September 7, 2018

Academic Essay: Theory and Practice of Writing

In the international humanitarian tradition, this genre is considered in the context and terms of various scientific disciplines – anthropology, philosophy, axiology, literary criticism, linguistics, etc. From the point of view of disciplines concerned with human study, its origin, development, existence, essay – “one of forms of self-consciousness of culture”, “mainly in connection with the problem of searching for an individual identity”, “comprehending the tradition or criticizing ideologies.” From the standpoint of literary criticism and linguistics, the essay is a prose text that “directly reflects the subjective, existentially painted, autopsychological reflections of the author on the most pressing problems of internal and social life in a relatively free, often paradoxical form.” Despite the “non-strict” genre characteristics and external compositional diversity, the essay has an internal, unchanged for several centuries, “core” – content. It is predetermined by the personal myth of the author and his picture of the world. In addition, the essay has its own “method”, “a way of combining form and content (their organization, connection, merger).” Finally, an essay helps a person to find the meaning of life, becoming for him “a guiding light”, a “beacon”, a “place of solitude” and “quiet contemplation” and “self-awareness.”

At present, there are many compositional types and models of realization of this genre, embodied in various forms. In modern humanitarian practice, the following types of essays are singled out:

1) from the point of view of the type of speech and functioning – academic and non-academic;

2) from the point of view of content – literary, artistic, scientific-artistic, journalistic / journalistic, philosophical, philosophical-legal, linguistic, literary-physical, mathematical, pedagogical, art, cinematographic, television, etc.;

3) from the point of view of form – a review, a note, a letter, a page from a diary, etc.;

4) from the point of view of the type of speech – description, reasoning, narrative. The Western Humanitarian School offers a different classification: Opinion Essay, Response (Reaction) Essay, Research Essay, close in purpose and objectives to the course or diploma work, Persuasive Essay, Argumentative Essay, Compare and Contrast Essay, Analysis (Interpretation) Essay, and others.

Academic Essay: From Theme to Self-Esteemed Opinion

Academic essay is one of the scientific genres on a par with the course and diploma (qualification) projects, articles, abstracts, abstracts, summaries, articles, reviews, reports. The word “academic” means “relating to the academy as a scientific institution or higher education institution”. Academic writing offers students a series of classes, including Academic Reading and Writing or Introduction to Effective Reading, Introduction to University Writing. In English, the word academic refers to the orientation toward a certain circle of people, their community, which has its own rules of conduct, communication, and forms of communication.

Currently, the academic essay increasingly attracts the attention of the pedagogical community. This type of written work is used as an intermediate and final report due to the fact that it is subject to “objective measurement”. Teachers who have extensive practical experience in the field of academic writing, note its self-evident advantages.

Work on the scientific essay:

1) forces the learner “to systematically generate coherent texts on the subject under study”;

2) accustoms him to mental discipline, demands from him “a slow, thoughtful insight into the subject and the ordering of his thoughts with a written description of them,” contributes to the consolidation of the material;

3) helps to master the language of the given subject area and develop skills of academic “literacy”, trains observation, analytical, “tenacious look”; forms the skills of correct participation in “professional conversation”, “tolerance for another opinion”, individual responsibility;

4) develop interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary connections, research and communication competencies, form an individual style;

5) the student learns to combine subjective knowledge with sources of objective knowledge;

6) allows us to observe his gradual intellectual maturation.

The expediency and effectiveness of using the academic essay is obvious when comparing some principles of the organization of the educational process in European and American universities.

In the universities of Western Europe and the United States in the organization of the educational process, the main emphasis is on the independent work of students, focused on the creation of written works. The appeal to the genre of the academic essay gives many positive results, significantly enriches the educational process, makes it more conscious and interesting.

In the world theory and practice, the canons of the genre of a scientific essay, the methodology of its preparation and writing, are developed.

If you still require some paper writing help, let us consider in more detail.

1) Structure of the academic essay:

The academic essay consists of the following parts:

Title – reflects the main scientific problem, which is devoted to the essay. The title should be designed aesthetically.

Introduction – thesis-problem. The introduction contains 1) a general introduction; 2) basic information / information on the history of the issue; 3) a description of what exactly will be discussed in the main part.

Body – the reasoned disclosure of the problem on the basis of the collected material. Data analysis and reasoning should be accurately correlated with the issues raised in the essay. This part of the work includes the correlation and generalization of other points of view with a statement of one’s own and its rationale. In the course of argumentation / reasoning it is recommended to use empirical information as an illustrative material. In this part of the work, you must adhere to a strict structure and hierarchy (from the main to the secondary, from more to less important). Evidence should be strong, convincing, weighed, effective, independent, non-contradictory. Their number depends on the problem being discussed, the chosen plan and the logic of the development of thought. To highlight the main points of the reasoned presentation, the designation of its main points and the observance of logic in the disclosure of the problem, it is recommended to use paragraphs / sub-headings (they can be entitled). One paragraph / subtitle reflects one main idea.

Conclusion – a brief summary and presentation of the main arguments. The conclusion can also contain such an important supplementary essay element as an indication of the application of your work, without excluding the relationship with other problems.

The academic essay is distinguished by “sharp personalization”, reflexivity, criticality (the main goal is to express your opinion, convincingly prove and argue it), academic style, accuracy, clarity, clarity, richness of thought, logic and ease of presentation of thoughts (do not forget that about you “Judge by the text”). Volume – from 1 5000 to 4 000 words.

Qualitative preparation of materials necessary for the essay (abstracts of scientific literature, lectures, notes of discussions and own reflections, experience gained), their generalization and presentation. The best preliminary work in the preparation of the essay is a summary of the article, monographs, etc.

There are many ways and ways of organizing preparatory records. The most effective method of abstracting is the method proposed by the specialists of the Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. Here are the recommendations made: a) divide the notebook into two columns – in the left one you can make an abstract of the material that you are reading, in the right one – compare the contents of this abstract with other facts about which you “previously read, heard (in lectures), discussed on classes or in an informal setting, as well as with your own comments and critical comments on the text that you are reading. In other words, you use your notes to build a cross-reference, based on your own considerations, language, data, and also your own comments on the statements of others.” Another method: a) work out the necessary material and b) structure it structurally according to the scheme: problem – arguments (arguments) – examples – output.

Clear justification and upholding of their position. When forming your own point of view on a particular issue, your “ability to critically and independently evaluate the data range and viewpoints / arguments of others, the ability to understand, evaluate and establish the connection between the key points of any problems and issues” is at the center of attention.

Observance of scientific ethics. All the footnotes in the work are carefully verified and supplied with “addresses”. It is inadmissible to include in your work excerpts from the work of other authors without indicating this, to retell someone else’s work close to the text without reference to it, to use other people’s ideas without indicating the source. All cases of plagiarism should be ruled out. The bibliographic list must be formalized according to the rules.

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