography change the way people viewed fine art?
- What is postmodernism, and why has it been significant in fine arts today?
- Who were the Fauves, and what made them so unique?
- What are dadaists significant in fine art history today?
- What was surrealism, and why is it important to the fine arts of today?
- How did the Impressionist movement impact the way people view art today?
- Why was impressionism controversial for its time?
- Where did impressionism begin, and how did it impact fine arts today?
- How is a Pollock painting created, and why should we care about them?
- What is the difference between modernism and postmodernism in fine arts?
- What are watercolors, and how have different cultures viewed them throughout time?
- Why should people care about the arts today?
- What are trompe l’oeil paintings, and why are they essential pieces of fine art?
- How has pop art changed the way people view artwork throughout time?
- What is abstract impressionism, and how has it impacted fine arts today?
- What is Van Gogh’s life story?
Research Essay Topics About Technology
- What is a computer?
- What is the difference between a Turing machine and a Von Neumann machine?
- Who was Alan Turing, and why is he significant in technology today?
- What is a linked list, and what makes them important to programming today?
- How does artificial intelligence work, and how has it changed the way we think of computers today?
- What are neural networks, and what role do they play in AI today?
- How did Ada Lovelace contribute to computer science, and why is she important in technology today?
- Who was Grace Hopper, and what were her accomplishments as a woman in STEM?
- What is quantum computing, and how does it work?
- Who was Nikola Tesla, and what were his contributions to the world of science?
- How did Charles Babbage contribute to computer science, and why is he important in technology today?
- Why are passwords critical to protecting computers today?
- What is the Turing test, and what are its implications on artificial intelligence today?
- How did the Turing test influence AI research in computer science?
- How have social media sites impacted technology throughout time?
- Who were the Luddites, and why are they significant in technology today?
- What are the impacts of cybersecurity on computers today?
- What is an optical computer, and what makes them unique in computing today?
- What are the pros and cons of social media sites in technology today?
- What is Moore’s Law, and why does it matter to modern-day computers?
- What is the difference between real-time systems and embedded systems?
- How has technology changed our lives for better or worse?
- How does the cloud work?
Research Essay Topics About Pop Culture
- How did Pokemon change the world of video games?
- What are video game genres, and what impact do they have on society?
- Who was Ralph Baer, and why is he significant in pop culture today?
- What is social gaming, and where is it headed?
- What rock icons from the ’80s had the most impact on pop musicians today?
- Why do we need copyright laws?
- What is dubstep, and why has it been significant in pop culture today?
- What was grunge, and how did it change the way people viewed music?
- Who were the Beastie Boys, and what are their contributions to pop music today?
- What is the difference between pop music and rock music?
- Who were the Kingsmen, and why are they significant in pop culture today?
- Why were the Beatles’ groundbreaking for their time?
- What was punk rock, and how did it change the world of music throughout time?
- Who were the Black Eyed Peas, and how have they impacted pop music today?
- Who was Bob Marley, and what are his contributions to modern-day pop musicians?
- What is a rave, and how has it influenced pop culture throughout time?
- What is a music video, and how does it tie into the music industry today?
- What is famous for creating the first true digital camera in history?
- Why was A.D.I.D.A.S by Korn significant to pop culture today?
- What is nu-metal, and how did it impact pop culture throughout time?
- Who was Lady Gaga, and what are her contributions to pop music today?
- How have hip-hop lyrics changed over time?
- What are the pros and cons of being famous in the age of social media?
Research Essay Topics About Economics & Finance
- What is the importance of GDP in economics?
- What is the importance of inflation in economics?
- What are central banks, and how do they influence economies today?
- How did Keynesian economics impact the global economy throughout time?
- Who was John Maynard Keynes, and why was his theory significant?
- Why is G7 important in global economics today?
- What is the difference between G7 and BRICS?
- What are crypto-economists, and what are their impacts on modern-day economics?
- How has Bitcoin impacted finance throughout time?
- What is the Euro, and why is it an influential factor in global economics today?
- How has economic growth impacted modern-day countries around the world?
- Why was Adam Smith’s theory of “the invisible hand” important to society today?
- What is socialism, and what are its impacts on modern nations around the world?
- Why did China’s economy transition from a centrally-planned economy?
- What is the purpose of central banking, and how has it changed throughout history?
- How did socialism feed into Marxian economics?
- What is a commodity currency, and why does it impact global economics today?
- What is the difference between fiat, commodity, and mixed currency?
- What are the pros and cons of being part of the G20 in modern-day politics?
Research Essay Topics About Health & Fitness
- What is the importance of mental health in today’s society?
- What are some of the causes of mental illness?
- Who was Sigmund Freud, and why is he significant to psychology today?
- Why is smoking bad for one’s health?
- What are the leading causes of heart disease?
- How do cholesterol levels impact health?
- What are the leading causes of cancer today?
- What is an obesity epidemic, and why has it affected society today?
- Why are antibiotics necessary to modern-day medicine?
- How are vaccines made?
- Who was Alexander Fleming?
- What exercises are good for your health?
- What is cardiovascular exercise as a form of training?
- Why are the feet one of the most vital parts of our body?
Research Essay Topics About Politics & Government
- What are the three branches of the US government, and how is each necessary?
- Who was John Locke?
- What are the core principles of capitalism?
- What is anarchism, and how has it impacted politics throughout history?
- What are the pros and cons of being a democratic society?
- How did Karl Marx influence modern-day politics throughout time?
- Who was John Maynard Keynes?
- What are public goods, and how have they impacted economics throughout history?
- When did the Vietnam War begin, and why was it important?
- What are the pros and cons of being part of NATO?
- What is a constitutional democracy? What are its benefits?
- What is the difference between socialism and communism?
- Why was Vladimir Lenin so significant in modern-day politics throughout history?
- What is populism, and why has it impacted politics throughout history?
- How does a bill become a law?
- Where did the Korean War take place, and why was it significant in modern history?
- What are some ways that biased media can influence politics throughout time?
- How does voter turnout impact elections?
Research Topics About Women’s Studies
- Who was Sojourner Truth, and what were her contributions to women’s rights?
- Who was Susan B. Anthony and what are her contributions to women’s rights?
- What is intersectionality?
- What does it mean to be a feminist in today’s society?
- How has technology impacted the lives of modern-day women?
- What are some of the leading causes of sexual assault?
- What is rape culture, and why does it impact society today?
- Who was Simone de Beauvoir, and what are her influences on women’s studies?
- What is the difference between sex and gender?
- How has language impacted feminism throughout time?
- What are some of the leading causes of breast cancer?
- What is homophobia, and why does it impact society today?
- Who was Simone Veil, and what were her contributions to women’s studies?
- What are the leading causes of death for pregnant women in labor?
- How have birth control options impacted society today?
- What is slut-shaming, and how does it affect women in today’s society?
- How have reproductive rights impacted today’s society?
- Who was Mary Wollstonecraft, and what are her contributions to feminism?
- What are some of the leading causes of depression in pregnant women?
- Who was Emmeline Pankhurst, and what were her contributions to women’s rights?
- What does reproductive justice mean?
- Who was Lysistrata, and why is she significant in modern-day feminism?
- What is the pay gap between men and women in different professions?
Any of these 200 research essay topics are perfect for getting students started on their writing assignments. Remember to cite all of your sources and back up any claims with credible facts that will pull the reader to your point of view.
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The Best College Paper Writing Services for Busy Students
Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023
Embarking on the journey of higher education is akin to setting sail on a vast sea of knowledge—thrilling yet fraught with challenges. As students navigate the rigorous demands of college life, the academic load can often swell to seemingly impossible heights. One of the most daunting tasks is the crafting of research papers and essays, particularly on intricate topics, which demands an investment of time and intellect that can heavily burden an already stretched-thin student. Amidst this academic tempest, the allure of a professional college paper writing service becomes a beacon of relief. By enlisting such support, students can effectively unburden themselves from the stress of complex writing assignments. This article illuminates the path to academic ease and excellence by reviewing the top 4 paper writing services for college students 2023, offering a lifeboat in the sea of academic obligations.
Top 4 College Paper Writing Services
- 99papers.com - Optimal Price-Quality Match (Rated 4.9/5 ⭐)
- EssayBox.org - Guaranteed Timely Delivery (Rated 4.9/5 ⭐)
- BookwormLab.com - Premium Service with Professional Writers (Rated 4.7/5 ⭐)
- EssayFactory.uk - Top for all you need around UK topics (4.6/5 ⭐)
- Essays.io - Extensive Repository of Complimentary College Papers (Rated 4.5/5 ⭐)
99papers.com: Best Paper Writing Service
Website Link: 99papers.com
In a landscape of academic demands, 99papers.com emerges as an invaluable ally for college students. Since its inception, 99papers has been working to alleviate academic pressure, positioning itself as a reliable pillar in the custom writing service industry. With years of steadfast service, it has honed its craft, evolving with the needs and feedback of a diverse student body.
Background and Evolution
Established with the intent to cater to the burgeoning needs of students, 99papers.com has weathered the dynamic changes in academic requirements over the years. It has successfully carved a niche by consistently delivering bespoke educational content that echoes the individuality and intellect of its clients.
Diverse Academic Portfolios
Understanding the multifaceted nature of college assignments, 99papers boasts a vast repertoire of writing services. From the more traditional essays, term papers, and research papers to the more complex dissertations and theses, their offerings encompass every academic writing need. Moreover, they assist with homework and projects and even cater to specific requests for help with annotations and bibliographies.
The Trio of Benefits
- Affordability : One of the cornerstones of 99papers’ popularity is its pricing structure. Balancing cost and quality provides an economical solution for students often constrained by tight budgets. Their pricing is transparent, and there are no hidden fees, making it accessible for students from various socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Quality Assurance : Despite the affordable rates, there is no compromise on quality. The writers at 99papers.com are selected rigorously, ensuring they can uphold the company's commitment to excellence. They are adept at tailoring content to meet the stringent academic standards of college-level work.
- Rapid Turnaround : Deadlines wait for no one, a reality that 99papers.com understands intimately. They are reputed for their prompt delivery, often exceeding expectations by providing completed papers within the stipulated timelines, which is critical for students juggling multiple deadlines.
Savings on the Scholar's Budget
Sensitivity to a student’s financial situation is apparent, as 99papers.com regularly offers discount codes to alleviate the cost burden. New customers are greeted with welcome discounts while returning students benefit from a loyalty program that rewards their continued patronage with incremental savings.
In Their Own Words: Testimonials That Matter
The accurate measure of 99papers’ impact is reflected in the testimonials of its users. These personal accounts often highlight the stress-relieving aspect of the service, the impeccable quality of writing, and the punctual delivery. It's not uncommon to read testimonies of students who credit 99papers with not just their A-grades but also with providing them with the breathing room to enjoy college life beyond the confines of their study desks.
Through its comprehensive service offerings, steadfast dedication to quality, and empathetic pricing, 99papers.com stands out as a top-tier academic writing service. It is more than just a tool for achieving top grades; it's a strategic academic partner for navigating the rigours of college education in 2023.
Essaybox.org: Professional Paper Writing Service
Website Link: EssayBox.org
Essaybox.org is a testament to excellence in the custom essay writing service industry. With a significant history of serving students worldwide, it has become a trusted name for those seeking a blend of quality, reliability, and integrity in their academic submissions.
Provenance and Expertise
Over the years, Essaybox.org has built its reputation on a foundation of trust and professionalism, emerging as a premier service that understands the nuanced needs of the collegiate community. It has dedicated itself to supporting students through the stress of academic life, ensuring they have the resources to excel.
Wide-Ranging Paper Solutions
This platform caters to a comprehensive array of academic needs. Whether it's crafting detailed research papers, engaging essays, insightful case studies, or assisting with coursework, Essaybox.org's suite of services is designed to cover the full spectrum of academic writing. They extend their expertise to book reports, speeches, and articles, ensuring that quality writing is accessible for every assignment type.
Key Benefits: A Trifecta of Assurances
- Expert ENL Writers : Essaybox.org takes pride in its team of experienced native English-speaking writers, ensuring that every paper is of the highest linguistic standard. The eloquence and command over the language these writers possess are evident in the articulate and nuanced documents they produce.
- Customer Satisfaction : The platform has consistently maintained high customer satisfaction rates, reflecting its commitment to meeting the specific requirements of each assignment with a personalised touch.
- Plagiarism-Free Content : Originality is a non-negotiable aspect of academic integrity, and Essaybox.org underscores this by conducting thorough plagiarism checks. Each paper is guaranteed to be unique, fostering confidence in the students who use their services.
Discount Codes and Budget-Friendly Options
Recognising the economic constraints of student life, Essaybox.org offers various discount codes. These discounts aim to make their services more affordable, ensuring that financial limitations do not impede access to quality writing assistance.
Accolades from Users: Testimonials
The real merit of Essaybox.org’s services shines through in the glowing testimonials from satisfied students. These testimonials often speak of the impeccable research, attention to detail, and impeccable customer service that defines the Essaybox.org experience. For many, it's not just about submitting assignments on time but about learning from the well-crafted papers they receive, which can serve as excellent study materials.
In the domain of academic writing services, Essaybox.org distinguishes itself by offering an intersection of skilled ENL writers, guaranteed customer satisfaction, and rigorous plagiarism checks, all the while being mindful of the student's budget. Its solid track record and commendable customer feedback solidify its status as a go-to resource for students aiming for academic excellence in 2023.
Bookwormlab.com: College Paper Writing Service
Website Link: BookwormLab.com
Bookwormlab.com has etched its name in the domain of academic writing services with a consistent presence that resonates with reliability and dedication. Serving as an educational cornerstone for students across the globe, it has spent years perfecting the art of customised paper writing.
Stalwart Academic Companion
Throughout its operational years, Bookwormlab.com has grown in stature and capability, becoming a stalwart companion to students needing writing assistance. Its longevity in the business is a testament to its unwavering commitment to student success and its adaptability to the evolving landscapes of education.
A Library of Paper Options
The service extends its expertise across many paper types, accommodating many student needs. From essays, reports, and term papers to more specialised formats like presentations and lab reports, Bookwormlab.com's repertoire is designed to cater to various academic levels and subjects.
Prime Benefits for Academic Success
- Round-the-Clock Support : Accessibility is critical at Bookwormlab.com, so they offer 24/7 customer support. Students grappling with time zone differences or last-minute inquiries find solace in the constant availability of professional assistance.
- Money-Back Assurance : Confidence in their service is underscored by a robust money-back guarantee. This assurance serves as a safety net for students, promising a refund should the service not meet their specified requirements.
- Confidentiality is Paramount : Understanding the sensitivity of academic integrity, Bookwormlab.com enforces a strict confidentiality policy. The anonymity and privacy of every client are safeguarded, ensuring a discreet service from start to finish.
Financial Considerations and Discounts
In tune with the budget constraints typical of student life, Bookwormlab.com offers a range of discount codes. These financial incentives are a boon for students, easing the burden on their wallets while accessing professional writing aid.
Praise from Patrons: Testimonials
Endorsements from users serve as the backbone of Bookwormlab.com's reputation. Testimonials frequently emphasise the attentive customer service, the quality of work received, and the impactful difference it has made in their academic pursuits. Many reflect on the stress relief that comes with knowing they have a trusted service on standby, ready to assist at any hour.
With its established history, breadth of writing services, and core benefits that speak directly to student needs, Bookwormlab.com holds a premier position in the academic writing industry. Its commitment to support, quality, and confidentiality makes it a wise choice for students seeking a reliable partner in their educational journey in 2023.
EssayFactory.uk: Custom Paper Writing Service in the UK
Website Link: EssayFactory.uk
Storied British Excellence
Nestled within the heart of academic tradition, EssayFactory.uk has served students with academic writing assistance for years. This UK-based service has carved out a significant niche in the market by upholding the rich educational heritage of its surroundings and offering assistance that adheres to the rigorous standards expected by British institutions.
A Diverse Writing Portfolio
From the classic essay to comprehensive dissertations, EssayFactory.uk provides an extensive array of services. Their offerings include but are not limited to reflective writing, argumentative articles, literature reviews, and research papers, each tailored to the specific directives of their clients' academic needs.
Key Advantages of a Seamless Experience
- New Customer Incentives : Embracing newcomers is part of the ethos at EssayFactory.uk, which is why they offer attractive discounts for those testing their services for the first time. This welcoming gesture not only lowers the barrier of entry but also demonstrates their commitment to student satisfaction from the outset.
- Rewards for Loyalty : Recognizing and appreciating returning scholars, EssayFactory.uk has a loyalty program that offers cumulative benefits. This approach keeps students engaged with the service, ensuring they feel valued over the long term.
- Exemplary Samples as Standard : To exhibit the calibre of their writing, EssayFactory.uk provides a selection of sample essays. These examples serve as benchmarks of quality and a preview of the professional standards students can expect.
Promotional Savings with Discount Codes
In understanding the budgetary constraints many students face, EssayFactory.uk extends a series of discount codes, providing a cost-effective solution to those seeking professional writing services without compromising quality.
Client Accolades and Testimonials
The praise garnered in customer testimonials speaks volumes about EssayFactory.uk's reputation. Students frequently commend the calibre of writing, the reliability of service, and the impactful contributions the work has made to their academic progress. The consistent mention of user-friendly service, coupled with intellectual integrity, reaffirms their standing as a distinguished provider of educational writing assistance.
Essays.io: Online Paper Writing Service
Website Link: Essays.io
Essays.io has rapidly ascended the ranks to become a prominent player in academic writing services. Although relatively new, it has been substantially impacted by delivering tailored writing solutions to a growing clientele of college students.
Innovative Approach in a Competitive Field
Since its launch, Essays.io has distinguished itself with a fresh approach to academic assistance, embracing innovation and customer-focused services. By responding to the unique needs of modern education, it has established a reputation for excellence and reliability among its users.
Varied Academic Offerings
Essays.io boasts many paper types, accommodating various academic disciplines and writing formats. From analytical essays to persuasive pieces and detailed case studies to reflective journals, the service ensures that every educational endeavour is supported.
Strategic Benefits for Student Success
- Welcoming Discounts : To ease the initiation into their services, Essays.io offers enticing discounts for first-time customers. This approach not only makes professional writing services more accessible but also demonstrates confidence in the value they provide.
- Loyalty Program Rewards : Acknowledging the value of repeat business, Essays.io has a loyalty program that rewards returning customers. This program builds a lasting relationship with students, offering them cost-saving benefits as they continue to engage with the service.
- Sample Essays as a Resource : To showcase their expertise and writing quality, Essays.io provides sample essays. These samples testify to their writing standards and offer potential clients a glimpse of what they can expect.
Savings with a Purpose: Discount Codes
Understanding the financial constraints of its clientele, Essays.io extends discount codes that make its services even more attractive. These discounts are strategically designed to align with the needs of students managing tight budgets.
Affirmations of Quality: Testimonials
The effectiveness and impact of Essays.io are echoed in the testimonials of its users. Clients often express their satisfaction with the seamless process, the calibre of writing, and the tangible benefits reflected in their academic performance. For many, the availability of sample essays and the rewards of the loyalty program have been pivotal in their continued use of the service.
With its dynamic approach to student needs, range of writing services, and an eye for affordability, Essays.io has carved out a unique space for itself. It caters not just to the academic demands of its customers but also to the broader quest for value, making it a noteworthy option for students in 2023.
Overview of College Paper Writing Services
College paper writing services operate as a lifeline in the vast ocean of academic requirements students face. These services provide custom-written research papers, term papers, essays, and many other academic assignments, meticulously crafted to meet the exact specifications and requirements set by the student or their institution. These bespoke papers are tailored to align not just with the topic but also with the required academic level, ensuring that the content is appropriately sophisticated and well-researched.
The benefits of engaging with such services are multifaceted. Principally, they save invaluable time for students, who often find themselves in a bind, attempting to balance coursework, part-time jobs, and personal commitments. This time-saving aspect can significantly reduce the high-stress levels that students experience during their college years. Moreover, these services provide direct access to expert writers who are not only adept in various academic fields but also skilled in the art of writing and research. This expertise ensures that the final product is not just content-rich but also adheres to the highest standards of academic writing.
While exact statistics vary, reports suggest a growing trend in using these services by students. It's estimated that a significant proportion of college students, at least once in their academic career, have sought the help of professional writing services. These numbers are indicative of the increasingly essential role such services play in the modern educational ecosystem, helping students to navigate the rigorous demands of college education.
What to Look for in a College Paper Writing Service
When selecting a college paper writing service, discerning students should prioritise several key features distinguishing between a mediocre experience and exceptional support in their academic journey.
First and foremost, services that employ English Native Language (ENL) writers should be at the top of the list. These writers bring an innate understanding of the nuances of the language, ensuring that the papers are fluent, coherent, and free of grammatical errors. Moreover, a thorough plagiarism check with accompanying guarantees is crucial. It not only ensures the originality and integrity of the work submitted but also protects students from the severe consequences associated with academic dishonesty.
Equally important is a money-back guarantee, which provides a safety net for students should the service fail to meet their expectations or specific requirements. This feature speaks volumes about the service’s confidence in its quality and commitment to customer satisfaction.
Around-the-clock customer support is another pillar of reliability. Whether clarifying doubts, tracking progress, or addressing last-minute changes, 24/7 availability ensures that help is always available, regardless of time zone differences or unexpected urgencies.
The availability of discounts and loyalty programs is a significant consideration for budget-conscious students. These financial incentives make it more viable for students to access quality writing assistance throughout their academic careers.
Secure payment methods are a must to protect financial information, while strict confidentiality and privacy protections ensure that personal details and academic endeavours remain secure and private.
By ensuring these features are present, students can confidently entrust their academic assignments to a writing service, knowing they have chosen a reliable partner to support them in achieving their educational goals.
FAQs About College Paper Writing Services
Is it legal to use college paper writing services.
Yes, using college paper writing services is legal. These companies operate within the legal framework, providing writing, research, and editing services. However, how students use these papers is critical. They are meant to serve as model papers or references for your work, not to be submitted verbatim as your own.
Will it get me in trouble for plagiarism?
A reputable writing service provides original content that should pass plagiarism checks. However, to ensure you don't get in trouble, it's essential to use these services responsibly. Many services offer plagiarism reports as proof of the originality of their work. It's also advisable to review and modify the provided work to make it fit your style and understanding before submission.
How do I know the paper will be high quality?
To gauge the quality, you can look at samples provided by the service, read customer testimonials, and check the qualifications of their writers. Most credible services have a selection process for writers and a quality control system. Always ensure they promise revisions or a money-back guarantee if standards are not met.
How do I keep my use of the service confidential?
In summary, navigating the demanding landscape of college academics can be significantly eased with the assistance of top-tier paper writing services. These services not only offer a reprieve from the constant pressure of deadlines but also pave the way for achieving top grades. With benefits like ENL writers, plagiarism checks, money-back guarantees, constant support, and confidentiality, exemplary service can be an invaluable ally in your educational journey. If you find yourself needing help to keep up with your course load, consider reaching out to one of the top 4 paper writing services reviewed above. By doing so, you can secure custom, high-quality papers tailored to your needs, allowing you to focus on mastering your subjects and excelling in your academic career.
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9 facts about bullying in the u.s..
Many U.S. children have experienced bullying, whether online or in person. This has prompted discussions about schools’ responsibility to curb student harassment , and some parents have turned to home-schooling or other measures to prevent bullying .
Here is a snapshot of what we know about U.S. kids’ experiences with bullying, taken from Pew Research Center surveys and federal data sources.
Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand U.S. children’s experiences with bullying, both online and in person. Findings are based on surveys conducted by the Center, as well as data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additional information about each survey and its methodology can be found in the links in the text of this analysis.
Bullying is among parents’ top concerns for their children, according to a fall 2022 Center survey of parents with children under 18 . About a third (35%) of U.S. parents with children younger than 18 say they are extremely or very worried that their children might be bullied at some point. Another 39% are somewhat worried about this.
Of the eight concerns asked about in the survey, only one ranked higher for parents than bullying: Four-in-ten parents are extremely or very worried about their children struggling with anxiety or depression.
About half of U.S. teens (53%) say online harassment and online bullying are a major problem for people their age, according to a spring 2022 Center survey of teens ages 13 to 17 . Another 40% say it is a minor problem, and just 6% say it is not a problem.
Black and Hispanic teens, those from lower-income households and teen girls are more likely than those in other groups to view online harassment as a major problem.
Nearly half of U.S. teens have ever been cyberbullied, according the 2022 Center survey of teens . The survey asked teens whether they had ever experienced six types of cyberbullying. Overall, 46% say they have ever encountered at least one of these behaviors, while 28% have experienced multiple types.
The most common type of online bullying for teens in this age group is being called an offensive name (32% have experienced this). Roughly one-in-five teens have had false rumors spread about them online (22%) or were sent explicit images they didn’t ask for (17%).
Teens also report they have experienced someone other than a parent constantly asking them where they are, what they’re doing or who they’re with (15%); being physically threatened (10%); or having explicit images of them shared without their consent (7%).
Older teen girls are especially likely to have experienced bullying online, the spring 2022 survey of teens shows. Some 54% of girls ages 15 to 17 have experienced at least one cyberbullying behavior asked about in the survey, compared with 44% of boys in the same age group and 41% of younger teens. In particular, older teen girls are more likely than the other groups to say they have been the target of false rumors and constant monitoring by someone other than a parent.
They are also more likely to think they have been harassed online because of their physical appearance: 21% of girls ages 15 to 17 say this, compared with about one-in-ten younger teen girls and teen boys.
White, Black and Hispanic teens have all encountered online bullying at some point, but some of their experiences differ, the spring 2022 teens survey found. For instance, 21% of Black teens say they’ve been targeted online because of their race or ethnicity, compared with 11% of Hispanic teens and 4% of White teens.
Hispanic teens are the most likely to say they’ve been constantly asked where they are, what they’re doing or who they’re with by someone other than a parent. And White teens are more likely than Black teens to say they’ve been targeted by false rumors.
The sample size for Asian American teens was not large enough to analyze separately.
During the 2019-2020 school year, around two-in-ten U.S. middle and high school students said they were bullied at school . That year, 22% of students ages 12 to 18 said this, with the largest shares saying the bullying occurred for one day only (32%) or for between three and 10 days (29%), according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Certain groups of students were more likely to experience bullying at school. They include girls, middle schoolers (those in sixth, seventh or eighth grade), and students in rural areas.
The most common types of at-school bullying for all students ages 12 to 18 were being made the subject of rumors (15%) and being made fun of, called names or insulted (14%).
The classroom was the most common location of bullying that occurred at school in 2019-2020, the BJS and NCES data shows. This was the case for 47% of students ages 12 to 18 who said they were bullied during that school year. Other frequently reported locations included hallways or stairwells (39%), the cafeteria (26%) and outside on school grounds (20%).
Fewer than half (46%) of middle and high schoolers who were bullied at school in 2019-2020 said they notified a teacher or another adult about it, according to the BJS and NCES data. Younger students were more likely to tell an adult at school. Around half or more of sixth, seventh and eighth graders said they did so, compared with 28% of 12th graders.
Students who reported more frequent bullying were also more likely to notify an adult at school. For instance, 60% of those who experienced bullying on more than 10 days during the school year told an adult, compared with 35% of those who experienced it on one day.
In 2021, high schoolers who are gay, lesbian or bisexual were about twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to say they’d been bullied, both at school and online, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . In the 12 months before the survey, 22% of high school students who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual – and 21% of those who identify as questioning or some other way – said they were bullied on school property. That compares with 10% of heterosexual students. The data does not include findings for transgender students.
The trend is similar when it comes to electronic bullying through text or social media: 27% of high school students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual say they experienced this in the 12 months before the survey, as did 23% of those who identify as questioning or some other way. That compares with 11% of those who identify as heterosexual.
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Online harassment occurs most often on social media, but strikes in other places, too
About one-in-five americans who have been harassed online say it was because of their religion, some americans who have been targeted by troubling behaviors online wouldn’t call it ‘harassment’, the state of online harassment, q&a: what we’ve learned about online harassment, most popular.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .